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Guest Jeff S KDTW

Legal/Copyright question

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I have a question:Let's say someone wanted to write a FREEWARE application that uses some wav files from a tv show or movie.Since it is FREEWARE, does the author still need permission to use these files?I am thinking the answer is yes, but wanted to see if anyone knew for sure.

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Ken, yes. Free or otherwise makes no difference. The copyright holder has ownership.

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Yep, what I thought. Just wanted a second opinion.I wonder how I can get in contact with a certain movie studio.....

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usually their websites have a link to contact info for the PR department. Those can help you along.The URL is by now almost always printed on the DVD case.Remember you may need permission from a production company rather than the movie studio.

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Ken:You should ask for permission. However, if the item comes from a TV Show or movie (ie soundtracks), you should contact the authors of the items. Perhaps they're the real owner of the copyrights rather than the TV / Cinema producers (depends on the assignment made) :)Hope this helps,

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Well I've made my first attempt at communication...we'll see ;-)

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Wouldn't the same apply to say commercial vendors creating videos of their products and using songs as background to help sell their stuff?I view that as copyright infringement.Regards,Joeaopa.gif" border="0" alt="Grab My FREEWARE Voice recognition Profiles here:[a href=http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=fs2004misc&DLID=58334]Cessna 172 Voice Profile[/a][a href=http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=fs2004misc&DLID=60740]FSD Avanti Voice Profile[/a].You will need the main FREEWARE Flight Assistant program to use it, get it here:[a href=http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=genutils&DLID=39661]Flight Assistant 2.2[/a]

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>>Wouldn't the same apply to say commercial vendors creating videos of their products and using songs as background to help sell their stuff?I view that as copyright infringement.They will have copyright clearance to use that music, or should do or they are in bug trouble!.Depends how much music or sound effects you wish to use, if is a very small amount and for freeware purposes that is fair use under the copyright act.

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Hi Ben,But as for a small amount, I see a 30 second commercial on TV or 10 Second Commercial, and I am guessing here, but wouldn't they be getting copyright permission for the tracks or paying a use fee for the music they are using and playing multiple times.Now say a flightsim video has a 3 minute video using 3 songs at a minute each. with each one over the length of a 30 second commercial, I see that as a violation. Now with say 500 Downloads or playing of the video, wouldn't that be 500 violations of the commercial entity hosting it and pushing theads on others, by inducing them to view the copyright violation.Now say someone hawks these videos surrounded by advertisements. Isn't it possible those could be viewed as an enticement to buy the product being pushed, and the inclusion of that song would indeed constitute a violation.Food For thought, and something I just don't find ethical. I mean with all the talk about worries of piracy, are not these same commercial enterprises supporting the piracy of music in this fashion. That seems pretty hypocritical to me and just not right in my opinion.From:http://www.riaa.com/issues/piracy/default.aspOnline piracy is the unauthorized uploading of a copyrighted sound recording and making it available to the public, or downloading a sound recording from an Internet site, even if the recording isn't resold. Online piracy may now also include certain uses of "streaming" technologies from the Internet.I mean, some of these commercial vendors use all types of fancy dancy licensing schemes, closed support forums, etc... to thwart the piracy of their add-ons, and the next thing you know you see videos of their products with music in the background. Hmmmmm.... Interesting, huh?I sure hope they verified the licenses before jumping onto that ad bandwagon. :-lol :-lol :-lol Regards,Joeaopa.gif" border="0" alt="Grab My FREEWARE Voice recognition Profiles here:[a href=http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=fs2004misc&DLID=58334]Cessna 172 Voice Profile[/a][a href=http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=fs2004misc&DLID=60740]FSD Avanti Voice Profile[/a].You will need the main FREEWARE Flight Assistant program to use it, get it here:[a href=http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=genutils&DLID=39661]Flight Assistant 2.2[/a]

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Joe, if they don't have permission to do so, then yes, it would be.

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Ben, "Fair Use" applies to libraries, newspapers, magazines, etc. in the context of "excerpting" passages from the article or previwing, in the case of music. When used to "enhance" or otherwise add to a product, free or otherwise, "Fair Use" does not apply. In my opinion, Europeans tend to interpret "Fair Use" as being more than it is under the Copyright conventions. I am not trying to start a fight here, but the preponderance of copyright violations occur when some take the definition of "Fair Use" too far, and we see that most frequently in European's justification for copyright violation.

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videos which are almost without exception NOT created by the addon developers but by enthousiastic users.Now if the developer had released that addon with the sole and specific purpose of it being used for the purpose of infringing the intellectual property rights of the music industry then yes, blame would fall on that manufacturer.As that isn't the purpose of the addon at all but rather an unintended and unavoidable side effect blame lies squarely on the user of the addon.

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Not all Europeans Tom, mostly just the ones who make largescale use of P2P networks to acquire their movies and music and use the argument to defend (initially to themselves) their acts.After all, they're only trying to find out if it's good before purchasing it maybe (cough cough), and apparently find out that nothing is worth purchasing...

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The amount of people that download illegal copies of games "just to try before they buy" is quite staggering. What is even more amazing is that a large percentage of these people actually feel that they are justified in doing so !Chris Low.

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Not just games either...About 2 years ago I noticed a request for a pirated version of a product the sole purpose of which is to protect software from being pirated...This in a development forum. On searching the same (and many other) poster had previously inquired about pirated copies of compilers, editors, code libraries, etc. etc.Seems he was setting up a commercial business to create software and using an entirely pirated system of development tools to do it.The only thing still missing was a tool to prevent his customers doing to his software what he himself was doing to everyone else's.Sadly many of my own colleagues (I work in software development) are exactly the same. They see no problems at all in using pirated software, music, and movies.One of them even suggested a good way to get serial numbers for software is to go to a store and copy them from the boxes there...

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We're surrounded by criminals ! :-eek Chris Low.

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Jeroen,How about videos that are screened by the commercial entity prior to distribution, and can have things added to them by the commercial entity by agreement. At that point of the uploader's action, they lose control of the file, and the commercial entity controls it.In addition to that, the add-on in the video is then linked to an advertisement to purchase the same add-on.Can you honestly tell me that in that situation it is still the responsibility of only the uploader.Also at that point the allegedly Free video is now part and parcel to a commercial enterprise, so the whole freeware argument is moot, in my opinion.Keep in mind, these videos cannot simply be uploaded, they have to be approved, screened, etc, before being distributed. It absolutely is a commercial endeavor. The uploading is only part 1.It's just plain hypocritical and ethically wrong on the commercial entity's part, in my opinion.The link is there if only one looks for it. :-)Regards,Joeaopa.gif" border="0" alt="Grab My FREEWARE Voice recognition Profiles here:[a href=http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=fs2004misc&DLID=58334]Cessna 172 Voice Profile[/a][a href=http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=fs2004misc&DLID=60740]FSD Avanti Voice Profile[/a].You will need the main FREEWARE Flight Assistant program to use it, get it here:[a href=http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=genutils&DLID=39661]Flight Assistant 2.2[/a]

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And how can you know that no permission was obtained in those cases?

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Sadly that's so. But it's not all doom and gloom. A study last year showed that it's in many areas now impossible to not break the law as there are many contradictory laws in effect in most places.Thus abiding by one law automatically makes you break another, go figure...

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Ken, I have dealt with copyright some in my time haveing been a musician most of my life... I have worked with national and international stars so this give me some insight into copyright law... It is complicated and hard to understand at times... I have not read all the other post and others may give you more insight than I but this is my understanding to the answer to the question you ask... " You can use the copyright property you ask about BUT you must pay the owner of such property the cost of using such property" That is why you hear so many old rock song used in commercials as of late... They don't have to ask the author... It's cheaper than haveing something written... I heard a author on a article speak aboutthis... He said he had no control about how his property was used and did't seem to really care as long as he got his copyright cost..I hope I am correct on all this... But this is how I have been told that it works... But if you change the material in anyway that a differant story...Ron Mashburn

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It is indeed cheaper because the record companies (who more often than not own the copyright instead of the artists) write things off rather quickly (especially after the music no longer sells well).You'll also notice that it's likely mostly non-US music being used, as the copyright term in the US is longer than in most other countries.Copyright after all isn't eternal. After a set amount of time (which differs per country and artform) the copyright expires.

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I am a TV Producer who makes both broadcasts and documentaries (not for profit, religious). For me to use recorded, copyrighted music as background in any of my productions can become a very expensive proposition.The main copyright owners are indeed the music publishers (ASCAP, BMI, etc.). TV stations (and other producers) are allowed to make blanket exemption license purchases. This is usually an annual renewal. It's not cheap, but certainly far less expensive than obtaining the individual rights for using each work. Luckily, my broadcast work has been covered by a blanket exemption on all of the stations we've broadcast on.Now, when I start doing non-broadcast work, it becomes very expensive if you want to stay legal! I once tried to purchase the rights to use a 60 second sound track for one of our not-for-profit documentaries. They wanted $2,500 to use the 60 second track, with a time allotment of 5 years! Well, we just went out and created our own music.

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Not a bad price for a 5 year license... That's something like $1.25 a day. If you can't get that back in donations maybe the video wasn't worth making :)But of course if you have access to musicians willing to work for free (and using royalty free sheet music so you don't have to pay royalties to the composer...) you'll always be cheaper off.

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Over the years, organizations we supported received many times that in donations, but we're a church - not a business. That wasn't an "investment" but a donation of our own to a needy cause. They needed every penny and we weren't going to ask them to cover any portion of our expenses.Other organizations would cover our production costs so we could produce the videos they needed, but we always produced our own music tracks from then on to reduce their expenses. I must also say that there were individual artists that would lend their support by giving us permission to use their music.But, no major recording company ever gave us permission - no matter what the cause. Can't blame them really - that's their business, though sometimes I think it would have been good PR for them to show that they supported worthy causes.

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Sadly, most people are only interested in making money (and lots of it) these days. Good PR and worthy causes are the last things on their minds.Chris Low.

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