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I know, I know, "Not another copywright question!!"

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KevinMI know, I know, "Not another copywright question!!"
by on Oct 18, 2006 at 7:09:35 pm


A client would like to use a piece of music in a tv ad that will broadcast locally. I know for a radio station ad you can use a small portion of copywritten material as long as it's music they play. But for an auto body shop? I'm thinking I should contact the label?


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nestorlRe: I know, I know, "Not another copywright question!!"
by on Oct 18, 2006 at 7:34:03 pm

Hello Kevin. You need to clear the clip. Don't contact the label directly. Instead contact a music clearance company who will do this for you. The clarance rates vary by the type of broadcast your client want and you have to be careful with this. You are covered as long as your client uses the clip in the manner agreed. If they later decide to go national, you can be liable. Thus, make the 'limitations of use' explicit in the contract with your client. Nestor.

Nestor L. Lopez
Executive Vice-President
Explorart Films

Statements presented in the message are statements of opinion only and should not be considered legal advice. Please contact a qualified entertainment attorney.

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Tim WilsonRe: I know, I know, "Not another copywright question!!"
by on Oct 18, 2006 at 9:14:57 pm

Your client has the right to PLAY the music, for which he pays a blanket license.

Until you explicitly pay for them, NOBODY has synch rights, which is the right to match music to a film or video image for somebody else. This is why everyone plays The Beatles on the radio, but the only time their music has legally been used in an ad is that Nike commercial.

And if you make copies of the ad with the un-cleared music? You also fall afoul of mechanical rights -- the right to record and distribute someone else's music.

Both of these descriptions are way oversimplified. I encourage you to look them up yourself. You'll get the idea, though. Yes, you should always contact an attorney for legal advice. But even a little reading online will make it very clear that your music needs to be very cleared before you proceed.

From there, a rights house is indeed the way to go. Get a price, tell your client. Then suggest an alternative they can afford. :-)


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KevinMRe: I know, I know, "Not another copywright question!!"
by on Oct 18, 2006 at 9:18:33 pm

Yah, thanks for the advice. I'm thinking a cut from one of my 1200 production music discs should do the trick.

Thanks again!

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