Music Copyright Question...

I have created a piece of online learning purely for non-commercial purposes, to teach techniques, and included a well-known music track that I was able to pull from the Web without really trying.

Am I able to use that on YouTube - just as a non-commercial work example?

What are the "rules"?

I would always purchase images for commercial pieces, but what about demos etc. Unfortunately the example is built around the tune and there are really no other examples I can use!

Thanks

Bruce

5 Replies
Alexandros Anoyatis

My guess is you should still get permission for it. Generally speaking, if a piece exists, then it is most likely - "most likely" being 99.9% of the time - copyrighted.

However, depending on the purpose of your non-commercial material, it may qualify as fair use/fair dealing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_dealing#United_Kingdom).

My 2c,
Alex

Phil Mayor

YOutube will likely let you know.  My son created a ppt presentation about Moshi Monster (Don't ask) and a dded an audio track from taylor Swift (again don't ask), he then saved it as a video and uploaded to YouTube, during the upload Youtube informed him he had copyrighted music in his video told him what the track and artist were and said he could use it it but the video would be removed if a copyright request was made.

Bruce Graham

Phil Mayor said:

YOutube will likely let you know.  My son created a ppt presentation about Moshi Monster (Don't ask) and a dded an audio track from taylor Swift (again don't ask), he then saved it as a video and uploaded to YouTube, during the upload Youtube informed him he had copyrighted music in his video told him what the track and artist were and said he could use it it but the video would be removed if a copyright request was made.


Yeah - they let me know in the same way...

Still there at the moment, but not sure I want the Sinatra family lawyer after me

T. Travis

Hi Bruce,

The answer to you question is spelled out rather clearly by the US copyright office:

http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html 

However, (There's always a "however" in these kinds of answers.) you'll note that their description of what is allowed under "fair use" provisions is actually rather vague - especially in your particular situation.  That's the way a great deal of civil law works.  

Those of us who work as performers face this situation all the time with our "demo" material.  For instance, my commercial demo - at http://www.Ad-VO.com , has a number of "snippetts" from actual commercials I worked on.  I got permission to use every one of those segments. 

In my case, however, I must be comfortable with the idea that there's a small chance that I might be sued for using those spots on the internet.  I'm reasonably sure that if I were to be sued, I would win in court for a number of reasons to complicated to go into here. -And, I don't host them through YouTube. -YouTube's automated system has no idea that I have permission, and I don't want my stuff to be pulled when I'm not looking. Hundreds of thousands of other actors have their scenes from TV shows and movies online and, so far, haven't had many problems.

So in your case, you're probably OK - BUT there's a very small chance you could face legal action.  If you have a good attorney, it's my opinion (I'm not a lawyer or any kind of legal expert - always consult an attorney for legal opinions.) that you'd win in court.  

Good luck,

Travis