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For the most part Im a person that hates politics and red tape. One of the biggest reasons (IMO) that vid guys dont bother to get the OK to use copywrited material is because its a major hassle and it takes too long.
Am I right?
What if there was a centralized website geared for videographers where you could just click on a song, fill in a little bit of info, pay a nominal fee via a CC and in return you get some kind of legal doc saying that you paid for the right to use that music and be done with it?
On the former – it’s not the hassle or the time involved that is the problem. The record industry does not want to bother with any licensing deal for less than five-figures. In other words, unless you are willing to pay $10-20,000 for a one-time license, they don’t want you at their doorstep. This is a result of extremly complex copyright laws in this country. Mechanical and preformance rights are easy to administer because there’s only one entity involved – the copyright owner. That’s why a DJ or venue can pay a small annual fee for a blanket license.
On the latter – there is something like this in Austrailia, but it, too, has critics because the number of songs available is somewhat limited. The problem, at least in the US, is that as soon as the music is put into a video (more specifically a “motion picture product”), then you get into synchronization license. Synch licensing dates way back to when the orchestras were being put out of business with the introduction of the”talkies”. Movie producers were using any recorded music they wanted in their movies, and the orchestras were getting zip. Synch rights were added to the copyright laws by Congress to make sure the orchestra got their peice of the movie profits. (The word “synchronization”, by the way, comes from the use of records synchronized with the movies in the early days of “talkies”.) Since then, strong unions and long extinct trade practices have expanded the list of people who are entitled to sync license fees. Now you have a whole lot of people who expect to be paid when the music is used in a movie or a video. Which is the main reason that synch licensing is so darned expensive and difficult.
Until the laws change or someone is finally sued and a court precedent is established, it remains unclear if fair use applies to wedding videos or not. The argument can go either way as there are valid and compelling arguments and precedents supporting both sides.
By the way, the term “copyrighted material” is a non-sequitor because all materials are copyrighted, even some in the public domain still carries a copyright. Even when you receive license (permission) to use the material, it’s still copyrighted. Buyout and needle-drop music is permissible but still copyrighted. The correct term is licensed material (or unlicensed material, depending if you have the license to use it or not).