Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › MUSIC:: MAKE YOUR OWN OR USE CD’S › I’m not a lawyer and do no
I’m not a lawyer and do not play one on TV – However there is a slough of licensing requirements that prohibits you from using copyrighted music without the appropriate license. There is sync, reproduction, distribution, performance, and many other licenses that would need to be paid. Someone (another board, another post) once figured it would cost around $50,000 to secure the proper licensing to use a popular piece of music in one of your works.
In reality, many folks fly in the face of these laws – And in fact, most (really) will get away with it without penalty. There are those who do get caught and they do get hefty fines (some wind up in bankruptcy and out of business) – I suggest you read the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.
There are many good ways around all this –
1) Go to Australia – They have laws that for $600 per year, you can legally purchase a CD and use the music in a derivative work (like a video production).
2) Write your own music and have it recorded – Not cheap and requires some talent (I’ve done this from $250-$500 per song) – You could have music composed and recorded for you but that costs even more.
3) Use something like Acid to come up with your own compositions – It’s really not that hard (well, if you don’t want amazing music) to make something passable. Sony even has a free limited functionality version on their website. I’ve also done this and it is not too hard to come up with something usable.
4) Purchase buyout music – This means that for a fee paid up front, you have the rights to use that music in a derivative work. There are different types of this music so beware – just because you can use it in a wedding video doesn’t mean it’s cleared for network broadcast use. Read the license that comes with the stuff. I’ve also done lots of this.
5) Purchase a program like Sony’s Cinescore or Smartsound’s Sonic Fire Pro – I have both of these packages and for a reasonable fee (less than $200 for each of their current versions) they allow you to score a pretty good soundtrack based on basic pre-defined "themes" and hints to modify them – Basically with the current Cinescore package you can get tens of thousands of variations from the twenty included themes all in various lengths.
Hope this helps.
Just remember – This is the opinion of a pure amateur (not for long I hope – this is getting too expensive for just a hobby!).