Fearless Film Panel Music Handouts

by Tamera H. Bennett Planning on a great time today at the Music Panel in conjunction with the Fort Worth Fearless Film Festival.  I may add more links to the post after the presentation depending on any additional topics that are discussed.

Music Clearance:

  • This worksheet/form will help the film/tv producer work through how the song and sound recordings are going to be used in the production and the basic information that should be included in the license request.
  • Don't forget, if you use an existing recording you have to have permission from the owner of the sound recording.  Start with the CD in your hand and trace ownership from there.  You may also use a resource such as AllMusic, with the understanding that is not always correct.

Fair Use: Remember, Fair Use is a defense, not a right under the law.  This blog post regarding the use of "If I Wish Upon A Star" in the Family Guy tv show provides information on parody and Fair Use.

Public Domain: In the United States the copyright term is generally life of the author plus 70 years for works created, registered or published on or after January 1, 1978.   If the work was created and published or registered prior to January 1, 1978 and any necessary renewals were filed, the copyright term is for a total of 95 years from the year in which copyright was secured for the work.

The safest route is to make the assumption that no song you want to use is in the public domain, then work backwards with your dates.  Click this link for a flow chart for calculating if a work is in the public domain.

Likeness/Crowd Releases:

You might also be interested in an Overview of Copyright Law from Registration to Termination.