Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. Collapse Details
    being hired to film and edit for a family personal use with copyright music question
    #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    248
    Default
    Hello,

    I run a film business and I'm wondering if this following is legal and or how much risk there is.

    The other day a mother emailed to ask if I would film her son's dance recital. I know lots of the other kids and their parents so getting permission to film other kids that may appear isn't a concern but what would be the risk for legal trouble if I made money off of filming and editing the recital as well as made some DVD's some for the family? The son is dancing to very popular songs. Since this is a work for hire I wouldn't own the copyright to any of the production I produce and the DVD's would be for personal use for the family only to enjoy. Is this okay? Is it possible a music publishing company or record label would investigate me to find out if I made DVD copies that aren't intended for the internet? What happens if the mother goes ahead and does upload what I edited and filmed to YouTube herself and mentions that my business was hired to produce it? Am I at legal risk even though I didn't personally upload the recital?

    There are about 20 other film and editing businesses that do the same thing for way many years than my business have been operating and they are still in business. Those businesses also advertise film to DVD transfer as well which is something I want to get into but not sure if that's legal if I accidentally transferred a copyrighted section of someone singing a song onto DVD and didn't know it.

    Thanks,

    Bryce


    Reply With Quote
     

  2. Collapse Details
    #2
    Moderator Alex H.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    8,031
    Default
    Legality is not determined by whether or not you get caught, or whether or not other production companies are doing it. You really need to consult an attorney who is experienced in copyright and entertainment.
    Nobody notices audio... until it's not there.

    Find Me on Instagram


    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Reply With Quote
     

  3. Collapse Details
    #3
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    3,648
    Default
    Probably stating the obvious here, but following what Alex said, you only need to get caught once by someone and them choosing to make (another) example out of you(if what you're dong is illegal/in violation of copyright), to ruin you(wipe you out financially).

    This isn't something I have to deal directly with, but I have major network clients who pay thousands(10x's of...) to license songs to use in pieces. And I know there are times they get really nervous and sometimes won't use something we have shot or kill the audio completely when there are commercial songs playing just in the background of somewhere we may be shooting. This is especially a problem at athletic practices at colleges/universities(Producer: "Can you hear that? Can you tell what song that is?"). And I'm talking about multi-billion dollar networks that would rather play it safe than sorry. Just take that for what it's worth.


    Reply With Quote
     

  4. Collapse Details
    #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    West of the Pecos
    Posts
    2,245
    Default
    It's not complicated. There's those people who break the law and while being arrested by the police, always seem to be saying "Why do I have all the bad luck?" and there's those that stay out of trouble, go about their business, and sleep well at night.


    Reply With Quote
     

  5. Collapse Details
    #5
    Default
    Yes, but is there a way to license the music that is uncomplicated? I agree with the substance of the advice so far but not the tone.

    FACT: In the United States, and many other countries, to record and sell a video of kids dancing to "A Whole New World" is technically illegal.
    FACT: There is a minuscule but nonzero chance that a Disney lawyer in a bad mood will happen upon your video and decide to sue you into oblivion.

    But talking about it like he just asked if it's okay to steal a car, as long as he doesn't get caught, is missing some nuance.

    Copyright is in some ways unlike the other rights, like the right to life or property. Copyright is:

    (a) Recent. The first statute was not until 1710. Meanwhile, people have thought murder was wrong since antiquity.
    (b) Artificial. The right to life is considered a natural, intrinsic right. Meanwhile copyright is an artificial one.
    (c) A means to an end. While the right to life is an end unto itself, copyright is a means to an end. The U.S. Constitutions says it is "To promote the progress of science and useful arts." It has no such clause about making murder wrong "to promote a healthy population size" or some such thing.
    (d) Limited. The article of the Constitution further says it is "for limited times." In contrast, there is no expiration date for the land that you legally bought, nor a time when it becomes open season on other people.

    That is maybe theoretical. Copyright also differs from other rights in the practicality of its implementation. As far as I know there is no easy way to buy the right to have some songs in his video, certainly not for a price under the sales price of said video.

    This differs from talking about stealing a car or stealing an apple, because for a car and an apple there is an easy, straightforward way to get them. You take the apple up to the cash register and pay for it. There is no analog in music (pun unintended). Last I checked, here is the current process to secure legal right to music in your video:

    For each song, do the following steps:

    1. Find owner of mechanical rights. Contact. Negotiate price.
    2. Find owner of synchronization rights. Contact. Negotiate price.

    The owner of mechanical rights might be completely different than the owner of synchronization. And each song will have its own pair of owners, it could be different for each song.

    But that's not the worst part. The next part, where I say to contact them, usually stops there, because it is impossible. They will not answer your letter requesting to negotiate a price to put the soundtrack to Bambi in your Youtube video.

    But that's not the worst part either. On the off chance that they do reply, it usually is for some exorbitant sum. A group wishing to put a single song to play a tribute video at a dinner for firefighters was quoted $64,000. Nevermind that the video would be played at no charge to the audience in attendance.

    Therefore, the chances of the threadstarter getting an offer of something reasonable, like 25 cents per song per video, are even smaller than the minuscule chance of him getting sued at random.

    ---

    Be careful what I'm not saying.

    1. I'm not saying that the threadstarter should do it anyway, because he won't get caught.
    2. I'm not saying copyright is a stupid law, because that's a political debate. The points I made above are agreed upon by all political parties.

    I'm just saying that the current implementation of securing rights sucks, which in my mind is an engineering problem. Even for the people who want to do good and pay a decent fee (which should be some fraction, less than 1, of the price of the video) they are simply unable. They're unable! They could devote their life to contacting the rights holder and die as failures.
    Last edited by combatentropy; 07-24-2019 at 05:15 PM.


    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Reply With Quote
     

  6. Collapse Details
    #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Central NY
    Posts
    2,233
    Default
    I think the only correct answer is contact a lawyer.


    Reply With Quote
     

  7. Collapse Details
    #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    1,543
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by combatentropy View Post
    Yes, but is there a way to license the music that is uncomplicated?

    I'm just saying that the current implementation of securing rights sucks, which in my mind is an engineering problem. Even for the people who want to do good and pay a decent fee (which should be some fraction, less than 1, of the price of the video) they are simply unable. They're unable! They could devote their life to contacting the rights holder and die as failures.
    As usual, some companies are seeing opportunity and making money on the fact that there IS a problem as you
    pointed out. Artlist, Soundstripe, Music Bed and a whole litany of other companies are offering easy, one stop licensing
    that ranges from very affordable to slightly expensive but still doable for a professional.


    Reply With Quote
     

  8. Collapse Details
    #8
    Senior Member paulears's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Lowestoft - UK
    Posts
    1,656
    Default
    You run a film business? this is everyday stuff surely?

    From a UK perspective, you, as the publisher of the DVD, irrespective of what the client uses it for have used material covered by rights. you should clear it. Even if the client says they will, that holds no water and you need to do it. however - for a small quantity of DVDs PRS run a number of schemes to cover physical products and downloads. you tell them the details on line, pay a small fee and can produce up to a pre-determined number of products. Very easy to do, and they do similar schemes for low volume items for weddings, funerals - that kind of thing.

    For once, the UK system is wonderful compared to that which exists in other countries. As a video professional, clearance is an everyday activity you need to take control of for protection purposes.

    Making money has NOTHING to do with copyright issues. To copy music to another medium, to arrange it, to edit it can all raise clearance issues. An amateur could plead ignorance (although that rarely works) but a professional running a film business really should know and follow the rules of your own country.

    You are also very confused on rights. If you shoot it, then you own the rights to what you have done, unless you assign them to somebody else. This is pretty well worldwide. What you don't have are the rights to other things, like the music. You have some concerns.

    You have put material you don't have the right to use on DVD - that's clear - you've been naughty.
    One of the parents puts it on Youtube - this probably means youtube will spot Ed Shearan's voice and music and claim it, adding adverts. At worst, they mute the audio, or even ban that person. That won't come back to you - apart from the disgruntled parent assuming this is their right to do and getting cross with you.

    It's extremely unlikely the record companies will come after you, but keep in mind Getty Images - they actively look for examples of their work being used without permission and taking people to court is a valid business model. If the DVD contains a business or personal name and phone number, then you have kind of opened the door. they will assume this is a real business, with real money and assets, which could make an auto claim a sensible prospect, as you clearly did the deed. All down to risk really.

    Weddings and dance festival type events always use copyright music with few thoughts as to consequences. In my projects, I invoice the cost to me - I don't make a profit on copyright, so it would look transparent if anything ever happened. PRS charged me 53, I invoiced the client 53. Clients often tell me to not worry about copyright, and I always respond the same way. I run my business ethically and I have to pay the rights clearance fees. It isn't for me, negotiable. My understanding is that US clearance is more complex, but doable with effort.

    Ignoring copyright is always a risk, because if the work you do suddenly becomes public, then the trail stops with you and you take the hit. Will they believe you have no money, or will they think you are avoiding paying the dues? Only Judges decide.


    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Reply With Quote
     

  9. Collapse Details
    #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Central NY
    Posts
    2,233
    Default
    In the USA, most professional DJ's playing music at a wedding will also be paying the public performance rights fees on the music they are playing. That's actually a pretty easy thing to handle... Once you get into paying the recording industry though, that's not so easy right now. We need a better system over here for usage like synchronization fees and an easy method to pay them.


    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Reply With Quote
     

  10. Collapse Details
    #10
    Senior Member paulears's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Lowestoft - UK
    Posts
    1,656
    Default
    Just a thought, but the dance recital should also be paying to play to the public. Quite expensive to play music in public - typically 1% of the box office sales, pro rata the music content. So a dance recital with 100% music pays 1%, while a show with half music and half drama would pay 50%, of the 1% here in the UK.


    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Reply With Quote
     

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •