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Thread: Usage of music/songs during Wedding Slideshows

  1. #1

    Default Usage of music/songs during Wedding Slideshows

    http://www.todayonline.com/Hotnews/E...un---to-charge

    Though this copyright thingy isnt new, but based on the article, the authorities could possibly be stepping up the control on the use of songs and music played during wedding slideshows.

    Being a freelance wedding pg myself, i'll like to get some advice on some alternative routes that you guys have taken, esp if you have already agreed on a slideshow/video package with your clients.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Geordie; 28th December 2009 at 04:24 PM.

  2. #2
    Member adorable's Avatar
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    Default Re: Usage of music/songs during Wedding Slideshows

    If I get my friend to play the music on the piano, is it infringement of copyright?
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Usage of music/songs during Wedding Slideshows

    Quote Originally Posted by adorable View Post
    If I get my friend to play the music on the piano, is it infringement of copyright?
    Yes it is, any unauthorised performance or reproduction of a work in public is a breach of copyright. If you wish to re-record a song that is still in copyright then you have to pay a fee... it's that simple.
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    Member auralasia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Usage of music/songs during Wedding Slideshows

    There have been a few of these copyright threads relating to music in slideshows and montages; I've gotten the general sense that many photographers are reluctant to compensate the composers and performers of copyrighted music for using their music in montages / slideshows, which seems at odds when the same photographers want their image copyright protected and compensated for when the photographs they take are being used (I think more than enough has been debated about commissioning parties / work-for-hire). Surely, if photographers want their image copyrights to be fairly compensated, then they should show the same respect and financial consideration to content creators who operate in a different medium.

    Hotels have licenses for public performance of music on their premises, and by public performance, that means a pianist playing covers right through to original recordings being played over a PA system. What that license does NOT cover is synchronization rights: when you put make a montage of images and synchronize music to those images, you need permission from the copyright owners that is not covered by the hotel's license. You could play a piece of music using a manual synchronization (you press play for the montage coming off your laptop and then press play on a separate CD player / CD playback app on your laptop) and that single instance of copyright music playback against your montage / slideshow would, I'm fairly sure, be covered under the hotel's license, but only there and then in the ballroom. The synchronization rights still apply when slideshows / montages are passed to the wedding couple &/or uploaded on a website, but by this point, you also have other issues such as mechanical copyright (making physical duplicates of music) in addition to the performance rights.

    The only solution is to pay for using the music, and COMPASS rightfully acts as the agent for these performance rights (they are affiliated with ASCAP & BMI (US), PRS (UK), CASH (HK), etc. and you will not find any copyright music wherein the composer and their publisher hasn't by automatic prior assignment assigned the performing right society to which they are a member, for that performing right society to act on their behalf globally through these affiliations).

    So who pays for this? Ultimately it will be the commissioning client (i.e. wedding couple); there really isn't a way around this if you are to do right by your fellow creative brothers in the music field, but you do have an option in terms of what you mark up on organizing the license(s) for the music you want to use. Sure, no-one wants to be forced to raise their price to when pricing can be a factor in deciding for couples to decide on who to shoot their wedding pictures, but when you look at things from the position of the copyright owners who are losing income when they are not compensated, there really isn't any other option if you want to use copyright music in montages / slideshows for weddings.
    Last edited by auralasia; 29th December 2009 at 02:32 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Usage of music/songs during Wedding Slideshows

    Royalty Free music anyone? but read their terms and conditions for Royalty free music, some only allow for website.

    Basically for us, we bought the license for music that we can use for our website, slideshows and any commercial work we do. Good one generally cost about USD$40-$100 per track and generally, you will need at least 10 to get started.

    If you want to use someone's else work... make sure you pay your due... there is no getting around the situation.

    If you do business legally, there are a lot of cost involve and once you factor in those cost, you will soon realise why professional charge a lot more than freelancer who don't factor in these cost.

    Good luck.

    Hart

  6. #6

    Default Re: Usage of music/songs during Wedding Slideshows

    Read the responses in detail at http://www.todayonline.com/TalkBack/...un---to-charge

    and you'll see that often times, it's not because the photographers do not want to pay to use copyrighted music. COMPASS needs to be clear about their policies and charges so that photographers know how much to pay for each song they use.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Usage of music/songs during Wedding Slideshows

    And I agree. This may also be another instance where photographers tend to undercharge. Photographers are reluctant to pay might be due to the fact that they are not really making money from it at all. A decent royalty free track costs about USD$60. It takes a substantive investment to build a library. But photographers are very frequently freely giving away slideshows, thinking that the time and software used to make the slideshow (amongst many other examples) are non-financial investment so it's fine to give it away for free, not realizing that they are giving away music that does not belong to them.

    Always charge for the products accordingly. Review the costs and charge accordingly.

    P.S. - I'm glad there is a central body to go to in terms of applying for rights to play certain songs. But right now, the exact procedure is unclear. The charges are unclear. The rights to use is unclear. Are they simply granting the rights to public broadcast of the song? Would the copyright owners benefit from my payment to COMPASS? Would the payment obliterate any legal action that the copyright owners might take against me? Am I only paying for the rights to broadcast? What about the rights to synchronize with my work? What about synchronizing the music and selling it? Is it a one time usage fee? Do they represent all record labels including independent artists? What about copyrights of works by indies? The staff does not have all the answers as far as I know. For now, my solution is still go royalty free.

    Quote Originally Posted by auralasia View Post
    I've gotten the general sense that many photographers are reluctant to compensate the composers and performers of copyrighted music for using their music in montages / slideshows, which seems at odds when the same photographers want their image copyright protected and compensated for when the photographs they take are being used (I think more than enough has been debated about commissioning parties / work-for-hire). Surely, if photographers want their image copyrights to be fairly compensated, then they should show the same respect and financial consideration to content creators who operate in a different medium.
    Last edited by shinken; 31st December 2009 at 09:29 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Usage of music/songs during Wedding Slideshows

    guess the price of our express highlights is going up by 300

  9. #9

    Default Re: Usage of music/songs during Wedding Slideshows

    How about when playing the video/ montage (without music at all/ mute the video/montage thingy) then we play a cd together when the video/ montage is being played ??~ hmmm.. just like the way shopping centres plays those music..
    If you loves the sound something like "zzk..zzk..ka-cha..ka-cha", you are a photographer. -ahlee! :)

  10. #10
    Member engr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Usage of music/songs during Wedding Slideshows

    Tried calling but the answers are vague. Another thing is the process takes months so the songs have to be decided early. We need a solution. Countries like Australia, Canada, UK, etc have special licenses for wedding use.
    Still + Motion Picture Fanatic ...

  11. #11

    Default Re: Usage of music/songs during Wedding Slideshows

    attend a wedding..

    the photographer had 2 dsics ..
    1 - soundless montage
    2 - just the sound / music
    and request for the AV guy at the hotel to play simultaneously ..

    so is this a loop hole? does this work?


    * anyway for those who are keen to know, some photographer had been fine (5 digits) for using music/song during wedding slideshow.

    definitely not for the faint hearted ..
    Last edited by soeypixels; 20th January 2010 at 01:28 AM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Usage of music/songs during Wedding Slideshows

    Quote Originally Posted by soeypixels View Post
    attend a wedding..

    the photographer had 2 dsics ..
    1 - soundless montage
    2 - just the sound / music
    and request for the AV guy at the hotel to play simultaneously ..

    so is this a loop hole? does this work?


    * anyway for those who are keen to know, some photographer had been fine (5 digits) for using music/song during wedding slideshow.

    definitely not for the faint hearted ..
    I did this at the last wedding I covered. Not sure if it's perfectly legal but definitely won't try it ever again

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Usage of music/songs during Wedding Slideshows

    Added to the topic, just chanced upon a new site (just less than an hour old) launched by the famous wedding cinematographers/photographers (StillMotion).
    Not free music but for a small fee with a good motion behind it.
    Made with Etiquette

    Have to say this: i ain promoting for them, just a big fan of their work...

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Usage of music/songs during Wedding Slideshows

    Quote Originally Posted by maverickliew View Post
    Added to the topic, just chanced upon a new site (just less than an hour old) launched by the famous wedding cinematographers/photographers (StillMotion).
    Not free music but for a small fee with a good motion behind it.
    Made with Etiquette

    Have to say this: i ain promoting for them, just a big fan of their work...
    Their musics might be good but US99 for a 5 years license is quite exp for the majority here to build a decent collection. I wish they have Mandarin songs though :P

  15. #15

    Default Re: Usage of music/songs during Wedding Slideshows

    latest news, some hotels already start to ask wedding couple to prove they have pay for the copyright before they can play any slideshows and montages during the wedding dinner.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Usage of music/songs during Wedding Slideshows

    1)
    The producer of a sound recording enjoys the exclusive rights to:
    make a copy of the sound recording;
    rent out the sound recording;
    publish the sound recording if it is unpublished; and
    make available to the public a sound recording by means or as part of a digital audio transmission.*
    * Where the sound recording is made available to the public through a non-interactive digital audio transmission, the producer of the recording need only be compensated by an equitable remuneration.

    a wedding is a private event. henceforth we do not need to pay for copyrights.


    but the argument here is wedding photographers are profiting from songs used in montage hence they need to pay. i guess photograher can always list their service as providing montage as FOC in their contract that way...even if you get sued for infringement they have nothing to claim
    Last edited by wildsoyabean; 22nd January 2010 at 10:05 AM.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Usage of music/songs during Wedding Slideshows

    i think you are misunderstanding the use of the word "Public". in this case would mean "the rest of the world" (as opposed to keeping it as a private collection for the composer's personal use). I don't think that arguing over the technicality of a single word would work when you are being sued (regardless of whether its by COMPASS or the respective record label). my apologies if i have offended.

    anyway, which are the hotels that have started enforcing this ? I would very much like to know.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Usage of music/songs during Wedding Slideshows

    Quote Originally Posted by catohcat View Post
    Their musics might be good but US99 for a 5 years license is quite exp for the majority here to build a decent collection. I wish they have Mandarin songs though :P
    Do agree the price is on the "high" side compared to other offers available on the net. Just another alternative for those who are looking for unique music.


    Quote Originally Posted by sammedia View Post
    latest news, some hotels already start to ask wedding couple to prove they have pay for the copyright before they can play any slideshows and montages during the wedding dinner.
    Sort of expected that to happen soon. One wedding i went did it in a different way. The couple engaged live band from compass.sg and get the band to sing a tune while the slideshow/montage was being played. Of cos, this is a more costly way but since they have been paid for to perform live music during the dinner, no worries when coming to copyright issue or hotel management asking for legal documents to save their own a55.


    Quote Originally Posted by wildsoyabean View Post
    1)
    The producer of a sound recording enjoys the exclusive rights to:
    make a copy of the sound recording;
    rent out the sound recording;
    publish the sound recording if it is unpublished; and
    make available to the public a sound recording by means or as part of a digital audio transmission.*
    * Where the sound recording is made available to the public through a non-interactive digital audio transmission, the producer of the recording need only be compensated by an equitable remuneration.

    a wedding is a private event. henceforth we do not need to pay for copyrights.
    Again, gray area i would say.
    Wedding is a private event held in a compound of others (hotel/restaurant).
    While any personnel from COMPASS is unable to come in anytime to check as they will be trespasser since they are not invited, one cannot stop the management of the compound where some are doing checks now on the materials that are going to be played within their compound (situation mentioned earlier by sammedia). So now, should the couple leave it? Or pay for it?

    Just curious: where do you get the statement from?

  19. #19

    Default Re: Usage of music/songs during Wedding Slideshows

    There's another option, and that's to use Copyright free or Copyright expired music. According to this article http://inventors.about.com/od/copyri...expiration.htm

    all music created before 1923 is considered public domain, so classical music like Mozart, Beethovan etc can all be used. Just tell your clients classical music will never go out of fashion haha..

    Think of it this way, having any type of music is better than a silent slideshow anytime.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Usage of music/songs during Wedding Slideshows

    unfortunately, there is a grey area to this as well... although i'm not too sure. the music/lyrics are in public domain, but i wonder if the performance is ?. e.g. if you used the recording a SSO playing beethoven, would that still be copyright liable to SSO ?

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