education, technology, and everything else

Music, Video and Copyright

Posted by Miranda on December 19, 2007

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about copyright lately, in the context of video production, and it struck me that maybe a lot of other people are doing the same thing.
I break the law all the time. For instance the stretch of road between my house and Norwich, Vt is ten miles of pine trees. The speed limit is 40 MPH. I think 40 miles per hour in that stretch is stupid, really. But if a cop pulls me over for going 50 which the limit really ought to be, I’m not going to tell him I think the law is stupid and I shouldn’t have to obey it.

Similarly, I may think that copyright law is stupid when it comes to me using someone’s recorded music for my video (although actually I see a lot of sense in it) but I am bound to obey it, especially in a school setting where what I do may influence the students there.

A lot of copyright law seems to be sort of ambiguous when it comes to the Web, but there’s one thing that I have found is not ambiguous at all and that is that it is illegal to use someone’s music in your video unless you have a license to do that.

These are the resources I used to come to that conclusion:

Can I Use Someone Else’s Work? Can Someone Else Use Mine?

Videomaker eNewsletter January 1999
Shoot with Caution: Video, the Law and You

What music can I use in my video? Revver. Com (this one is interesting to me because they vet all videos before upload and will refuse to show your video with copyrighted material in it. Yet they are quite popular)

Bound by Law: Tales from the Public Domain

ASCAP Internet Licensing FAQs

BMI Statement on Internet Licensing

DesignFirms – February 2005
How to use music legally in your work: Frequently Asked Questions

Copyright for Video Producers

Urban Myths Category:
“I’ve heard that you can use any piece of music in your film as long as it is under 30 seconds. Is this true?”

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