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Old 11-30-2018, 07:07 AM   #1
pedramyz
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Are shorts submitted to festivals considered as non-commercial products?

I've emailed my favorite band to ask for their permission to use their tracks in my upcoming short. They've given me permission to use their tracks and they said as long as I give them full credit for the tracks in the credit line that would be ok with them as long as the film is used for non-commercial purposes. And if I intend to use the film in any commercial way I should contact them again for negotiation.

Since we don't have any copy right law in Iran I'm not familiar with licensing stuff. Are short movies submitted to famous american film festivals such as Sundance considered non-commercial?
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Old 11-30-2018, 11:27 AM   #2
directorik
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Will you be signing a contract with them or is this a “hand shake”
agreement?

In general film festival submission is not considered “commercial”
use. If you are only relying on email's (which is fine) then the right
thing to to is renegotiate if you change the agreement. If you will
be using an official contract you (and the band) can spell out exactly
what you each expect.

Music rights can be complicated. If the band is happy with email
permission you're good as long as you don't break the agreement.
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Old 11-30-2018, 12:44 PM   #3
pedramyz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by directorik View Post
Will you be signing a contract with them or is this a “hand shake”
agreement?

In general film festival submission is not considered “commercial”
use. If you are only relying on email's (which is fine) then the right
thing to to is renegotiate if you change the agreement. If you will
be using an official contract you (and the band) can spell out exactly
what you each expect.

Music rights can be complicated. If the band is happy with email
permission you're good as long as you don't break the agreement.
I think the email itself is a handshake agreement. I have the screenshot of my email and theirs. I don't know how I can post the screenshot here. But I specifically asked for certain tracks ( four tracks in total) and I asked for their permission. The owner's partner answered me . And said we'r fine with it as long as you give us the full credit for the tracks. And he sent a sentence for me and told me to use this sentence for their credit line : All Writing and production by Simon Posford and Benji Vaughan. Published by Twisted Music Limited UK. Copyright Twisted Records Limited UK
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Old 12-01-2018, 01:43 PM   #4
Rayandmigdalia
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A film festival is "non-commercial". You are not making money from it. In fact, the festival is good publicity for "the band" and for everybody associated with the film, so you should welcome a public screening.
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Old 12-01-2018, 03:42 PM   #5
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Keep in mind, however, that every festival has different rules. Some festivals will require you to submit all the necessary documentation to prove that you have obtained proper permissions to use whatever copyrighted materials may be in your project, and, of course, each festival will have its own specific requirements for such documentation.
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Old 12-02-2018, 06:03 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Alcove Audio View Post
Keep in mind, however, that every festival has different rules. Some festivals will require you to submit all the necessary documentation to prove that you have obtained proper permissions to use whatever copyrighted materials may be in your project, and, of course, each festival will have its own specific requirements for such documentation.
That's ok. I already have the screenshot of our email and them giving me permission . If any festival required documents for copy right materials, I will give them this email. It seems the band is happy with an email handshake.
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Old 12-02-2018, 06:44 AM   #7
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It seems the band is happy with an email handshake.
They always are until they aren't. It happened to a production I was involved with once. The band signed with a label and everything went pear shaped for the producer.
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Old 12-02-2018, 09:49 AM   #8
directorik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedramyz View Post
I think the email itself is a handshake agreement. I have the screenshot of my email and theirs. I don't know how I can post the screenshot here. But I specifically asked for certain tracks ( four tracks in total) and I asked for their permission. The owner's partner answered me . And said we'r fine with it as long as you give us the full credit for the tracks.
That will be enough for most festivals.

When do you start shooting this movie?
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Old 12-02-2018, 11:53 AM   #9
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That will be enough for most festivals.

When do you start shooting this movie?
Soon. Finding a female actor that matches the script description is the part that's taking too long( Given the religious beliefs of most people in Iran, finding an actress who's willing to play this part gets a bit hard). Anyways I don't think the film would be ready for this year's festivals. It has to wait till next year for the submission. But I needed this band's blessing since I really need their tracks for this movie ( The tracks are in absolute sync with the creative vision I have in mind). So I wanted to be sure that I can use these tracks before investing any further in the movie.
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Old 12-02-2018, 12:41 PM   #10
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I need to learn the editing process, and I'm sure if I want to get the scenes right, I will need to learn many things by trial and error, from the sound to lighting to directing the actors. So that's why I don't think I can pull off what I have in mind by 3 months. I have yet many things to learn.

Last edited by pedramyz; 12-02-2018 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 12-02-2018, 12:51 PM   #11
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1. Ask yourself, if you have to change the music later, if you are okay with that.

If yes, move forward with the loose contract knowing that you may (or may not) have to make changes later. If no, and this is vital to your film, get everything in writing now.
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:06 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by indietalk View Post
1. Ask yourself, if you have to change the music later, if you are okay with that.

If yes, move forward with the loose contract knowing that you may (or may not) have to make changes later. If no, and this is vital to your film, get everything in writing now.

I don't wanna risk loosing these tracks by asking for a paper permit. They may not otherwise grant this permission. I don't want to freak them out by going over strict. I don't think this band's tracks have been used in any movies before. Besides, so far they've let me use their tracks. As long as I can enter festivals with those tracks on my film that's ok. I was thinking it doesn't matter if later on they change their minds after the festival. My film is already exposed by then. And after the exposure if they want me to remove their tracks from the film I will do so.

Besides isn't an email permit legitimate enough to prevent any potential law suits? They've specifically granted me permission. And as mentioned above, this movie can be a good exposure for their tracks too. and if by any chance we decide to commercialize the film ( which is unlikely for a short film) then they will get paid too. I don't see any reason why they should change their minds about it.

Last edited by pedramyz; 12-02-2018 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:21 PM   #13
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I'm assuming this is not a "famous" band and your email contract can be okay for now. You ask if this prevents lawsuits? Uh no, and you know anyone can sue for anything, and to defend your position, then you need $ for a lawyer. What an entertainment attorney does is draw up a proper contract. Let's say for example this band does not even own their publishing rights. Some bands may be like "Hey yeah you can use it" and then someone steps in and says "Um no, they don't have the right to do that, we do." You never know what can happen.
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:26 PM   #14
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For festivals, if you are happy with the email agreement and think anything more will spook them just go for it.

If the film gets sold, makes money in any way, or if anyone wants to use any portion of the film with the music, then you need to work that out legally.
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:30 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by indietalk View Post
I'm assuming this is not a "famous" band and your email contract can be okay for now. You ask if this prevents lawsuits? Uh no, and you know anyone can sue for anything, and to defend your position, then you need $ for a lawyer. What an entertainment attorney does is draw up a proper contract. Let's say for example this band does not even own their publishing rights. Some bands may be like "Hey yeah you can use it" and then someone steps in and says "Um no, they don't have the right to do that, we do." You never know what can happen.
Yeah you're right. You never know what can happen.

But they do own their publishing rights.
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