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Author Topic: Using Songs in a Short Film  (Read 8026 times)
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andyundo



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« on: February 12, 2006, 01:10:49 PM »

Hey, I'm beginning to make a short film for my final graduation project in school and I was wondering about using certain songs from different bands.

If I use a certain song for the film, and at the credits I say who made it and all that stuff, am I ok to use it, legally speaking?  The short will be presented to max. 300 ppl, all students in the school theatre.
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djr33

« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2006, 01:15:46 PM »

This is just like the fanfilm issue... not sure if you're familiar with it.

Basically, its illegal to make a fanfilm, use copyrighted music, use a copyrighted sound effect, etc etc.
However, almost all the time, the owners just look the other way.
IF/only if you don't make any money, though.

If you're not making any money, then, as a practical matter, all they could do to you is send you a cease and dissist order and you'd have to not do it again... but didn't you just say it would be one showing?

Basically... yeah, it's illegal. But... you're probably ok.

Now, DON'T even TRY to make money off it. That's the line.
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andyundo



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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2006, 01:22:25 PM »

Ahhh, good. It's just one showing, and I'd keep it for myself afterwards. Thanks!!
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djr33

« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2006, 01:26:36 PM »

I'd just like to add that you shouldn't just take my word for it. Your local laws and/or rules for the contest? festival? whatever, may differ from this. Ask your teacher or whoever is in charge of the event. They might disqualify you or something.
Also, if there is to be a prize, that's considered profit.
It's really a complex issue.
The other side of the coin here is that not only is it illegal to use the music, but its also illegal to distribute it. So.... anyone who makes a music video with the audio track being a copyrighted song, could, concievably, get in trouble for distributing the song.
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andyundo



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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2006, 01:32:55 PM »

ooooh.   So it might be a tricky business....

Ok, I'll ask around and see if it's within the rules.  
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djr33

« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2006, 01:36:41 PM »

Yeah.

There are always other options too.

www.thebrb.com/stockpile <<our stockpile section has a bit of free music that might work. We're trying to expand our stock materials library, so it might not be too big of a help right now.
There are also, of course, composers who you could work with. Depending on the composer, you might be able to do it for free, or perhaps for a copy of the dvd.
And there are other places where you can get free use music, under certain conditions.
www.freeplaymusic.com (if I'm remember the address correctly) has a bunch of free score-like tracks you can use for free with no catch except that you're not supposed to make money with them. But, for a student thing, it would probably be within the rules to use them, assuming that the prize issue doesn't apply.
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andyundo



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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2006, 01:46:32 PM »

That freeplay site has some intreresting stuff, I'll check it out more deeply when we start shooting. Thanks for the info!
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lilyofshallot

« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2006, 09:14:49 AM »

Okay, there's something called "Fair Use" which allows you to get around copyright laws.  If you use something for educational purposes, criticism, or journalism and give credit to the source often it can be considered fair use.  You can in fact do a fan film legally; it just has to be some sort of criticism in order to be legal.  If the fan film is a parody, then its not a problem.  



If you want more details I suggest looking at the site below or looking up fair use and copyright laws online.  
http://www.benedict.com/Info/Law/FairUse.aspx

Andy, I think for what you are wanting to do that you will be fine.  They use copyrighted music for morning announcements and similar things in schools all over the country.  
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lilyofshallot

« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2006, 09:25:47 AM »

http://www.utsystem.edu/ogc/INTELLECTUALPR...TY/ccmcguid.htm

This is another good site.  It gives guidelines on how far you can take fair use in education where it is perfectly legal.  


"4.2.3 Music, Lyrics, and Music Video

Up to 10%, but in no event more than 30 seconds, of the music and lyrics from an individual musical work (or in the aggregate of extracts from an individual work), whether the musical work is embodied in copies, or audio or audiovisual works, may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as a part of a multimedia project created under Section 2. Any alterations to a musical work shall not change the basic melody or the fundamental character of the work."
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djr33

« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2006, 07:12:22 PM »

Cool links.


Yeah.... the main question here is whether the school allows/supports it. If they take the fall for it... then who cares, really. Its not like your school will get in big trouble or anything... what's the point in suing a school... I have yet to hear of a school with any money Tongue
But... seriously, you'll probly be fine.
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andyundo



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« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2006, 07:52:47 PM »

Good. Thanks for everything, guys!
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andyundo



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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2006, 06:21:27 PM »

DAMMIT!!!!!!!!


Here I am, starting to write the script, and I have thought of using all sorts of songs from different artists, and I see on TV a LATIN AMERICAN SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, which the winner gets 10'000 dollars and a MinDV camera. I'm from Colombia, so I'd love to send my film...  

I guess I'm gonna have to do it without the songs I was thinking about.... :crossarms:  
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CramerBH

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« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2006, 07:02:37 PM »

There is also another option. You could go to your library and see if they have any Royalty Free music cds. I know my school does, and every week I check out three of them and copy them to my external hard drive. I use a lot of these tracks because I can use them anywhere, royalty free. Since the school owns the license and I am a student there, my bases are essentially covered.

Granted...these aren't by any means popular songs or even greatly reminescent songs.... They are simple diddies that come in full, 3/4, 1/2, and 1/4 segments. Usually that equates to a 2 minute full, 1.5 minute , one minute, and 30 second segments. For whatever genre the disc is trying to convey. Also...these titles are grossly misleading. I checked out the grundge disc and got something that Good Charlotte would put onto a kareoke disc.

It's a good resource if used well...is all I'm saying.
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andyundo



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« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2006, 07:09:22 PM »

Could be...  I highly doubt that they might have, for the multimedia section is absurdly small, and it's only availble for teachers, GRRRR.

But thanks for the info, anyways. All in all, I could ask some help to the great musicians of BRB forums, Tongue



What I wanted to put was something like Kings of Convenience, Yo-Yo Ma, Yann Tiersen, and ummm, Yoko Kanno....   But still..... I wanted to use them!!!!!  But if I'm going to the festival, better not.  
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TechKrill



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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2006, 07:30:36 PM »

Even things like "Yo-Yo Ma" isn't good to use, because it's still under HIS license, so copywrite applies. As well as any recordings you find of classical works, as they are the respective copywritten recordings by their respective performers.

Your only way out is to find a piece of music not covered by copywrite (most classical repotoire) and have it recorded yourself and get a written release from the ensemble that it's okay to use their recording, etc.

It gets complicated...or you can also go out and pay for the above mentioned "Royalty Free" music CDs. They're handy, actually, as like 20 tracks of completely royalty free music on one CD that you can play with to your pleasure...fun fun fun.
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