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   use of soundtrack in a non-profit school
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   Author  Topic: use of soundtrack in a non-profit school  (Read 772 times)


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use of soundtrack in a non-profit school
« on: Sep 26th, 2006, 8:13am »
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I am trying to find out if we can use the music in a school video from Dances With Wolves.  It is a not-for-profit school and the video will not be sold. It would be just the "rug" under the video and discussion about our school.  Do we need a release or  Huh
Thank you so much.
IP Logged
Senior Member


Posts: 2251
Re: use of soundtrack in a non-profit school
« Reply #1 on: Sep 26th, 2006, 9:44am »
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Strictly speaking, you would need a license to use the music in the manner described.  Whether or not you need to do so in a practical sense is another issue all together.
If the school has any budget for this project, it might consider the services of a properly qualifed IP attorney in that budget.  Such services need not "break the bank", so to speak.
- Jeff
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Intellectual Property and Technology Law
Brooklyn, USA
Re: use of soundtrack in a non-profit school
« Reply #2 on: Oct 3rd, 2006, 2:38pm »
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All you need to do to keep it legal is contact the publisher of the music (you can find out who this is through contacting their performing rights orgs (either ASCAP .com or BMI .com) state your situation and ask if you can get a license to use it. Most will charge a "sync licensing fee" but since you are non-profit you may be able to work out a deal from minimum cost (e.g. a couple hundred bucks for the film). I've even heard of some getting the rights for free. It doesnt hurt to ask.  
If they say no and you arnt able to get the licensing for that particular score, dont fret. There are TONS of student music composers, many of whom will work for credit only, who can write you a score for your film. Do a google search or contact some of the big name schools like Berkley, USC, CSUN, etc. I'm sure you can find a composer who can write a custom score for your movies. In fact, using a music composer ALWAYS makes the film better, as the music is being written specifically for YOUR film, not "dances with wolves." Smiley
In any case, its better to do things legally, even if you are a "non-profit student," as the point of spending so much time and energy creating films is to actually SHOW people, especially those in the industry who can possibly offer you a job. If you use the music from another film (especially music as popular an recognizable as Dances with wolves) you dont want to be put in that awkward situation where you're afraid to show your film to anyone. Then what was the point of doing the film?  
Best of luck.
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