copyright music

Hey everyone,
I finished a 3d short, which uses music from cds and DVDs that I own. Am I allowed to use the music which I bought ([technically.)
Not used for commercial purpose. I just want to put it up on the internet so people can watch.

I’ve heard something about, if you don’t use the whole music piece that it was ok.

Technically no, not without paying royalties of some kind.

no you arn’t but millions do, and nothing has yet happened to them.

its somthing rediclous like $20K per song for broadcasting rights, that is what you technically need.

the companies don’t care if you are earning or not, if its a family movie or not… its still technically illegal, and all costs the same in rights



[edit] - hmmm…
Was just reading this article:

Section 107, “Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use,” says in part:

The fair use of a copyrighted work … for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include–

the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
the nature of the copyrighted work;
the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Or here is another article explaining “fair use” in more detial…

Apple get away with giving everyone 30-second previews of songs on itunes (good for free ringtones) so I don’t know if you can do a similar thing. I’ve seen loads of people do it and they advertise the band who did the song.

The fact is that there are hundreds of thousands of people trading full songs online illegally. It doesn’t make sense to waste time pursuing 1 person who only uses a sample of their music.

you can do that if you get permission from copyright owner. if you don’t have such, then it’s illegal.

if you really want to be a smartass, you can try to pull a stunt like ‘I’ve made a backup copy of CD audio for personal use embedded into a self-made movie’, and see what happens …

there were cases copyright --owners-- sued --authors-- of works in question.

It’s illegal, but I very much doubt a big record company would waste time prosecuting you.

They wouldn’t prosecute you unless you sold it, or the movie becomes really hot.


Fair use is only a term really for judges to use. You can’t go into court and say “I’m using it under fair use” THEY will check the criteria for -copryright-infringment- and write it off as fair use.

As to itunes offering 30sec previews, I believe this is more to do with the fact they are under partnership with the record companies ( which is how they even get the songs in ‘downloadable’ format. ) and Xammount of profits goes to them… and part of the agreement would be to offer a 30sec preview.

That, or by law they are to provide you with a sample soundtrack 30 second in length.

As to using music on your videos, yes it is illegal.
*For personal use, I.e. to show your familys and friends you can’t be sued.
*Showing it in your portfolio to say a video editing or w/e company COULD be illegal.
*distrabuting it is illegal
*showing it publicly is illegal.
*selling /profitising from it it is illegal

Ah, so sometimes it is good not to go big? :wink:

Probably the worst that would happen will be you’ll get a letter telling you to take the thing of your website.

Online festivals and distribution sites like Atom Films may not want your work until you clear the copyright. Which you probably won’t want to do because it’s expensive. So in the future, if you want to make a short that you can really promote, stick to royalty free music or music that you or friends produce yourself.

That’s about it. As somebody else said, if you start making money off of it, the artist who owns the copyright obviously is in line for a cut of the cash, and if there’s money involved eventually somebody will come knocking…

You can google “sync rights” to find out more about this stuff. This is the term for the kind of rights you need for what you’re doing. Also, while you’re at it, google “royalty free music”. You can buy CDs full of music which have all sync rights and permissions included with the purchase of the music, so you can use it in whatever project you want.

Making a website for a large club once I asked myself the same question.
I had to use a lot of sound materials.
We contacted the local authorities for this and they told us it was all right for short clips of low quality.
Check yours, they may be tighter but it’s possible they think the same.

Ok I did some research about the music that I used, and it turns out that 2 of the pieces were written before the 1900s. and the one piece written recently, I used only 5 seconds of.

I’m going to assume I’m using these pieces fairly. (hence “fair use”) Since I’m making no money, no personal gain of any kind (Not going to use my real name in the short.) I bought the CDs. It is a school project (hence educational.) I’m using less than 10% of the music clip. Also I’m adding extensive information about each music clip, with links to amazon where the cd could be bought.

As far as I see it, I’m advertising their music for free… I should be sueing them for money. :smiley:

And now to find a place to upload…

I think you’re doing the right thing. Just to be 100 percent clear, though, technically there’s a difference between the copyright on the music itself and the right to play a particular recording. Music that is that old, like most classical music, is in the public domain, totally uncopyrightable. However, if, say, the Boston Pops cuts a record of classical music, that record is copyright the Boston Pops and you technically cannot broadcast it or play it publicly without paying them royalties.

This is a very, very safe area though, for someone in your shoes, because the odds of the Boston Pops hearing a recording of Beethoven’s 5th and saying “hang on, that’s our version!!!” and then coming after you are really, vanishingly thin. That’s not how people like the Boston Pops make their money. (It’s how the RIAA makes its money, but that’s another story…).

In short, if it’s old music, you’re about as safe as can be.

Copyright runs out a certain amount of time after the death of the author or composer or w/e
100 years on, they wont be sueing you

I thought it was 50 years after the original recording and 30 if the artist is dead or smt.
This would mean we can use recordings of songs such as Blue Moon ao. if we wanted to.
Could be wrong though.

I thought it was 50 years after the original recording and 30 if the artist is dead or smt.

I think it is always contingent on the death of the artist. The artist holds the copyright as long as he or she is alive. How long after they die before it reverts to the public domain depends on the country.

In the US, thanks to Sonny Bono and the “Mickey Mouse Protection Act”, that got 20 years longer in 1998.

It’s called this because you can just imagine how much The Walt Disney corporation is looking forward to the Nth aniversary of Walt Disney’s death, when suddenly Mickey belongs to everybody… So they are going to be lobbying to extend that for, well… forever.

I think in sweden it’s 70 years after the artists death.

Depends on your country. But it is basically 50 years after death.

As to music, record companies own part of the copyright, or licenses to the music /song, though im not really sure how it works, so i would believe as long as the record comanies is still alive (companies are legal identitys i guess after all) then i expect the company has to die for there to be no royaltys + copyright can be transfered.

I know the the area that elvis came from, they sue people on his behalf for what ever reasons.

so i would believe as long as the record comanies is still alive (companies are legal identitys i guess after all) then i expect the company has to die for there to be no royaltys + copyright can be transfered.

I don’t think so. A company’s copyright to a work it created (according to that wikipedia article) seems to end after 95 years in the US. Used to be 75 years.

In this sense, copyright is not like real property. You can pass your property on to their children and their children, or it can be owned by a company, forever. But copyright can’t be kept in the family like that forever. At some point, works of art or whatever become the property of the culture as a whole. It happened to Shakespeare and it will happen to Mickey Mouse.