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griffindance
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Dan should definately be listened to!!!

I have worked in several countries in a variety of capacities (Magician, actor, dancer, director, stagetech etc) and although the VENUE is generally held responsible for obtaining copyright permissions that doesn't mean you shouldnt check yourself. In Austalia I knew a magician who had been performing in a casino regularly over the course of ten years. When the casino was checked the APRA people followed up on different acts that had been through the venue. They found this magician had been doing the same act in venues that didn't have permission and the poor guy was taken to court. He lost everything within a week over a five minute piece of music that he thought was pretty.

The only way I have seen to not pay copyright fees for music (that is already copyrighted) was a dance company who approached the composers/musicians themselves and got signed letters of consent. However you will still need to approach the licensing bodies themselves to show you have permission. In Australia it is (If I remember correctly) APRA and in Germany it is GEMA.

I regularly borrow burnt cds from friends and collegues but if Im going to use the music for a perfomance I ALWAYS have the copyright information before the show.

Although its difficult to tell sometimes but Musicians are artists just like Magicians. Using music without paying dues to the recorded artist supporting your act is like stealing their tricks. You wouldnt like it, why should they!
bhappie
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B. Happie Entertainment, LLC
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A lot of what I will say here has been covered already but if you are like me, so skimmed thru the three pages of info looking for answers. I just spoke to BMI.

As a magician you can not get a licence to cover your own events (this has been mentioned). They don't have a licence for private events such as birthday party, church function, wedding... so one is not needed. (don't take my word for it- check for yourself).

Doing a public show? they have a licence for that but the venue has to get it. To protect myself, I am going to add a line in my contract telling customers I use licensed music and if they need a license to contact BMI.

I am performing at a magic convention in July and they said a meeting / trader show licence covers the convention and is $145 minimum based on about $0.06 per attendee and it would cover the entire convention.

Music on hold or on your answering machine- $227 per year and you can use all the songs they have licensed, nit just one. That is good for me since our company motto is Don't worry, B. Happie!

They have a website division to call about using music on your website.

The reason I wanted to post this is the prices I got. I always thought it would be outrageously high to do this and its not. If you want a contract with BMI, call them and they will send you the right form to fill out. Don't just fill it out and send it in, it may be the wrong thing.
idomagic
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Chad Wonder
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I grew up in the music business. My dad is a long time producer and artist. I worked my families record label doing IP law for 15+ years and can affirm a lot of what is posted here. But I though everyone would like this:

These organizations here in the US do LICENSING. They are the ones that will confirm that the venue must have a license. I recommend having a line in your contract about a release of liability for music if they do not have a license.

BMI: 212-586-2000
ASCAP: 800-992-7227
SESAC: 615-320-0055

Harry Fox is who you contact if you want to cover a song. You can't just record someone elses song without getting a release and license. Call them for details.

Harry Fox: 212-834-0100

Finally, if you have any legal question about music, CALL an Intellectual Property (IP) lawyer. DO NOT call just any lawyer, make sure they do IP Law!
Chad Wonder (Chad Wonder Magic, Inc)
Past President SAM 37/IBM 131 (Mile High Magicians)
https://www.idomagic.com
http://www.ChadWonderMagic.com
MagicJack99
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North Pole, Alaska
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I read the entire Thread and I think there is one issue that was not covered.
If you rent a theater for your own show, sell your own tickets and basically produce the show yourself as the Magician, then would you as the Magician also be the Venue that is required to get the license? I am basically paying myself to do the show.
I cant very well stand there in front of the "Authorities" and say "go talk to the venue owners", when they did nothing but rent me the space. On the other hand, is it a Private show? Only ticket holders are "invited"? even though they are part of the public? very confusing as I see it. One last point, If you only use a few music pieces, like for example you play two or three pieces from the same CD, it might be worth writing a letter to the artist to get written permission, might save you a lot of trouble if you only use those few pieces. When I was younger I used a certain Jazz CD, (I will not mention the name in case the authorities view these posts...lol) But I only use about 3 songs total, Never was asked about a licensed but it would have been good to have a letter. Today I just use music made for magic, I buy it and I get the rights to use it in my shows, makes life real easy.
DominotheGreat
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Wow some good info as this is always good to know with music and etc.
The Great Zoobini
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Very informative thread...but not on my dime

I don't know if anyone caught Conan O'Brien last week but he had a musical comedy bit about the band playing recognizable songs. The famous songs were changed, however slightly, yet still retained recognition. This bit was all done to poke fun of The Music Industry's lameness. Conan and the band could not be sued for infringment.

What does it all mean?

It means the power of music transcends even corporations in it's effort to be heard. The nature of music itself lends us a hand when it comes to creativity and recognition.

As muses, we can easily mimic a song and then change it into something new that previously didn't exist yet retain recognition. Creation in the fine arts comes naturally to the experienced musician.

But what if you're not a musician?

Making music today has never been easier with all the software available to the computer user. These days, you can cut a few loops and have a driving beat going in a few minutes. This newly created music is your property with no strings attached to use as you please.

Total clutz with computers?

You can pay a basement studio a modest amount to throw together some of "your" personal favorites and have the engineer change it up a bit with software all studios have into a new song. This newly created music is your property with no strings attached to use as you please.

Yes, the music industry is lame in the fact that it really inhibits creativity to independent film-making (Indy). Our movies could be so much better with famous music but there's little budget. But with the power of music, through it's very nature, the industry falls flat on it's face like Conan demonstrated.

Music transcends business very easily as it should. From our lofty vista, muses look down on the industry with scowl and disdain yet rejoice in music's spiritual freedoms.

I personally wouldn't even bother calling those suckers...but that's just me Smile
Meet you in Busker Alley Smile
windrunner
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It is my understanding that if audience does not pay for the performance copyrighted music is legal. In other words, the Magician gets paid by let's say a school but the students don't buy a ticket. It is when each member of the audience pays (or buys a ticket) you are required to use performance music. If someone could clarify it for me that would be great. I currently use performance rights music for safety. It is easy to find on the internet.
Bryan Blankenship
"the alter ego of"
VanDoren the Magician
Donal Chayce
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Quote:
On 2011-07-29 12:42, windrunner wrote:
It is my understanding that if audience does not pay for the performance copyrighted music is legal. In other words, the Magician gets paid by let's say a school but the students don't buy a ticket. It is when each member of the audience pays (or buys a ticket) you are required to use performance music. If someone could clarify it for me that would be great. I currently use performance rights music for safety. It is easy to find on the internet.


Your understanding is incorrect.
Powermagic
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Donal you can not just state that without clarification to why the post is incorrect.
Donal Chayce
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Quote:
On 2011-12-29 10:06, Powermagic wrote:
Donal you can not just state that without clarification to why the post is incorrect.


??? It's incorrect because it's incorrect. There is nothing in U.S. Copyright Law or in ASCAP's/BMI's agreements with its members that permits a performer to legally make public use of copyrighted music without first having secured the required licenses (yes, more than one license is required; a minimum of two and possibly three) or waivers just because the performer doesn't get compensated directly by the audience...or even if he/she doesn't get compensated at all.

As an aside, there are numerous threads here at the Café on the subject of the use of copyrighted music, and while many of them are woefully ignorant or incomplete, there are several threads--this one included--that provide accurate and, in some case, complete and detailed information. I see no need to research those threads on behalf of the OP.
Mike Maturen
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You are correct, Donal.
Mike Maturen
World of Wonder Entertainment
The Magic and Mayhem of Mike Maturen
989-335-1661
mikematuren@gmail.com

AUTHOR OF "A NEW DAWN--Weekly Wisdom From Everyday Life"

member: International Magician's Society
Illusionist
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Earth
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I just make my own. No worrys, no hassle and I can make it fit my routine. I like simple!
Anatole
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Between the music licensing headaches and the fairly new concept of purchasing "performance rights" for the tricks themselves, maybe it would be better for those of those of us who are part-time pros and amateurs to take up some other avocation. Origami anyone?

At least we can be grateful that Buatier de Kolta's estate does not require a fee for performing "The Multiplying Billiard Balls." At least, I _think_ that trick is now in the public domain--although some of the recently published routines and moves may not be.

And think of how much money Bob Carver and Hen Fetsch would have made if magicians had to pay performance rights for "The Professor's Nightmare." Not to mention Burling Hull and the Svengali deck/TV Magic Cards.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
Jason Johnson
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I'm a percussionist in a local community band in Houston and serve on their Board of Directors. As a band, we have to annualy renew our ASCAP and BMI licenses so we can perform the music we play. We recorded a CD last summer, and we had to purchase additional rights to record each song which was not cheap.

As a church drummer of 19 years, I have learned what people have already stated on this thread that music used in worship only doesn't require a performing license unless it is transmitted beyond the service area. I've wanted to video myself playing on Sunday mornings but the copyright issue is the reason why I haven't. If I do a magic show at a church, I would still have to aquire a performing license unless I did royalty free music.
magiccube
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For online magic videos I recommend royalty free music from:
- Bensound (www.bendsound.com)
- Miguel Angel Fabre Collection (especially the title: NEBULOSA and Sentimento)
- Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com)
- ChatBlanc Music Collection
- Royalty-Free music from Soundcloud (Some composer give it away for free)

For Live performances:
- Get a royalty-free music CD either in your local magic store or from Amazon.
- Links above.
"Whose brilliant contributions to the field of Mental Magic will remain as an everlasting memorial to his genius - T. Annemann"
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