Music copyright issue (promo for DJ)

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    • #47198


      I’m filming a short movie to promote a DJ. This will be at a wedding reception – so shots of him at the console, people dancing, general party atmosphere etc. Not sure how I stand with copyright as the core of his service is to play the songs of various well known recording artists.

    • #194335

      I am not a lawyer (nor do I play one on TV) however, as I understand it, as long as the music captured on video is incidental (not the crux of the video) and the DJ has used appropriate sources (legit ones have special rights assigned music sources) then you are covered – Just don’t go and use a separate copy of the music to include in your video – Just capture the DJ and the incidental sound with him.

    • #194336


      ‘Cat’s suggestion is a good one. On the other hand, you’ll be a lot safer if you capture him doing his thing and then using a music track from music he either; has bought the rights to use, composed and performed himself or a composition created with royalty-free music that you or he owns from a legit purchase. To mirror ‘Cat’s warning, don’t just throw a music track over your video. Especially if you or he does not have the rights to it! Also, during your video focus primarily on the DJ and keep the faces of individuals at events he’s done to a minimum (i.e. don’t just hang on one person too long.)

    • #194337


      I have done some research on the matter of music copyright and although there can be significant differences with the country of origin ie USA or UK, I would have to disagree with birdcat, in essence what he has said is correct regarding it being incidental, but that would generally mean background music captured ‘incidentally’ during your shoot i.e music playing on a car radio as it drove by. However as you are specifically filming a DJ playing copyrighted music at a function (of which he probably has a licence for doing so) his licences would not include recording for further public or private broadcast, which is the purpose of your film, a demo of his offered services. In the UK we must purchase a specific licence – PRS LMP Licence, to include such music on our DVD’s (Wedding & Event films for me) which cost 8 ($12 approx) for 1 1/2 hours of music on no more than 5 DVD copies. Of course you can purchase more depending on the size of your distribution needs and the cost per copy reduces with the increase in total amount. I’m pretty sure that it would be a similar situation in the USA. However if your film is going to be broadcast via the medium of YouTube then you would (probably) not need to purchase any licence as YouTube have an agreement with the music industry in place and you are now aloud to include copyrighted music in most vidoes that you upload. Although I would suggest that you check the small print, but at the worst they would just remove the video and inform you of the reason why.

      Also, I make it a point to inform my clients that if they require copyrighted music in any production that they are responsible for footing the bill prior to starting the shoot! That way they have a choice – copyrighted or royalty free.

      Hope that makes things a little clearer for you.

    • #194338

      The laws differ country to country (I believe Australia has a great one allowing videographers to pay a yearly fee and then use legally purchased music in their productions) and if you put five IP lawyers together in a room and ask them about this, you’ll get a dozen opinions.

      Videomaker has some good articles about this subject, but as always CONSULT WITH AN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ATTORNEY if you really want to be safe.


    • #194339

      Thanks for all the comments and information. Much food for thought! Interesting remarks re. YouTube as this is where the video would be uploaded and then subsequently embedded into DJ’s own website.

      I’m based in the Rep of Ireland having moved over from the UK so not sure if that makes any difference but I’ll go away with the information here and look closely into this

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