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How To File For A Copyright For ONLY The Video Portion of A Music Video?

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  • How To File For A Copyright For ONLY The Video Portion of A Music Video?


    I recently shot a multi-camera live concert video of a Grammy award winning song; I would like to file a copyright form with the Library Of Congress with the video portion (i.e., my work) vs. the song itself, which belongs to the artist.

    Does anyone out there have any firsthand experience with this sort of thing?


    RRK Films

  • #2
    Another question: Although the client has used my film to promote their business, they have refused to pay for services rendered. So in the case of the copyright application... is that a "work for hire" if no money has changed hands for the content?


    • #3
      Unless you were paid for your services, "work for hire" would not apply. In most cases work for hire would not apply even if you were being paid on a freelance basis unless there was something in your contract stating as much. Normally the copyright stays with the person who created the work, in this case your video, and you grant them permission to use it as part of your fee.

      When you register your copyright you are actually registering your video capture of their performance, not their performance or the song itself. Their copyright does not matter for the purpose of you getting your copyright. Now if you wish to sell copies of your video, you'd have to get their permission to exploit their likeness and music, but that's a separate issue altogether and has nothing to do with registering your copyright.
      Matt Crunk
      Fiveacre Films Productions