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Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Folks,
I certainly intend no disrespect, but I ask that we keep this thread on topic. No asides.
That topic is clear, accurate, easily-verifiable info about copyright and publishing rights as they apply to a magician's use of music in his/her show.

From the U.S. Copyright Office's Web site;
"As a general rule, for works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years."

"For an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first."

"For works first published prior to 1978, the term will vary depending on several factors."


That same link also tells you how to determine the length of copyright protection for a particular work.
Dan McLean Jr
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"Taking the mystery out of stage technology!"
Bill Nuvo
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You know, it's all so confusing that it is easier to use royalty free music from companies like Opus and composers like myself. Less to worry about.

In reading above, it said

Both SOCAN & ASCAP said it's the venue and establishment that are responsible to secure licensing. ASCAP added that the promoter is also responsible. Both said that the performer is not responsible to secure licensing.

ASCAP said that, if an infringement does take place, the venue, establishment, promoter AND PERFORMER are all liable, and that the performer should therefore check to make sure each venue is properly licensed.

So to protect yourself, wouldn't it be safer to license yourself anyway? It actually isn't that much according to SOCAN tariffs (Canadian)
http://www.socan.com/jsp/en/resources/tariffs.jsp
You are looking at 3 percent of your income. So if you charge $300 for a birthday party, the license is 9 dollars. Definitely won't put a dent in the pocket.
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Quote:
On 2006-10-30 20:52, mrbilldentertainer wrote:
http://www.socan.com/jsp/en/resources/tariffs.jsp
You are looking at 3 percent of your income.

Hi, Bill!
Actually, at that link (thanks for linking!), I think it's Tariff "3B" that applies;

Recorded Music Accompanying Live Entertainment
"Annual fee: 2% of compensation for entertainment (minimum annual fee of $62.74).

That minimum will cover you up to an annual magic income of about $3100.
Dan McLean Jr
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Skip Way
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It isn't JUST one agency, though. Some songs are licensed through ASCAP, some through BMI. As an American performer, you'd have to register with both...or insure that the songs you're using are licensed under the sole agency you're licensed through. Then, you have to insure that the arrangement and specific artist who made the recording is licensed under the agency you choose...if you register with just one. So, multiply those fees by two...or play it smart and stay Royalty Free with a performance license. Is it really worth all the extra hassle?

Skip
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Bill Nuvo
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Yes, Dan, I think you are right. Whoops. Which is a good reason not to just go on what we say here and to contact your area's governing body to find out what applies to you.
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Quote:
On 2006-10-30 23:00, Skip Way wrote:
It isn't JUST one agency, though. Some songs are licensed through ASCAP, some through BMI. As an American performer, you'd have to register with both...or insure that the songs you're using are licensed under the sole agency you're licensed through. Then, you have to insure that the arrangement and specific artist who made the recording is licensed under the agency you choose...if you register with just one.

Thanks, Skip! When making a statement in this particular thread, please provide "reliable, easily verifiable" references.

From the SESAC Web site, here's one:

"Q: If I have licenses with ASCAP and/or BMI, why do I need a license with SESAC?

A: SESAC, ASCAP, and BMI are three separate and distinct Performing Rights Organizations (PRO). Each organization represents different songwriters, composers, publishers and copyright holders, and each organization licenses only the copyrighted works of its own respective affiliated copyright holders. Licenses with ASCAP and BMI do NOT grant you authorization for the right to use the copyrighted music of SESAC represented songwriters, composers, publishers or copyright holders.

Since a license with ASCAP and/or BMI does not grant authorization to play songs in the SESAC repertory, most broadcasters obtain licenses with SESAC, ASCAP and BMI to obtain proper copyright clearance for virtually all of the copyrighted music in the world."




Being Canadian, Bill was correct when he referred to having "a license", because, in Canada, SOCAN is the only performing rights organization with which one must deal. From the SOCAN site:
"Q: Does SOCAN cover U.S. and worldwide usage of my music?
A: Yes. SOCAN has reciprocal agreements with performing rights societies around the world. These societies administer your repertoire internationally and send any royalties earned to SOCAN. SOCAN pays the monies directly to you."

"Q: Is SOCAN connected with ASCAP, BMI or SESAC?
A: SOCAN is a separate organization, but we have reciprocal agreements with each of the three U.S. performing rights societies. Upon becoming a SOCAN member, you will receive information about the U.S. societies."

"Q: Are there other organizations I might want to join?
A: There are a number of organizations that administer rights in the music industry. To help you make your own decision, we have listed many of them here with LINKS to their web sites."


The previous paragraph refers to a list. Here is that list of "Other Performing Rights Organizations (with which SOCAN has reciprocal agreements)".
Dan McLean Jr
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airship
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The Creative Commons licenses were created with the specific purpose of simplifying and clarifying the issues of rights ownership, performance rights, and other use of creative works.

The http://creativecommons.org/audio/ site explains how Creative Commons licenses work, and provides a directory of CC licensed audio works that can, in most cases, be used for free in your performances. All you have to do is find the music you want and make sure the CC license specified allows you the right to use the work in your performance. It's all in plain English, not legalese. Happy hunting!
'The central secret of conjuring is a manipulation of interest.' - Henry Hay
Bill Nuvo
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An interesting thing about music use that I will say a little about (I can't let too much out--legal reasons). I have been in contact with the Disney Company. They are investigating a magical performer who is known to use Disney songs and material in their act. Let me tell you that these people protect their property with extreme vigilance.

So, a word of caution...make sure whatever you do, make sure you do it as legit as possible. Don't assume you can use music without some kind of license or permission. ALWAYS CHECK TO SEE IF YOU NEED TO PAY ANY PERFORMING RIGHTS OR LICENSES. Never assume anything.
Skip Way
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Arthur Stead posted this response on another forum to a question regarding the use of Royalty-Free music on performance DVD's and Demo Videos. I felt that the topic fits into the discussion on this thread. I don't have a documented "easily verifiable source" but it couldn't come from a more reliable and knowledgeable spokesperson.

In response to the question, he states, "You should 'read the fine print' before using any royalty-free music. Some companies require special permission to use their music on media such as videos, DVD’s or television. Some don’t allow it at all, while others stipulate “live” performances only.

When you buy a royalty-free music CD, it’s important to remember that only the purchaser has the right to use the music. You can’t make copies for your friends to use in their shows. Also keep in mind that, although the music is yours to use license-free, the composer still retains ownership of their music. He/she owns the copyright, and that means the music cannot be resold on someone else’s product.

If you plan to use royalty-free music or routines on your own re-sellable DVD, I suggest you first obtain permission from the copyright owners. Depending on the situation, they may or may not grant you that right. You may have to reach an agreement that is financially beneficial to both parties. Or they may simply give you permission as long as you give them credit and provide their contact information on the film or packaging."


In anticipation of "please provide 'reliable, easily verifiable' references": Arthur Willmore Stead has performed with and composed music for mega-stars Michael Bolton, Cyndi Lauper, Aerosmith, Cher, Starship, Peter Frampton, John Waite, Van Halen, Public Image Limited, The Mamas and the Papas, Ace Frehley, and Shania Twain, to name a few. Arthur’s film scoring credits include America’s Most Wanted, The Muppets, The Guiding Light, many PBS documentaries, and the Steven Spielberg feature film, The Goonies. He and his wife, Leslie Blake Stead, continue to compose and produce a very professional collection of top quality Royalty-Free music for magicians and children's entertainers. These products are as good as they come! I believe this experience verifies his credentials and knowledge on this topic.

Skip
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Dennis Michael
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How does a DJ fit in this mix?
There are more DJs using this music than Magicians.

There are many part-time DJs that do weddings, etc. then there are magicians using a single track. and we can bet they don't have the licenses nor are people hiring them knowedagable enough to ask that question.

It would seem if the "Music Police" were knock on anyone's door they would be the the DJs as a first choice. (This does not diminish the discussion, nor find excuses, just a recent observation).

This is a curious observation from a very unknowledgable person in this field.
Dennis Michael
Banester
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I think that DJ's have purchased the CD's or MP3's and are playing them for your enjoyment. He is not selling the music rather the services he is providing (stereo, commemtary, props, etc). You can play the music for all to hear as long as you are not charging for it. People are paying to see the magic and the magician is not selling musical CD's. The only issue I could see arising would be if you made a DVD of your performance with the back ground music being from a copyrighted cd or mp3. I would think you would need some type of release to do that and also state the origin of the music in the credits area.
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silverking
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Banester, you are incorrect.

From the SOCAN website:

18 Recorded Music for Dancing Annual fee, based on the capacity, days per week and months per year of operation: ranging from $267.33 to $1,069.32 per 100 persons, plus 10% for each additional 20 persons.


8 Receptions, Conventions,Assemblies and Fashion Shows Fee per event, based on room capacity:
a) Without Dancing: from $20.56 to $87.40
b) With Dancing: from $41.13 to $174.79


Bottom line, if it's on a commercial CD and at the same time somebody is taking in money, that music is seen as being used (even partially) to help you make that money.
If the music is helping you make money, it's your obligation to pay the publisher.
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Thanks for using such a good reference, silverking!

For everyone else, please do not use conjecture in this particular thread. Instead, please provide reliable, easily verifiable references from regulating authorites. I hope this will remain a factual, source-supported thread for magicians.

To further support silverking's quotes, here's a link to that info at the SOCAN Web site. The prices will be different in America, but the basic regulations are the same.
Dan McLean Jr
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Bill Nuvo
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As a DJ myself I pay out a minimum $1500 a year in fees (this include fees for my magic shows as well and other DJs). It is actually a small fee when you break it down to just over $100 per month.
John Martin
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Bill,

That's fine broken down the way you've mentioned above. Consider though, if I read the tariffs correctly for a magicians, "11B Comedy Shows and Magic Shows Fee per show: $36.60 where use of music is incidental. Where comedy or magic show is primarily a musical act, Tariff 4.A applies", at 250 birthday parties a year that's $9150.00, hardly a small fee. Minus expenses, minus cost of equipement, minus insurance, minus business fees, minus taxes....minus...minus....minus...
it's no wonder people cheat the "SYSTEM". Something to think about!!!
Bill Nuvo
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This is why I use my own music at my shows. I only use recorded music once in a while.

http://www.socan.ca/jsp/en/resources/tariffs.jsp (ref 11b and 4a
Well if $9000 is 3% of your earnings, then what are you complaining about?

Tarriff 4a=Minimum is $20/show. 250 shows=$5000 If you are charging $200.00 per show that is $50,000/year you are making so $5000 is a small amount in comparison.
It is a cost of doing business along with insurance and other expenses.


Having said that, I don't think 4a applies because you may not be PRIMARILY a musical act. You would have to contact SOCAN and ask them what applies because you are not a musical act but the music is not incidental. (sorry for the conjecture).
John Martin
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You're right, but I wouldn't call 10 percent of your income a small amount!!! Everyone know this system is there to make the rich richer and has very LITTLE to do with protecting the artist. Fairness never even enters into the picture.

I'll just stick with my royalty free music.


John
abrell
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In Germany all persons/ organisations using music in public and/or for commercial uses have to pay some fee at GEMA. This is a duty especially for the venue owner. But the venue owner will need a play list with: name of composer, title of music, name of musicians/band, name of poet, name of record company, length of music title.
purplemonk
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Very true.. however it also says "Where comedy or magic show is primarily a musical act" ... I know my magic show is not primarily a musical act.

Quote:
On 2006-10-25 22:11, mrbilldentertainer wrote:
Skip,
Entertainers do have to pay for performing rights of music. At least here in Canada through SOCAN. Performing rights include the use of recorded material (3b, 11b) http://www.socan.com/jsp/en/resources/tariffs.jsp

Even buskers are required to pay.
Dave Miller
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I have been very concerned about using copyrighted music in my performances. The reason is, I hope (and hope and hope) to be able to use video of these performances in a DVD product that I will sell. In looking for royalty free music, I ran across a great site with very good music. The company is called Digital Juice <http://www.digitaljuice.com> and I am using their music for everything we do. All of the tracks in their StackTraxx are layered so you can turn different instruments off and on. Be sure to watch for the specials - that is the only way to buy. I got 10 volumes for $249. That is more music than we will ever need and it is royalty free. Hope that helps someone!
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