ARTEXPRESS Copyright Information
Students need to be aware of the difficulty in gaining copyright clearance for some commercially produced music tracks and film clips outside the examination process. In order for your film with a commercially produced soundtrack to be shown in galleries as part of ARTEXPRESS a synchronisation license must be obtained. In some cases there is considerable cost involved in this process and in general the process takes many months to achieve.
If you have used a commercially produced sound track or film clip in your body of work, you need to send the copyright approval to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as you are aware you have been nominated for ARTEXPRESS.
What is a synchronisation license?
In general, synchronisation (the use of music in audiovisual media) is licensed directly by the owners of the copyrights on the music involved, not by a central organisation like APRA/AMCOS. There will usually be Australian contacts, even when a composition or recording is originally from elsewhere. There are two kinds of copyright which may be involved: the copyright on the musical composition. This copyright is connected to the writer(s) of the music and is usually administered by a publishing company (in other words, you will usually be dealing with a publisher rather than with writers themselves). - the copyright on the sound recording (if an existing sound recording is being used). This copyright is connected to the recording artist(s) and is usually administered by the record company that releases the recording.
Copyright and Assessment?
You may also know that there can be exceptions to this rule if a production is made as part of a course of study, eg by a student making a project for assessment, or by a teacher making course materials. However, if a production made for such a purpose is also to be used in any other way (particularly any way involving screening before an audience in a gallery) permission is required as above. In this case, the students will not need permission to use the films for assessment purposes. Only the public screening and reproduction on to the CD/DVD will need licensing. Print Music and Educational Licensing Department(email@example.com or 02 9935 7900).
How do I find out the copyright owners? Is there a central listing of copyright owners?
There is no central listing of copyright owners, as they do not have to be part of one, but there are various ways to look for the information. You may have information already: if you have a commercially produced copy of the music (eg a CD, or published sheet music) all relevant copyright information should be included with it.
If you have a recording, the record company's name will probably be fairly prominently shown (which should make them easy to track down) and they will usually know the publishing situation even if this is not clear from the CD. Since you will need to contact record companies to license the use of the recording, you may also find it easiest to ask them about the publishing details. Many artists have websites with contact details and licensing information. Music reference sources for many musical genres can also be found online and also in libraries.
APRA/AMCOS is able to help with finding out the copyright ownership situation (ie whether a musical work is in copyright, and where to go for permission if it is). They generally need to handle these queries in writing or by email, partly to get through them all and partly to provide you with a written record of the answer. There can also be fees (necessary to keep the process sustainable). Any questions about this part of the process can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other organisations and resources which may be useful include:
The Arts Law Centre for information on laws affecting all areas of the arts
The Copyright Agency Ltd for information on literary copyright.
Screenrights for information on copyright on audiovisual footage.
Viscopy for information on copyright on visual images.
PPCA(the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia) for information on copyright on sound recording.
ARIA(the Australian Record Industry Association)for information about record companies and available sound recordings.
The APRA/AMCOS website for further information on copyright.
The New South Wales Department of Education and Communities Copyright Information page.