I understand that we have used commercial music in our documentary and that without receiving the legal rights we would be breaking the law. I have read through the regulations and rules that are stated by MCPS, therefore, I do understand that we have copied an artist’s piece of work. We didn’t have the connections or the time to make ‘Production music’.
For our first choice of song, Fantasia in D minor written and performed by Beethoven, we wouldn’t have to pay, this is because the law states: Copyright terms are 70 years after a composer’s death for publishing, and 50 years after the original release for sound recordings. Therefore, the publishing is out of copyright. But, this is the current UK copyright law; this means that it can change depending on the country.
If you make a movie and create a DVD, then the manufacturer or distributor will probably have a blanket license set, this means that a distribution deal was already created. With TV its similar, the broadcasters have a blanket license which already gives them the right to copy and/or “synch” music into a production, this always their own responsibility, they must know if they can use the piece of music or not. Also, sometimes there are standard rates available from websites like MCPS and PPL, which are legally allowed to give you the license, other times its up to you to contact the publisher or label to negotiate a deal. And for educational purposes, for example our documentary, it may be possible to get a free clearance since we are not aiming at making money.