View Full Version : Film Festival - Concert Documentary

05-11-2005, 07:54 PM
My highschool is doing like a band night, where all the student rock n roll bands get together and play, each with like a 30 minute set. so if i wanted to submit this to a film festival (it is a lot better than the way i described it) would i have to get the rights to every song by the bands? theyre not like professionals, most of them never even recorded it.

Duct Tape Films
05-12-2005, 07:51 AM
You would most certianly need to get rights to the songs for festivals, in fact, for anything outside of doing it for your own personal enjoyment.

05-12-2005, 11:58 AM
and how would i go about doing that, also, what else would i need the rights of

Duct Tape Films
05-13-2005, 04:25 AM
and how would i go about doing that, also, what else would i need the rights of

If your intention is strictly festivals, and not say, distribution later on, you would approach the copyright owners (start with the record companies, who will generally direct you to the proper channels, ie ASCAP, the publisher, or the artist - and/or their representation), and you could try to secure what are known as "festival rights", which come at substantially less $$$ cost than rights for distribution, sometimes even free depending on if they see your picture as a good vehicle for publicity or not, or sometimes even from pity if they think that your picture will remain so under the radar that they're thrilled you asked rather than having to track you down for violating their copyright.

I can't emphasize how important it is to get these rights, most festivals won't even accept material that has unlicenced copyrighted material, and will make you prove or declare that you have such permissions - thusly taking all copyright violation burdens off of them. You will likely be looking for what are known as "synch rights", which may cost slightly less than if you had permission for the original music, although don't be shocked if it actually costs more, say if the copyright holder isn't too thrilled of the idea of high school kids playing (or perhaps some of them may be "butchering") their song. There may be other rights involved, so seeking out a copyright lawyer is going to be a must - always better to pay for an hour of advice (probably $300) than to get sued for a over a thousand times that amount per violation.

Here's your likely worst case scenarios....

1) You realize this will simply be too cost prohibitive using others' music.
2) The copyright owners do not grant their permissions (a very real possibility).
3) You make your movie anyway, and are unable to get it into festivals due to lack of permissions, or worse yet, you manage to get it in without getting permission and the copyright holder, or their representative, sees it and sues you.

Something to consider if you're looking for distribution later on. Although many distributors may consider picking up the tab to get the full rights for distribution, it is often considered your responsibility to get the full rights, and some distributors may pass on you simply because you only have "festival rights", or take it out of your earnings later on.

At any rate....call a lawyer. Better yet, get all the kids to write their own music. :thumbsup: