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Copyright Q&A for January 2013

Copyright Q&A for January 2013

By Christian Copyright Solutions on January 17, 2013

Here is  a question we received for our monthly Copyright Q&A feature. Answers are provided by the CopyrightSolver.com Team. Feel free to submit your questions to us. We answer as many as we can here on our site once a month.

If our church youth group puts together a missions trip video and adds copyrighted music in the background and only posts it in our private Facebook page, are there any issues?

It’s exciting to share your ministry experiences with friends! However, if you use a work that has been created by someone else, there are important steps you’ll need to take to be sure you’re going about it legally.

Two of the six exclusive rights of copyright owners 1) reproduction 2) performance apply to your video plans. “Reproduction” involves the right to synchronize or put music in the background of your video; and “Performance” involves your plans to post it on Facebook where it can be streamed and viewed by the public. The copyright owners of the song and the sound recording have the right to decide whether they want to allow their work to be used for certain purposes, like your video, and to receive compensation for its use. So, although you are only posting your video on a single website, you must contact the copyright owner for permission and payment of royalties.

It’s important to note that the copyright holder may grant permission for you to use their work with or without the payment of royalties, or they may decline the use of their work. In any case, you do need to ask. The copyright holder created the works (song and sound recording); it’s their right to control the context in which it’s used.

For synchronizing a song to a video, two separate licenses may come into play; you’ll need to be aware of both of them, as you secure permissions. The first one—the Synchronization License—is required when you include a song on a video. The second—the Master Synchronization License—is required if a master recording of a song will be used. So, if your worship team will perform the version of the song that will be heard on your video, only the Sync License is required. If you use a master recording of a song, both licenses are required.

Depending on the song and its publisher, obtaining these licenses can take several weeks or (in the case of many secular songs) months, so you’ll want to plan ahead. Also, keep in mind that a single song may have several copyright holders and you’ll need to obtain permissions from each of them. You can contact the copyright holder directly or, to simplify the process, you can work through CopyrightSolver’s PERMISSIONSplus Service. Through this service, CopyrightSolver’s experts will track down, contact and seek the licenses you need on your behalf.

The CopyrightSolver answers provided are information, not legal advice. For more information and resources, including fact sheets, videos and idea kits, visitwww.copyrightsolver.com. Use promo code “ABOUTWORSHIP” to receive 10% off the PERFORMmusic and WORSHIPcast Licenses and the PERMISSIONSplus Service.

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