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Wickster
08-10-2006, 12:22 AM
I've made at least 2 demo reels (whichi never used) and i'm trying to be serious now about it (planning to quit my day job) and hopefully make the move to 3D.

Anyway, I've noticed most videos having techno music, some classical and some jazz.

My question are:

is it OK to use licensed music for a demo reel?

can i grab any music off my CD/MP3 collection and use that?

or do i have to obtain license or make my own (no music powers whatsoever)?


Thanks in advance.

Silkrooster
08-10-2006, 12:50 AM
Since this reel will be viewed by someone other than yourself or your family. I highly recommend that you find some royalty free music. Below are a couple of suggestions
Adobe Audition (http://www.adobe.com/products/audition/) has some loops and beds included.

Smartsound (http://www.smartsound.com/) has both a program as well as additional sound files.

Hope this helps,
Silk

dsol
08-10-2006, 03:44 AM
Hmmm... yeah legally you should obtain clearance from the artist/label if you want to use a licensed track. In practice, so long as your showreel is promoting you as an individual (as opposed to a company) and the track chosen is by a reasonably obscure artist (ie. not U2, madonna, coldplay etc.) I can't imagine you'd have any problems.

Classical music is an excellent bet if you want to avoid any legal threats since it'd be hard to place a specific performance and the pieces themselves are usually out of copyright (until the labels manage to bribe enough politicos to extend copyrights to 2000 years or whatever insanity).

My own reels (viewable on my site: http://www.digitaldistortion.net ) use a mixture of tracks, varying from the fairly obscure (a chopped up version of a track by "The Album Leaf") to the incredibly obscure (old Amiga Demo Mods). No-one's sent me threatening letters yet (thank jeebus!).

Oh and obligatory disclaimer: IANAL

iconoclasty
08-10-2006, 07:47 AM
I've always wondered about this. I mean I know it's not legal, but if you showed your reel to a studio would they look down on you for using copywritten music? It seems like something a studio wouldn't really care much about, but I might be being naive.

dsol
08-10-2006, 08:07 AM
I've always wondered about this. I mean I know it's not legal, but if you showed your reel to a studio would they look down on you for using copywritten music? It seems like something a studio wouldn't really care much about, but I might be being naive.

Depends what track you use and how "cool" the studio you're applying to is. In soho, London where I work, image is pretty important. Yes, this is shallow, but such is the nature of the media industry.

So sticking Barry Manilow on your reel would probably not be the best move. Unless it was some kickass drum'n'bass remix, in which case it might be super-ironic-uber-cool!! :P

Wonderpup
08-10-2006, 09:38 AM
Not wanting to hijack this thread, but this is sort of relevant- if I assemble a demo of work done while employed is this legal? I mean I did the work but it was while working for a company- can they object to me using my own work to promote myself?

iconoclasty
08-10-2006, 10:00 AM
I think it depends on the company. Anything you create while there will probably be copywritten to them, not you. So it would be against the law. But depending on the company and what you're using, they may be pretty cool with letting you use it if it's for self promotion and not for profit.

Bog
08-10-2006, 10:10 AM
In this rabidly litigious day and age, with the RIAA suing five-year-olds for accidentally setting up open shares on their dad's machine (or similar-grade stupidity) I'd say go royalty-free all the way. The artist who recorded the music may be nice as pie, but it's the bloody-toothed lawyers who count.

Rot them.

Wickster
08-10-2006, 12:36 PM
Thanks everyone for answering so quickly. And thanks for the links. I'll follow your advices and either go obscure or obselete or just go royalty free.


Not wanting to hijack this thread, but this is sort of relevant- if I assemble a demo of work done while employed is this legal? I mean I did the work but it was while working for a company- can they object to me using my own work to promote myself?

I think its OK. I know a guy who works for sony imageworks and allows him to include clips of his work on spiderman "but" he does have a limit as to when he can show his reel. So as long as spiderman was still playing on the theaters he was not allowed to use the clips he worked on.

So yeah, it really depends on the company. Afterall, most animation gigs are contract based, so its wise to update your reel with the current stuff you're working on.

Wonderpup
08-10-2006, 03:17 PM
Hi Wickster,

Sorry for jumping into your thread- My problem is that my soon to be ex employer is hostile and I think if he can cause me problems he will- so I suppose my question should have been do I have some basic right to use my own work purely for demo purposes wether the company approves or not?

Bog
08-10-2006, 03:29 PM
Wonderpup,

There's an assumed right of usage that most companies respect, but if they *don't* respect that, then there's not a lot you can do about it. YDepending on where in the world you are, if you're employed by a company then the work *is* the company's property, not the artist's. That's the same a lot of places.

markjores
08-10-2006, 03:46 PM
Wonderpup, I believe you do retain certain creator's rights to the work you have made for personal demo, unless your work contract with your current employer stipulates otherwise. I would check whether that is the case.

bryphi7
08-10-2006, 04:05 PM
I not trying to hijack your thread ether...Just curious to hear what some of you think the proper way of handling this would have been...

I was getting flash work subcontracted to me from another media company. well turns out the company doesn't like to pay their bills on time. With each project that I did for them their payments fell further and further behind. I finally told them that I would not do anymore work until I was paid up to date. At that point they told me they would "just use someone else". luckily I was smart enough to make it so I could turn all the work that I did for them off remotely, and basically render the programs useless. When I told them this they got very angry and told me that they would send the money out as soon as possible, but I had to agree not to use the work I did for them for demo purposes, and turn the programs back on immediately.

Me not using the work for demo purposes was nowhere in our original agreement, and they were 6 months late on a good bit of money. The companies the work was for are big pharmaceutical companies...

What would you have done???

Bog
08-10-2006, 04:39 PM
I'd've told them to go whistle.

Late payers get what they get, you have the hold over them, not the other way around. If it came to it, I'd have demoed the work anyway and included the situation in my shot-breakdown.

But I am a bad man sometimes. I once printed out an invoice that was about four months late. Twice. Four feet tall. And wore it as a sandwich board.

I then walked up and down outside the clients' offices until they paid me. Took about an hour.

Like I say. I'm a bad man sometimes.

bryphi7
08-10-2006, 04:51 PM
That makes me feel better Bog...Thats exactly what I did. I told them that I would turn the programs back on when the money cleared into my account, and as far as the rights to demo the work... I told them they could fight me in court if they thought they had a case!

check came in 3 days!

the messed up part about it is... they got paid for the work months ago and were just putting me off.