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Thread: Using music on websites and client DVD's

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    Member tammyb's Avatar
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    Using music on websites and client DVD's

    Hi everyone, not sure if this has come up before as I'm not allowed to search the forums yet but I was hoping to start a discussion about the use of music in studios, on photographers websites and client DVD's.
    Whether it be on the web or on a DVD I think adding the right music adds so much to the photo viewing experience but for me the licensing costs are just too great at the moment (don't get me wrong I think artists of all types should be recognised for their efforts, after all you wouldn't want someone using your images on their website without your permission!). Instead I use the music generator on my pinnacle video editing software which creates a loop of music to go with whichever theme I pick (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx1AIvjTAQQ). iVideo has a similar thing but I haven't worked out a way to loop it yet so that there are no gaps (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqWOjLhEyNA). But none of this music has the emotive effects that a beautiful, well fitting song has. So I am interested to know how others are going about this?? It seems most photographers these days are using music on their websites but I see very few that state they have permission??

    For the studio, I am assuming this license is all one would need and it's very reasonably priced I think: http://www.apra-amcos.com.au/downloa...ailLicence.pdf

    So does anyone have any creative ideas for making the client experience more enriched whilst staying within the law and giving appropriate recognition???? Classical music??? Music created over 70 years ago??? Royalty free? If so, which ones? Any suggestions?

    I would be interested to get your thoughts!

    P.S. here is some info I found about what is required:

    http://www.mipi.com.au/IgnitionSuite...0Right%20Thing[1].pdf

    http://www.apra-amcos.com.au/MusicCo...yourneeds.aspx

    http://www.musicloops.com/

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    There is a 'wedding photographer' in Melbourne who uses an original Black Eyed Peas song for his website in the wedding section. Im pretty sure he doesnt know about licencing/royalty/copyright fees etc when you use something for a commercial purpose. But hey, prove me wrong!

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    Member Adrian Fischer's Avatar
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    I think, having read the website and pdf's I can see that there would be a lot of people who arent complying. Every tradesmen that uses a radio for him and his workers needs one. The office christmas party should have a license. Every restuarant etc etc. Hands up...who here has license for the music they play (if they do) when they have a session with a client to set the mood?
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    An APRA licence is imperative. I have worked in several places and always brought them up to speed on the requirements to hold an APRA licence to broadcast music/tv/dvd's etc.

    Doing so without having a licence is opening you up to being sued for quite large amounts. Amounts that would severly affect most people's business/personal life. Just like pirated software, do it at your own risk
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Also note that discussions encouraging, advising, helping other members regarding illegal activity is not allowed on AP, so keep this thread above board. You risk being banned from the site if you suggest/advise on illegal activity.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    There is a 'wedding photographer' in Melbourne who uses an original Black Eyed Peas song for his website in the wedding section. Im pretty sure he doesnt know about licencing/royalty/copyright fees etc when you use something for a commercial purpose. But hey, prove me wrong!
    The problem with posts like this is that you are not 100% sure that he doesnt have the necessary licences. I walk into shops etc all the time and never ask if they have an APRA licence, so how are we to know unless we ask the person directly. Whilst I respect that you didn't name anyone, but the scenario you present whilst probably common in occurance, really doesn't show us anything other than 'hearsay' at this point.

    We need to be careful that we discuss factual information in relation to using licenced music, and what the licences allow, rather than just random comments that could or could not be true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Also note that discussions encouraging, advising, helping other members regarding illegal activity is not allowed on AP, so keep this thread above board. You risk being banned from the site if you suggest/advise on illegal activity.
    I in no way intended that when I started the thread - or to 'out' people doing the wrong thing. I'm hoping that by bringing it up it might make people aware that they need licenses (and the background music one is not actually that expensive!) and to share legitimate ways of using music in your business. The website that I listed at the bottom of the original post has HEAPS of royalty free music that you can use in your workplace, on client DVDs and on websites - you pay a one off fee for the song and then you can use it as you wish (there are some things you can't do with it like redistribute it but it's all there on their site).

    Cheers

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    I have never really thought about this one because maybe I am in the minority of web surfers who when confronted with a website that starts bombarding me with unrequested music hits the big X.

    I like music but when perusing photographs, someone else's choice of music does nothing for my viewing pleasure.
    Andrew
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    If you are playing music other than in a private situation - your home, car, hotel room, boat, iPod etc you need a licence. The fines are incredible - you don't want one!

    Have a quiet read here: http://www.apra-amcos.com.au/MusicConsumers/FAQs.aspx

    Cheeeeeers.
    Nick

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    Back to the original question and I guess this affects me as a filmmaker more than a photographer - I understand where you're coming from.
    The television industry is a prolific user of licensed music. Everything that goes to air is logged and reported daily to APRA and other authorities. The other authorities include "labelled" music primarily the most current and popular tracks and especially vocals. My website has a document on "Copyright" which could be helpful to you.
    I often use up to 40 minutes of music/sound effects in a one hour documentary (yes! sound effects are licensed too) and a primary source of music is often "royalty free" (Some people call this copyright free but there is no such thing). Royalty free music can be bought just about anywhere and there is some really good stuff in Oz now. Since the advent of digital music I often troll places like MP3.com and a good number of docos have included tracks found there. I always liaise with the artist and come to a suitable arrangement with them for a specific license. More often than not this will be a simple credit on the documentary. Just as an example I made a doco on Zoe Reed (From the Inside Out) which included a three minute vocal from a budding artist. That doco won the Chicago Documentary Film Festival in 2004 and because that particular vocal was so good the artist ended up getting a recording contract and is now well recognised in the US.
    Royalty free music in Oz is available from Wavetracks (with whom I have no relationship or commercial arrangement) - just do a Google - but there plenty of others worldwide. You should be looking to pay around $120 for a seven DVD set but others could be dearer. Most of them can be sampled online before buying.

    PS: Three years ago I did a commercial and used 12 seconds of Britany Spears for national use and it cost us $72k for a four week run.
    Last edited by Redgum; 19-01-2011 at 8:48pm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    The problem with posts like this is that you are not 100% sure that he doesnt have the necessary licences. I walk into shops etc all the time and never ask if they have an APRA licence, so how are we to know unless we ask the person directly. Whilst I respect that you didn't name anyone, but the scenario you present whilst probably common in occurance, really doesn't show us anything other than 'hearsay' at this point.

    We need to be careful that we discuss factual information in relation to using licenced music, and what the licences allow, rather than just random comments that could or could not be true.
    Hence I wrote prove me wrong! Judging by his limited portfolio I'd say he hasnt been around long enough to know about APRA and whatnot, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, for now.

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    Can a taxi driver listen to cd's?

    Anyway... Im on the side of the fence that gets annoyed with music on websites. As for slideshows and DVDs, I use animoto. It has some good and some not so good features but it works great for what I do. (kids/family portraits)

    Hope this helps

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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    I have never really thought about this one because maybe I am in the minority of web surfers who when confronted with a website that starts bombarding me with unrequested music hits the big X.

    I like music but when perusing photographs, someone else's choice of music does nothing for my viewing pleasure.
    hehehe, I know what you mean Andrew! I have a tendency to open way too many tabs at once and sometimes I'll have 3 or 4 random songs blaring out at me and it can be quite hard to work out where they are coming from sometimes! It more often than not annoys me when a homepage has music that starts by itself BUT if I have chosen to watch a slideshow/photo DVD I like to have some well fitting music with it... does that make sense? Well chosen songs can really create some strong emotions (I have made several funeral remembrance DVD's and music selection is SOOO important) and can therefore help to sell your images and your business.

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    Thanks so much Redgum - great suggestions! I haven't had a very extensive search yet but most of the stuff I have seen so far was $25 - $35 per song so $120 for a seven set DVD sounds like a bargain!!
    72k for Britany Spears.... I have no words for this

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    One other comment about royalty free music. Most sites now have a "listen first and buy" policy. You only need to buy individual tracks rather than complete DVD's and you can download on the spot either a WAV or MP3 file.

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    BBC's Radiophonic Workshop use to produce royalty free sound effects and incidental music albums, primarly intended to be used in compiling soundtracks on cine film. A lot of the music was pioneer electronic stuff.

    I don't know if you can still get this sort of thing but the album covers do say they are royalty free but there may have been restrictions, e.g. only for non-commercial work.
    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    Hence I wrote prove me wrong! Judging by his limited portfolio I'd say he hasnt been around long enough to know about APRA and whatnot, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, for now.
    Frankly I think you're wrong. Prove to me that you're using legal copies of all your software? Well are you? And I'm sure you're now asking "Why should you" ? Of course you dont need to.

    I think this type of accusations of "I can say any derogatory remark as long as I complete it with "prove me wrong"" is utterly unhelpful.

    This topic should be about needing a licence to use music. Not an opportunity for making derogatory assumptions about another photographer. I certainly believe in this country's principles that you're innocent until proven guilty - clearly you think the opposite that this unnamed individual (and by not naming, that, in my view, is indirectly a slur on all male Melbourne wedding photographers) should be required to "prove you wrong".

    You would appear to me to be selecting an individual and getting extremely personal with your accusations, and regardless of their ability, frankly lets down this forum's ideals, and is extremely unfair.

    You would appear to me to have no knowledge of this individuals business records, other than a subjective view of their standards.

    Your response gives no insight into the quite complicated issue of APRA licensing for use in photography.

    Some helpful information:
    As far as I know this link is the closest thing that covers photographers in particular - and the cost is Standard $496.75 or Standard Plus $708.92
    (the last time I was involved in discussion on this, there was an actual gap by APRA-AMCOS in how their licensing options didnt specifically cover stills photography - and it seems dissappointing that after a great deal of lobbying, that organisation have not adapted with the times and provided a specific answer)

    http://www.apra-amcos.com.au/musicco...ographers.aspx

    this link suggests the various licence options - in regards to different uses/businesses

    http://www.apra-amcos.com.au/MusicCo...yourneeds.aspx

    http://www.aria.com.au/pages/licensing-faq.htm

    Contact information for music licensing should be directed to

    APRA-AMCOS

    APRA|AMCOS Head Office

    16 Mountain Street
    Ultimo NSW 2007

    Locked Bag 5000
    Strawberry Hills NSW 2012

    General Inquiries

    +61 2 9935 7900

    apra@apra.com.au

    Music Consumers

    Licensing Services
    1300 852 388
    licence@apra.com.au

    As far as I'm aware, just like all my other business related documentation/licensing requirements/and software licences - none of them have to be publicly displayed.

    And personally, I'm with Andrew, and music on a website is always a turn off for me. I actually think that in the situations of wedding photography, and research shows that the key search times are both during office hours, and more specifically late at night, music suddenly and unexpectedly coming from your computer is a proven switch off. But everyone to their own taste.

    As an update:

    I recalled that this area is like so many - very grey - and very complex. For instance there is some restrictions on how you use even licensed music - called synchronisation rights, with limitations place on how digital files are synchronised or not, with the music; there are limitations on whether the photographers name can appear with the music - or not, and of course as APRA-AMCOS only licence some music within or for Australia use, there is then some limitations on use for the web, which can mean further limits. Unfortunately, APRA-AMCOS have seemingly still not put answers to the questions that were being raised just 8 - 10 years ago; and have simply not moved with the times to enable people to do the right thing.

    However royalty free music has already been mentioned, and the best site around - specifically designed and produced for Photography is:
    http://triplescoopmusic.com/

    and another highly recommended one (which can produce lyrics to suit as well):
    http://musicbakery.com/

    HTH
    Last edited by Longshots; 20-01-2011 at 9:34am. Reason: additional information
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    Thanks for bringing this up. I have developed a video for my car club and wanted "stop the rock" as the soundtrack, however after much searching I have gone down the route of getting a friend to compose the work for us. Cheaper and I can tailor to the video....

    Music on websites....no...
    Call me Roo......
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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    I am another one who hits the X when music or sound effects come up on websites.
    Keith.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tammyb View Post
    Classical music???
    You'd still need to license the performance, eg the orchestra, so you still have to pay.

    From: http://www.ppca.com.au/About--US.html

    It’s important to remember that if you need a licence of the type offered by us, you’ll probably need a licence from APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association Ltd) as well. That’s because there are at least two copyrights in most recordings and music videos:

    1.the copyright in the song (lyrics, composition etc.) – licences available from APRA;
    2.the copyright in the recording and/or music video of the song (a particular recorded performance) – 'blanket' licences available from us, or individual licences available from the copyright holders.

    Royalty free music or making friends with musos is your best bet.

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