The Copyright Saga

So I organised the copyright dialogue and it has turned into a fireball of media coverage today! Some dude called up the media and we now have papers and TV coverage.

Channel 8 300310 Report

I was able to record it with my fast fingers when I heard it and there you have it. Anyway, the interviewee is confused.. it is not as much as $8000 (I hope). All we know now, is a videographer needs 2 licences to work his craft to reproduce music (with video).

1. MPS Licence (Composer) ??? Up to $2000 as mentioned by MPS
2. RIPS Licence (Artist) $2000

When do we get a COMPASS licence? Supposingly under internet broadcast as COMPASS holds the performance rights. Frankly I’m still confused but in the meantime, its indie and royalty songs as priority (can go on the web at least) till we get a fix in the coming weeks. Pray hard its not going to impact too much, couples!

310310 UPDATE:
Ok this old gentleman from COMPASS was on TV tonight to explain that the hotels already pay performance rights so no additional licence is required for playback at the hotel. The 2 licences above are confirmed sufficient for video me. Thing is they did not mention specifically that videographers do not need a licence to broadcast our video in ballrooms BUT then, doesnt it make sense that the hotel is playing our video so they are paying the licence?,-or-face-the-music??

TODAY Papers report with my “edited” comments… read carefully or my comments would be “skewed”.. I have applied for the RIPS licence. I was refering to the rest of the folks would be considering whether to pay, or to go for Royalty free songs. The worst hit would be the mass market guys. If the total licencing cost is $4000 and a typical freelancer does 20 weddings a year at $1800 per job, that is an increase of 11%!! But take it as a market correction. Everyone will be raising prices. The top tier customers wouldnt feel much of an impact but its going to be lesser wedding videos for the mass markets I guess.

Bobby’s summary of the policies. Pt No 2 is not what I understood. The hotel should pay COMPASS for the public playback and not us. We deliver the reproduced video to the couple. They do the playback at the hotel. I’m estimating the total cost to be $4000 per year. That part has nothing to do with the couple.

Last but not least, I really worry about couples who want to make their own videos/montages. The whole purpose is to reduce cost and personalise it. However I’m certain the respective bodies will do their best to offer something reasonable as couples do not make money.

050410 UPDATE:
Some couples emailed to ask what will happen to them if they were to do their own montage? Frankly the policies are targeted at people who make a revenue from this. The media took it up and technically, couples are liable. The enforcement agencies are human too. I’m sure they understand the problem BUT.. since its so blown up now, they will have to provide a solution formally.

If your wedding is after Apr, you WILL need to comply to whatever rules they release soon. Those who wish to have a cheaper solution, google for “royalty free music” or, let the hotel play the music without syning to the montage. Technically you are not infringing the rules since the hotels pays performance rights to COMPASS. If you want to sync it get royalty free songs.

So if your wedding is before end Apr?????? I leave the decision to U!

120410 UPDATE:
The game just got more interesting! I was notified some hotels are now giving couple the “show me the permits or no playback is allowed”. This means, video companies who use royalty free songs have to print the purchase receipts!! When you are in a hurry to prepare the SDE and arrive late, pulling out some permit/proof of purchase really isn’t the nicest thing to do with 300 guest waiting to enter the ballroom before you test the SDE!!. That can be resolved by prior submission to the hotel BUT.. its really quite a hassle. This also means the Malaysia videographers who cannot qualify for a local licence (verified with RIPS it is illegal for our friends across the straits to offer services here, hence they cant qualify for a licence).  That said, it could also be positive for those of us who are serious in doing good work and paid the necessary licences. Well, we are 2 weeks away for the “solution”. Hope everything turns out well.

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