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using an "official" song for a preview video...

01-06-2010, 11:05 AM
#1
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 43
using an "official" song for a preview video...

Hi, does anyone know the protocol for using an official, commerical song for preview/trailer of a game? In other words, am I required to get permission to use someones song first, or can I just pop it on there...

Thanks in advance.
01-06-2010, 11:20 AM
#2
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 197
You need permission.

What you're talking about is called "synchronization rights," because you're "synching" the music to a video presentation. Synch rights are negotiated directly with the publisher of the song, or, in the case of a recording, with the owner of the original recording (usually a record company).

It costs a pile, takes weeks to get approval, and Internet distribution implies world-wide rights. Unless your brother is in the band, expect to wait and pay through the nose.

Think of it this way: "Do I need permission to make hundreds of copies of Jamie's game on give-away iPods at a sales conference, or can I just pop 'em on there?"

01-07-2010, 11:44 AM
#3
You could look for music which has a Creative Commons license - which allows you to use the music in your projects subject to certain conditions.

One of the easiest conditions is 'Attribution' which means you'd have to credit the musician in your video.

A good place to start looking is Jamendo.
01-07-2010, 03:24 PM
#4
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 303
Gravity Jim is right - it can cost a lot and be pretty hard work. Creative Commons stuff is a good idea but we couldn't find anything that sounded right. Having said that, I'm going to have a look at Jamendo as Cloudoid has suggested.

You could also try to find an indie artist/band as we did with Ground Effect. I drafted the synch agreement myself (I'm a lawyer) which saved time & money and the band were happy to work with us for the prospect of some increased exposure. We got quite lucky, but there must be loads of great musicians around who'd be prepared to consider this type of arrangement. You definitely don't want to go ahead without permission though as YouTube will pull the plug if there's a complaint and you'll look pretty unprofessional and possibly get a threatening letter from a lawyer.
01-07-2010, 05:46 PM
#5
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: App Tech Studios, USA
Posts: 1,363
So what you guys are saying is that I can't use iLife sound effects/music in my trailer video that I will be posting on YouTube? If so, what is the difference between me posting the audio on YouTube and Fred posting it on YouTube? I have watched quite a few videos with iLife audio, why should it be different for me?
01-07-2010, 05:56 PM
#6
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 197
He's not talking about using iLife audio, but about using an existing, copyrighted record (and it sounds like he has one in mind, too).

I suspect that if you own iLife, you are licensed to use the music that comes with it.
01-07-2010, 06:04 PM
#7
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: App Tech Studios, USA
Posts: 1,363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gravity Jim View Post
He's not talking about using iLife audio, but about using an existing, copyrighted record (and it sounds like he has one in mind, too).

I suspect that if you own iLife, you are licensed to use the music that comes with it.
It came with my MacBook Pro (which I paid for), so I guess I am ok. I got scared for a bit because I am making a trailer that leans heavily on the iLife music! Thank you!
01-07-2010, 06:47 PM
#8
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: UK / Toronto
Posts: 602
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gravity Jim View Post
You need permission.

What you're talking about is called "synchronization rights," because you're "synching" the music to a video presentation. Synch rights are negotiated directly with the publisher of the song, or, in the case of a recording, with the owner of the original recording (usually a record company).

It costs a pile, takes weeks to get approval, and Internet distribution implies world-wide rights. Unless your brother is in the band, expect to wait and pay through the nose.

Think of it this way: "Do I need permission to make hundreds of copies of Jamie's game on give-away iPods at a sales conference, or can I just pop 'em on there?"
You don't need to make it so scary, it's not always that difficult. I had a documentary where I needed sync licenses for several songs. Of course the major labels were much more difficult than the indie labels, but I ended up with free licenses from all. I made it very clear I'd be putting a tracklist in the credits and it was a non-profit video. I suppose if you're a for-profit developer that will be a little more difficult, but I think it's worth trying all the same. You are certainly right that the smaller the band the more chance he has of getting permission.