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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Copyrighted Music - Fair Use? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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MagiCat
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Good day,

I have a general question about using music during shows, as I'm sure many of you do. My day job involves photography, so I know about paying royalties for photographs vs. royalty-free, etc.

I don't know much about music though. When is it considered "illegal" to use copyrighted music in your shows? For instance, if you do a show and don't charge admission, is it sill illegal to use popular music?

I can see it being illegal to use music in a money-making environment... but what if its a small show that doesn't charge any admission at all?

Thanks!
Michael Messing
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Here's an earlier discussion on the topic: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=11

There are others with similar information.

Michael
RobertBloor
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MagiCat,

Google Campbell vs. Acoff-Rose

That was the Supreme Court case which established Fair Use.

As for doing it in a "free" environment. Here's what I've done in the past...Call up the record company and tell them what show you're doing. ASK if it's okay for you to play that song in the background (or a portion of that song) for that piece.

I've never known a record company to not grant permission.

As you say...for future reference...charging admission changes things a bit.

Robert
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,"
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Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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MagiCat,
Copyright laws protect all recorded music, and the use of copyrighted music is subject to permission from the copyright owners.

For the in's-and-out's of copyright law, don’t rely upon hearsay, or on any exceptions or work-arounds you read about in online forums: Check out http://www.cmrra.com, http://www.socan.com, http://www.harryfox.com, http://www.ascap.com, or http://www.bmi.com, or the performing right organization in your country.

If that seems vague, please re-read the first sentence, becuse it's very specific. Your playing it in your car is covered by copyright law, as is any public performance.

Good luck in your research & endeavours!
Dan.
Dan McLean Jr
John Bowlin
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So...if you are playing it before your actual performance...is it legal??
??
TheAmbitiousCard
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What if you are doing a paid show with several "free" parts in your act.
The parts that have music.

or you could be paid to wear a certain pair of shoes but your act is free?

just kidding of course...
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silverking
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Playing copyrighted music before your show during your show or after your show will open you up to potential legal action whether you charge money or not.

It may sound heavy-handed, but it's not your music, it belongs to somebody else, you've bought the right to play it for yourself and your friends in private.

ASCAP, BMI, and SOCAN are all bodies assigned by law to collect royalties from pretty much any public use of the music of their members.

Most all popular (and unpopular) artists in North America are members of one of the above orginizations.

I'm an anti-piracy advocate in music, but the record companies are such idiots that I'm starting to question my own opinion.
For now, it's the artists I'm supporting by not ripping off their music, and by paying for its use when I use it.
BryanDreyfus
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To save the problems I can offer this....

I have a large collection of "Smartsounds" in many themes.

If you could record your trick as you intend to perform it with no music I could add musical styles that you can rehearse to after you get your video back.

The musicis royalty free and my efforts are "by donation". If you like it pay something for it.

Bryan

ps. if you don't know about SmartSound music then see http://www.smartsound.com and read up on it.
Oh sure, I can spell "Antidisestablishmentarianism", but I can't type t-h-e.
DavidCaserta
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Also you can put in your rider that the venue gets the appropriate licences from the music industry to cover your show.
Decomposed
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Mix up your music using one of many programs. Add some different things all mixed together. Anything that is open to the public can be considered off limits for using other's music.
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Quote:
On 2006-04-11 07:32, Candini wrote:
Mix up your music using one of many programs. Add some different things all mixed together. Anything that is open to the public can be considered off limits for using other's music.

Can you make specifically say what you mean, candini? What do you man by "your music", and by "Anything that is open to the public can be considered off limits for using other's music"? I think I disagree with you, but I certainly don't want to put words in your mouth by interpretting what you've said.
Thanks!
Dan.
Dan McLean Jr
Bill Nuvo
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There are many music programs out there that are cheap (under $50.00) that allow you to create music using royalty free samples. You don't have to be a musician to get the hang of it. They are very easy to use.

(and I also create music for others, royalty free. One song from my stage show (which is not available) is on the home page of my website http://www.nuvoentertainment.com ...just give it about 5 seconds to start. It is a live version.
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Quote:
On 2006-04-11 10:41, mrbilldentertainer wrote:
There are many music programs out there that are cheap (under $50.00) that allow you to create music using royalty free samples. You don't have to be a musician to get the hang of it. They are very easy to use.

Hi, Mr Bill!
I certainly am a fan of creating your own music using royalty free samples, because it's legal, it's cheap, and it's unique! Even if you don't have the skill/instinct, I think every entertainer must know a budding musician or hobyyist who'd be happy to create some good sounding stuff for free (just for fun), or real cheap. The person doesn't even need to be a musician, because when some folks try using such a "loop-based" program, they just find they kinda have a knack for it!
Dan McLean Jr
Decomposed
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Dan,

What I mean is working at malls, the street etc. Its open to the public and one could get into trouble using copyrighted music. Private venues (inside one's home) on private property from what I understand, is not a legal issue. Also, from what I have read, churches and schools are also exempt. I know many teachers who use pop music in their classrooms. The teachers are being paid to teach and using the music etc etc. I know their are many threads on this here, I just see a new thread and can't resist sometimes.

Regards,

Candini
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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I started typing a bunch of stuff about "fair use" of copyrighted music in schools, churches, "private venues", "one's home", and "private property", but ...

Hearsay is a very bad way to get legal advice. Don't take the word of anyone here or on any other forum about copyright law: Not from me, or from anyone else.

Ask publishing rights oraganizations, like http://www.cmrra.com, http://www.socan.com, http://www.harryfox.com, http://www.ascap.com, http://www.bmi.com, or the performing right organization in your country. They'll be quite happy to give you the info you need.
Dan McLean Jr
BryanDreyfus
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That's is why with my buying the rights to the files I bought I can pass the royalty free onto others. This fact has been checked and rechecked with SmartSounds" themselves. I didn't want to take a chance on it.


I can even offer a certificate in case a venue has issues.

Bryan


I have 30 cd's of different styles and all of it royalty free.
Oh sure, I can spell "Antidisestablishmentarianism", but I can't type t-h-e.
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Yeah, SmartSound allows you to sell, or give away, music that uses their sounds. Same goes for Apple's "GarageBand" and numerous other "loop-based" systems. If you've paid for the app & sounds, then you can sell the songs you create that use the sounds.
Dan McLean Jr
Decomposed
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Yeah just don't use any pop artist music at any event and you are safe. Just royalty free only. Too much red tape getting permission, and forget getting email responses.....
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Quote:
On 2006-04-15 03:14, Candini wrote:
Yeah just don't use any pop artist music at any event and you are safe. Just royalty free only. Too much red tape getting permission, and forget getting email responses.....

It's not just pop music artists. Also remember that "royalty free" music is only "royalty free" once you've paid the copyright owner's licencing fee! In the case
Dan McLean Jr
Decomposed
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Yeah not worth going to jail over any of this. Probably a very very small percentage of magicians would take a chance since the chance of getting caught is rising.

Wouldn't want to be a Dee Jay.
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