Question about using copyrighted music in an animation/demo

Hello everyone, I have a question. Can someone use copyrighted music in their animation legally without paying royalties ($$$$ or jail) if they give credit and do not sell the animation? :expressionless:

Ok let me see if I remember.

I think you can use something like 8 seconds of any audio without paying royalties. But it’s a bit of a dodgy rule. And I’m not sure I remember it correctly.

Basicly as soon as you let an audience see what you’ve made you have to pay royalties. For instance if you were to have a bar and just had a radio playing in the background… you have to pay. Usually though it’s not the “artist” that has to pay royalties but the venue. So if your band plays covers at a bar, then the bar pays royalties and later on the composer gets that cash.

So it comes down to… No you can’t… not 100% legally.

But as long as you don’t make a profit from the animation and it’s not distributed too widely it’s not really something to worry about. Thing is… you won’t get sued untill it’s worth it to sue you. And for just a little animation that you show friends and some people over the internet… it’s not worth it.

you should ask for permission, or take someone to make it for you :stuck_out_tongue:

what kind of animation are you making?

Yeonil (musician BTW :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: )

If it is for a demo reel that is clearly labeled as a demo reel you can use the music without worry. Copywrite law allows usage for a demo reel.

If it is for another project, like an indy film or animated short you need permission. Just don’t be afraid to ask. More artists will let you use their work than you would think. Just make sure they know it’s a not for profit indy or student project.

Good Luck.

Not without permission, you have to search for some music that allows such use. A good place to start is – all of the free MP3s there are licensed under a license that fits your criteria perfectly.

i say just call them, and see what they have to say.

you want to include a elton john song? call up his record company and see what their rules are for a film. I remember that the creators of Napoleon Dynamite did this, and they got the rights to that openning credits song pretty easily, but they did ask.

Thanks everyone for the response. :smiley: I was listening to this powerful score (not StarWars :stuck_out_tongue: ) and I started visualizing some great ideas for an animation (I am sure everyone does this :wink: ). I think I will check out . That might be a possibility.

Licensure for music, in the US at least, is normally handled through one of three agencies: BMI, ASCAP, or SESAC. Each of these organizations has a web-site with information. Every piece of music will identify the agency that brokers the rights. You might well find that, for demonstration or promotional purposes, you won’t actually have to pay anything. But I assure you it makes a big positive impression when you see a promo DVD and it says, “Music such-and-such © Copyright so-and-so, used by permission.” This person dots his I’s and crosses his T’s.