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Using copyrighted music... on a nobudget film?

Posted: Fri, 27th Jun 2003, 6:45am

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nicmar

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I've been thinking about this a lot for our upcoming movie.. do you really think anyone would mind if we use music by famous artists for a movie that we're showing in the AlamDV-cinema??

I think that if the only purpose of making a movie is to have a little fun, and not making any money from it, it's ok to use copyrighted music..

Cause lots of the feel of the movie is based on the music..

Well.. anyone got any comments on this, or am I a total loser for "stealing" musical artists work? wink

I noticed on www.ifilm.com that you must own all copyrighted material to submit a movie.. but I didn't read anything about this on alamdv..?
Posted: Fri, 27th Jun 2003, 7:37am

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Madmanden

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Well, the general rule is that you cannot use copyrighted music (if you don't own the rights that is razz). But if the movie is just to be screened for your friends (i.e. no profit) then I don't think anyone would matter. But of course you can't do it if you plan on selling your movie.

I know it didn't really answer your question about whether or not you're able to show it here... but if I'd have to guess, I'd say it's ok. Won't guarantee anything though. biggrin
Posted: Fri, 27th Jun 2003, 7:50am

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nicmar

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yeah I read about that.. "your friends" seems to be like maximum of 4 people or something..

But I count all you alamDV members here as friends.. smile

Well, if they want to sue me later, i'd have to remove the film razz
Posted: Fri, 27th Jun 2003, 8:20am

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Obi

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Generally, you are only infringing upon copyright laws if you are generating revenue from the products using the copyrighted material.
Posted: Fri, 27th Jun 2003, 9:22am

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malone

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We only link to movies not host them. So you are solely responsible for any copyright infringement issues.

Ive heard all sorts of rumours about when its ok to use copyrighted material, but (afaik) no one here is a laywer so you shouldnt take any advice as fact.

Basically if your using copyrighted material you could get in trouble. The simple solution to this is to ask before you use it. You'll probably get negative responses from big commercial bands, but if you go for new unsigned bands they would probably love for you to use their music in return for their name in the credits.

Have a scout around some of these sites
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/onemusic/demos/index.shtml
http://www.mp3.com/
http://www.magnatune.com/
http://www.classiccat.net/
http://www.rootrecords.org/
http://www.opsound.org/

then email the musicians and explain what you want your doing and see if you can come to some arangement.
Posted: Fri, 27th Jun 2003, 1:13pm

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nicmar

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I actually asked the Chemical Brothers.. they didn't seem to bother to reply biggrin

But local bands etc are cool.. we'll look into that in the sequel.. until then... sue me!! smile
Posted: Fri, 27th Jun 2003, 3:13pm

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Aculag

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Well, there are plenty of movies on here that use songs that are copyrighted, and nothing's happened to them yet, so I'd say you're good.
Posted: Fri, 27th Jun 2003, 7:02pm

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sidewinder

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If you write a letter to a revord company, just include "if you don't replay, I'll assume I have your approval". That'll get them. smile

Also, you can't write the letter to the band, as they don't actually own the song. you have to write to the record company.
Posted: Fri, 27th Jun 2003, 7:10pm

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anonymous

come on people, why would major company care if you use there music? I've sure they have better things 2 deal with than some kid making movies from home and using a song off there soundtrack. I would only worry if you were making a profit off of it. Someone would have to be a REAL prick to even let somthing like that concern them about people using it in there home movies. As long as you bought the CD from where your soundtrack is coming (so they've profited somehow) and your not looking for profit in distribution of your movie, I think everyone will be happy. biggrin
Posted: Fri, 27th Jun 2003, 7:18pm

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malone

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Tell that to all the kids that are making no profit trading a few mp3s
http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/06/25/1811255&mode=thread&tid=103&tid=123&tid=99

Or the kid that simply provided a search engine to find music and got sued for his life savings
http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/06/09/1311255&mode=thread&tid=123&tid=141&tid=188&tid=99

Yes, you are less likely get in trouble. But to simply assume you will be ok is nieve. Is it worth the risk?
Posted: Sat, 28th Jun 2003, 12:31am

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scobbs

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I am not a lawyer but have researched this issue extensively as I have a side business revolving around video. With that said, Malone is correct in that it is always wise to bring specific circumstances to a lawer for recomendation. Anyways, back to my thoughts.


It is a common misconception that it is ok to use copyrighted music in video, as long as there is no money being made. This is very far from the truth. So far that even a charity organization has to get the ok before using the material. Here's an example that easily shows why this is so:

Let's say that a neo-nazi skinhead group wants to make up a video that they are going to use for recruitment into their group. In it they want to use a Blink 182 song. They are not selling the video and of course stand to make no money from it. Do you think Blink 182 has a say in this? Do you think that they want their music to be associated with such a vile, disgusting message?


Here's the breakdown:

to be able to use a copyrighted song in a video you must obtain what they call "sync" rights. The cost of these depend on the song and basically, how popular it is. To get these rights, you must contact RIAA, BMG etc.. Legally speaking, you must do this for all video's using coprighted music, even if it is just a home movie. With that said though, there would be know way that the record companys would ever bother. That is until you start to distribute it. And trust me, posting on the internet is distribution. So.......don't assume anything.



Also Malone,

You say that you guys are covered because you don't actually post the movies, you only post a link to it?

Just remember. Napster never actually hosted a song, they just gave you links to them.

As sad as it is, as CSB grows, and especially after your new products come out and FXhome.com gets more and more users, you guys will probably have to start restricting movie posts that contain coprighted music.


The whole system is screwed up and way too complicated. There needs to be more simplicity in the process.

Regards, -Shon
Posted: Sat, 28th Jun 2003, 1:06am

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Obi

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Shon Cobbs wrote:


Let's say that a neo-nazi skinhead group wants to make up a video that they are going to use for recruitment into their group. In it they want to use a Blink 182 song. They are not selling the video and of course stand to make no money from it. Do you think Blink 182 has a say in this? Do you think that they want their music to be associated with such a vile, disgusting message?
Thats kinda the whole point. People aren't using the copyrighted songs in this way, and as such, the songs arent being presented in a defamatory light.

EDIT: I personally took Malone's route and have e-mailed several unsigned bands for use of their songs. smile
Posted: Sat, 28th Jun 2003, 8:56am

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ZikoSuave

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i dont really think anyone will care. HONESTLY, does anyone here think that anyone will find out or care?

i know its a stupid argument, but i use copyrighted music because i cant make my own music. and im unoriginal lol
Posted: Sat, 28th Jun 2003, 5:26pm

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Obi

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*Shrug* Prepare for your defense then. And have $5000 to hand.
Posted: Sat, 28th Jun 2003, 9:57pm

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Equinox

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Well I know this doesnt help solve the original q based on "no-budget" film - but I hope I'm not stating the obvious when I say what about royalty free music? I recently took the plunge and invested in several royalty free cds that should well suit any movie I intend to make in the future. Addmittedly it is quite costly (more than a months wages ... but i only work weekends :p) but I havbe the licence to use this music for the rest of my life, so fair play i think. Personal opinion - better this than paying large fees each time u want to use copyrighted music..

Any thoughts?
Posted: Sat, 28th Jun 2003, 9:59pm

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Obi

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You dont need to pay large fees if you want to use a copyrighted song. In most cases, you just present yourself formerly and write them a letter asking for permission to use the chosen song.
Posted: Sat, 28th Jun 2003, 11:03pm

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TAP2

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Nothing to worry about as 90% of the films on cinema prob have no permission for the music included.

It may be a cruel world - but you never know. A polite letter to a publisher could get you somehwere.
Posted: Sun, 29th Jun 2003, 1:04am

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voiceoverwizard

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Obi wrote:

Shon Cobbs wrote:


Let's say that a neo-nazi skinhead group wants to make up a video that they are going to use for recruitment into their group. In it they want to use a Blink 182 song. They are not selling the video and of course stand to make no money from it. Do you think Blink 182 has a say in this? Do you think that they want their music to be associated with such a vile, disgusting message?
Thats kinda the whole point. People aren't using the copyrighted songs in this way, and as such, the songs arent being presented in a defamatory...
Well that is your opinion you never can tell when some over zealous fanatic is going to start accusing "whoever" of devil worship, or some bizzar conspiracy to over throw the government of Luxembourg, or secretly including some code to a terrorist organization or whatever. You just never know what some one else is thinking. The point being it is not what we say do or think that matters it is what ever the owner of the material in question thinks and what their lawyers can make some judge or jury think of it. The best approach if you are worried about it is to write the copyright owner(which should be printed on the liner notes) and explain what you are planning to do with it and just ask for permission to use it for non-profit. Often times they will OK it for non fiction type of work ie. wedding videos etc. The use in fiction and fan films might be a little more dicey. Most important is ALWAYS give proper credit for any thing you use.
Posted: Sun, 29th Jun 2003, 2:28am

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Obi

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What I meant by that was, people ON THIS FORUM aren't making Neo-Nazi films promoting their skinhead granny-killing group. smile
Posted: Mon, 30th Jun 2003, 2:49am

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voiceoverwizard

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malone wrote:

We only link to movies not host them. So you are solely responsible for any copyright infringement issues.





Are you sure your not using any copyrighted material on this website?
Not that anybody cares I just was thinking about it and wondered.
Posted: Mon, 30th Jun 2003, 3:27am

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Aculag

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HAHA. That's a good argument...
Posted: Mon, 30th Jun 2003, 6:10am

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nicmar

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Hehe you got me all confused here.. But for now, as I said.. I'll take this risk.. and hope you'll enjoy the movie when it's done in a couple of weeks/months.. smile
Posted: Mon, 30th Jun 2003, 6:26am

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pl

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TAP2 wrote:

Nothing to worry about as 90% of the films on cinema prob have no permission for the music included.
Whooha!!! There may be some occasions when a commercial movie (i.e. showing in theatres, no matter how small theatre) have missed out on used music, but there are A LOT of effort put into securing permissions to use even the shortest tune heard on a radio in the background. They will get into trouble otherwise...

Adn as I said before (shameless plug coming up smile ), I'm more than willing to try to supply original music to short flicks, fanfilms, etc. I'm just an amateur composer, possibly not even good at it, but I think it's fun and I'll do it for free... wink

Best regards,
Rico
Posted: Mon, 30th Jun 2003, 7:30am

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er-no

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If someone tried to sue me for using a couple of tracks in Crawling Space I'd go spare! I found that CD in Comet and I've made an unknown band and song quite popular in my social group.

Anyways, if you don't make no money. Most companies wouldn't try and sue you because they would be seen as A holes, losing respect as well.

smile
Posted: Mon, 30th Jun 2003, 6:57pm

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Rotting Bob

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It's quite a complicated area this. Often it is not the bands themselves who have a problem with the music but the label..... for example getting the rights to use a song on Sony ir EMI is much harder than on a smaller label like Ninjatunes. Often even if a band says 'oui' the label can turn around and say 'non' or demand an exhorbarent fee to do so..... Rolling Stones and David Bowie songs are quite rare in films because the labels until fairly recently demand so much to use them - this includes cover versions of thier work. Most low/ no budget films get the soundtracks simply by sending in a copy of the rough cut/script of the film to who ever and 8 times of of 10 if they like the film they'll do the music.... I'm working editing someone elses film that should be going to Sundance which has been scored by Wilco because they liked the script that the director sent them.... Another thing is that oten film festivals don't mind showing work that hasn't been cleared for copyright but again your running a risk if you fill your work with Beatles,Stones,Elton John, and other huge big label bands etc partly because you're more likely to be picked up on it by the festival organisers, visiting distributers and or lawyers and also because if the film does get anywhere the chances are you'll have to take all the sound off because you can't use it for the final piece........


.......At the end of the day though I haven't ever heard of somebody for being sued for making a home movie. Has anybody???
Posted: Wed, 2nd Jul 2003, 11:09pm

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gent23mj

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I am planning on making a rainbow six movie in which i will use music from the game composed by bill brown which is royalty free music on his website www.billbrownmusic.com. In a case like this i dont think that mr brown would care considering it is not a conflict of his interest. If he provided the music than im sure he doesnt care if its used by an amatuer and gives sole credit to the composer and record company.
Posted: Wed, 2nd Jul 2003, 11:39pm

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MechaForce

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I happened to find this little fact:

Right now, anyone who has ever downloaded a "illegal" song, is liable, and can be sued for up to $150,000.
Posted: Thu, 3rd Jul 2003, 12:16am

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er-no

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MechaForce wrote:

I happened to find this little fact:

Right now, anyone who has ever downloaded a "illegal" song, is liable, and can be sued for up to $150,000.
Every computer in the world is going to have seen something or own something cached on their (online) computer which will hold them liable to copyright infrigements.

Well thats what I reckon, to enstate such a law would be pointless. The music industry promised lower prices for CD's singles and albums, that was in the early 80's and all that has happened is the production cost of music has gone down but the highstreet cost has risen! Its pathetic, they try and beat the downloads by upping the price.
Posted: Thu, 3rd Jul 2003, 7:05am

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nicmar

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I happened to find this little fact:

Right now, anyone who has ever downloaded a "illegal" song, is liable, and can be sued for up to $150,000.
Where did you find this fact? razz As far as I've heard, at least in Sweden, it's NOT illegal to download a song from Kazaa, or whatever.. But if you start to share it to other people, or burn CD's and sell them, etc.. Then you are being illegal..

All computer magazines in Sweden says that it's perfectly legal to download movies and music from Internet, and they have good descriptions how to download.. They also always have "interviews" with lawyers on what's right and wrong..

There might be another scenario in other countries...?

razz
Posted: Thu, 3rd Jul 2003, 7:23am

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pl

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As I understand it is not illegal to download music in Sweden, but this will change. Different countries of course have different laws for this.

Regards,
Rico
Posted: Thu, 31st Jul 2003, 5:04pm

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4036Douglas

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well, i found a free royalty free music site...
www.freeplaymusic.com
Posted: Thu, 31st Jul 2003, 7:58pm

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OneDanShow

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It's only royalty free depending on your situation. Read the fine print.
Posted: Thu, 31st Jul 2003, 8:16pm

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4036Douglas

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yeah, i know. but i meant it to be royalty free music for something like fxhome.
Posted: Fri, 1st Aug 2003, 1:53am

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MATT PUGH

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Try to refrain from using music made by popular singers. Such as rap artists and Punk bands etc. Use music from film composers only and you should be fine. As long as you don't make money. Punk rock sucks anyway.

PEACE OUT
Posted: Fri, 1st Aug 2003, 2:33am

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sfbmovieco

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Punk rock doesn't suck, you suck. You and all that rap bullsnap.
Posted: Fri, 1st Aug 2003, 3:30am

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MechaForce

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Actually, punk is pretty bad. Right now punk is mostly just a bunch of cry babies with guitars, with a couple of exceptions. Like The Offspring. But they're not really punk anyways.

As for rap, 80s hip hop was good, like Kurtis Blow, Run DMC, etcetera, and some of Afrika Bambataa's stuff, but everything nowadays is about ho's, money, cars, and how they're going to cap someone with a Glock. Tsk tsk.
Posted: Fri, 1st Aug 2003, 3:59am

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Coureur de Bois

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Theres always exceptions to every "rule," so I wouldn't be catogorizing all rap or punk or whatever genre into one group and sayin it sucks, too me thats kinda ignorant. I just love all music, so thats my opinion. smile
Posted: Fri, 1st Aug 2003, 4:22am

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MATT PUGH

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Rating: -2

shut up nick.

PEACE OUT
Posted: Fri, 1st Aug 2003, 4:30am

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wdy

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Now now boys lol...everyone has their own opinion when it comes to music..
Posted: Fri, 1st Aug 2003, 4:32pm

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av11d

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Rating: +2

If anyone is still interested in this topic, read the latest issue of RES magazine. There is an entire article on this in the magazine. This is basically what they said (since you are too lazy to go buy the magazine):

1) You NEED the license, doesn't matter if its for charity or what not.

2) You need both the SYNCH (publishing) and Master Record rights. You can send a request both of these at the same time.

3) Always send the letter yourself, not your attorney (if you have one). If you use an attorney, they are going to think you have $$

4) The letter should detail the film's budget, intended distribution or festivals entered, and CD sources of the song(s), to save legwork for the licensee if it's an obscure title. Type/Time of usage, and accurate description of the film and the scene(s) the music will be featured in are key in gaining clearance. Don't send a script.

5) Many artists and songwriters will not allow their music in movies with extreme violence or sexuality.

6) Typical fees to clear music for festival usage only (one-two years, worldwide) range from $250 to $500 per right.

7) Try to negotiate for "broad rights", which covers all media, worldwide. Many distributers expect the producers to do this.

cool Songs over the main and end titles are considered "premium use." This will drive up costs.

9) Sometimes you can get "gratis usage", which means you have no fee at all, but this is uncommon.

10 Never marry a scene to a particular song. Many artists don't mind their music in indie films. However, if the movie goes "big", they may not allow the broad rights. So always have a backup plan.

Hope this helped some of you!
Posted: Sat, 2nd Aug 2003, 6:14am

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Coldfuse

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hmm, guys doesnt the whole music situation, only really come into its own when u are profiting from the movie its self, meaning if its just a fun thing ur donig then using the music, and not getting anymoney from it shouldnt really matter, like u would also name the tracks at the end by whom they were from, the lable of the record and what not, but i dont think it matters at all as long as ur not getting anymoney from it

and oh yeah i agree with mecha about rap, hip hop was the best in the 80's and early 90's NWA, peeps like guru with dj prem, pharcyde, a tribe called quest. now days its about simple beats and the same thing, about the crsytal and how much money u have, it doesnt change at all, and gets boring but there are still peeps out there keeping it real, oh yeah and punk music sucks nowdays, cos its only used to profit reasons with the emo punk situation which happens way to much!
Posted: Sat, 2nd Aug 2003, 9:49am

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moebius

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Actually, once you use copyrighted music in your film without obtaining the required permissions, you are liable to be sued, no matter the circumstances. The reason why not many desktop movie makers (if any) have been sued so far, is largely due to the fact that filing lawsuits against these "small-timers" isn't worth the record companies' time and money. Filing such 'trivial' lawsuits may also have a negtive impact on the record label in the form of a public backlash, so they have to tread carefully cf. Metallica being lambasted by the music-buying public for their legal action against music 'traders'.
Posted: Sat, 2nd Aug 2003, 3:17pm

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MATT PUGH

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I love rap music, but I do agree that the rappers who only rap about rims, cars, money, drugs and all that is retarded. Although some can pull it off, (50 cent, snoop dogg,) I hate cash money but I like to hear EMINEM and Lil kim, Busta Rymes, Loon, those peeps are tight and fresh, not the same old thing.



PEACE OUT
Posted: Tue, 5th Aug 2003, 1:38am

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arch evil

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I've been doing Film Production at the University of NSW (in Sydney, Australia) our lecturer said that in the event of distribution of our short films where we have used copyrighted music we are generally required to contact the record company and ask for the rights to use the song, that being said you will most likely be asked to contribute a nominal fee, this varies depending on the song, you see a James Brown song you could look at paying a fee of around $250-$500. Also, it is polite to send a copy of your video or work to not only the record company but also forward one on to the artist (c/o the record company or however you find you can contact them).

Not alot comes for free in this world, so I suggest that perhaps you might consider getting Fruity Loops or Sound Forge or something and learning how to make your own music (even use the song you like as a template), or you could go out and find, ask or force a friend to learn the software and make the music for you. Alternatively, you could contract someone to do some soundtrack work. Or even cheaper still, learn a musical instrument and make your own score. I realise that it may take some talent to play an instrument, but I believe that anyone can play, and I believe that adults can especially play an instrument even more so if they havn't ever learnt an instrument before. I play 5 instruments (piano, harp, clarinet, flute and guitar oh, and vocals but I tend not to use them in soundtracks), I have access to 4 of them and have worked on some minor soundtrack stuff.

If all else fails, go to an op-shop buy a cheap second hand eletric guitar and jam away with your friends. It's a lot of fun too, when you're not making movies.
Posted: Tue, 5th Aug 2003, 1:42am

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wdy

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I find it very hard to try and contact an artist and a record company. I must agree though a copy of fruityloops is a good idea, but not everyone has the music talent in them. There are many composers out there that are willing to make music for independent filmmakers for free a good place where there is always a composer looking for music to score is in the classifieds of the studentfilms forum at http://www.studentfilms.com
Posted: Tue, 5th Aug 2003, 6:01am

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pl

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I've said it before but I'm more than willing to give any movie-project a go when it comes to music score. I've had a couple of answers from this forum when I mentioned it earlier, still have to see what turns out from it though.
So if You need music for a shorter movie, I wouldn't mind having a go at it. If it turns out to be anything You like - that's another story wink

Regards,
Rico
Posted: Sun, 8th Aug 2004, 7:05pm

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musicmaster

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You should pay some attention to Soundclick. This music hosting company now gives its artist the possibily to indicate under which license they provide their work.

See for example this duo that provides their music under the creative commons license: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/1/anatviksandgiladpazmusic.htm

However, this seems to be a rather new feature and few artists have it at the moment.
Posted: Mon, 9th Aug 2004, 4:50pm

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ben3308

Force: 5210 | Joined: 24th May 2004 | Posts: 6433

VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

MechaForce wrote:

I happened to find this little fact:

Right now, anyone who has ever downloaded a "illegal" song, is liable, and can be sued for up to $150,000.
eek
Uh-oh. I guess I better get my 20 million bucks ready for them.......