Music and copyrights

Discussion in 'Fan Audio' started by Connemara, Oct 11, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Connemara Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2000
    star 6
    This may have already been covered elsewhere, if so, my apologies. However, I am currently producing a LotR audio drama, and my sound mixer told me he talked to a friend who deals with copyrights and who basically told him we could not use the music from the movie, regardless of being non-profit, because the movie companies demand payment anyway.

    Now, I haven't listened to a lot of audio drama, but I was always under the impression that the Star Wars ones made use of the SW themes. I am working on the script for a Star Wars project in the future, and I would really like to be able to use some of the music. Not to mention not being able to use the LotR soundtrack entails getting someone to compose music for the thing, which is an idea I *hate* because *I* can't compose worth crap and I doubt we'll have much chance finding someone willing to do it who can.

    So all in all, if this guy's friend is right, it has me seriously *ticked off*. Does anyone here know anything more about the music thing?
  2. cinemafreak Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2002
    star 4
    Well, you could make the audio and wait for a possible Cease and Desist notice. Are they might not send one. but it looks like Jackson is a big fan of Lucas (see the SW DVD's) and might take his line of thinking in regards to fan projects. but I bet you don't want to go through all the trouble and possibly not be able to continue your project. So what you can do, is find other people and ask to use their music. The Brobdingnagian Bards (thebards.net) do LOTR inspired celtic music that would fit really well, I bet. I'm a fan of their music, and I bet they would get a kick out of someone using their music this way as long as they are properly credited. Check into them and their site, as they have links to similar music. Let me know what happens with this project. It sounds great.
  3. Cerrabore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
    Oh, just use the music. The chances of you getting caught and prosecuted are one in a million.
  4. Connemara Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2000
    star 6
    You say Jackson is a big fan of Lucas, this means Lucas is against his music being used in fan productions? Because I was under the impression that the SW music was used in fan films and audio.


    And I could just use it, but what are the worst case scenerio risks if they do decide to come down on me for some reason? I can't afford to get sued.
  5. cinemafreak Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2002
    star 4
    The exact opposite, actually. I think he wouldn't mind, assuming its up to him, of course. Just hit the Bards site mentioned in my previous post. At least you'll be able to listen to some nice music.
  6. Cerrabore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
    And I could just use it, but what are the worst case scenerio risks if they do decide to come down on me for some reason? I can't afford to get sued.

    ...It just isn't going to happen. Even if you are caught (very unlikely), they will almost certainly just ask you to take the audio dramas with the LotR music. For example, check out this site:

    http://soundtracks.mixnmojo.com

    The webmaster of this site was recently asked by LucasArts Entertainment to take down all his Star Wars and Indiana Jones music because it violated a copyright. He was not fined, however.
  7. robx2 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 2004
    Odds of you getting sued for using copyrighted music are pretty low, but yeah, non-profit use is really not much of a defense. Some general rules for fair-use are stay non-profit, use only as little as necessary, try to make some sort of original commentary or statement with your new work, and give credit if you do use something (even better provide a link to somewhere where people can buy the original.) Also try to get permission, a good faith showing can work to your advantage.

    In a lot of fair use cases, the judges are looking to see if the user is just trying to "avoid the drudgery of thinking up something new", so try to be original and insightful as possible. The funny thing is that you're much more protected under fair use if you're doing a parody rather than something reverential to the original.

    Anyway, you can probably tell I'm a grad student who's interested in this stuff. If you want, I can bore you all day long. At least, a lot of my research involves things like people dressing up Barbies in S&M outfits. (Mattel v. Pitt -- pretty funny stuff).
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.