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VIC Music Copyright Clause

Discussion in 'Intellectual Property Law Forum' started by Music Man, 17 September 2014.

  1. Music Man

    Music Man Active Member

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    Hi,
    I am a musician and a TV show producer has asked me to sign a release form in order to appear on one of their music programs. I am wanting someone's opinion or advice on what the following clause in the release form actually means:

    "a) Licensor grants to Producer and its successors, licensees and assignees, the non-exclusive and irrevocable right and licence to reproduce, either for profit or non-profit, and to authorise others to reproduce, the Compositions in synchronisation or timed relationship with the Programs and trailers thereof, throughout the universe in perpetuity in any media now known or hereinafter devised."

    My main concern is, does it affect the copyright and ownership of my music if I go ahead and sign this?
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Dear Musicman,

    This clause simply gives the Producer (likely the TV station) the right to use your music without infringing your copyright. It does not transfer or destroy your copyright in the music per se. However the clause is drafted pretty broadly, so they will have the right to use your music pretty much however they want without paying you anything for the use of it. You could look at it as free exposure.
     
  3. Music Man

    Music Man Active Member

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    Hi Sophea,
    Thank you for your reply, much appreciated. I guess as long as it does not infringe on my ownership of the music and copyright, then like you said, I can view it as free exposure. I guess what you outlined, it further underscored in the next two clauses:

    b) Licensor grants to Producer and its successors, licensees and assignees, the non-exclusive and irrevocable right and license, to publicly perform, either for profit or non-profit, and to authorize others to so perform, the Compositions as part of the exhibition or other exploitation of the Programs and trailers thereof, and in any and all advertising or other publicity for the Programs and trailers thereof, throughout the universe in perpetuity in any media now known or hereinafter devised.

    c) Licensor grants to Producer and its successors, licensees and assignees, the non-exclusive and irrevocable right and license to communicate, either for profit or non-profit, and to authorise others to communicate, the Compositions only in synchronization or timed relationship with the Programs and trailers thereof, throughout the universe in perpetuity in any media now known or hereinafter devised.

    Music Man
     
  4. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    1. It's not "exposure" unless it's credited.
      If it's not credited, then you are giving away the right to use compositions
      for nothing in return.

    2. Whenever you see or hear the word "release", your immediate thought
      should be "Release who? From what?"
      In this case, you are releasing them from any obligation, now and forever,
      to pay you for using the compositions.

    3. This day-to-day industry term for this is a "sync deal".
      It's different to assigning copyright. In this deal, you still hold the copyright.

    4. Clause (a) is you giving them permission ( a "licence") to play the compositions
      in the soundtrack of their TV show ("synced"), now and forever, in any format on any media,
      even ones that haven't been invented yet.
      And to not have to pay you for it, ever. And you never get to change your mind.

    5. Clause (b) is a lot like clause (a), but relates mainly to screeners, promo copies, as well as advertising, highlights packages, "Best Of..." episodes etc.

    6. Clause (c) is the geography of the agreement - as usual, this is "the universe".
      The words "in perpetuity" mean "now and forever".
      The words "...any media now known or hereinafter devised..." means
      on all media, in any format, even if it hasn't been invented yet.

    7. Most musicians have trouble resisting the urge to agree to freebie sync deals.
      Don't be most musicians.

    8. Find a copy of "Music Business" by Shane Simpson
     
    Owens Lawyers and AnnaLJ like this.
  5. Music Man

    Music Man Active Member

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    Hi Tim,

    Sorry for the belated reply, was not trying to be rude...just did not have a chance to reply until now....so first up, thank you for your reply and information. I actually went ahead and purchased the book you recommended. Thank you. Also, to your "Don't be most musicians". I can assure I am not and why I actually bother to read all my contracts and seek advice, I know many musicians don't bother to read contracts and also will do anything for free exposure. I do not. I think of the bigger picture and long term consequences.

    I appreciate you also taking the time to comment on the other clauses I posted, it was very informative.

    Regards,
    Music Man
     
    Tim W likes this.

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