Though you can use copyrig


Though you can use copyrighted materials according to the ‘Fair Use’ laws, if you’re not going to take the steps in order to get permission (sometimes all you have to do is ask), then it’s best to steer clear of copyrighted material.

An example (though not music related): On our first feature film, we went through with a fine-toothed comb to make sure we either owned or had permission to use elements in our flick. After final cut was completed and the film was shown, I realized that in one scenea church we had in the background had no documentation for permission. Having the church in the background was critical to the scene and our options were to either do an expensive ‘paint out’ in post or cut the scene (which would have killed the film outright.) I personally contacted the Monsignior of the iconic church (which by the way was copyrighted by them) to get permission. I sent him a tape of the film so he and the church board could approve it. Fortunately, they loved the movie and despite their disapproval of harsh language used in the scene, they completely understood the context and gave their approval. Bottom line; don’t put yourself in that position. We dodged a major bullet.

In your case, there’s metric buttloads of royalty free music out there either already created or in the form of loops so you can make your own. The music and music creation software is worth the investment and will keep you out of trouble.

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