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thedementedelf

Music Usage Rights

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I know this comes up every year, and had on another forum. There seems to be alot of opinions out there about do we or don't we need a liscense. I decided to get the facts from the source. I called BMI and ASCAP.

I heard back from BMI, still waiting to hear from ASCAP. But I suspect the answer will be the same.

BMI told me that no license is need for HOME BASED displays. They consider it private use. No issues with using a part 15 transmitter. The only stipulation is you can not charge people to view your lights. Then it becomes a diferent story. I did not ask about if you collect for a charity. If your charitable doantions are voluntary, I would think you are ok. You're not collecting to allow people to view the display.

As I said, I haven't heard from ASCAP yet, but suspect the answer will be the same.

Edited by thedementedelf

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Thank you, thank you, thank you! Finally someone actually did their homework and contacted the proper people. Excellent work Kevin! Of course you do know that you will have several people jump up and tell you how wrong you are, right? They'll tell you how they've been in the industry for blah-blah years and maybe even post a picture of their particular "license" for their particular state/area.

I'm going with the Elf on this one. I would urge everyone else to do the same, OR if you really disagree, contact those groups yourself. But please let's not turn this into the yearly "you're all breaking the law by playing TSO in your front yards" threads. Some of us have heard that for countless years now. ;)

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Kevin, if you don't mind, could you post a copy of the contact you got from BMI? I'd love to have it on file for when people ask me this, I can say "I have permission in writing on file from BMI..."

If you don't feel comfortable sharing this, I understand.

Edited by tfischer

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Kevin, if you don't mind, could you post a copy of the contact you got from BMI? I'd love to have it on file for when people ask me this, I can say "I have permission in writing on file from BMI..."

If you don't feel comfortable sharing this, I understand.

Thanks Kevin for doing this..........I also would like to have a copy if your willing to post it

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BMI told me that no license is need for HOME BASED displays. They consider it private use. No issues with using a part 15 transmitter. The only stipulation is you can not charge people to view your lights. Then it becomes a diferent story. I did not ask about if you collect for a charity. If your charitable doantions are voluntary, I would think you are ok. You're not collecting to allow people to view the display.

Wow! In this day and age..........COMMON SENSE!!!!

Thanks for your efforts.

Doug

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I think it goes without saying that this only applies if you have legally purchased the songs you play, but I'm going to say it anyway. The artists and studios are entitled to compensation for their work.

Thanks OP, for doing the due diligence.

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Guest Lightzilla

Did you happen to ask about making a video of your personal display with a copyrighted song and posting it on YouTube or Vimeo?

I got the same response when I contacted "Socan" which is Canada's music licensing company. I ask several questions to make sure they understood what I was asking and to make sure I covered all the bases.

I also asked about making a video of my display with a copyrighted song making the lights dance and he could not tell me yea or nay but sent me to another group in Canada that deals with that part of the law.

So I knew we were o k here in Canada a few months ago about using songs in our displays. Video on the other hand is different and I never pursued an answer.

However, I am in search for "New" Christmas music from around the world and new recording artists and those people I personally contact. This is something I enjoy doing. Lord willing, I plan to make videos of my display again with "New Christmas Songs" that are not released yet or were released but rarely heard outside of some Country.

There is some merit, blessings when you ask.

Edited by Lightzilla

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Hellooooooo....

Thanks for doing this Kevin. That is absolutely true; you do not need to pay for any license or fee for using a song in your private display if you are not charging admission. I have been a member of ASCAP for years and can tell you that I have not made one penny from any usage of "The House on Christmas Street" at somebody's house. But that's okay with me!! You guys have done a wonderful job publicizing my song with your displays and I couldn't be happier! What I'm always hoping for is that your use of my song will translate into people requesting it on the radio. Then I'd get royalties.

I have always given permission for anyone to place a video using my song anywhere on the internet, including YouTube. I know that some of you have had problems with other songs in the past. Btw, I just recently heard from ASCAP that they had negotiated some sort of license with YouTube, so maybe that's changed. I know I haven't seen any royalties from it yet, but I've got my fingers crossed.

It is true and fair that you should acquire your music legally......after all, what's 99 cents compared to what you are already spending on your display? You should pay the artist the same way you would pay a light manufacturer.

That being said, I always offer free mp3s of the original "The House on Christmas Street" to any decorator who wants to use it in their display. Just send me a PM with your email address and it will go right out to you.

Now, shameless plug:

I do offer CUSTOMIZED versions of The House on Christmas Street for decorators that can include everything from your street name and all the highlights of your display to the names of everybody in your family. Take a look at the packages here:

http://judypancoast.com/customized_christmas_street.htm

AND I am now offering pre-orders on my forthcoming Christmas CD with the HoCS remix (the one that says "Merry Christmas" instead of "Seasons Greetings") and folks who pre-order get the mp3s of each song as they are finished so you'll have the whole CD in advance of everybody else. You can find info about that here:

http://judypancoast.com/tune_room_store.htm

As ALWAYS I really and truly from the bottom of my heart appreciate all of your love for the song and your support of my work!!

Happy Halloween!

Judy

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My show starts with Judy's song. I have had many compliments on her song and have had many people ask me if she will be coming back this year. Unfortunately she is not but I am on the request list for 2012 and hope she can make it. I am sure she will drop by to go for pizza at the least.

Terry

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Judy just to let you know i bought several sequence from super star lights . Brian only sells the sequence he tells you where to purchase the music online Dennis Laff

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she (Judy) in her post said she did not licence her song usage to super starlights

They were not selling her song, just a sequence. So does this mean I can't pay someone to write a sequence for my show that uses her song?

I would think that it would have help sell her music.

Edited by Dougp

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Whenever I want to listen to a whole song before I purchase a version, I go to youtube and find a video with the song. There are thousands and thousands of songs with home shot videos and the only ones that I have ever seen pulled were animated lighting videos.

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I heard that he had to pull off the sequences for Judy's song. Do you know why?

Hi Doug.....This is all covered in a thread in the "lights" forum, but basically a sequence based on a specific song IS a copyright infringement because the sequence is considered a "derivative" work. So even though they were not selling the song itself they still would have to pay a license fee to sell a work based on the song. This does apply to all song sequences SOLD. The sequencer needs to get a license for each song he or she sequences in order to be within the law. It is not expensive (a fraction of the money they make on the sale) and can be done through ASCAP, BMI or any other performing rights organization if they cannot reach the songwriter directly.

But I've been in conversation with Brian over there and we have come to an agreement that is very reasonable to him, and he will have the sequence back up for sale soon.

To answer the question about whether or not the sequence would drive sales, not really. I give it away to most decorators anyway! My hope has always been that the number of videos on You Tube would make the radio stations pay attention and start playing the song, and then I'd get royalties.

Last year Richard Holdman did a BEAUTIFULLY produced "official" video of the song. If you would like to see it, go here: http://youtu.be/J7uRl07K4H8

I hope you will share it with your friends!!

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Judy,

My wife wants to do your song for our next years display, and I will be more than happy to purchase it from you. Its not gonna break my bank, only more controllers does :P

Edited by Paul D

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Thank you, Paul!! You can find it on iTunes. Or I will send it to you for free. By the time I get my cut from iTunes it's only about six cents anyway!! Just send me your email address in a PM!

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Trust me if BMI or ASCAP were interested at your home display they would come to your home and shut you down till you pay royalties...That's how it is done...

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It's not that they don't want your money it's that the have no legal right to it. So unless the law changes all they can do is pound sand.

John

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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