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Author Topic: Marketing and selling live recordings  (Read 1568 times)

Tim Hawn

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Marketing and selling live recordings
« on: April 15, 2006, 10:15:46 PM »

Hello all,

I should start by saying that I usually post in the live sound forum, and this is my first foray into REP.

I've done a token search on this topic, but haven't found much.  Please let me know if this is not an appropriate question for this forum.

I'm a live sound guy who does some recording on the side.  I mainly produce recordings of jazz recitals conducted at a music college here in Denton.  I started doing it mainly to meet new people, and it has taken off somewhat.

Looking back on my archives I find that I have amassed quite a nice collection of great jazz performances.  If I do this for a couple more years I'm sure that I'll have a nice volume of work.

I would like for some of this work to be made public (on a local level for starters), but I am unsure of the legal/ethical/business issues that might arise from copying, marketing, and selling material without agreements from the performers.  You see, I have never had any sort of written contract with my clients, and I do not know if I could get in touch with many of them.  

If I own the original recording, do I have a right to copy and sell it?  What rights do the performers have to collect royalties?  Am I way off base even considering something like this?

Thanks for any and all constructive replies.

-TH

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Tim Halligan

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Re: Marketing and selling live recordings
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2006, 10:26:46 PM »

Can of worms...

As far as I know, whoever paid for the recordings owns them...but then you get into the copyright area regarding the pieces themselves. If the band didn't write them, you've got to get clearance from the publisher...and that can be time consuming.

Go next door to the Marsh and ask Bob Olhsson in the industry forum. You should get a fairly definitive answer there.



Cheers,
Tim


Edited because I spelt Bob's name wrong...sorry Bob... Rolling Eyes
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Bob Olhsson

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Re: Marketing and selling live recordings
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2006, 06:56:27 PM »

Hi,

In a nutshell, you and the performers jointly own the rights to the recording however the songwriters own the underlying musical compositions and you need a mechanical reproduction license from them in order to release a recording to the public.

Songwriters are required to issue compulsory licenses in the case of material that has already been recorded and released. Many of these are available (in the US) from the National Music Publishers Association's Harry Fox Agency although people can often get better deals straight from the publishers or songwriters.

http://www.harryfox.com/public/index.jsp

rnicklaus

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Re: Marketing and selling live recordings
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2006, 07:25:44 PM »

Were you paid to do the recordings?

I don't know how you could go out and exploit the work of performers for profit unless you have agreements with those performers.

Having possession of a recording does not give you the rights to the performances on that recording.

If Fleetwood Macs's sound-man made recordings of their live shows, they do not own the rights to the name, likeness or performances embodied on those tapes, even if the sound-man paid for the tapes or did the gig for free.

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Bob Olhsson

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Re: Marketing and selling live recordings
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2006, 01:59:31 AM »

Even not for profit without permission!

Gilliland

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Re: Marketing and selling live recordings
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2006, 02:29:46 PM »

I've done hundreds of live recordings of artists who perform in our area.  I always get the artist's permission to record, and I always sign an agreement with them that spells out what rights I have and what rights they retain.  Basically, I get broadcast/webcast rights, and they retain all other rights.  If there is a need for something more (like if one of us wants to make it into a commercially released CD), we discuss it later.

In the absence of such an agreement, you basically have no rights to use your recordings commercially.  You may own the rights to the recording, but they own the rights to the performance.  Neither of you can do anything with it commercially without getting the buy-in from the other.
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