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No one knows anyone who has been sued by the record industry for putting unlicensed music in a wedding video, let alone any first-hand experience. There have been a few wedding videographers who received C&D letters for the use of unlicensed material on their website. (Stupid)
As I’ve said before – the whole issue is one that the RIAA is not likely to pursue because a judgement against them is not something they want to risk. According to an IP lawyer that I talked to (unofficially, off the record, at a party…), putting a bride’s music CD on her wedding video has some defensable angles, and the RIAA probably doesn’t want to test them. They go after the defensless ones, the 12-year old kids, the 83-year old grannie and one dead woman. They go after the biggest scare – not unlike the schoolyard bullies who pick on the weakest kids. Suing a 12-year old kid strikes fear into millions of middle-school kids that download illegally. Suing a wedding videographer might scare a few dozen or even a few hundred videographers into finding legal music. Just not enough effect for the potential downside. Besides, they just might pick a videographer who would put up a good fight.
On a side note, there’s a few artists who are tired of the RIAA actions, and one in Canada has sued the RIAA. A couple of others have flat out said to the RIAA – “You don’t represent me!”. Among them, Janis Ian (she has a very well written essay on her web site about the RIAA suits) and Country Joe who says he made more money on one concert tour than all his record sales combined.
SteveMann, thanks for sharing your comments. Now we are getting somewhere with this discussion.
Anyone else? Any cases or experiences that you can share with us?