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#1 RWBrooks

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 12:26 AM

Hi
quick question as this seems a gray area
I'm producing a short film, the intro sequence has at the moment 18 seconds from a song by Sting. Is there a time limit for using music in such a way? I had the feeling it was something like 30 seconds max or 10% of the duration? Can anyone advise?

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#2 decosnapper

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 02:33 AM

Hi
quick question as this seems a gray area
I'm producing a short film, the intro sequence has at the moment 18 seconds from a song by Sting. Is there a time limit for using music in such a way? I had the feeling it was something like 30 seconds max or 10% of the duration? Can anyone advise?

Cheers

Richard


Here's my take on it:-

If you were reviewing the music and critically discussing the talents (or otherwise) of the composer/performer then an 18 second clip (not the whole song) would come under what is known as "Fair dealing" where permission is not required from the copyright owner.

If you are using the track, or portion thereof, for anything else then permission is required.

In other words, using Sting's music on your own short film (presumably underwater), no matter how short the clip falls way outside fair dealing.

I don't know what record label Sting is signed to, but the chances are they will have very good lawyers. The label will own the rights and protect their commercial interests accordingly.

Edited by decosnapper, 16 September 2010 - 02:35 AM.

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#3 SimonSpear

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 03:03 AM

Hi Richard

Last year I was quoted over $3000US for using around 25 seconds of London Calling by the Clash. The project had to conform so there was no way I could wing it, but in the end the project didn't go ahead anyway. If it is low distribution you could probably get away with using copyright material, but technically speaking you'd be leaving yourself wide open legally.

I don't think I've ever seen a resort type dive video without copyright music in it and I've never known of anyone being subject to legal action! If it is for something more than that though you may find it is looked on less favourably if you don't have full permission to use the audio clip.

Hope this helps, Simon

#4 fdog

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 08:51 AM

I have had excellent results using the Harry Fox Agency. They have licensing programs for just about any need. My last movie had more than a dozen song clips in it, IIRC it cost me about $300 US to be 100% legal.


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#5 Andy Morrison

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 10:50 AM

Hi Richard

Last year I was quoted over $3000US for using around 25 seconds of London Calling by the Clash. The project had to conform so there was no way I could wing it, but in the end the project didn't go ahead anyway. If it is low distribution you could probably get away with using copyright material, but technically speaking you'd be leaving yourself wide open legally.

I don't think I've ever seen a resort type dive video without copyright music in it and I've never known of anyone being subject to legal action! If it is for something more than that though you may find it is looked on less favourably if you don't have full permission to use the audio clip.

Hope this helps, Simon


From the U.S. Copyright Office - How much of someone else's work can I use without getting permission?
Under the fair use doctrine of the U.S. copyright statute, it is permissible to use limited portions of a work including quotes, for purposes such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, and scholarly reports. There are no legal rules permitting the use of a specific number of words, a certain number of musical notes, or percentage of a work. Whether a particular use qualifies as fair use depends on all the circumstances. See FL 102, Fair Use, and Circular 21, Reproductions of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians.

Granted this has been challenged before such as musicians sampling etc and this is from the U.S. Copyright Office so it may be different over there.

No matter what the distribution it's illegal in the case of re-distribution or publication. From my media law class years ago if more than two people see a body of work it's considered published no matter what the form. It seems to me if we as photographers are going to get upset when someone uses one of our photos without permission, no matter what the distribution, it's pretty hypocritical to use copyrighted music. I'm constantly amazed when people post their You Tube videos and slide shows with ripped off music and think there's nothing wrong with doing that, and in the same project post a copyright notice on their video/slide show. If you can't get permission find some royalty free music to use. There's plenty out there and some of it is pretty good.

Edited by Andy Morrison, 16 September 2010 - 10:52 AM.


#6 ronscuba

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 12:53 PM

I can't speak for everyone, but I think the line for many people is whether or not someone is profiting from the use.

A video or slideshow using copyrighted music, shared on youtube so friends and family can see it. That is a lot different than using music, photo's or video as part of something being sold and generating revenue.

Now if someone is using music as part of a video or DVD to sell, then yeah I agree that's hypocritical if they claim copyright on their photo's or video.

#7 limeyx

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 01:27 PM

I can't speak for everyone, but I think the line for many people is whether or not someone is profiting from the use.

A video or slideshow using copyrighted music, shared on youtube so friends and family can see it. That is a lot different than using music, photo's or video as part of something being sold and generating revenue.


Probably a good idea you aren't speaking for everyone :D
I am pretty sure both cases are illegal, and you can be successfully prosecuted for either (in the US and many other countries)

I would suggest to the original poster to get a license for any materials you use in your movies (sound tracks, photographs etc)

EDIT: Ron --- why not give it a go ? make a movie, use commercial music as the soundtrack and see what happens when you put it on the toob.

Edited by limeyx, 16 September 2010 - 01:28 PM.


#8 jonny shaw

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 03:02 PM

I would be pretty careful with a Sting track, it would be very recognisable and the record label will have a big legal department.
As per previous posts in it's non commercial for web delivery I reckon you'll get away with or at worst they will ask you to remove it anything I would be extremely careful.

Looking at it from a practical point of view, if you a editing to the piece of music and they pull it from you will have to edit that portion of the film which will also effect the rest of it and the feel etc = lots of re-work. Also if it get really popular it may limit you in the future...

There are heaps of good royalty free tracks that are cheap on the market these days I would just go with one of them.

I even think that Nick Hope (on here) tried the Moby royalty free thing a few times and he said the process was hard work and he never was able to use a track.

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#9 ronscuba

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 05:01 PM

Probably a good idea you aren't speaking for everyone :D
I am pretty sure both cases are illegal, and you can be successfully prosecuted for either (in the US and many other countries)

I would suggest to the original poster to get a license for any materials you use in your movies (sound tracks, photographs etc)

EDIT: Ron --- why not give it a go ? make a movie, use commercial music as the soundtrack and see what happens when you put it on the toob.


Yes it is illegal. So is speeding. So are 99% of personal web pages because they contain pictures not taken by the person. I am a hobbyist. I don't sell anything. I DO have videos on the internet with copyright music. I make videos of my vacations and post them on the internet to share with friends and family. So do a million other hobbyists. Baby videos, birthday videos, pet videos, vacation videos, etc.. Prosecuted ? Who has been prosecuted ? For what ? If they are going to go after someone, why waste their time on a hobbyist who has no intention and has never made a penny from the video ?

I can't tell if the original poster intends to sell his work. If so, I agree with you 100%, get a license or use non-copyright music.

I don't speak for everyone, but given the amount of home videos on the internet using copyright music it's pretty obvious people do not have an ethical problem or a concern about being prosecuted.

Youtube also now identifies the music in people's videos and shows a link at the bottom of the video to itunes and amazon to allow viewers to buy the mp3. How can they prosecute me when they are using my video to make money for them ?

Edited by ronscuba, 16 September 2010 - 05:26 PM.


#10 Nick Hope

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 07:06 PM

I even think that Nick Hope (on here) tried the Moby royalty free thing a few times and he said the process was hard work and he never was able to use a track.

Jonny, I just said (or meant to say) that I didn't find most of the music on Moby's Gratis site useful for underwater video. I never applied for rights on his commercial tracks.

This is not so relevant to Sting's music in Richard's video, but one point that many people miss is that having illegal copies of digital media all over the net dilutes traffic to the originals, even if the copies are on non-commercial sites. So it's not harmless at all. I spent a huge part of last year getting copies of my pictures and videos off illegal sites, thereby trying to reclaim Google rankings with my rightful originals, thereby restoring traffic to my site where I earn advertising income.

Have a search for your most popular photos in Googe Image Search, click on "More sizes" under the image, and prepare to be pissed off (just discovered a few more copies of mine right now actually).

#11 jonny shaw

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 09:31 PM

Jonny, I just said (or meant to say) that I didn't find most of the music on Moby's Gratis site useful for underwater video. I never applied for rights on his commercial tracks.


Apologies Nick

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#12 decosnapper

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 10:05 PM

.........
I don't speak for everyone, but given the amount of home videos on the internet using copyright music it's pretty obvious people do not have an ethical problem or a concern about being prosecuted.

Youtube also now identifies the music in people's videos and shows a link at the bottom of the video to itunes and amazon to allow viewers to buy the mp3. How can they prosecute me when they are using my video to make money for them ?


Or perhaps whoever shot the home movie and added the soundtrack had no idea what they were doing was wrong? Or if they knew, didn't care? The cut, copy & paste world has made it easy to steal, just like the C90 cassette did with home taping records, but copying protected works is illegal (fair dealing excepted) and ignorance is no defence in a court of law.

Youtube will not prosecute you for posting copyright protected video or music - they do not own the rights to the work - it will be the owner of the material who would seek damages.

If someone really wants to use a piece of music for their film, why don't they sit down and compose a piece and record it themselves? Sure, its a lot harder and would take longer (and if, like me they lack musical ability, the results may be complete rubbish) but the rights would be theirs. Take a few unpaid days off work to learn the guitar and buy the kit to record your efforts. Then realise that it costs money.......hence there is always a commercial aspect - hobbyist or not.
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#13 Drew

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 02:31 AM

Technically, even a few bars from a tune is considered illegal. I've had quite a few conversations with people in the music industry and marketers/promotions guys don't mind it IF it's cheap promotion. TV/Cable/Production houses use "unauthorized" music all the time for trailers all the time. Nowadays, in exchange for putting the credits on the trailer, they let it slide. So certain labels allow the use for trailers and what not in exchange for promotion/publicity. In fact, music placement on TV shows has been a big business for years in the US, especially for up and coming bands. What Youtube is doing is a way of dealing with illegal use, which will happen regardless.

Very famous guys like Phil Bloom uses "copyrighted' music for all of his demo reels online. Phil fully credits them and believes it's "ok." Since he's one of the biggest personalities there is regarding ViDSLR and video, if anyone wanted to nail him, they would've years ago. With that many hits on his online videos, it's free publicity and his shorts don't exactly have any other agenda than artistic display with indirect self-promotion. To some isn't the same as using it in a film or any project for profit.

Some artists don't mind loaning their songs out to projects they support or buddies they like. Moby Gratis is probably the most famous one and Vince LaForet (the other ViDSLR poster boy) used Moby's piece with Moby's permission for his short 'Reverie.'

If their music used for something they don't like (eg. Ted Nugent and PETA, Michael Jackson and NAMBLA :D), then they can go after the illegal user with legal proceedings. Youtube/Vimeo can't prosecute you but they will remove your video if there is a complaint.

As Simon suggests, composing/mixing your own tracks is an option. Apple's Garage Band tunes have been used in feature films for certain sequences. It's not for the tone deaf types but it's a nice way to tailor the music to your final edit vs going the other way round of conforming your edit to the chosen music.
The great thing is all music software like Logic can synthesize instruments so there is no need to learn to play the instrument. However, understanding and composing using software is harder than learning the piano/guitar for some people. :guiness: That's why there are online providers of stock music.

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#14 ronscuba

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 05:33 AM

Moral ethics, technical law and the likely hood of being prosecuted of that technical law.

If something is against my morals, I don't do it. Legal or not.

If something is illegal and I disagree with the law, I may do it anyway if I think the likely hood of being prosecuted is very low.

Isn't this what most people do ? I guess the issue is people have different morals or are not aware what's law or how they may be harming someone.

Edited by ronscuba, 17 September 2010 - 06:06 AM.


#15 Andy Morrison

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 06:15 AM

Moral ethics, technical law and the likely hood of being prosecuted of that technical law.

If something is against my morals, I don't do it. Legal or not.

If something is illegal and I disagree with the law, I may do it anyway if I think the likely hood of being prosecuted is very low.


So you agree it's okay to violate a copyright? This is why the internet is the Wild West of copyright infringement. Regardless of whether or not I will be caught, I view stealing as wrong.

"I don't speak for everyone, but given the amount of home videos on the internet using copyright music it's pretty obvious people do not have an ethical problem or a concern about being prosecuted."

Again, because the chance of being prosecuted is low doesn't make it right. Nor does the fact that scores of other unethical people do it.

FWIW, I applied for a Moby license once for a non-profit project to benefit a local underwater preserve and was denied. It wasn't a difficult application process though. I use royalty free music for all of my work now and am perfectly happy with it. Besides, how many more trip videos can we take featuring Jimmy Buffet and Enya music, as much as I like them both?

#16 ronscuba

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 07:41 AM

It's great that we can have this discussion and share opinions respectfully. My opinions on other issues have changed because of discussions just like this.

Do you follow the letter of all laws ? When laws are broken, do you think some offenders are worse than others or are all them treated the same ?

If I use Enya on my vacation video, is that the same offense as the dive shop that uses the same song on a DVD that they sell to customers directly, use as promotion for their business and sell online via their website ? How about the company that gets paid to generate a website for someone and uses someone else's photos in that website.

Sorry, I don't equate what I do to be the same as these other examples. I don't make a penny from my videos. I don't have any kind of business that my videos help promote. I make videos for fun and to capture vacation memories. If you feel my offense is the same as theirs, that is your opinion.

Your morals and ethics are different than mine, which are different from the next person which are different from Phil Bloom.

Oral sex is illegal in some states. Guess that's why some women refuse to do it. :D

Edited by ronscuba, 17 September 2010 - 07:55 AM.


#17 Andy Morrison

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 10:44 AM

From ronscuba - It's great that we can have this discussion and share opinions respectfully. My opinions on other issues have changed because of discussions just like this.

Do you follow the letter of all laws ? When laws are broken, do you think some offenders are worse than others or are all them treated the same ?

Of course I'm not perfect and have broken the law, ie., speeding etc., and paid the price. And I never said all offenders need be treated the same. The law is made up of varying levels of offense and appropriate punishment.

If I use Enya on my vacation video, is that the same offense as the dive shop that uses the same song on a DVD that they sell to customers directly, use as promotion for their business and sell online via their website ? How about the company that gets paid to generate a website for someone and uses someone else's photos in that website.


These offenses are not on the same level obviously but that doesn't make one more right than the other. They're all wrong. Can I go into my local hardware store and steal some nails because the house I'm building is for me and not for re-sale? I mean nails are only a few cents each and if I steal just a few at a time I won't be caught, and if I am caught the punishment won't be that great. Sorry but to me it's wrong. Not as wrong as stealing a million dollars but it's still wrong.

Sorry, I don't equate what I do to be the same as these other examples. I don't make a penny from my videos. I don't have any kind of business that my videos help promote. I make videos for fun and to capture vacation memories. If you feel my offense is the same as theirs, that is your opinion.

I don't feel your offense is the same but it's still an offense. One reason copyright infringement, especially electronically, is becoming increasingly common is because it's easy and people don't put a value on other people's work.

Sorry to hijack this thread but I do feel that it's important to protect and respect copyrights. And I do respect your opinion, just respectfully disagree with it.

Edited by Andy Morrison, 17 September 2010 - 10:46 AM.


#18 DeanB

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 10:54 AM

Is that a Yes or No then ... :D :guiness:

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#19 decosnapper

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 11:02 AM

If I use Enya on my vacation video......................


(very selective quoting. apologies in advance)

Thats a crime here in the UK.............. :D

Edited by decosnapper, 17 September 2010 - 11:03 AM.

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#20 ronscuba

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 11:23 AM

I don't consider what I do stealing and don't equate it to taking nails from a hardware store. Guess that's the basis of our disagreement.

I buy a CD and make a copy for my car or mp3 player. I don't consider this stealing either. I guess some people do ? People buy multiple copies of the same CD or buy the CD and the same MP3 from itunes ?

Curious, does your opinion change if I never showed my videos on the internet ? What if my videos were only shown in my home to friends and family ? What if no one saw my videos except me ? Does the crime take place when I copy the song off the CD or when I use it in my video ?

I respect your opinion. We can agree to disagree.

Using Enya music is a crime. :D

Edited by ronscuba, 17 September 2010 - 11:37 AM.