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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10955
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I cannot trace the artist who is playing a native flute want

Customer Question

I cannot trace the artist who is playing a native flute want to use it as background music for my book video trailer. Saw it on face book.
If this is not free can they charge me more than they usually charge? or is there fixed compensation
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 4 months ago.

1. What you pay for a licence for this piece of music is a matter for negotiation. There is no fixed compensation for a licence to use a piece of music. The seller will probably quote a price and then it is up to you to either accept this price or else to seek to negotiate an alternative price. However, there is no such thing as a price being fixed. Be aware that you are free to get the piece of music recorded yourself without infringing copyright, if the notes of the music are more than 70 years old and the copyright is in the public domain. So, for example, most pieces of classical music are in the public domain as it is more than 70 years since the composer died.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 4 months ago.

2. Please Rate or Accept the answer as unless you do so your Expert will not receive payment from the website for answering your question.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thanks for that. The music is ancient South American folklore. What about the artist?
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The music is south American native must be more than 70 years. What about the young artist playing. Do I have an obligation? What happens if I go ahead and use it anyway?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 4 months ago.

2. The artist will have copyright in the playing of the piece of music. So, if you reproduce the sound of the artist, then you are infringing the artist's copyright in the sound and arrangement of playing the music. So, there are two copyright issues - that of the composer, which here is clearly out of copyright as it is South American folklore and then there is the artist's copyright which is real as the artist is still alive and playing.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 4 months ago.

3. You will have a potential copyright infringement if you reproduce the artist's music without getting a licence. So, you should really negotiate a licence from the artist. B e aware that unless you are a giant commercial concern, these are usually granted for less than GBP 150.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I cannot trace the artist. I want to go ahead and use it. Can I be ripped off or is that ere an average acceptable industry cost
Expert:  Buachaill replied 4 months ago.

4. Otherwise, if you go ahead and use it, you run the risk of being asked to take it down and get sued for copyright infringement. Here, it would not be the damages award that would be crippling, but the legal costs.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 4 months ago.

5. There is no such thing as an acceptable industry cost. This just does not exist. However, I would advise you to set aside something for a licence if you want to go ahead and use it, as otherwise, you risk stumping up money in the future. Most people are quite happy if they get paid something! Not very much!

Expert:  Buachaill replied 4 months ago.

6. Dear Eliyahu, please Rate or Accept the answer if you have no further queries, as this is how the website determines whether to pay the Expert for answering your question. Be aware that a solution would be to get the piece recorded yourself by a group of your choosing as then there would be no issue of artist copyright.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
You have been most helpful. The fact that there is no name or group mentioned. Without obligating yourself. How much do you suggest I put aside?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 4 months ago.

7. Dear Eliyahu, I would suggest you leave aside GBP 250 for the licence and GBP 1,000 for the legal costs. However, I would suggest it would be cheaper to get some other Peruvian group to simply record it for you. It is better to avoid the liability completely rather than provision for it, as these liability issues often get out of control.