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Education Copyright

Posted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:00 pm
by ospreys
I would appreciate some guidance on this if possible. I have browsed a few websites to see if I could glean any answers but am still unsure as to the legality.

I am from a Church and we want to put together an educational resource DVD of the history of the Bible to be hopefully shown in schools and perhaps given away to anyone interested in seeing it. It would be given away freely without cost. We don't have a budget for putting this together or anything so any expense would probably come out of my pocket but I'd like to know the legal side of us using any suitable music or video to enhance the story.

We obviously want to adhere to any legal requirements so could someone let me know where we stand?

Many thanks.

Re: Education Copyright

Posted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:26 pm
by Mike Shaw
I personally would strongly recommend using royalty free music. Even copying music infringes the copyright - and what you are doing I don't think (but will stand corrected) is covered by the IAC licence even thouigh the discs are being given away.

To recover costs, you can (legally I believe) say the discs are free, but you welcome donations (of any size).

Two programs you may like to look at - though they are not cheap - SmartSound's Sonic Fire Pro and Band in a Box. Both can produce Royalty free - and copyright free - music.

Re: Education Copyright

Posted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:39 pm
by ospreys
Thanks for the info.

So please forgive the simplistic questions. If I buy a licence does that mean we can use any music in the DVD or is it only certain specific music?
Also, how do we stand upon using short video film clips: say shots of Jerusalem or similar to enhance the story? Again, I presume that has to be paid for? Is there like a reasonably cheap license that covers such things for our intended purpose?

Sorry if this is a bit repetitive.

Re: Education Copyright

Posted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:16 pm
by Mike Shaw
If you're talking about a usage licence (not the IAC licence), I think you have to specify the music being used and its length and the number of DVDs you plan to produce. You have to fill in a form. Then they tell you how much it will cost. BUT - that is just my impression of what you have to do - when in the biz, I always had someone handling that side. I did my best not to get involved!

Using video film clips - I presume you mean existing material - again, that is copyright and you must get permission to use it. However - if you explain what you are doing, and make it clear the DVDs are not being sold, and state that full credits will be given for the material used, you may get permission for free (but do so in writing!). Doesn't always work that way with music, sadly.

If you are using music that is out of copyright (an old classical piece for example), then you will have to worry only about performance rights (which is why I suggested Band in a Box - not too good for classical music, but it enables you to create - well it creates - a version of the music for you, and thus you will hold the royalty on that 'performance'. That program is designed for 'band' and group musicians though and although it can create (new) orchestral and string quartet pieces for example, its strength is in dance music, country and western and so on.

Re: Education Copyright

Posted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:07 am
by ospreys
Ah I see. Many thanks for your useful helpful advice :)

Just one more: Where would I find this Usage License? Is there an online resource with information about this type of license?

Re: Education Copyright

Posted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:08 am
by Mike Shaw
Someone else will come in with the definitive 'names' and advice here I'm sure, but the organisations concerned (if I get it right!) are the

Mechanical Copyright Protection Society Limited (MCPS),
Public (or Phonographic) Performance Limited (PPL)
British Phonographic Indstry commercial recordings (BPI).

Those cover use of sound recordings and their performance (in your movie): I don't know who one would go to for use of video clips I'm afraid - I have always gone direct to the creator and got their written permission.

They must have web sites which will explain why and what areas they're needed for...

Re: Education Copyright

Posted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:10 am
by ospreys
OK, thanks for your help Mike.
Most useful....

Re: Education Copyright

Posted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:40 pm
by Dave Watterson
Hello Ospreys,

I hope that amongst your reading about copyright you looked at our pages - which explain some of the complexities and what the IAC licences offer. But Mike is right: your project does not fall within the scope of IAC licences, so what can you do?

As Mike says: look for "royalty free" music. That may cost you some money at first, when you buy a CD or pay to download a music track, but after that you can use it without further payment. Each supplier has its own terms and conditions, so do read them carefully, but most of the ones, that I know of, would have no problem with your proposed use.
For links to companies who supply such music see

There are also sources of "royalty free" music that you do not have to pay for. You can find these on the web. A large site with a lot of good free music is - despite the comic name - it is well worth a visit. It also has links to other free music sites.

In the trade the sort of clips you want to use are called "stock footage". There are many companies supplying those. For links see Be careful because some companies charge very high fees, while others are more reasonable. Also look out for companies which only have film in NTSC format as used in the USA rather than than PAL format we use in Britain.

Mike's advice is a good as ever here ... if you find a suitable scene in a tv programme or another video, try to find out who made the movie and ask them for permission. People are often astoundingly generous for a good cause. But be prepared for a long wait and a number of "No" replies ... I don't think there is any central clearing house or agency you can use for this purpose. You might try asking for footage on Christian websites ... some tourist may have just the shot you need and be proud to contribute it to your project.

Good luck


Re: Education Copyright

Posted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:51 pm
by ospreys
Thanks for the info as well Dave. I have a decent synthesizer and sequencing software so may be able to handle the music side of things. I have also been reading today about creative commons licensing. Is that a suitable way of obtaining some video clip footage?

Re: Education Copyright

Posted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:07 pm
by Dave Watterson
Yes, certainly it is. There are several different "creative commons" agreements, but most usually just require some form of acknowledgement. If you download such clips it can take a long time, even with a fast connection ... and watch out for the NTSC/PAL issue.

- Dave

Re: Education Copyright

Posted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:15 pm
by ospreys
Thanks Dave

That's most useful advice. I'll let you all know how the project develops. :)