It depends on your country,


It depends on your country, of course, but those guests might be happy thinking the video is for the wedding couple’s private viewing, but what happens if one has a drink too much, and does something silly – and it gets put on youtube and monitored? Has that person any rights to say stop, and worse, how about if they consider the video damaging? Written consent and ‘professional performance’ work well – but surely any amateur performance has similar rights to protect. The pianist who gives the couple a freebie (as happened at a wedding I attended as a guest) was given at the last moment very unsuitable music to play and it sounded horrible, but not the pianists fault – he would have the right to say he does not want his performance exploited.

Is a wedding video subject to different rights? No – the same ones apply. Of course a band might play for free and be over the moon for you to exploit their work – but if rights exist they need managing to be safe. I rarely follow the rules myself, and often slide the rights issue, working on a similar premise – they are happy. However, if this unknown amateur band suddenly become famous – things change. An old friend started playing with an international rock artist – the record company terminated his you tube account, his Facebook account and mobile phone contract. All his previous material was ‘collected’ and controlled. He had sent all his friends a musical christmas card – although it was a gift, freely given, the copyright in it remained with him, and when one gave it to a radio station, expecting them to play it – they couldn’t.

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