Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Specialty Topics › Wedding and Event Video › Using audio (songs) from wedding DJ service
- June 12, 2011 at 6:25 AM #47361
I’ve been reading up on legal issues of using audio tracks (and other music) in wedding video productions. My question is this: are the songs played by a DJ service at a wedding usable in my wedding videos without violating the legal “rights” issue? I heard that if I use less than 30 seconds of the song, than there is no violation — any comment on this?
The flood gates are now open.
1) If you are serious about this you would need to consult with an intellectual property atttorney.
2) I am not an attorney nor do I play one on TV.
3) It is my understanding (just Bruce’s, no one else but me) that if the music is “incidental”, meaning that it is not integrally part of the video production, then it’s ok. If you can hear it and it is used as a major component of the audio portion or is used to make edit decisions (cuts) then you would need to obtain several types of rights (mechanical, sync, distribution, performance, more…) before being legally allowed to use it.
All that said, most wedding video producers fly in the face of the DMCA and run the risk of major lawsuits, but honestly I don’t know any wedding vid folks wh have been sued.
Just my opinion.
Birdcat, I’ve been thinking about your point 3… and most songs would be incidental, but what spurred this thread was (for example) the “wedding couple dance” — whereas shooting the couple’s first “official” dance together would really be kinda silly without having the actual song they dance to, making it an integral part of that video segment.
The second point is (as you point out), if the DMCA would find it worth their while to pursue going after the videographer for this kind of infringement.
Part of my question is this, If the DJ service “paid” for the rights to play it at the wedding, and I capture it in the video, then is it covered by the DJ’s right to use the song. (This is where, I beleive, the “incidental” part comes in.) Just thinking out loud now.
Thanks for the input.
The word “incidental” is vague, as is it’s interpretation. For example, the first dance – Having the DJ’s version of the song on the video could be interpreted as incidental, as you really could not capture the moment, including the crowd noise, without including the music that just so happens to be playing in the background. On the other hand, it could be argued that you could replace the entire audio track with a piece of royalty free music that does not infringe anyone’s rights. Which is why this is such a messy issue and even IP lawyers cannot agree on all aspects.
On a personal note, I solved this for my own wedding by writing my wife a song, going into studio and recording it and surprising her with it at the ceremony – http://www.birdcat.com/littlegirl.mp3
Thanks for the reply, Birdcat. You’re a way better man than I for writing your own stuff.Having an engineering background, black-n-white is my style….. shades of grey screw things up.It “is”, or it “isn’t”. Of course, the real world doesn’t work that way. Anyway, I’ll “get ur done” one way or another.