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Chris Catalano
Question about using copyrighted material
on Feb 14, 2009 at 4:46:08 pm

Hi All,

I have a short project where I'd like to use a piece of copyrighted music. It's about 15 seconds of the ending of a particular song. The section I want is just the final frienzy, crazy, crescendo, noise that ends on one chord (think of the run up to the end of 'A Day in the Life'). The project is for a web video that will promote a free event for a school. I thought I had read somewhere years ago that if you're not using more than a certain amount of the melody of a song which makes it recognizable then you could use it. Does anyone have any insight into this? Or is it all irrelevant because the piece is being used to promote a free event?

Thanks,
CJ


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Ty Ford
Re: Question about using copyrighted material
on Feb 15, 2009 at 2:06:05 am

Hello CJ and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Try thinking about it this way. You don't own the music. It belongs to someone else.

There's something special about that song. It's a popular piece of music. I can name that tune in two seconds. Millions of people know that sound. You are using it because it has specific value. If they want to get you, anyone can file a law suit.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Alan Lloyd
Re: Question about using copyrighted material
on Feb 15, 2009 at 6:26:24 pm

I was on a festival panel one, where a company's internal video magazine sent in multiple episodes, all wall-to-wall with music they clearly hadn't cleared - Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, stuff of that prominence.

The first set of comments was something along the lines of how it really wasn't a good idea. By the time we had watched and were commenting on the fourth, the comments had turned overtly hostile, and some of the other judges were outright refusing to grade their material.

This is a way of making enemies - don't do it.


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Elijah Lynn
Re: Question about using copyrighted material
on Feb 15, 2009 at 9:56:23 am

Where will you be broadcasting this piece? In a gymnasium, web?



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Chris Catalano
Re: Question about using copyrighted material
on Feb 15, 2009 at 2:34:33 pm

It would be used on the organization's website, and they might also create a utube page.


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Ty Ford
Re: Question about using copyrighted material
on Feb 15, 2009 at 3:33:13 pm

Chris,

Have you ever read the notices on youtube that ask if you have the rights to post whatever it is you want to post? They're there. You do not own the rights to the music you want to use.

Public exposure on a website? Nope, that's you publicly publishing the material you don't own.

People violate copyright and mechanical license rights all the time, but it is illegal. That's a short word that means you are stealing from someone for your (or someone else's) use.

And really, you're stealing twice. The intellectual rights from the owner of the copyright and again from the musicians who were playing and singing.

Warner Brothers own the rights to the song Happy Birthday. They paid about 25 MILLION dollars for that right which brings in a reported 2 million dollars per year in licensing. See more for details: http://www.snopes.com/music/songs/birthday.asp

Thanks for asking the question. It's always good the revisit these sticky issues.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Chris Catalano
Re: Question about using copyrighted material
on Feb 15, 2009 at 7:18:16 pm

I understand everything you say about not 'owning' the material. I had just thought that there was some allowances for using a certain short duration of a work in conjunction with a not for profit endeavor. Doesn't sound like that's the case, though...


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Alan Lloyd
Re: Question about using copyrighted material
on Feb 15, 2009 at 7:47:17 pm

"Fair use" may apply if you're commenting. If it's a bed track, or integral to the piece in any way, you need to clear it.

Sounds like a short call to a decent IP attorney would be a good idea - may cost you a bit, may save you a lot. Nonprofit status means nothing once a trial starts. I've heard of six-figure awards by juries for the deliberate lack of synchronization rights.


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John Fishback
Re: Question about using copyrighted material
on Feb 15, 2009 at 10:43:13 pm

Call ACSAP or BMI, whichever is listed on the label. Explain who you are and how you want to use the piece. They'll tell you who you have to contact, etc. You might get lucky and get permission for little or no money. Be aware that there may be many entities that own a piece of the action: publisher, producer, song writers, musicians, movie companies (if in a film), etc. - all who have to give permission.

John

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Steve Wargo
Call Barb
on Feb 19, 2009 at 7:36:12 am

Barbara Zimmerman -http://www.bzrights.com the website answers all of your questions



Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
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Chris Catalano
Re: Call Barb
on Feb 19, 2009 at 3:08:07 pm

Great site. Makes the subject very clear and obvious.

-Thanks


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