The Music Licensing Chickens Have Come Home to Roost in Wedding and Event Videography

Daredreamer by Ron Dawson

One of the first questions a “new born” wedding videographer will undoubtedly ask is “I have this bride who wants to use [insert popular music artist of the day] for her wedding video. Can I use it if she gives it to me?” Or, “Can I use it if I buy it on iTunes?” Or some version thereof. Just for the record. The answer is unequivocally “NO!” (If you want the 4-1-1 on music licensing, I have a pretty thorough blog post on the topic, along with links to all the popular sites for legally licensing music: bit.ly/musicinfilm.

But for years, wedding videographers have used popular copyrighted music. Probably ever since the day cameras were 30+ lbs and came with 15+ lb battery packs. But before the days of YouTube, it was never an issue. You made a DVD or VHS tape for your client, give it to them, and that was it.

Even before YouTube, wedding videographers were posting clips from their favorite weddings online for the world to see. For whatever reason, even after the whole Napster thing, music labels just ignored it. Until now.

This year something has happened that as far as I know has never happened in this industry. First, professionally shot wedding videos started going viral. As I alluded to in this blog post, this has inevitably lead to some wedding videographers were sued. The wedding videography boards and Facebook groups have exploded with chatter about it. Vimeo, YouTube and blip.tv videos are coming down like cats and dogs. It’s mass hysteria! read more...

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