I am not a lawyer I don’t even pretend to be one on television but I want to help save you from a huge problem.
There is a convergence that is happening in the world of media creation. Whether it is audio podcasts or live video streams. There is one field that many people overlook time and time again. This can be a big extremely expensive legal problem. It is just waiting to pop up at the most inconvenient time.
This little problem that is being talked about is Copyrighted material. Often the problem comes in the form of music. Yet, this can also be visual copyrighted material or even words.
What is copyrighted material?
Copyrighted material defined by Dictionary.com is
In the world of music, this meant that most artists have given up their rights to their music. Not all artists do, but most do when they first start out. When you ask an artist for permission to use a piece of work you have only done a small part of the job. You also have to ask the songwriter’s permission. Then the Recording companies permission. Then you may still not have all of your ducks in a row and miss someone.
Copyrights are good to have. They protect you from having your work stolen. If you are a Graphic artist. this keeps people from using your work without payment. Often the stolen work is uncreated. So this can also ensure that you get the credit you deserve for all of your hard work. Or if you are a writer your text can be protected from playlists or if you are a brand your logo can be protected. Copyrighting has its purpose and on the whole is good. But it is often miss understood.
Right of the bat let me say the owners of the copyrighted material don’t want your help. Especially when it comes to ASCAP songs. They don’t want you to advertise for them. The owners of the music or logos do not want you to share at all. All they want from you is your money. So, don’t think you are doing them any favors.Other than giving them a reason to rake you over the coals.
Copyright Fair use?
Fair use basically means that it is up to you to prove that you are using the song or image within the confines of the law. So, If you want to try to use Fair use then be sure to have the money set aside to go to court and prove it. From what I understand, companies are supposed to weigh fair use before suing. That still doesn’t mean that you don’t have to set aside a few hundred thousand dollars, and have a few years of your life tied up in legal hearings.
Another copyrighted item you might look at is logos. Ever notice in music videos when someone has a blurred out image on their t-shirts? Even in movies there are a few famous blurred out images. These are often logos of brand names. The artist in the video didn’t get permission to use the logo in the video and so they have to blur out the logo.
Grease is a great example. The creators of this movie thought that they would be able to get Coke-a-cola to agree to be a big sponsor. So throughout the movie, there are Coke Products everywhere. But when Coke didn’t want to sponsor the movie. All of the product placement had to be fixed in post production editing. One item was the picture in the diner. They had to blur the Coke picture out. If Companies don’t want to their logos in Music Videos and Movies, then it can go to say that you should be careful.
There is a podcaster who a few years ago by the name of Nick Seuberling had the WhoDey Weekly podcast. This was a podcast about the Cincinnati Bengals.What is WhoDey? I really don’t know. Other than it was a Fan created a chant that they would yell during the games.Let me repeat that. It was an FAN CREATED chant. It wasn’t created by the NFL nor was it created by The Bengals. It was created by their fans. So, with that logic, it should be safe? Nope Since it was used at an NFL event. The NFL claimed it and sent Nick a Cease and Desist letter. Stating that they have claimed rights over the words Who dey. So Nick had to rebrand his podcast to Inside the Jungle.
If you are doing something and it has music in the background you Might be covered under fair use. Then again the burden of proof is on you. It is better if you just don’t use music or use ear buds.
Royalty Free Music
If you think you have to use Music to accent a point being made. Use Royalty free music. These are songs that you pay for the rights to use right from the start and then never pay anymore afterward. You can do a search for Royalty Free Music and find several sights that have Free or Paid Royalty Free Tunes. A few sites you can look at are BenSounds and Royalty Free Music. Then there is YouTube’s Royalty Free Music Library. You are able to use this music any way you choose.
You might use Creative Commons(CC) music. Here you often just have to mention who wrote and performed the song and maybe where the public can get it. This depends on the type of CC you are using.You might look at Free Music Archive.
Now these are for music but remember that copyrights and this can also go for Pictures and videos. If you are looking for Pictures that can be freely used you can look at Google Image search. After you do a search for an image.
- Not Filtered By License
- Labeled for Reuse with modifications
- Labeled for reuse
- Labeled for Noncommercial Reuse with modification
- Labeled for Noncommercial Reuse
The images you see are then able to be used for that purpose. or you can use any number of the Stock photo websites that are out on the net. Some are free but most are paid.
Then the same goes for videos.Some are free to reuse while others are not.
Copyrights are good things to have. They protect you from having your content stolen. Also, if used by other people make sure you are not stealing from a creator. and though music is everywhere know that you have to prove that it is fair use. So at least ask before you use it could save your business a lot of money.
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