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Chuck Obernesser
Video for sporting event
on Jul 22, 2013 at 10:40:30 pm

Hi to all...
A quick question. I just met with a new semi-pro team and they are looking to have a 4 min music video done to play on new video screens that they are getting for venue they are playing at. They requested using a very popular song and placing custom video over. I know the pro's use licensed music all the time. Looking to see if anyone has experience in this part and how they went about using the music?


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Video for sporting event
on Jul 23, 2013 at 12:38:31 am

Sure - they license it by paying for the rights to use it. Anything else is lawsuit territory. Here's a good first-hand article on what happens when you don't license the music:

http://daredreamermag.com/2011/12/07/the-music-licensing-chickens-have-come...

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Todd Terry
Re: Video for sporting event
on Jul 23, 2013 at 3:58:14 am

That's gonna cost 'em. Big.

We almost exclusively do broadcast work, but one time a corporate client did want us to license a particular music track for use in a trade show video... the track was only a semi-popular (at best) song about 25 years ago, but they wanted it because it did fit the theme of their video.

This license was for playing in a trade show booth for one weekend.

The damage... $25,000.

T2

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



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Chuck Obernesser
Re: Video for sporting event
on Jul 23, 2013 at 1:00:27 pm

Thanks all for posting back. I pretty much knew that would be the answer but I didn't know if teams had a special wavier or some type of permission to use songs. To go one step further, what if we recored a local band playing that song. Can we use that?


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Nick Griffin
Re: Video for sporting event
on Jul 23, 2013 at 1:15:49 pm

[Chuck Obernesser] "what if we recored a local band playing that song. Can we use that?"


NO. The song is still the property of its composer and/or music publisher.


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Chuck Obernesser
Re: Video for sporting event
on Jul 23, 2013 at 1:19:49 pm

That is what I thought as well. But just didn't know if there was a way to us ethe song they want. Thank again all.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Video for sporting event
on Jul 23, 2013 at 2:14:54 pm

There is also a possible issue regarding if the venue itself has paid for the permission to play it. Wanna make HUGE bank in this industry? Become a media rights lawyer.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Video for sporting event
on Jul 23, 2013 at 3:12:58 pm

One workaround - is to purchase a copyright free piece of library music which sounds somewhat like the original track. You can find these all over the place with titles that are very similar to the original cut - for example, a "Black Dog" sound-alike might be titled "Black Fog" - even band styles can be found - a Rolling Stones sound-alike might be called "The Stones are Rolling", or something like that. Pond5 has a lot of affordable music in a wide array of styles. You might want to check them out.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Todd Terry
Re: Video for sporting event
on Jul 23, 2013 at 3:17:39 pm

[Chuck Obernesser] " I didn't know if teams had a special wavier or some type of permission "

Well, since they are semi-pro, the best you can hope for is that they only get semi-sued. :) Kidding...no, there's no waiver.

[Mark Suszko] " a possible issue regarding if the venue itself has paid for the permission to play it. "

The venue may very well have rights to play the song, especially if they are a large professional venue used to doing things right. But that would apply to playing the track "wild" over the PA system, etc., it would not allow synchronization and inclusion in another production.

[Chuck Obernesser] "what if we recored a local band playing that song. "

That would be cheaper, sure, because you are not paying for rights to the original recording or the original performing artist. But you are still responsible for "publishing rights," as Joe said. And they are a big chunk of the cost. Dolly Parton made more money when Whitney Houston recorded "I Will Always Love You" than she did off her own recording of the same song, because she wrote it. Years ago I was involved in a commercial production for a healthcare system that wanted to use James Brown's "I Feel Good." A band and sound-alike singer was hired to re-record the song to avoid the performance costs of the original track... but the publishing rights were still about $30K.

T2

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



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Scott Cumbo
Re: Video for sporting event
on Jul 24, 2013 at 3:58:58 am

playing devil's advocate here, plus I'm a bit curious on other people's take. I've never been a business owner, always worked for post house's. I've never worried about licensed music before, That was always the clients problem. Now most of these clients were broadcast, so they would be stupid not to license the music. But i've never been given the impression that it was mine/ the post house i was working for issue. It was the person/company who was airing and or using said music.

Now i can see wedding videos companies for example being held liable for music because they are selling a product in the form of a finished wedding video.

But as an editor or in Chuck's case, he is selling a service in the form of editing a video for the client. Using material provided by the client. Saying the editor is liable for the music, than is he also liable for optaining release's for anyone appearing in the video? Making sure all logo's are cleared? where is the line drawn?

Now I'm not telling Chuck to go ahead and do it, because someone should never take legal advice from perfect strangers on the internet. If you're worried about it, talk to a lawyer.
But i'm curious on other peoples take.

Scott Cumbo
Lead Editor
Bellator MMA/Spike TV


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Todd Terry
Re: Video for sporting event
on Jul 24, 2013 at 5:14:55 am

I've used this analogy before, Scott, and I'll use it again...

You can't get stopped for speeding in your friend's car, and tell the cop to send the ticket to your friend because he gave you permission to speed and would "take the rap for it."

You can't transfer culpability. If you could, there would be a lot more professional hitmen.

It may seem like it should be solely your client's problem and not yours, but if you are knowingly producing a piece with unlicensed music for their use, even if you are not the one doing the actual broadcasting or distribution there is still liability.

T2

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



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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Video for sporting event
on Jul 24, 2013 at 2:07:24 pm

I'm with Todd on this - when a lawsuit does happen, the lawyers go after the party with the most potential money to lose. If I were the lawyer, and the choice were between an average citizen and a post-production company, who do you think I would go after?

I worked for a small cable TV production company many years ago - we had licensed an acoustic guitar piece from a local musician to use for a show open. Licensed, mind you - in writing. He decided sometime later that the cut was worth much more, and sued us for a hundred thousand dollars. We won in court, but the legal fees we had to pay to win were very large. You never know where it's going to come from, so dot all your i's and cross your t's when it comes to licensing. Sometimes even licensed stuff will have repercussions...

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Scott Cumbo
Re: Video for sporting event
on Jul 25, 2013 at 12:45:42 am

fair enough, but again... is the editor liable for obtaining releases from the talent? In essence it's the same thing, just on the visual end, not audio end.

This is really for argument's sake. The reality is one can get sued for pretty much anything these days... but that's a rant for another day.

And for the record, I'm an ex-musician. So i'm VERY against stealing music in anyway, shape or form.

Scott Cumbo
Lead Editor
Bellator MMA/Spike TV


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Chuck Obernesser
Re: Video for sporting event
on Jul 25, 2013 at 1:53:47 am

So the team contacted the record label with the song they want to use and the head of the organization for their sport. In short the label said, they cannot provide anything in writing as to give permission to use the song. We would need to talk to the person in copyright for that. But then they go on to say to the fact that if no money is being made they really don't have a problem. But if there is money made they want their percentage. What I don't like is them saying we can't give anything in writing. And yeah it's only going to be used for the team on the jumbo tron's. Just wanted to keep you all updated.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Video for sporting event
on Jul 25, 2013 at 2:04:25 am

Chuck -

I think that you'd better run away from this one fast! That's a perfect setup for a lawsuit - nothing in writing - but it's "ok" to use it if you're not making any money. Well, just the fact that it's appearing on a Jumbotron in a venue where people pay to get in would assume there's some money changing hands.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Chuck Obernesser
Re: Video for sporting event
on Jul 25, 2013 at 2:10:52 am

Joe,
I agree 100%. I'm going to do what I can to get the client to just use royalty free music for the video. I don't want to take the word of some random person from a record label.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Video for sporting event
on Jul 25, 2013 at 2:00:52 am

It all depends - is the Editor also the owner of the production house, or is he an employee of it? It's all a slippery slope, and the less prepared anyone is for the possibility of a lawsuit, the better the odds are that it will happen.

Generally, the producer or videographer is responsible for obtaining releases from the talent, but that varies widely, depending on who's running the shoot. As long as the releases are on file, it doesn't much matter who gets them. The same with music releases - just get the license, or buy copyright free library music - then there's no need to worry about it.

I would think that someone bent on suing another party for copyright infringement will go after anyone they feel the need to. The excuse that "I was told to use the music by the ____." doesn't much work. It's the oldest excuse in the book. Look how it worked out for Adolf Eichmann, when he said "I was just following orders".

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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