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  • Copyright covered music in film?!?

    Good evening everyone!

    I've just joined the forum because I couldn't find any answers to my topic :)

    So, I've been working as a filmmaker both for myself and on commission, and I think if everything works out I'm gonna shoot my first feature this summer...
    So far I've always worked with copyright-free, creative commons music for my productions and I guess I'm gonna do the same with this film.
    Although, I'd love to have like two minutes out of a song by the Electric Light Orchestra as the end credits sequence... :S

    Obviously I can't afford to pay their rights to that excerpt, but I heard rumors about some contests that accept films that include copyrighted material as long as you're, you know, still an aspiring director and not an actual one.
    Similarly, I've heard of other contests (it's still rumors, that's why I'm still doubtful) which [I]reward[I] your movie, in case of course it's the "best of fest" kinda thing, with its distribution and, consequently with all copyright expenses covered.

    Is that right? Are there any other legal ways to do it? Meaning I literally don't intend to use the song without being busted, but at the contrary, finding a way to be allowed to use it!


    Thank you so much for your help! :)
    Jack

  • #2
    I do not know the answer to your questions either but I would be doubtful that either scenario exists. My suggestion would be to check out Withoutabox and research the festivals you are interested in. On Withoutabox it will list the requirements of the festival in order for your film to screen. As for music, there are a lot of aspiring composers on here that are always looking for work. I am sure you can find someone that will work with you on your film and will work within your price range. Also welcome to the forum.

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    • #3
      Never heard of those. But I assure you that your best bet is hiring a composer. It's better than risking it by using a copyrighted song, or using royalty free stuff. Plus, you find work that better suits your production.

      Comment


      • #4
        In addition to hiring an aspiring composer, there are many indie bands performing original work that would love the exposure of having their work included in a movie.
        Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

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        • #5
          Thank you all so much!!
          Actually I thought of hiring some composers but always gave up for lack in funds... Maybe I'll find someone who'd like an "exchange" :)

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          • #6
            I'll PM you my composer's page.

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            • #7
              Hello JacopoScano

              I'm a new member here as well. I'm a freelancer musician composer. Feel free to contact me, we will try to find a solution for your needs!

              Have a nice day,
              Soundmaxx

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              • #8
                Much of the decision in companies allowing to use their material is based on the "end product" - Many artist would love to have their song be in a film, but if the film is crappy they do not want to affiliate their song with it.

                Here is a similar deal I went through with Coors Light. We had the script and asked for permission to use their beer in the film, they first said no because the characters in the film were to young, so we re-wrote the film to be college students. Then they said the budget is to low to be affiliated with us, but we could show them the find product and they would decide. They ended up giving us permission to use their beer in our film.
                Distribber - Keep 100% of your film's revenue

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                • #9
                  Nick...

                  That means you used their beer [presumably on camera] and they decided later to say yes? If they said no, you'd have to reshoot?


                  Kurt Hathaway
                  khathawayart[at]gmail.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by khathawayart View Post
                    Nick...

                    That means you used their beer [presumably on camera] and they decided later to say yes? If they said no, you'd have to reshoot?


                    Kurt Hathaway
                    khathawayart[at]gmail.com
                    Yes, we would have had to cut that scene out, or re-shoot it
                    Distribber - Keep 100% of your film's revenue

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JacopoScano View Post
                      Good evening everyone!

                      I've just joined the forum because I couldn't find any answers to my topic :)

                      So, I've been working as a filmmaker both for myself and on commission, and I think if everything works out I'm gonna shoot my first feature this summer...
                      So far I've always worked with copyright-free, creative commons music for my productions and I guess I'm gonna do the same with this film.
                      Although, I'd love to have like two minutes out of a song by the Electric Light Orchestra as the end credits sequence... :S

                      Obviously I can't afford to pay their rights to that excerpt, but I heard rumors about some contests that accept films that include copyrighted material as long as you're, you know, still an aspiring director and not an actual one.
                      Similarly, I've heard of other contests (it's still rumors, that's why I'm still doubtful) which [I]reward[I] your movie, in case of course it's the "best of fest" kinda thing, with its distribution and, consequently with all copyright expenses covered.

                      Is that right? Are there any other legal ways to do it? Meaning I literally don't intend to use the song without being busted, but at the contrary, finding a way to be allowed to use it!


                      Thank you so much for your help! :)
                      Jack
                      Keep this link in your back pocket. http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html and refer to it from time to time. Commercially, you may have issue with copyrighted material unless you negotiate (the way Nick did). But depending on the purpose of your project, you may have some leeway.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Fun topic, if I may weigh in a bit: I am a pro film maker and pro musician/writer too, with a heavy slant on YouTube content.

                        We often hear from a company looking for original tunes (or even covers of famous songs) that sound similar to a famous song - ad agencies will often cut a commercial using a famous song as a "placeholder," and then can't afford the rights; they then solicit alternate tracks which will "fill that hole."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mara View Post
                          In addition to hiring an aspiring composer, there are many indie bands performing original work that would love the exposure of having their work included in a movie.
                          How does one go about getting permission in situations like this from random musicians?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
                            How does one go about getting permission in situations like this from random musicians?
                            Contacting them and obtaining the proper legal work to get the permission and clearance to use their work in your project.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Its not hard getting the rights to copyrighted songs but it can be expensive. I got an artist (the son of Joey Dee of The Starliters) to do my soundtrack. He will charge me nothing and the copyrighted songs he will be using I will be obtaining the rights to for under $100. Yes, It helps to have contacts but its not required.

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