View Full Version : OT: When is a commercial project commercial?

05-08-2006, 04:30 AM
Hi guys,
Got an interesting situation here.
I'm currently working on a music video. I'm doing it for free, because there are friends involved and the potential for future work and general exposure is good and I got roped into saying yes to something I probably shouldn't have done.
My question is this: is this a commercial project or not?
I am not going to receive any money for it, but the video may well generate revenue for the band (or more likely, the record company).
The reason for asking is that I have a few plugins and texture maps that are free to use for commercial work and I don't want to get sued and end up paying out money on a project that isn't bringing in anyway.
I know the sensible answer is to hedge my bets and not use the material in question, but I am interested to know how people would view the situation.

05-08-2006, 05:10 AM
...but the video may well generate revenue for the band (or more likely, the record company...

Then it surely is commercial. You better contact the plugin developers and ask them if they allow you to use it for this project specifically as an exception.

Captain Obvious
05-08-2006, 05:20 AM
If it's used to generate revenue, it probably counts as commercial work. Why not try to find alternatives for the plugins?

05-08-2006, 06:20 AM
That's the tricky thing. I'm not sure if the music video itself brings in any hard cash for the record company, other than the royalties for the song. Not sure how that works. Does mtv or whoever pay the record companies for the video?
Obviously it has some inherent value as a promotional tool, but does that count?
If you can't tell already, I'm a little bit in over my head here!
Pragmatically, I think I'm going to use only the software I have full rights to use (ie lightwave, premiere, etc). The plugins and textures I was referring to were more time savers than must-have functions so I can work around not using them.

05-08-2006, 08:00 AM
...Obviously it has some inherent value as a promotional tool, but does that count?...

Commercial use is mostly about the product itself: is the product used to generate any direct or indirect form of income then it is commercial. A nice example is a demo: the demo is not going to generate income as a product, but it does give you a job, so this is not commercial use but more generated by personal use. If you put the demo on a website to attract potential customers (NOT to promote yourself for getting a job), then it is generating income indirectly, because you are getting work and then it is a promotional tool: so, commercial use. The last possibility is if someone wants to buy/use your product as (example) a video for (example) some music or commercial: this generates direct income (even if you don't get money for it :stumped: ) and so commercial use.

OTOH: I really doubt if plugin developers know the real meaning of commercial use, so again: ask them for your specific use...you may get a positive answer ;)