Watch Out What You Do With
Copies Of The Spots You Voice
July 22, 2013
By Jennifer Vaughn
Ever needed to get a copy of a voice over spot you worked on? Sometimes a simple request to a producer or client is all that is required to get a finished copy.
There’s also a service that has been around for more than a decade called National Aircheck. They can scope almost any broadcast channel (radio or television) for almost any length of time and send you a copy via mp3 or CD with a notarized statement, if you need it for legal proceedings.
It's going to cost you per scoping, though. Their rates now start from $110 to $115 for up to five minutes, as of this writing.
You simply tell them the channel or station, the hour or hours you'd like scoped, along with which day or days you'd like recorded. You can even request times in the past.
BUT NOT FOR PROMOTIONS
Remember though, this type of service would be for your private archive only, or for use when someone is bilking you out of license fees.
I definitely would not suggest scoping to get copies of your work in order to "promote or advertise" yourself on your demos. For that, you need permission from the copyright holder to use their fully produced concepts and spots.
One thing talent seem to forget is that either the client or the agency owns those copyrights to their spots as a whole.
GET WRITTEN PERMISSION
So you might be in serious legal trouble if you grab those spots and employ them for your "promotional" use in demos on your website or on any other website where you post those demos.
Do not do this unless you have "written" permission from the agency/client to use those recordings on your website as a promotional tool. Otherwise, you could end up paying a serious penalty and back license fees to the music library, the ad agency, the client or all three.
Tip: Write approval of this use into your agreement with your fees.
AGENCY HAVE PERMISSION?
Another issue and slightly more important, is to be absolutely sure that the agency has "licensed" the music - or paid the proper fees - on the spot you voiced and are now using for promotion.
If they do not - and say, they rip it off or do not hold the license - it could put you in serious legal trouble, because that music library can come after YOU.
After all, you are using their music to advertise and promote yourself, and if the ad agency did not pay for it, you certainly are going to.
SEARCHING FOR INFRINGEMENTS
For instance, TuneSat is one of many companies that monitor broadcast outlets, paying specific attention to website demos with music.
Today, these companies use technology to check copyright infringements quickly and effectively, whereas 10 years ago it was almost impossible unless someone recognized their own music and was listening in the right place at the right time.
Voice talent need demos to promote their services, of course, but they'd better not be caught using any of TuneSat's client’s works. Music libraries retain that service to go after talent, ad agencies and anyone who uses libraries to ensure the correct licenses are in place.
HOW THEY CATCH YOU
If you think they are not going to catch you, you're wrong. They eventually will. Here's how.
Clients provide these companies with high-quality recordings of their music. The company "fingerprints" the recordings to check on multimedia files containing millions of websites worldwide.
When a match is found, the URLs where the content was identified are sent to their client and their enforcement division.
If, for instance, you post on Voice123 or any of the many other sites that allow you to post demos as a form of promotion and advertising, those sites will give them YOUR contact information since the demo came from you.
Then you'll receive a distressing phone call or letter in the mail.
So - be very careful what you do copies of the spots you voice!
Jennifer Vaughn has been a full-time voice talent since the early 1990s, entering the field through radio and concert promotions. Well known for national and international radio and TV imaging and branding, she also voices many industrials, military and medical e-learning projects, and children’s audiobooks. With home studios in Florida and Colorado, plus interests in other businesses, she asks, "Who says you have to stick to one thing? I’d get bored! Gotta be a mover and a shaker.”
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