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Re: What to do with dancing wedding footage?

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Mark Suszko
Re: What to do with dancing wedding footage?
on Oct 10, 2013 at 3:29:28 pm

From a purely legal perspective, if you are doing this video for money, you're in violation of copyright if you leave in the original music without clearances and paying royalties. You don't have to like it, but that's the law as it is today.

That said, most of the low-end wedding guys just roll the dice and hope not to get sued, and montage the dance footage with the existing nat sound. Before the web, wedding editors sought safety in their relative obscurity; you don't have that protection today. Everything ends up on youtube at some point, and bots will quickly find music that wasn't paid for. What happens after that could be nothing much... or could end up in court. If you put scenes on your own web page "reel", better use cleared music only. That's the safest policy for you.

Some clients will have a problem about subbing the music, or shortening the dance footage by montaging it. There's no perfect answer to this, but if it was me, I would just give them a dub of the raw dancing footage along with the master cut, using only legally-cleared music. Bets policy is to talk thru this issue with the clients before the contracts are signed and before you shoot a frame. See if they are all right with you substituting cleared music before this becomes an issue.

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