Copyright Issues in Commercial Music for Productions
Jennifer O’Rourke: Welcome back, I’m Jennifer O’Rourke, Managing Editor for Videomaker magazine.
Charlie Fulton: And I’m Charlie Fulton, Associate Editor for Videomaker magazine.
Jennifer O’Rourke: And we’re here to read you a few of the mini letters that we get to the magazine every month. We do try to print some letter as they come in, but we get so many, we can’t always give a personal reply. But every once in a while, we have something that we think will benefit many of our viewers, so we try to put them in magazine. And we’re going to try and read a couple of them to you today.
Charlie Fulton: All right.
Jennifer O’Rourke: First one I have up is in reference to commercial music for productions, and I know a lot of people have questions and concerns about this. This writer is David Orr, from Phoenix City, Alabama. And he asks, he says, I read every issue of Videomaker cover to cover, several times, the info is top notch, and always useful - thank you very much. Thank you.
Charlie Fulton: Thank you.
Jennifer O’Rourke: He says, can Videomaker do an article on ins and outs of getting permission to use snippets of commercial music. You hear snippets of commercials and TV programs, for example. CBS’s CIS programs, each use a different song from the Who. So, he’s not asking a permission to use a full song, he just wants to use little pieces and bits of it. And even though you want 5 seconds, 3 seconds, 10 seconds, it’s still violation of ask caper BMI. You actually have to contact those companies, or contact the publisher of those songs, to use them. Even if you want to use just a part of them.
We’ve got a response from Hall Robertson, who writes our Sound Advice column. And he’s saying the same thing, that basically, if you have a project that you have a real passion for, and you think that producer of that music would feel that same passion, then they’re very likely able to say yes. It’s okay to use a bit of it. But they will limit it onto maybe 10 seconds, or 5 seconds.
Charlie Fulton: All right. I have a letter here from Deam Capcloudy? He’s commenting on our buyers’ guides. In a November 2005 issue, we ran editing software buyers’ guides. And Deam says, I’m planning to purchase either Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5, or Avid Express Pro, and he was hoping for some head to head comparison, with the pluses and minuses of each program. And he says that the scope was a little bit broad to help him in particular.
Our basic philosophy with buyers’ guides is to just give you a survey of all the objective information about particular set of products. We’re not going to go and say, this particular perform good, or this perform excellent, or this subpar, and certain categories of program performance. We keep it broad, and basically, we want it to be starting, jumping off point rather, for somebody’s individual research for a particular product.
So, this is the same philosophy for DVD authoring software, camcorders as well, but, we have a lot of suggestions for our buyers’ guides, and we look at them all. So, mainly, things that will help our readers, all of our readers, find the product they need, is what we try to help them find.
Jennifer O’Rourke: And we do get questions for our buyers’ guides, often, and we cannot do all the research on every product for you. We have to leave it up to you to do the research, we just give you a starting place, and then you’re on your own. We do do individual reviews of some products and then that’s a little bit different, that’s our Test Bench column,
Charlie Fulton: Right.
Jennifer O’Rourke: and then we go more into the guts of the product, get under the hood to see a little bit more about it.
Charlie Fulton: Exactly. Yeah. We have a lot of our test benches, actually, all of them on our website to Videomaker.com. So, definitely look for those.
Jennifer O’Rourke: And again, we also want to say, if you have questions of any of the products that we mention or any of our buyers’ guides, then we have a forum page, you can go to and ask questions on them, and it’s checked regularly.
Charlie Fulton: Yeah. I look at the forums regularly, and so does Morgan and Andrew, so we’re all there, we’re all checking it out.
Jennifer O’Rourke: My next letter is something I don’t think we can answer, but it’s really an interesting question. This comes from Keil, or Kyle Pickins from Stillwater, Oklahoma. And he wants to know about the future, and this is interesting because he’s putting together a time capsule. In the past people put together time capsules. They use photographs, they use news papers, and hundred years, those photographs and those newspapers, when they open up a capsule, are still going to be there. They may be a little corroded, but he wants to know about the video. He says, I’m putting together a sealed time capsule to be handed down to my family with the instructions to be opened 75 years from now. This brings up a format question concerning what form or format of video media do you think that stands the best chance of passing time? I want to record some video input to hand down inside the capsule, and I realize digital is certainly preferable to analog, but I also realize that perhaps putting it on a mini DV or a DVD is not best for the future generations to be able to view the video, and, you know…
That is an interesting question?
Charlie Fulton: Yeah, it is. Because a lot of accelerated time testing that they’re doing is proving that some of the digital media isn’t quite as reliable as the manufacturers and developers technology were thinking was going to be.
And another part of that is, you know, who’s to say that they’re going to have a DVD player in a 100 years, or 50 years. Or VHS certainly is already on its way out. Mini DV, we don’t know how long these things are going to age.
And if you buried a camcorder, or a little DV in there, of course the motors are going to wear out, they’re going to be ceased up, and then if you have a VCR, the belts are going to be just shot.
So, you’re left with quite a pickle, you know. How do you get this video to be seen in other how many years? It’s hard to say.
Jennifer O’Rourke: It is hard. Do you think cards perhaps?
Charlie Fulton: Actually -
Jennifer O’Rourke: Flash drives?
Charlie Fulton: Memory cards might be the answer because there’s no moving parts. The only thing that might happen if there was some weird magnetic storm or other strange magnetic event which, you know… it has happened. Like the poles supposedly shift, every regular amount of time, like every 600 years? I don’t know what it is.
Jennifer O’Rourke: And again, it still goes back to the playing it out. I mean, I have a whole bunch of floppies that, I don’t have a floppy drive in my computer anymore, so what do I do with that information?
Charlie Fulton: Yeah.
Jennifer O’Rourke: Really. But that is an interesting question. And we wish you luck on that one.
Charlie Fulton: Yeah, good luck.
So, you have another tip?
Jennifer O’Rourke: I do, I have a tip now, from one of our readers, and he’s tip is about battery ID, and coming from, as a news background shooting for 20 years.
This is something that I have never really learned quite right. He says, this is Jim Maurer from Cascade Success Systems, and he says his hot tip is, he has three video cameras, each with multiple batteries. He says, I write an initial on the outside of the battery for the correct camera, such as C for the Canon GL2, and a number 1, and then on the inside I write the day of purchase, this way it’s easy to know which battery is the dead one, which is likely to fail next, and when I have an assistant on the team, he can grab the correct battery from the box.
And that’s really just a good idea. You have a box full of batteries isn’t, and not knowing which one goes where…
Charlie Fulton: Yeah. And you have a system to tell which is charged, and which is discharged, then if you really want to get into it, you could track what the life spans of your batteries were. So if you could tell one is dying quicker than you can get a replacement ordered you hadn’t ready. So, when that happens, you’re set.
Jennifer O’Rourke: Yeah. And Charlie has a tip.
Charlie Fulton: I do. This is from John Dietrich from Santa Clara, California. And his tip is that when he prints a DVD or CD using an inkjet printer on directly printable media, instead of putting labels on it, which we don’t really recommend, he says that he takes either dowels or the spindles from the CD purchases if you buy a pack of 50 or a 100 CDs or DVDs, you get them on a spindle. So what he does is, as soon as the discs come out of a printer, he puts them on a spindle so that they can dry quicker and more evenly.
And he doesn’t have to worry about the ink transferring to other discs, or anything like that.
So, that’s a fantastic idea.
Jennifer O’Rourke: That’s a really good idea, so he, we get the spindle, he actually nailed it to the wall, to a board on the wall, so it’s hanging in that way.
Charlie Fulton: Yeah. Yeah.
Jennifer O’Rourke: And I can see that with the dowels too, like those coat racks that have several dowels across them. Very good. Very good.
Well, thank you very much, this is Jennifer and Charlie, and we’re going to toss it back now to Morgan and Brian Peterson who are going to give you a look at some of our contest winners.