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Using copyright material in Kickstarter video

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  • Using copyright material in Kickstarter video

    Hi there,

    I'm currently putting together a Kickstarter project for my film and am confused about grey areas in use of copyright material.

    While Kickstarter advises that copyright material is forbidden - from researching projects it appears that many documentaries have explicitly used unlicensed music and footage in their videos and reached their targets without problems. In some cases projects appear to have been created solely to pay for licenses for unlicensed material which they have already used in their promotional Kickstarter video. I am in a similar situation as the bulk of the funds from the forthcoming campaign will (hopefully) be going towards licenses that I can not presently afford.

    My concern is that if I contact the publisher they may ask for an exorbitant amount that I can not afford before receiving the Kickstarter funds and that they would at that stage also be aware of myself and the project, leaving the Kickstarter open to legal interference (as well as having to wait up to six weeks for a response). However, I am worried that using the material without permission could result in a lawsuit or the project being taken down. Although again, from researching it appears project removals are rare and I haven't found one related to music/footage copyright.

    FYI the song I need to use is from a very obscure artist whose publishing rights rights are now owned by a major label due to a buyout deal of the independent label he once recorded for. They have not re-issued any of his material since buying the label he recorded for in the early 1980s. The film is actually about him.

    The footage is from a small TV station who require a large payment for the master copy that I cannot afford before acquring the Kickstarter funds.

    If anyone has insight on this topic I would be very grateful to hear about it!

  • #2
    Copyrights, Trademark, etc... do not apply to REAL Documentaries that are telling "truth" if I did a doc on mcdonalds, I can film mcdonalds logo and still get it on Netflix, (Fair Use Act) - If you are creating a fictional film, then you cannot use anything of that nature or you will end up getting DMCA'ed all the time anywhere you do.

    There are some fine lines though, with music you cannot add music to a doc via editing, but if it was just playing while you were filming naturally then that is Fair, but if you want background music in a scene like a montage, then you need to pay for it. Make sense?


    • #3
      I wouldn't recommend it.