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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Copyrights, Ethics, & Photographers
John Steady, Photographer
East Haven | CT | USA | Posted: 8:02 PM on 09.26.06
->> I surf through many photographers websites each day and on a quite a few of them, I find wedding slide shows with main stream music (ie James Taylor, Billy Joel, etc...).

I am assuming (let me repeat...assuming) that most of these photographers don't have a license for the music they are using. I have looked into the cost of licensing the music and it is not cost effective for a website, considering most licensing fees would be more than was collected for the wedding.

My question...how do these photographers expect people to respect their copyrights, when they are abusing someone elses copyright?

I won't use music that I don't have a license for and I feel like I am at a disadvantage...people tell me that they think these slide shows are great and how come I don't put them on my website.

Curious for some other input on this....
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Rodrigo Pena, Photographer
Palm Desert | CA | USA | Posted: 10:41 PM on 09.26.06
->> Hi John, I have no idea if the slide shows that you have viewed have been licensed and would not even want to guess.

But as to your own website. If you create your own music using Garage Band (if you have a mac) then you could have music for your slide shows without paying someone to license their music. I have been playing around with the program and have enjoyed it tremendously. Thanks for your post, you've just given me an idea to compose a wedding tune that will be good for slide shows. If you want, I'll let you know when I'm done, I won't charge you an arm and a leg. (kidding) Best wishes, Rodrigo
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Jody Gomez, Photographer
Murrieta | CA | USA | Posted: 12:15 AM on 09.27.06
->> I'm curious: Are they selling these slideshows? If they're not selling them, is it still a violation if they give the musician music credit?
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Landon Finch, Photographer
Colorado Springs | CO | USA | Posted: 12:20 AM on 09.27.06
->> Yes, its still a violation. They are promoting/selling their services.

Can Nike use your images to promote their products if they give you credit?
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John Harrington, Photographer
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 1:57 AM on 09.27.06
->> John --

The fact of the matter is that, yes, these photographers ARE stealing the creative endeavors of musicians.

Several years back I attended a seminar where the presenter addressed just this problem. He then talked about how he commissioned a musician to create music for his use, that he would then sell/license to attendees for their own use in slide shows. Very smart.

The current solution is, yes, to just play around with Garage Band and make your own. It takes little time to do.

John
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Mark Smith, Photographer
Elk City | OK | USA | Posted: 2:19 AM on 09.27.06
->> "I'm curious: Are they selling these slideshows? If they're not selling them, is it still a violation if they give the musician music credit?"

Jody, I'm not posting this to hammer you. However, I think that your question is one that somehow is all too common amongst photographers. Intellectual property is intellectual property. Using a musician's music without permission and payment is not a single bit different than someone using an image without permission and payment. The music they create is as unique as the images we create, and a credit line does not pay their bills any better than it does ours. One of the very most important things we can do to protect our rights is to understand and protect intellectual property rights in all sorts of media.
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John Steady, Photographer
East Haven | CT | USA | Posted: 5:38 AM on 09.27.06
->> Rodrigo- If you do create something, I would be interested in hearing what you come up with.

I do a lot of work with the high school in my town and each senior in the school is required to do an extensive senior project before graduation. I have talked to all the music teachers to see if anyone is interested in working on a wedding song for their senior project.

I am not sure what kind of final product I will get, but it was worth a try and hopefully it will give one of the seniors a good project to work on between now and graduation.

It still baffles me that people who depend on copyright protection...will abuse someone else's copyright.

I don't want that bad Karma on my side.

Thanks for all the input.
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Rick Burnham, Photographer
Enfield | CT | USA | Posted: 6:54 AM on 09.27.06
->> Find music that is in the public domain and use that as well. You can tell because the song instead of having the licensing agency listed (BMI, ASCAP) it with say (PD).
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Jon Malinowski, Photographer
New Windsor | NY | USA | Posted: 9:16 AM on 09.27.06
->> There are lots of companies that sell royalty-free music online for $10-$100 per song or collection of songs. Just google "royalty-free music" and you'll find tons. I've purchased songs from http://www.freshmusic.com/ and have been quite happy with them. They come in 30,60, and 2-3min versions.
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David Hudson, Photographer
Redondo Beach | CA | USA | Posted: 11:08 AM on 09.27.06
->> Ah music copyrights... keep in mind, there's a difference between having the rights to use a song (aka, synchronization rights), and the rights to using a *recording* of the song.

These are two separate rights: the first is related to the songwriter(s), while the second is related to the performer(s). These are not always the same people! If you ever wondered why the Grammys have separate awards for "Song" and "Record" of the year, this is part of the reason why.

Owning the synchronization rights (songwriter's rights) to a song is a nice place to be in - because you get paid *every* time someone wants to use that song, regardless of who performed it.

Bottom line - if you're going to license music, do your homework!
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Jason Hunter, Photographer
Topeka | KS | United States | Posted: 11:42 AM on 09.27.06
->> Rick Burnham made a great suggestion. I took a business law class last year and copyrights apply to the life of the artist plus70 years (90 years in other parts of the world). 70 years after the artist’s death (musician, photographer etc.) the work becomes public domain. You won't be able to use any current popular music for free but there may be some interesting recordings that you can find.
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Osamu Chiba, Photographer
Vista | CA | USA | Posted: 3:38 PM on 09.27.06
->> I haven't thoroughly looked thru yet, but this website, Public Domain Music, looks informative:

http://www.pdinfo.com/
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Jody Gomez, Photographer
Murrieta | CA | USA | Posted: 5:07 PM on 09.27.06
->> Mark, I thought about that right after I hit the "send" button, and I totally get what you're saying. My question was more directed toward the copyright issues involved if a person makes a personal slideshow and puts them on a personal web site - that's not related to their photography web site.

I know it's not really the question posed in the first post, but I'm curious about what is the difference between Joe Blow making a slideshow with music for his family web site and Joe Blow making a cd of all his favorite songs and playing it for his family while they're at his house? Did I write that clearly?

I'm not trying to debate anyone - I truly want to know the answer to this question, because I can see it on so many different sides...
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Damon Tarver, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 5:25 PM on 09.27.06
->> I suggest you do something different, that is legal, and sets you apart from everyone else. Nhat Meyer, from the local paper here, has put together a few slide shows, but he uses abiant sounds recorded at the event instead of music.

http://www.mercurynewsphoto.com/2006/09/09/sjsu09/

A nice mix of this and some royalty free music I bet would be a bigger hit than stolen pop songs.

Just my 2 cents......
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Damon Tarver, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 5:26 PM on 09.27.06
->> I need a spell checker.... :( I meant ambiant sounds....
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Mark Smith, Photographer
Elk City | OK | USA | Posted: 5:59 PM on 09.27.06
->> Incidently, synchronization rights refer specifically to the timed relation of music with the picture in a film, television or multimedia production. They are "synchronized" with the music. It is true, that licenses for such use are usually negotiated with the publisher of the music, however the terms "synchronization rights" do not encompass the totality of the publisher's or author's rights. Generally, if you want to use a protected work of music, you need to determine which clearing house, for instance ASCAP, is repesenting that particular work.

Jody, putting protected music on a personal website is most likely an infraction of copyright, just as using yours or my photos on a personal website would be. Is it likely to be pursued legally by the copyright holder? Likely not. It is, however, still against the law, barring "fair use" qualification.

I think it is very important for us, as creators of IP content, to understand and respect all sorts of copyright ownership. When we say "oh, it's just for my family website", we give credence to people who use our photos in the same manner and it degrades the value of our rights.

I hope that makes some sense.
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Curtis Clegg, Photographer
Belvidere | IL | USA | Posted: 10:12 AM on 11.04.06
->> I just found this article from PC World that gives some really good alternatives to purchasing royalty-free music:
http://tinyurl.com/y533hj
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Landon Finch, Photographer
Colorado Springs | CO | USA | Posted: 10:29 AM on 11.04.06
->> Curtis, thanks for the link/article. One should keep in mind, however, that much of the article talks about NON-COMMERCIAL/PERSONAL use. The article does refer to old music that is no longer copyrighted and available for any use, it's kind of cool to hear scratchy 78s play on a computer.

I've recently licensed some loops for slideshows from www.soundrangers.com that can be used for commercial purposes. They also have sound effects and full length songs. Loops range from $3.95 to $7.95 and full lenth songs are $40+.
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Jeff Barrie, Photographer
Indianapolis | IN | USA | Posted: 10:52 AM on 11.04.06
->> Jody to address your question about using music if it's not to promote your photo business but, like Joe Blow doing a family website with music.

If you take a song and add it to a slideshow then post that on the web, it is a public performance of a copyrighted material. That, in the eyes of the law, is a violation of the copyright law.
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Nic Summers, Photographer
Mount Prospect | IL | USA | Posted: 11:29 AM on 11.04.06
->> Jeff with that in mind, just playing devils advocate here..

if you go to a disco or club, they are playing copyrighted music and making money from the fact that people come there to hear the music and the artists are not making anything from them.... seems they should pay royalty to the artists for that...

where does it stop? am I missing something?
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Primoz Jeroncic, Photographer
Kranj | SI | Slovenia | Posted: 11:47 AM on 11.04.06
->> Nic I have no idea how it's in USA, but overhere clubs, events where they play music, etc. are actually paying some fee which goes to artists. I don't know all that much about this, but as far as I know, that fee goes to some kind of national association which is splitting that money to artists.
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William Jurasz, Photographer, Assistant
Cedar Park | TX | USA | Posted: 3:29 PM on 11.04.06
->> Primoz the same thing happens in the states (or, rather, is supposed to). Music played for commercial use gets compensated, often times through ASCAP. This means discos, night clubs, etc.

As per royalty free music, with all the talk I hear from photographers about how bad royalty free photography is.... ahem....
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Jeff Barrie, Photographer
Indianapolis | IN | USA | Posted: 4:46 PM on 11.04.06
->> It is way to long an involved to go into here but, clubs, bars, discos etc are licensed by ASCAP & BMI to play music from their libraries (artists and publishers they represent) based upon several factors. Is it live music, recorded as in tapes, cds or records being played by a DJ. How many poeple does the builing seat? Is there a cover charge? All of these factor in to determine the yearly licensing fee.
I can't remember off the top of my head exactly what the figure was way back in 1985 but, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway paid an annual fee to ASCAP for music that was played over their sound system (PA) during the month of May. It was definately in the 5 figure range too.

Now, all money collected is submitted to a fund, less operating expenses, and that money is doled out to the artists. This is where it gets complicated tho. There are guys who do nothing but travel around the country recording radio and TV broadcasts. Each song that is played, including commercials, is then submitted to a computer which identifies the song. Based upon the watt rate of the station broadcasting that song, population base of location of the station and frequency of plays, it recieves a point value.
A station in Atlanta playing a song may have a point value of 100 whereas a station in Sullivan Indiana may have a point value of 15 for the same song. Regardless the copyright owner would get 115 points for that pay period. At the end of the period all points are added up and then divided by the amount of fees collected. Each point then has a dollar value and is paid out to the copyright holders for the use of their music.

It used to be that buying the sheet music was the way to collect usage royalties but, people would buy the sheet music and pass it on so that wasn't any good for the artists. They, meaning ASCAP, then tried to license bands but found out that bands form and break up about as frequently as Hollywood stars do. So that wouldn't work.
The attorneys got involved and ASCAP began licensing the business owners. This worked because ASCAP always knew where to find someone to collect their fees and if a lawsuit became necessary, they knew who to contact. So it is the responsibility of the club owner, or business owner, to secure the license to publically perform copyrighted music.

But in the end, artists are compensated for their music being played on the radio and TV because it is a broadcast of a copyrighted material. When a bar/club plays the music it is a public performance of that copyrighted material.

Any questions? Whew, I hope not
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Thread Title: Copyrights, Ethics, & Photographers
Thread Started By: John Steady
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