gwailo wrote on 1/29/2012, 1:09 PM
It's not copyright infringement as long as Newt pays the appropriate performance royalties for the event and provided the music is not synchronized to video.

By registering the song with performing rights societies such as ASCAP or SOCAN, I'm pretty sure you give up the right to determine who can play your music.

I wonder if any of these cases have actually been taken to court.
TheHappyFriar wrote on 1/29/2012, 1:28 PM
ASCAP & what not don't actually cover sync-to-video. That's what they told me when I wanted to use a song under them with a high school graduation (they did supply me with the names of all the rights holders though, and contact info).

Here's an interesting copyright conundrum: if I'm recording something with my camera and a song I don't have the rights to plays in the background, I'm the one gone after for violating copyright. However, *I* am not the one doing the syncing, the camera is. In THEORY, couldn't Sony (who makes my camera) be sued for providing a device to bypass copyright AND violating syncing rights? I have NO control over what audio makes it in to the camera (video I have more control).

It would be the equivalent of the FBI going after someone who makes a mod chip for the PS3 that lets you play copied games: the person who copied and played the illegal games isn't gone after as agressively, the one who supplied the device that allowed the copying and playing of the illegal games is.
Jim H wrote on 1/29/2012, 3:37 PM
This is why the poor republican party get stuck with all those country songs - not that there's anything wrong with that....
filmy wrote on 1/31/2012, 3:49 PM
@ gwailo - it is not so much the "copyright infringment" as it is the implied endorsement. There was a lot of discussion several years ago because of the same type of thing: Heart's Nancy Wilson responds to McCain campaign's use of 'Barracuda' at Republican convention: Sarah Palin’s views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song ‘Barracuda’ no longer be used to promote her image. The song ‘Barracuda’ was written in the late 70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women. (The ‘barracuda’ represented the business.) While Heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the RNC, there’s irony in Republican strategists’ choice to make use of it there.

See also Heart Object To McCain Campaign's Use Of 'Barracuda' During Republican National Convention which also says First, on August 29, just minutes before revealing Palin as his running mate, McCain strutted out onto a stage in Dayton, Ohio, as Van Halen's inspirational 1991 track "Right Now" boomed through the speakers. Hours later, the band's publicist told MTV News that Van Halen had no idea McCain would be using the track, and "had they asked, permission would not have been granted."

@TheHappyFriar : A similur question is posed on a very regular basis when asscrap goes after mom and pops for not paying them fees. "We do we have to pay when we aren't the ones playing the music?" In other words - start making those DJ's who do weddings such pay royalties, start making all those tribute bands pay royalties, start making all cover bands pay royalties. Before the slams start think about this - there was a band who did only cover bands and was a huge regional act. Once a year they would rent out a club and play there for several nights and rake in around 10k. How much money in royalties did they have to pay to any of the PRO directly? Zero. How much did the club have to pay in order to not be sued by asscrap? A lot.
Chienworks wrote on 1/31/2012, 4:21 PM
"I have NO control over what audio makes it in to the camera"

Facetious and untrue. You can turn the camera off.
VidMus wrote on 1/31/2012, 4:34 PM
"I have NO control over what audio makes it in to the camera"


"Facetious and untrue. You can turn the camera off. "

He can mute/delete/replace the audio portion of the event on the timeline.
Kit wrote on 1/31/2012, 4:59 PM
Yes you can turn the camera off if you notice the background sound at the time. Suppose you are making a documentary in a public place and some music is playing in the background should you need to pay to use that clip of video? Seems excessive to me.
TheHappyFriar wrote on 1/31/2012, 8:41 PM
Turning the camera off is like saying that they shouldn't of played the music to begin with.

Either way, that's besides the point: you can't control where sound goes or who/what hears it. If the "camera could of been off" is always the argument then it could also be "the radio should of been off" or "the cd-player should of been off" or "the person shouldn't of been singing".

Legally, if I'm recoding in my yard and someone drives by with the radio blaring, you're saying it's my legal responsibility to turn the camera off. The person playing the radio, the camera manufacture, the company that made the car, the radio station and the company that record the song have no legal responsibility to control their activities even though the laws that would be charged against me (illegally syncing and copying music) I didn't technically do.
Chienworks wrote on 1/31/2012, 9:52 PM
You can control what you do. No one else is responsible for that.

Just because what "someone else did" was illegal doesn't absolve you.
Jay Gladwell wrote on 2/1/2012, 7:28 AM

Kelly, the good Friar brings up a valid point, the one about the car driving by with the radio playing (and that isn't illegal).

Say you're shooting a documentary; it's a one-shot situation (no retakes); you get the perfect comment from the subject as a car drives past playing Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen. Wha'da ya gonna do?

How can that be considered "syncing"? That was part of the audible environment at the time you were shooting. Such would make an interesting court case, but who could afford to pursue it?

ChipGallo wrote on 2/1/2012, 8:15 AM
Background music in a doc or news piece may be covered by Fair Use, at least in the U.S. See:

I am not an attorney and this is not advice.
Chienworks wrote on 2/1/2012, 10:50 AM
What would you do if a light fell down? What would you do if a bee landed on the camera lens? What would you do if someone tripped over the mic cable? What would you do if your camera battery died? What would you do if the talent fainted?

Do any of those situations make your once-only shot useless?

The situation doesn't make something illegal legal. I don't do situational ethics. You can't offload your responsibility.

That being said, ChipGallo's point may be valid in that the situation isn't illegal.
Jay Gladwell wrote on 2/1/2012, 11:08 AM

Kelly, you totally missed the mark here, so never mind.

TheHappyFriar wrote on 2/1/2012, 1:39 PM
I'm not arguing situational ethics or if what the person behind the camera did is legal or not, I'm asking why isn't everyone else involved taking the heat as well. The camera company made the devices that synced the audio to the video, a devices that for all intents and purposes can be used to break the law (simular to a dvd/bd ripping program). The company that made the car sold the machine with the devices that they knew could be used for illegal purposes. The radio station broadcasts something that's copy protected that anyone can hear and they know it could be illegal copied by a listener.

I'm arguing anti-situational ethics. I'm arguing that everyone in the media theft chain should be gone after, not just the end user. Camera companies shouldn't be given an exception because I used their products for illegal activities (tobacco companies still make payouts to people who knew tobacco would cause cancer). Radio stations shouldn't be given exceptions, etc.
Former user wrote on 2/1/2012, 2:15 PM

It is the same reasoning behind the ruling that you can make a backup copy of DVDs, CDs etc for your own personal use. But it is illegal to make software that circumvents the copy protection on this media.

That makes no sense either.

Dave T2
Chienworks wrote on 2/1/2012, 9:24 PM
I guess i'll just drop back then to this ... you control and are responsible for what you do.