Legally Music – what’s the answer?

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    • #42979
      AvatarchrisColorado
      Participant

      I work for a non-profit, so we figured we are free to use copyrighted music in our Fire safety puppet shows (educational use, etc.).

      Now, I’m making a highlight videoto both thank last year’s sponsors, and rope in new ones for this year. The music in the shows (which means it’s in the video too) include “Bye, Bye, Bye” by N’Sync(?)and “Who Let the Dogs Out?”

      QUESTION: Can I use this highlight video as a demo reel for future jobs?

      NOTE: I’ll be studying this on my own too.

    • #180019
      AvatarRob
      Participant

      QUESTION: Can I use this highlight video as a demo reel for future jobs?

      I don’t see why not. It’s not like you are selling your demo reel for profit or broadcasting it. I’ve seen copyrighted music in demo reels before, but obviously you can’t tell if they got the rights or not just by looking at it. But my assumption would be that using copyrighted music for demo reels wouldn’t be done as often if you had to get the rights. So I wouldn’t sweat it. Go for it, bro.

    • #180020
      Avatarbirdcat
      Participant

      I work for a non-profit, so we figured we are free to use copyrighted music in our Fire safety puppet shows (educational use, etc.). Now, I’m making a highlight videoto both thank last year’s sponsors, and rope in new ones for this year. The music in the shows (which means it’s in the video too) include “Bye, Bye, Bye” by N’Sync(?)and “Who Let the Dogs Out?” QUESTION: Can I use this highlight video as a demo reel for future jobs? NOTE: I’ll be studying this on my own too.

      It is my understanding that regardless of who you work for (or who is using it), copyrighted music is not allowed to be used without purhasing rghts or acquiring permission from all the different rights holders (who wrote it, who performed it, who recorded it, who published it, who distributed it, etc…).

      The DMCA is very specific about who can use what and where – Major exceptions are parody and fair use (like news organizations or schools using short clips for illustrative purposes).

      It makes no difference if you are not going to be making money from it. To use a copyrighted piece of music you need to get synchonization rights, performance rights, reproduction rights, distribution rights, etc…

      Also realize that while most folks are not going to be targeted but the DMCA has very sharp teeth and if you own anything or ever hope to, it is best to stay on the legal side of that line.

      Just MHO – I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV – Please consult with legal counsel before making any decisions in this area.

    • #180021
      AvatarCoreece
      Participant

      Here is a link to what birdcat refered to as “Parody and fair use.”

      http://www.publaw.com/parody.html

      If you build your demos around this concept of fair use, you’re good to go!

      btw, I’dcut that nat sound (nsync, who let the dogs out)….but that’s just me.

    • #180022
      AvatarchrisColorado
      Participant

      Thanks for the link, Coreece! I decided I probably won’t use this as a demo.

      In my opinion, a demo reel is making money anyway. You are trying to get a potential employer to hire you, therefore, you are making money if they do hire you after seeing the demo reel.

      Thanks everyone! chris

    • #180023
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      Though you can use copyrighted materials according to the ‘Fair Use’ laws, if you’re not going to take the steps in order to get permission (sometimes all you have to do is ask), then it’s best to steer clear of copyrighted material.

      An example (though not music related): On our first feature film, we went through with a fine-toothed comb to make sure we either owned or had permission to use elements in our flick. After final cut was completed and the film was shown, I realized that in one scenea church we had in the background had no documentation for permission. Having the church in the background was critical to the scene and our options were to either do an expensive ‘paint out’ in post or cut the scene (which would have killed the film outright.) I personally contacted the Monsignior of the iconic church (which by the way was copyrighted by them) to get permission. I sent him a tape of the film so he and the church board could approve it. Fortunately, they loved the movie and despite their disapproval of harsh language used in the scene, they completely understood the context and gave their approval. Bottom line; don’t put yourself in that position. We dodged a major bullet.

      In your case, there’s metric buttloads of royalty free music out there either already created or in the form of loops so you can make your own. The music and music creation software is worth the investment and will keep you out of trouble.

    • #180024
      AvatarGrinner Hester
      Participant

      Piracy is illagal even if you make no money from it. I’d stand clear of the protected stuff. There is more than enough library stuff for this kind of thing and those dudes haggle.

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