Hello RIAA, I'd like to give you some money
July 25, 2009 8:11 AM   Subscribe

Is it horribly expensive to license snippets of music for videos that I share on my blog?

I have a blog that I use to share pics and videos with my friends and family. I post, at most, 2 videos a month. They're usually about 30 - 40 seconds. Because the audio on these is usually my wife and I encouraging our kid to walk in the stupid tones you use when talking to kids, I want to replace the audio track with music.

I have a large, legal, personal library and can usually think of the right song to use pretty quickly. I'd much rather pay a reasonable fee to be allowed to add a bit of a commercial tune to my video than to spend time searching for an appropriate license free piece of music.

Is this an option? I don't want to do a bunch of paperwork every time I use a different song, I'm looking for some kind of central licensing body that can take, say $20 a year and license me to use bits of songs in my library on videos that are going on the internet where, in theory, anyone in the world could see them, but in practice would only be viewed by my mum and her cat.
posted by IanMorr to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm not really up to speed on how this works, but might this fall under fair use? It certainly seems like you're not going to be raking in the cash from these videos.

Even if it isn't legally considered fair use, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't run into any problems. Things with a much larger scope and viewership than what you're talking about use copyrighted music without any repercussions all the time.
posted by miraimatt at 8:50 AM on July 25, 2009

I'm 99% certain you won't be able to do this in a way that makes much (financial) sense. That said, you're unlikely to get a DMCA-style takedown over snippets of song, although if you put 'em up on Youtube you might, as Jessamyn would attest.

You say that you don't want to look for liberally licensed (note: not license free/public domain) music, but I would really recommend it if you want to be 100% on the level. There are tons of wonderful songs to be found on the Free Music Archive, for instance.
posted by the dief at 9:29 AM on July 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh, and you probably know this already, but your possession of a large, legally acquired personal music library has absolutely zero to do with what you can do with that music other than listening to it personally. You don't own the music.
posted by the dief at 9:33 AM on July 25, 2009

this would not fall under fair use I'm afraid.

But it would be nigh impossible financially for you to get a licence to do what you are planning, and unless you are uploading to somewhere like youtube, you are unlikely to get a DMCA take down order. Therefore I would just do it.

If you are worried, could you create some kind of password that users would need to access the media? Someone with better web skills than I could advise no doubt!
posted by nunoidia at 10:33 AM on July 25, 2009

There's lots of good music on Magnatune.com and they have a nifty music licensing feature that is pretty slick (and affordable for your intended use). You won't find Brittany Spears (or any other RIAA artist) but there's plenty of great stuff.
posted by GPF at 11:37 AM on July 25, 2009

Thanks all. I realize it's unlikely I'll get busted, but was hoping to do it legally if it was possible. I'll take a look at Magnatune and the Free Music Archive, but for a tune to occur to me I've usually listened to it dozens of times. This might be a good way to break myself out of the70's punk and Icelandic Indie that I seem to have been listening to for the past 6 months.
posted by IanMorr at 7:35 AM on July 27, 2009

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