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Recording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights

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Patrick SimpsonRecording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights
by on May 13, 2009 at 3:09:54 am

Hi, I've been asked (and agreed to) videotape a dance recital and put it on DVD which would be sold to parents. The dances are to current, copyrighted songs.

I understand music rights pretty well and I know you can't use music w/o obtaining permission. What about the case where the songs are recorded through a consumer video camera - would it be illegal to distribute copies when the audio quality of the songs is severely degraded? This came to mind because I it used to be more acceptable (or at least distributers didn't worry as much about it) to copy VHS tapes and cassette tapes because every time it was copied it lost a ton of quality. Would this apply in this case of the audio for the recital?


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Mark SuszkoRe: Recording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights
by on May 13, 2009 at 2:06:03 pm

Illegal. "Judge, I know it's a pirate copy, but the quality is bad so it's okay, right?".


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Andrew EvansRe: Recording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights
by on May 13, 2009 at 3:19:39 pm

i doubt you would ever get in trouble for it since it's only being distributed localy.


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Mark SuszkoRe: Recording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights
by on May 13, 2009 at 4:09:29 pm

SO, it's not piracy if it's bad quality and you don't get caught?


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Andrew EvansRe: Recording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights
by on May 13, 2009 at 7:39:48 pm

its piracy if you have content in your program that you don't have the rights too... so the right answer is to either not make the dvds for the parents or put a different song on the audio track.


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Patrick SimpsonRe: Recording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights
by on May 14, 2009 at 12:46:12 am

Thanks for the input. I'm not interested in what I can get away with (I know I could), I'm interested in what's legal.

I suppose it wouldn't make a difference if the DVDs were given away and not sold?


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Mark SuszkoRe: Recording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights
by on May 14, 2009 at 3:29:57 am

Patrick, that is a much more interesting and more complex question.

I will say that my rule of thumb question in these situations is: at what point (if any) did money change hands? Who got paid to do what? Breaking the copyright laws for money, you just don't get too many escapes from that. Even Fair Use is not a magic shield. Fair Use is the excuse you give the judge AFTER you've been dragged into court in an expensive and time-consuming lawsuit and found guilty of the factual matter of making something using copyrighted materials without consent. Then, at that point, the judge decides if your situation fits one of the narrowly defined areas where Fair Use is allowed.

If the whole thing was done for free, the case is harder to move forward, but don't take that as professional legal advice. Moreover, what is "free", anyhow? Are they taking tickets at the door of the school? is *somebody" getting money? Even if it's just a little? And did you enable it? It's a big ball of yarn to untangle. Best not to try.


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Patrick SimpsonRe: Recording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights
by on May 14, 2009 at 3:57:11 am

Crisis averted; thanks all for your help.

20" Intel iMac, 2.66 GHz, 4GB ram
View my reel - http://www.youtube.com/patrickdsimpson



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Jason MechelkeRe: Recording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights
by on May 14, 2009 at 2:36:12 pm

So what if you were paid to record the recital and then gave away the DVD's? You're being paid for one service but not the distribution service?

I'm guessing it would be splitting hairs, but I thought it might be an interesting question.

Jason Mechelke
Midnight Sun Productions - Marathon WI
jason@midnightsunprod.com


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Thax ClaveRe: Recording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights
by on May 14, 2009 at 5:42:30 pm

[Jason Mechelke] "So what if you were paid to record the recital and then gave away the DVD's? You're being paid for one service but not the distribution service?

I'm guessing it would be splitting hairs, but I thought it might be an interesting question.
"


The fact is, the "damage is done" when you edit and/or otherwise "prepare" the DVD material, and then issue (paid or not) a DVD with the audio on it.

The production that you do (shooting the video, recording the audio and "combining them" for playback) involves "synchronization rights."
It means that you owe a copyright fee for "syncing" the copyrighted audio to your video.

That is a separate and distinct issue from the "duplication rights" of the music (which will ALSO be involved when you make copies.)





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Trip CreechRe: Recording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights
by on Jun 11, 2013 at 1:49:57 am

I came across this thread from 2009 while trying to research a question I have in dealing with a similar situation. I could tell that you (Mark) hold a firm view on the legality of using copyrighted music in/on DVD's; that is exactly what I need.

I have a personal business converting old home video media (VHS, Betamax, 8mm) to digital format and then organizing them on multi-disc DVD or Blu-ray sets for my clients. One client requested that I use several songs in his project as background music for DVD menus. He purchased all of the mp3 files on his own, brought me the CD, and asked me to add them. Since the home movie DVD's are for his personal use, he purchased the songs, and I am not charging him for adding them - is this legal?

Also, the menus loop every 30 seconds so none of the songs would be used in their entirety. Don't know if this makes a difference or not.

I expect that this won't be the last time I get this request so I want to make sure to set my policy now. The last thing I want is to expose myself to risk.

Thank you for your help - Trip Creech


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Mark SuszkoRe: Recording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights
by on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:00:37 am

Technically, still NOT legal.


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Johnny TintorRe: cording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights
by on Jun 19, 2013 at 3:02:55 pm

Trip,

It is LEGAL for your client to use songs (that he purchased) in his own project, for his own personal use. It is ILLEGAL for you to use the songs to build the DVD's that you will eventually charge him for-since the DVD's are not for YOUR OWN personal use. Even though you are not charging him for "adding them" per se, you are still charging him for the final product-which includes copyrighted music.

Johnny


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Tom MaloneyRe: Recording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights
by on May 15, 2009 at 11:56:58 am

try this

http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/resources/fair_use/


Tom


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Trent WhittingtonRe: Recording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights
by on May 21, 2009 at 2:39:44 pm

I thought id add to the question. What would happen if say you were shooting a documentary and you could clearly hear a popular music in the background. Is this still Illegal for not having consent? Because the main content is the Interviewee?

Trent Whittington - Currently studying Associate Degree in Digital Television

iMac - 24inch 3.06Ghz, FC STUDIO 2, Adobe Production Premium CS4.
Asus eee - 8.9inch 1.6Ghz 1Gb Ram, Windows XP


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Thax ClaveRe: Recording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights
by on May 24, 2009 at 3:01:03 pm

[Trent Whittington] "What would happen if say you were shooting a documentary and you could clearly hear a popular music in the background."

Either move the shooting location when recording or replace the audio in post.



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Mike CohenRe: cording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights
by on May 27, 2009 at 1:04:12 am

Apparently tens of thousands of wedding videographers have the same problem. This is why I do not do weddings


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Perry ChengRe: cording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights
by on May 29, 2009 at 1:38:37 am

Mark and Company,
Just curious, please tell me how to proper obtain any legal right to tape an event video with any sort of audio in the background? Pretend you can figure out the name of the songs, what's your process? I am a newbee, but, has anyone here actually done an event to make $, that has background music playing? Do you follow your suggested process? If so, 100%? If so, how do you stay in business?

Sincerely,
Perry



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Mark SuszkoRe: cording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights
by on May 30, 2009 at 1:08:47 am

http://www.law.duke.edu/cspd/comics/digital.php



And I solved the problem by no longer doing these jobs, at least, not unless they cleared everything.




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Perry ChengRe: cording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights
by on May 31, 2009 at 7:48:06 pm

Mark,
Well, your way out certainly works 100% at all time. However, for those who still need to do the "dirty job", well, I personally don't think the copyright laws is fair. If those "artists" really care about their copyright, they need to find a way for "average joe" to be able to comply. An average joe is not going to come up with a process that is acceptable the artists. I think I came across more and more music rights company that offer pretty reasonable price for some music, but again, in an actual life event, that is virtually impossible. Let me ask you, in a life event, do you think clients would like a clean-cut music copy on the DVD or a life-environment background music? May I say, there is value in the noise, sometimes. My $.02.

Perry



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Mark SuszkoRe: cording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights
by on Jun 1, 2009 at 2:17:22 pm

Perry, what we think is "fair" doesn't mean squat. There is what is legal and what is not legal. Once you understand what is legal and what is not, it is up to you as an adult individual to make your own choice about what you will and will not do, what you consider a manageable risk. For many of us, we have reached a point in our lives where we now have property we don't want to lose, and other people depending on us, we no longer take stupid risks. I for example now think twice about hanging out the open door of a Jet Ranger with no safety measures except a turn of gaffer tape over the quick-release seatbelt buckle, something I did often when I was younger. Call me a chicken if you like, I have a different sense of what is worth risking now than when I was young and single.
The same goes for your choices in how religiously you follow copyright law.

One thing that does absolutely no good is bitching about how unfair the system is, to people that already know: what you need to do if you don't like the current law is work to change that law. This starts with writing many, many letters and emails to your representatives in Congress, to your senators, over and over, and supporting the efforts of advocacy groups working towards a more rational system. It is a very up-hill climb, since the mega corporations like Disney very much like the status quo, and they actively lobby your government to keep the system the way it is. Copyright has been distorted far outside of the original function, just so Disney can keep control of a stupid cartoon mouse. One thing I promise you: hate it all you want, but it will never change if you don't take an active role.





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Perry ChengRe: cording and selling DVDs of dance recital - music rights
by on Jun 5, 2009 at 12:58:37 am

Mark, you are absolutely correct on everything you said here. Perhaps the chicken is me, not you. I don't want to bother with writting letters that do no good. On the other hands, you see many many millions of people break this so called "copyright law" and how many cases got reinforced? especially in a personal or even small business level. Yes, everything is down to the risk and your personal conviction, however, if enough people breaks the law and no one is able to really enforce it, do you think the big company care? If they care enough, they should change their practice and provide a mechanism for the common public. I always wonder if someone want to be the middle man for the average consumer and the big companies, I bet they can make lots of $$$$$ by doing so. The revenue these companies lost to the so called copyright law-breakers are significant. I believe many want to do the right thing, but the world is not providing us a mechanism. Again this is my personal opinion only. Thanks for sharing yours.

Perry



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