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Shooting a band_-Music Nightmare?

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Tim Frechette
Shooting a band_-Music Nightmare?
on Feb 28, 2008 at 3:31:50 pm

Quick overview.

Excellent band plays 70's music, very popular, located in my area on East coast. Someone from LA wants to see a 5-8 minute video of them playing. The band is getting quotes for a shoot and they want some green screen as well as one of their 2 hours gigs shot. Then edited and put on a DVD for promo purposes.

First, I asked them if they have secured the performance rights and/or the "Synch" rights. They said no and they are willing to take the risk. They might be but I am not.

Second, they do not want to spend a lot of money on this.

I know I could do an excellent job but I definitely do not want the risk involved with the music.

Would you walk or run from this shoot?

Thanks



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grinner hester
Re: Shooting a band_-Music Nightmare?
on Feb 28, 2008 at 4:03:21 pm

If I understand correctly the gig is either to pirate some tunage or not to do it?

gonna go with don't do it.
It's not illagal to be a poser. It' illegal to push that red button on protected material.

if they wanna a little epk to get gigs with, you can easily roll some footage on a couple of their gigs. Now, you are just stitching together some footage of them and the ambience is that of what THEY provided. I don't see a green screen being the make or break in their ability to score some gigs.
don't put yourself in a liable position.



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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Shooting a band_-Music Nightmare?
on Feb 28, 2008 at 5:47:13 pm

I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole.

This isn't a job, it's being as big a poser as the band.

Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
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Tim Frechette
Re: Shooting a band_-Music Nightmare?
on Feb 28, 2008 at 6:16:21 pm

Thanks Guys.

As I bring up the quality of my business these issues have become very important to me. I am happy to say that I do not have any problems with my past projects but with all of the legalities nowadays the entire complexity of music can bring on some serious nightmares.

But I am still amazed at the other "Pros" in my area that are still blantely breaking the law regarding music. It seems like they get the cream of the crop jobs while breaking the law, and they seem to get away with it. In fact one of the owners of a production house used to shoot for MTV's the real world. The place shot a long form documentary with grants, etc. They have about 10 current recording artists songs throughout the entire DVD with NO music rights granted. They are sitting on major distribution because of this. They are out in public trying to raise money so they can buy usage rights, etc, just to show the video.

I think I will tell these guys that I will pass on this one.

Especially since they are sending it out to someone in LA.

Thanks



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Mark Suszko
Re: Shooting a band_-Music Nightmare?
on Feb 28, 2008 at 8:52:22 pm

It is pretty common for wedding type cover bands to show clips of themselves performing to get new bookings. They try to keep the clips short and incomplete, using just a few seconds of enough songs to establish that they can cover the songs well enough and look presentable. Their stated defense is that the song "samples" are not saleable since they are incomplete. They generally get away with this, but technically they don't have the rights to do such a video. They *might* have paid for the rights to perform the cover songs live, but those are different rights from making a video with the covers.

For such a band to make a clip demo of covers in hopes of getting a label interested, they are dreaming. And my rule of thumb is; is money changing hands somewhere, i.e. are YOU getting paid to make this product, knowing they don't have the permissions to use the elements?

If OTOH, the band is performing all their own original material, that is a different situation, and might be worth pursuing. Know what your day rate needs to be, then quote the job for time and materials.


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Jim Hyde
Re: Shooting a band_-Music Nightmare?
on Feb 29, 2008 at 7:26:07 pm

So what if I had shot a cover band and made a website with them on it. The video shoot and edit was free and would be posted almost in it's entirety. Would there be legal repercussions there? Web ads might be in the works too, would that matter?



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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Shooting a band_-Music Nightmare?
on Feb 29, 2008 at 8:52:24 pm

Yes, this would still be illegal if they use other people's music that is copyrighted.

Just as you can't give away anyone's music just because you do it for free, you can't record it and then do it in video either.

It's NOT their music. That is the bottom-line. They have no rights to it unless they pay for it.

Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
Join the COW's LinkedIn Group

Now in the COW Magazine: Commercials. A look at the history, strategy, techniques and production workflows of successful commercials. All brought to you by some of the COW's brightest members. Accept no substitutes!

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Mark Suszko
Re: Shooting a band_-Music Nightmare?
on Feb 29, 2008 at 9:21:40 pm

The stuff you would put on the web without clearances is illegal, and you getting paid to put it on the web is illegal. You are making money in exchange for facilitating the unlawful act.

Will the U.S. Marshals be breaking down your door? Unlikely. Will some guy from the record company, using automatic webcrawling spiders that never sleep, eventually find your web site with the uncleared usage, and have the company lawyers send you a Cease-And-Desist? Quite possibly. Ignore the Cease-And-Desist, and you can expect a lawsuit asking for damages. Many Star Trek Nerds have shut down hugely popular as well as tiny and insignificant fan sites, because Paramount did pretty much exactly this.

At which point you have to ask yourself; "Do I have two years and perhaps many thousands of dollars in lawyer fees and court costs to waste in defending against this suit by a huge company that has hot and cold running lawyers on retainer, and what do I stand to lose if the judge finds for the record company?

All for some cover band? They must be DARN good.


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Jim Hyde
Re: Shooting a band_-Music Nightmare?
on Feb 29, 2008 at 10:19:35 pm

Interesting, good thing we've mostly been steering clear of cover bands just due to the fact that they are unoriginal.

So would just playing in a cover band alone be considered an illegal act if not cleared by the original artists?



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Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Re: Shooting a band_-Music Nightmare?
on Feb 29, 2008 at 10:38:21 pm

[Jim Hyde] "So would just playing in a cover band alone be considered an illegal act if not cleared by the original artists?"

Yep. Sure would... especially if you have a paying audience.

Except the music has to be cleared with whomever actually holds the publishing rights... which may or may not be the "original artists."

You rarely hear of it happening.... but years ago a guy I used to work with, Richard, had a moonlighting job running sound for a local cover band.

One night they were playing in a tiny dive hole-in-the-wall bar that you would think no one would ever care about. Well, the Richard was tapped on the shoulder and found himself facing a BMI/ASCAP rep who demanded a copy of their playlist.

Richard, ever the smartass, handed the guy a scrap of paper and a pencil and told him to enjoy the show.

I'm not sure how it all came out, but at least that night they were checking up on them, for sure (and no doubt this band was not paying any BMI or ASCAP fees).

Depending on the usage, publishing rights to songs can be steep. Dolly Parton made a mint off of "I will always love you," but she actually made more from Whitney Houston's cover of the song than she did from her own previous recording, purely because she was the writer.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Robert Smith
Re: Shooting a band_-Music Nightmare?
on Apr 8, 2008 at 1:22:09 am

"So would just playing in a cover band alone be considered an illegal act if not cleared by the original artists?"

No, as long as the venue has an ASCAP/BMI/SESAC performance rights license. Same basic license needed to have a jukebox or play the radio at a bar.

That covers the performance of a cover band, but it would not cover the recordings of that performance. This is where publishing rights come in, using a service such as Diamond Time. http://www.diamondtime.net/




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Tim Frechette
Re: Shooting a band_-Music Nightmare?
on Feb 29, 2008 at 11:09:00 pm

Thanks for all of the insight everyone.

The band plays some of their own 70's type music but mostly play cover songs. The dvd was to showcase their talent for gigs, not looking for a record deal.

I asked if they had any licensing rights at all to play and they said no. Obviously they have no intent of pay for such in the future.

From what I have gathered from this forum and your responses I don't think I am at all interested in doing the job. To much risk knowing what the pay is estimated to be.

Always a pleasure to receive professional feedback, thanks again everyone.

Tim



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Mike Cohen
Re: Shooting a band_-Music Nightmare?
on Mar 4, 2008 at 3:33:10 am

years ago a local guy made some videos which he sold of some no-name bands which performed at his ski slope in the Summer.
Although he supposedly had a contract with the bands, at the time the bands probably did not know what they were signing. Those same bands years later became household names (no names mentioned of course) and of course sued.

You never know what the future holds.

Mike


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Peter Ralph
Re: Shooting a band_-Music Nightmare?
on Mar 4, 2008 at 3:16:55 pm

Mike

what state did this happen in?



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