skate video music rights

skatevideo music rights

Chosing the right music for a skatevideo part is crucial for its success. However you must be careful with editing on songs not recorded by yourself and need to distinguish between private and commercial use:

a) It is private, if you shoot the skatevideo just for fun and to show it to your family and friends without earning any money. Nevertheless – especially if you are uploading the video – you should state the songs and artists at the end of your skate video and mention that the holder of rights may prohibit the private use. If this occurs you have to respect the artist’s “moral rights” and delete the skate video respectively the according song.

b) As soon as you start selling the video and/or show it to the public for money and as soon as sponsors are involved, you are talking about commercial use and need an agreement with the song’s holder of rights.

Supporting nonfamous artists in this would not only be more innovative but also much cheaper than editing on a chartbuster: Costs for rights on a song rise exponentially with the artist’s popularity. The unknown metal-band from next door probably needs only to be invited for a drink whereas worldfamous artists want to be paid up to half a million bucks for a single song!

No matter how famous the holder of rights, always inquire politely and honestly. Enthusiastically tell how much better the song will make the skate video part and how the artist can benefit from this great advertisement. And thoroughly research the holder of rights in advance – is it the artist himself, the label or a music publisher?

If you screen, distribute and sell the skatevideo you need to pay fees to your national performance rights organization (i.e. BMI or ASCAP in the United States or GEMA in Germany) and your costs will rise with the number of copies sold. If the video is uploaded to video streaming websites these platforms are liable to the performance rights organization. However some platforms have not found agreements with the performance rights organizations yet and hence many skate clips have been deleted.

If you produce a commercial skatevideo and try to avoid the holder of rights and the national performance rights organization you can get sued for copyright infringement and in worst cases have to pay tremendous compensation!