Jump to content


Photo

Music rights?


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 James Steven Beverly

James Steven Beverly
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4199 posts
  • Director
  • El Paso, Texas

Posted 20 August 2007 - 05:27 AM

Does anyone have a ball park idea it would run for the rights to record a popular song if one were to cover it, using say studio musicians, for use in a film? I guess I'm asking what do the rights for the sheet music usually run if you plan to use the song for a movie?

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 20 August 2007 - 05:29 AM.

  • 0

#2 CJ Henke III

CJ Henke III
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 41 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 29 November 2007 - 12:41 PM

I know a limited amount about this, but since no one has replied I will give you as much as I know.


A popular song from an Independent (mainstream) Example Road-Runner Records. Label will vary from 5,000 to 9,000 per song.


A popular song from a Mainstream Label ex. Atlantic, Universal, etc. will most likely not release their songs for under 10,000 if they choose to release them at all. You must contact their legal office and ask about copy write release for a song. Then you have to give them a detail description of what you are using the song for, where you expect to show it/sell it. And all of your company's legal information.


If you are attempting to re-record the song, it all depends on the results of your recordings. If you just use the Instrumental, then you must pay for the composer/producers fees. Which I am unsure of. I would estimate 500 to 1,000 from an Indi, and 1,000 to 7,000 from a mainstream.


If you use the words from the song, add more money. You then have to pay for the songwriter?s fees. Which could be anywhere from 1,500 to 9,000 depending on the label.



If you want to know, contact the company that owns the rights to the song. They will inform you of how much it will cost, but from my experience, it has never been cheap.

The best way to do it is to record the song as if it is a new song, change the lyrics at least 70 percent of them, or the order in which they are sung, and modify the instrumental so that it does not resemble over 30% of the original.


Almost any mainstream label is going to give you a hard time about releasing the song, but if you are persistent and conduct yourself in a business manor, then you will be able to find someone to give you the answers. Also, look online, there is exact information about this on other websites.

Or I could be way off, but I am almost positive that these are ball-park prices.
  • 0

#3 Tim O'Connor

Tim O'Connor
  • Sustaining Members
  • 860 posts
  • Other
  • Boston, Massachusetts

Posted 14 December 2007 - 11:27 AM

Does anyone have a ball park idea it would run for the rights to record a popular song if one were to cover it, using say studio musicians, for use in a film? I guess I'm asking what do the rights for the sheet music usually run if you plan to use the song for a movie?



When I looked into this a while ago, there was a company, the Harry Fox Agency, in NYC that seemed to handle
a lot of the deals, at least with BMI amd ASCAP songs, if I remember correctly.

There also may be several licenses to obtain, e.g. "synchronization", "publishing", "performance" etc.,
depending on whether you use a cover version, an original album cut or somebody simply quoting the song.
  • 0

#4 Mike Wallach

Mike Wallach

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
  • Sound Department
  • New York City

Posted 16 March 2008 - 08:18 PM

You're better off getting an original score done, IMO. When something is made exclusively for your film/story, it flows much better than any pre-recorded song could. Everyone has a pre-conceived image of those songs, which then takes away from the one you try and create.
  • 0

#5 GeorgeSelinsky

GeorgeSelinsky
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 718 posts

Posted 22 April 2008 - 02:30 PM

I agree, everyone is so in love with pop cues but the truth is there are a million unsigned bands who have good music that is recorded professionally and will do just as well, if not better.

Just surf myspace music, find the cue you want, tell the band you're in love with their music, pitch your film to them, offer credit if they agree, get a CD of the music, and then get the right paperwork signed.

Much easier than hoping that some major label will agree to get you the rights, and then having to negotiate and pay separate licensing fees to a number of oustretched hands. We're talking months of waiting, playing phone tag, etc.

When you get as big as Martin Scorsese, then you'll have a wheeling and dealing lawyer taking care of the details for you to secure that million dollar Stones song, lol.
  • 0

#6 Bill DiPietra

Bill DiPietra
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2339 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York City

Posted 24 April 2008 - 01:52 PM

When you get as big as Martin Scorsese, then you'll have a wheeling and dealing lawyer taking care of the details for you to secure that million dollar Stones song, lol.


Even at that, Marty had a lot of connections in the music world especially after making "The Last Waltz." The first film of his that had a preponderence of popular music was "Mean Streets." Plus, Jonathanan Taplin, who had previously been a road manager for Bob Dylan and the Band, was a producer on that film. And once Robbie Robertson turns into your executive music producer for future films, you're pretty much set as far music rights go.

In any case, I agree with George. Once you hear a popular (or even not-so-popular) piece of music in a film score, the spectator immediately references the source that he or she heard it in once before. A sense of intertexuality occurs, but in this case it could be more of a distraction rather than homage.

Go for original music or sound effects if you want to truly make it your own.
  • 0

#7 GeorgeSelinsky

GeorgeSelinsky
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 718 posts

Posted 16 May 2008 - 09:07 AM

Once you hear a popular (or even not-so-popular) piece of music in a film score, the spectator immediately references the source that he or she heard it in once before. A sense of intertexuality occurs, but in this case it could be more of a distraction rather than homage.


I agree, everyone always shoots for the pop culture references. It's sort of like getting celebrity cheap, although the problem is that while it's hard to get a celebrity in your film it's all too easy to drop the song into the soundtrack. Problem starts when you want to show it somewhere :)

It's interesting I know a very talented videographer in Russia who puts together great videos that win awards there. She uses WHATEVER music she wants without worrying about getting sued for copyright, because intellectual rights are not really enforced there. Lucky her. Greek TV gets away with it too, I heard them rip Stones tracks, you name it. I'm sure the low budget programs there didn't pay for the rights. Problem in those countries you get screwed because you can't sell your videos easily due to all the piracy!

As far as trying to emulate another artist's cue, I think it's not the best approach. I think there's always more than one piece of music that will suit a scene. If you're just trying to make a copy of something, the copy is never going to be as good as the original in most cases. I can tell when a piece of music is too familiar but not there, like if you took a well known riff and changed it oh so much, it's just too obvious to my ears sometimes and my ears want to hear the real thing - not some ripped off piece of music.

I do have to say there is something amazing that happens when a talented composer works on your film. Now with software like Vienna orchestra and stuff like samplers, it's awestriking what you can do. And you'll have the knowledge that this piece of music was created with inspiration from your images. It's an awesome synergy.

That said, I'm very tempted to try to get the rights to use a piece from Soft Machine in my next movie, lol

Edited by GeorgeSelinsky, 16 May 2008 - 09:08 AM.

  • 0

#8 Paul Bruening

Paul Bruening

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2858 posts
  • Producer
  • Oxford, Mississippi

Posted 16 May 2008 - 02:37 PM

Here, at the local university, there are gobs of people who want to do my tracks on spec or free. It's funny, I can't get a guy to show up every day to tote my gear. But, I got people by the dozens for music. I could be in the wrong industry.
  • 0

#9 Hampus Bystrom

Hampus Bystrom
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 132 posts
  • Student
  • Stocktown

Posted 05 October 2008 - 04:35 PM

Rather than starting a new thread, I thought I might get some answers in this one.
Now, I'm in Sweden and I'm in the process of budget planning for my next film.
I'm rather certain that we'll get a budget around 30 000$ for this one.
It's a short film, and it's going to be shot on Plus-X 16mm stock.

Now, the song Drum thunder suite by Art Blakey would be sooooo perfect for the opening sequence.
I know exactly how many seconds I'm going to use (46). And so on and so forth..
The label that gave out Art Blakey's record Moanin' (which the song is on) are Blue notes records.
I'm in Sweden and it's literally impossible to get in touch with either Blue Notes Records or Art Blakey's music estate.
I'm happy to pay them almost whatever to use this freaking song.
Well, I really don't know what I'm getting at here.

Does anybody have a clue if it's even feasable for me to think about using a song from such a established (but dead) jazz artist?
Man o man I hate this beaurocratic side of making films. It's exhausting!
  • 0

#10 Christopher Kennedy Alpiar

Christopher Kennedy Alpiar
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Sound Department
  • Dayton, OH

Posted 08 October 2008 - 11:53 PM

I can tell you Art Blakey estate is run by his eldest daughter Evelyn Blakey. She lives in NYC. I dont have a current number for her but she has been living in the same apt in Alphabet City since before Art passed. If you find her give her my name, I played with her a few times and hung out at her place in 95-96

Rather than starting a new thread, I thought I might get some answers in this one.
Now, I'm in Sweden and I'm in the process of budget planning for my next film.
I'm rather certain that we'll get a budget around 30 000$ for this one.
It's a short film, and it's going to be shot on Plus-X 16mm stock.

Now, the song Drum thunder suite by Art Blakey would be sooooo perfect for the opening sequence.
I know exactly how many seconds I'm going to use (46). And so on and so forth..
The label that gave out Art Blakey's record Moanin' (which the song is on) are Blue notes records.
I'm in Sweden and it's literally impossible to get in touch with either Blue Notes Records or Art Blakey's music estate.
I'm happy to pay them almost whatever to use this freaking song.
Well, I really don't know what I'm getting at here.

Does anybody have a clue if it's even feasable for me to think about using a song from such a established (but dead) jazz artist?
Man o man I hate this beaurocratic side of making films. It's exhausting!


  • 0

#11 Hampus Bystrom

Hampus Bystrom
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 132 posts
  • Student
  • Stocktown

Posted 09 October 2008 - 03:28 PM

I can tell you Art Blakey estate is run by his eldest daughter Evelyn Blakey. She lives in NYC. I dont have a current number for her but she has been living in the same apt in Alphabet City since before Art passed. If you find her give her my name, I played with her a few times and hung out at her place in 95-96


Wow, that seems really cool. Yeah I know that she runs the estate, I've tried e-mailing her but she haven't answered yet.
What do you play? And what does SHE play? Never tought that one of the worlds greatest jazz-drummers daughter would have some chops, I mean, I don't know why she wouldn't... Well anyway, man I'd really like this song for the intro.
  • 0


CineLab

Abel Cine

Ritter Battery

Glidecam

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Metropolis Post

Rig Wheels Passport

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Willys Widgets

Tai Audio

Wooden Camera

Opal

CineTape

FJS International, LLC

The Slider

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

Technodolly

Metropolis Post

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

FJS International, LLC

Technodolly

Visual Products

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

CineLab

Opal

Willys Widgets

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

rebotnix Technologies

The Slider

Gamma Ray Digital Inc