Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Sound and Music for the Showreel

When putting together my showreel, one of the things that I am going to have to consider is the use of music; particularly copyrighted music.  Although I play guitar and I am technically skilled at this, I am not so good at creating new pieces of music, which sound professional.  I am intending to use a sample from the long version of the song "She Sells Sanctuary" by The Cult.  This rights to this song are owned by Warner Music Group, therefore I had to consider the issues around using copyrighted material if I want to produce a piece ready for broadcasting.

I have been looking on the web site of the Intellectual Property Office, to find out if there are any loopholes in Intellectual Property law that permit the fair usage of copyrighted material for non-commerical use.

I have come across this page on the site which states the terms of the permitted use of copyrighted and also states exceptions to the use of copyrighted material without the of permission of the owner, particularly for the benefit of students, non-commerical researchers, critics and reporters.  In fact, something which is heavily stressed in the following articles of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 is the fair use of copyrighted material in non-commercial research work, as long as it does not have any financial impact on the copyright owner and has a sufficient acknowledgement to the owner.

Observe the following articles from Chapter III of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, concerning the acts permitted in relation to Copyrighted work:

2925 Research and private study
(1) Fair dealing with a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work for the purposes of research for a non-commercial purpose does not infringe any copyright in the work provided that it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement.

(1C) Fair dealing with a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work for the purposes of private study does not infringe any copyright in the work.

These articles state clearly that I would not be infringing copyrights, as I am a student producing the showreel for the purpose of my studies (as well as to promote my work to potential employers) and I have no intention of making money out of this showreel, meaning that there will be no financial impact on Warner Music Group.  I will, however, need to amend my showreel, so that it features an acknowledgement of the piece of music, along with the artist and copyright owners at the end.

The Intellectual Property Office also includes a page, which states that an infringement of copyright law is dependant on whether I have used a substantial part of the music.  The song that I have chosen to use is 6 minutes and 58 seconds long, and I am only using about 1 minute and 10 seconds, which is not even a quarter of the whole song.

The showreel also contains dialogue from the films Star Trek: Generations and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, as I animated character rigs against these pieces of dialogue for different projects.  These extracts would also be fine for me to use, for the same reasons stated above.

I have learnt that these articles in Copyright law, regarding the use of copyrighted work for the purpose of study, have made some of the previous units, that we have worked on, possible.  For example, in the first year, we had three units that concerned copyright law, because they involved animating against extracts from music, literature and dialogue from films respectively.  The reason we were legally able to do these projects are because they were done for the purpose of study and research and not for profit; we also only used small portions from the source material in our work.