Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Sound › Copyright subjects › You really cannot generalise
You really cannot generalise in this way. In virtually every country intellectual property is protected. The real snag is that in most protectorates copyright is their equivalent of English Civil Law – and not Criminal Law. So getting justice can be long winded and expensive.
The example of a group of musicians performing their own material is a good one. Assuming (and this is a pretty big assumption) they all own equal shares in the song, and equal status as performers, then they can allow you to record it. Publishing is a tricky one too – because you then get into where and for how long – the oft quoted territory, any medium and worst case perpetuity – as in they give you the right to exploit it everywhere, anyhow, forever. A court is unlikely to believe they gave you the total right to do this, but if they are stupid, they may have done so. However, if you look at some of the very famous songs by really big names – like Queen, you will find that while they recorded it in four names, certain band members are credited as composer, not all of them. Turning up and saying can I video your performance and give you a copy really isn’t sufficient if the thing became viral, and in the heat of a speedy setup, verbal agreements can be easily disputed.
[quote]the main purpose of your recording is not to make a music/audio/video recording, then it is OK.[/quote] This isn’t right – your recording is not a recording?
If you have dancers – then (assuming they are proper dancers) their choreography could be intellectual property. If the dancers are just members of the public, then they still have rights, unless you can make a case that simply by turning up to an invitation is acceptance of losing their rights. Guests will have rights, and you might be able to exploit them, but you cannot just assume rights – they need to be assigned or otherwise controlled.To do it properly, we make sure that whenever we are going to shoot a theatrical show, we do NOT charge admission, and tickets have a legal phrase on them that essentially says the show will be recorded for transmission or DVD release and their attendance is acceptance of our right to exploit their appearance in the production. In the UK – them paying for their seat gives them a little ownership – if it’s a freebie, it dilutes any claim they make try to make. We also warn them that if they are here with somebody they shouldn’t be – then there are cameras present. Done funnily – but it makes the point.
The upshot of all this is that in almost every country, you need clearance to exploit somebody elses ideas and performances. I’d suggest in writing, or at the very least as a confirmable/verifiable text or email. In all IP cases, wording is absolutely vital. The legal term here is ‘exploit’ – which covers the selling, distributing and exposure of your product containing the IP.
In most cases, it’s never a problem, but even charity events have IP concerns. I have some recordings by a well known artiste I recorded back in 1994 – I can never do anything with them. The recordings legally are mine. I own them. Exploiting them is VERY different, and I cannot, because the artiste does not give her permission. She has a lot more money than me, so just not worth risking.