Music and Copyright in AVs

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peter spring

Music and Copyright in AVs

Post by peter spring » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:26 am

I have copied the folowing from the latest (March 2010) epag news
Audio Visuals and Soundtrack Copyright
What you do at home is rarely a problem. If you copy music and movie clips to a
film and show it to friends you have broken the law but no one is likely to find out -
or to worry about it. However, to show it at a club or to another group or to use it in
a competition you will need several permissions.
Copyright is recognised by Acts of Parliament – the main legislation being the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act of 1988 and subsequent amendments. The Law
is designed to protect the ownership of the work of writers and composers and
others to whom the creators of the work have assigned their Rights, as well as the
manufacturers of sound recordings and broadcasting authorities. Note that even if a
composer has been dead for 200 years and his copyright has expired the copyright to
the recording is still owned by of the performers.
It is an offence
- to make a recording of Copyright music, even if that recording is not played back
- to record, or copy, any recording without the consent of the maker and or performer(s)
- to play or reproduce Copyright music in public* without the appropriate permissions
* Any group of persons outside the family circle, including friends, can be held to be “Public”.
The Institute of Amateur Cinematographers (IAC) has negotiated special
arrangements with the various licensing bodies to allow them to issue licenses from
these organisations.
Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (MCPS)
British Phonographic Industry (BPI)
Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL)
IAC Members and IAC Affiliated Clubs.
and by specially negotiated arrangements to
The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (MCPS and BPI only)
Members of the Royal Photographic Society (MCPS and BPI only)
Any of these licences in a club’s name applies only to productions made by the club
nominated. They do not cover productions made by individual members on their
own behalf. Similarly, licences in the name of an individual clear that person’s
work only.
If you are using recorded music and you are providing AV presentations to clubs,
giving shows or entering Regional, National or International AV Competitions, the
PAGB believe that the purchase of the three licences listed below is essential.

In addition if you are selling the resultant AV show, as opposed to charging
legitimate expenses or receiving a donation towards costs, you may have to seek
permission from the Musicians’ Union. This will protect you and the organisers of
the events. Many AV competitions request details of licences held by the entrant.
Licences can be obtained from The IAC at the Film & Video Institute at
Protects the Rights of the Composer and permits the licensee to record (dub)
musical works owned by members of MCPS which have previously been released as
a sound recording on condition that the recordings are privately used.
For exhibition to friends and relations in private
On amateur movie, photographic or video club premises where admission is free
or where a charge is made for club funds.
For public exhibition when such is promoted for the raising of club funds or for
bone fide charitable causes.
For not more than TWO public exhibitions held annually in addition to those in
listed above.
For exhibition at annual amateur movie, photographic or video festivals attended
by competitors and friends.
Exhibition to judges in amateur film, photographic or video competitions.
For inclusion, as clips and short videos, in YouTube - provided there is no
financial gain and no commercial advertising is attached. Such clips may be
"embedded" in IAC and club websites so long as they are hosted by YouTube.
In normal circumstances record companies do not permit their commercial products
to be re-recorded or dubbed. The BPI licence issued by IAC on their behalf permits
the copying of recordings made by leading manufacturers. The BPI licence permits
an unlimited number of copies of recordings to be made within the conditions of the
licence during one year from its date of issue.
It should be noted that Copyright in the recording is separate from any other
Copyright attached to the material recorded. Even if the material is free from any
other Copyright the RECORDING itself is Copyright to the performer or the record

The BPI licence covers the RECORDING PROCESS of all recordings made by
leading manufacturers and its conditions are as follows.
The original recording used by the licensee must be his/her personal property and
purchased through regular retail channels.
The names of all instrumental groups, bands, orchestras, choruses, solo artists and/or
performers shall NOT be identified in subtitles or credits etc.
All other Copyrights e.g. Composer, Performer, shall be cleared before the
recordings are copied or dubbed.
That no copies of the sound tracks on which the recordings reside be used for any
other purposes whatsoever.
A PPL licence is necessary for the REPRODUCTION IN PUBLIC of sound tracks
created from commercial recordings - this licence is only available to IAC Members
IAC Individual Membership costs £37.50 per annum
whilst Club membership costs £40.
The PPL licence allows use as the soundtrack of an AV recording and also covers
the live use of recordings played as background during the entrance and as an
accompaniment to film, video and audio-visual presentations that may not have a
pre-recorded soundtrack.
This licence does not cover requirements that may be imposed by local authorities.
IAC Licences cover material registered in Britain and you should check that music
recorded abroad has been UK registered
Both the MCPS and BPI Licence can be purchased by members and clubs
affiliated through Federations to the PAGB for £8.54 including VAT and clear all
dubbings and recordings made within the 12 months FOR ALL TIME.
The PPL License is only available to members of the IAC. All three licences,
MCPS, BPI and PPL can be purchased by IAC members for just £7.17 per annum
including VAT.
Finding the right music and/or effects for our audio-visual presentations is probably
one of the most difficult aspects of our hobby. The IAC Music Advisory Service is
available to members and many people find this service in itself to be worth the
membership fee. IAC has special arrangements with four production music houses
who supply radio, television and the film industry with music of all types and these
are available from IAC at £20 per CD.

MUSICIANS’ UNION (Performer's Rights)
Performers Rights are administered by the Musicians’ Union. Under the provisions
of the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988 the consent of the performers is
necessary in relation to the exploitation of their performances including recorded
This is in addition to all clearances and consents that have to be obtained with
regard to Composer and Recording Rights.
As from August 2005 it is no longer necessary for IAC members to apply to the
Musicians’ Union for performers consent for each incorporation of a sound
recording into a project, provided all that is intended with that project is private use
and/or exhibition to a non-paying audience.
However, any commercial exploitation will still require the prior consent of the
Union In such cases, or if you have any queries, contact the Media Department of
the Musicians’ Union on 020 7840 5556
The Performing Rights Society (PRS) issues licences covering commercial
premises in which Copyright music is played. These are quite separate from the
Copyright clearance licences issued through the IAC and will not normally be of
concern to club members compiling AV shows.
For AV workers who do not give shows with music to the general public or paid
lectures to photographic clubs, the two licences that can be bought under the
PAGB/RPS agreement will cover them. The MCPS licence states what is covered
under and also allows entry to a Federation or National competition. However
membership of the IAC has other benefits that you should consider.
One item that still get abused is that some AV workers still insist on putting
composers or bands, even CD titles, into the credits at the end of their sequences,
this is strictly against the rules of the licences. This happens in entries in National
Once you have cleared all the problems with the soundtracks, AV producers who
copy pictures out of books, off the internet, or some other means, are still breaking
copyright laws. Nobody seems to bother although I have seen some sequences that
do not have one original photograph in them. Still no clearance has been sought.
If you are infringing copyright and threatening the way that someone else makes a living you can
expect an adverse reaction. However, with a little commonsense, there is no reason why you
need be handicapped in your hobby for lack of suitable music. Be careful and ENJOY your AV!
Peter Spring

Pamela Moncur

Re: Music and Copyright in AVs

Post by Pamela Moncur » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:07 pm

Further to my recent note:

I agree with Peter's report.

I was only referring to the copyright of music used in AV's. I recently attended the Thames area AV meeting & some award winning AV's we saw were based on archive photos. I don't know whether anyone obtained permission to use those.

When I worked in television acquiring the rights to transmit images or music was a long and complex process. When Salavdor Dali was alive I dealt with his agents regarding permissions to use his images on the screen.

You might like to know that even emails are copyrighted automatically - they belong to the person who has sent them & so no-one should automatically forward they have received on an email to anyone!


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