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Killed_CZ
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Czech republic, Prague
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Well in Czech you pay to organization that covers Czech musicians, but you pay for all-around-the-world music Smile
btedeski
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Pittsburgh PA
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When you purchase "Royalty Free" music for your show, read the license before you buy.. I have a large collection of "Royalty Free" music that can be used for just about anything BUT not live shows. I can use it for Video production, web sites etc. But for my show I would have to pay extra. So unless you are buying music meant for Magic shows, Read the License. "Royalty Free" is not the same as "Public Domain"
Billy The Clown
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Bill Tedeski
Pittsburgh PA

Were magic is just too funny....
Ashkenazi the Pretty Good
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Northern California
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I appreciate all the effort you have collectively put into this, and mean no disrespect, but what I would want from this thread is a step by step process:

Some web site where we enter the songs, and it tells how much we owe to whom, if we use commercial music, and that takes into account how it's used, and for what audience.

I surmise that no such place exists.

Thanks,
km
------------

We could have been practicing!
Bill Nuvo
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It's not as easy as that. You have to contact your areas governing body (BMI, ASCAP) Websites are located in the first posting in this thread. They will tell you what/if you owe. You'll be dealing with real world people getting all the details of your case and may ask for more info.

Custom made royalty free music is the best way to go.
MagicofKevin_85
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Okay guys, still confused about the use of songs in our performances. I'm a police officer in Michigan, as well as an illusionist, and had 2 semesters of criminal law so you think I would understand this one. Is it safe to say that I cannot use any original music (ie. disney, recording artist's music) in my performances? I guess I see a lot of illusionists using this type of music. Are we all going to end up behind bars. HA HA. Please clarify. Thanks.
Bill Nuvo
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Again, contact your country's governing body to find out exactly what you need to do. Basically though, one should only use songs they are licensed to use, either through direct licensing or through working under the umbrella of somebody else's license. But again, contact ASCAP, BMI etc. to find out what you need to do if anything.
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Toronto, Canada
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Quote:
On 2007-12-07 00:50, mrbilldentertainer wrote:
... contact ASCAP, BMI etc. to find out what you need to do if anything.

I'm completely with Mr Bill on this. Don't rely on us for legal advice, EXCEPT when we say to check with the people that administer the regulations ... BMI, ASCAP, SOCAN, etc. Each country has its own regulating body(s).
Dan McLean Jr
www.MagicRoadie.com
"Taking the mystery out of stage technology!"
MagicofKevin_85
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Thanks for the advice, I'll check into it. Best
David Bilan
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Kevin,

THIS PERTAINS TO U.S. LICENSING (in other countries, your legal rights may vary).

As a police officer, I'm sure you know that not all speeders end up getting a ticket every time they speed, but those who speed all the time are more likely to get caught. It also depends when and where you speed. Will everyone using music without a license/permission be sued? Of course not. Is it illegal? See Section 17 of U.S. Code (Copyright infringement). Like speeding the probability for problems depends on where and when you use the music.

For stage use, you need "Dramatic" or "Grand" rights. as part of a DVD, you need "Synchronization" rights. If you tape a stage show to sell as a DVD, you need both. The copyright may be split several ways: Songwriter, performer, publisher, recording company, etc... If part of a movie sound track, there's a whole additional layer.

Part of my job is keeping the U.S. government out of hot water by preventing the Army from using copyright music without permission. No, the government is not immune from civil suits.

We can all debate the ethics of copyright, just as we can debate speeding. The issue is whether you can afford to get caught. In US law, everyone is liable: The venue and the performer.

Production music is the least expensive answer. Popular tunes can cost an arm and a leg to use, if youcan even get permission. John1964 says 10% of his income isn't a small amount. Perhaps not. But if the music is critical to making your act magical and unique, then 10% might be a small price to pay (especially considering the cost of going to court).

Like everyone else on this forum, I'll end with the recommendation to contact an entertainment attorney and/or a music licensing agency.

David
Yes, I am a magician. No I did not make my hare (hair) disappear... it just took early retirement.
CCPCris
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Alabama
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I am just going to sing live for my next show, this is to much to worry about. LOL.
making the unreal, real...really!
CCPCris
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Maybee I wont sing, to many people will leave in the middle of my act.
making the unreal, real...really!
BBunnell
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I was asked about this topic in responce to an article I did for "Genii" magazine. Through further research my understanding of this comes from the musicians handbook which states that if you are not performing the music, you are not infringing on the copywright. I'm sure I saved that somewhere. I'll try to find it for future reference.
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Bruce
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BBunnell
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Here is my follow up. If any of you feel I am misunderstanding this, let me know as I do not want to point any in the wrong direction.

In the 3rd edition of the "Music Buisness Handbook" it reads:
The law provides that any person who violates any of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner is an infringer.

The exclusive rights are listed as follows:
1- To reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords
2- To prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work
3- To distribute copies or phono records of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, leasel or lending
4- to performthe copyrighted work publicly
5- to display the copyrighted work publicy

This is old info. Perhaps someone out there can point me to an updated version so I can be brought up to date. Thanks
Bruce
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Bruce
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silverking
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In this case, the word "perform" includes playing the music back while using it for a commercial undertaking.

If you're a magician, and you're playing a tune to which somebody holds the copyright, and you haven't got clearance to use said tune, you're in violation.

You are applying a definition to the word "perform" that isn't broad enough to properly represent the actual requirements magicians (and other performers) have when using somebody else's music.

Playing back music while you're performing, before you start performing (walk in music), or after you've finished performing (walk out music) is all defined as a "performance" of the music in question.
BBunnell
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Would you be willing to provide me where you found the definition of "perform" so I can add it to my information?
Thanks
Your Friend in MAGIC
Bruce
numamagic@yahoo.com
www.numamagic.com
silverking
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Hello Bruce.

I mean absolutely no offense to you Bruce, but my source of the definition of the word "perform" is of no relevance to this conversation.
Interested parties should be contacting ASCAP, BMI, SOCAN or the performing rights society in their jurisdiction directly .

I'm not a lawyer, and therefore it wouldn't be appropriate for me to be seeming to provide source material from which anybody might make a decision or form an opinion.

If you choose to simply use published music for playback with no effort to compensate or license that music from the publisher, then you are exposing yourself to potential litigation.

Also be aware that the large performing rights organizations have used the courts to sue for unpaid fees for the entire time unlicensed users have been using the music in question for commercial purposes. In other words, if you've used a particular song for the last five years, and you perform professionally 5 nights a week using the published music each time you perform, they'll invoice you for the total number of times you've used the published music in question.

This can amount to many thousands of dollars.

Fellow magi, Call the performing rights societies directly, and don't depend on web forums, magazines, or word or mouth for legal facts. These performing rights societies maintain specific staff whose job is to provide answers to folks with questions just like the ones being asked throughout this thread.
silverking
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I would also suggest that specific publishers are a solid resource when it comes to enquiring about commercial use of music from their catalogs.
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Quote:
On 2008-08-18 19:14, silverking wrote:
Call the performing rights societies directly, and don't depend on web forums, magazines, or word or mouth for legal facts. These performing rights societies maintain specific staff whose job is to provide answers to folks with questions just like the ones being asked throughout this thread.

Yeah! What he said! I'm with silverking 100% on this. SOCAN, ASCAP, BMI, CMRRA, Harry Fox, etc, have all the info you need.
Dan McLean Jr
www.MagicRoadie.com
"Taking the mystery out of stage technology!"
BBunnell
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Utah
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Thanks to everyone for your responces!!

I mean no disrespect or want to offend either. This is what I have found out:

Past expierience has taught me that my "sources" have at times been incorrect. Take me for example: My conclusion from reading the handbook was incorrect. Therefore I was not a dependable "source" of information.

I do feel that the source of information is relevant. It would be foolish of me to state something that someone else told me. Just by taking their word for it. How do they know? I ask for the source, as often times the source may be inconclusive. Many months ago to answer this question for myself, I contacted many of the organizations listed above and there responce was that I needed to ask "so and so" and their responce was to ask "so and so". That went on and on.

I certainly did not intend to and do not want to mislead anyone. SORRY EVERYONE!
So I contacted the copyright office directly shortly after my earlier post, and below is my question and the responce from them:

My question to the copyright office:

>>> <brucebunnell@yahoo.com> 08/22/08 5:01 PM >>>

In the copyright for music it uses the word "Perfrom". Would you please give me the copyright definition of the word "perform"? Is playing the music "in the background" of a presentation or specifically a magic show, "performing" the music and violating any copyright laws?

Bruce


-----Inline Attachment Follows-----

No, music playing in the background is not performing. If you are playing a guitar while doing a presentation you would be perfoming. However regardless of whether you are "performing" or just playing music in the background, if it is copyrighted music belonging to someone else you cannot use it without permission or you would be in violation of copyright.

sw

Copyright Office
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave SE
Washington DC 20559
(202) 707-3000
http://www.copyright.gov

*************************

Now I have my answer from the horses mouth so to speak. Nobody needs to take my word for it when I answer the question when it most certainly will come up again.

Thank you all again for motivating me re-evaluate my position and to take that one extra step to get the correct information.

Best wishes to all!!

Bruce
Your Friend in MAGIC
Bruce
numamagic@yahoo.com
www.numamagic.com
Loyal R
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How can I buy ASCAP Copyright?
Dare to Dream...
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