Foxvideo Productions

Media Production

Copyright & Licences - Wearing 2 ‘hats’

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As a content and media producer I’ve always tried to be completely on the right side of the law with copyright and licences, I’ve accumulated a huge library of images, videos and music from many sources that are either Royalty free, copyright free or CC0 Public Domain, it’s surprising what you can find and use if you look carefully and are prepared to spend time on the internet. A good source for me has been marketing emails offering deals, for example I bought a lifetime subscription to StockUnlimited.com for $39 with a library of over 1 million visuals including the © image above.

I also wear another ‘hat’ as a media operator at our local Chapel running Powerpoints, CD’s, video clips and the mic mixer. Recently I was given a CD with 2 music clips to be played out at a Memorial service in our Chapel following a funeral service, the producer side of me asked where the clips had come from and the reply was 'YouTube’, I immediately responded with the “you can’t just download stuff from YT and use it etc” response. The following morning I thought it best to do some research and what I found was interesting as it was very different to my situation as a producer.

I found the following PDF, written in 2015 and put out under the United Reformed Church banner - https://www.urc.org.uk/images/Communications/copyright_booklet_web.pdf one interesting paragraph I found states:

“A change in copyright law that came into force in 2012 means that to play music from a commercial recording (CD, MP3 etc) churches now need a Phonographic Performance Ltd Licence (PPL) as well as a PRS for Music Church Licence. Previously churches were totally exempt from PPL but that exemption has been removed and churches now need a PPL licence to play recorded music at any church event, including youth and children’s clubs, discos, keep-fit classes, or as background music at coffee mornings or fetes. Whereas PRS represents the rights of songwriters, composers and music publishers, PPL represents the rights of performers and record companies. To cover this, CCLI offers a PPL Church Licence. Neither the PPL nor the PRS for Music licence are required for music performed or played within services of divine worship in church (where no charge is made to attend). This includes weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals, as well as the usual Sunday and mid-week services and any other study or prayer meetings.”

Double checking this, I found the same information on the official PPLUK website here: http://www.ppluk.com/I-Play-Music/Businesses/How-much-does-a-licence-cost/Churches/ and just to be sure, again on the CCLI website - https://uk.ccli.com/copyright-licences/

I sent an apology email to the person I’d berated the night before with the information and links I’d found, I guess my confusion had come from my background in media production and that under certain circumstances the rules were different however if I was to record the Memorial service for the family (which I won’t), that’d be a whole new copyright conundrum!

Situations vary widely so if you have your own copyright query, make sure you do your own research and satisfy in your own mind you are totally within the law regarding copyright, there’s always another image or track out there that will be available if you look that doesn’t have complicated copyright considerations to worry about.

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