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MUSIC COPYRIGHTS
Check If Your Demo Music Is Licensed:
New TuneSat Service Tracks Internet Plays
January 12, 2013

By Robert J. Sciglimpaglia Jr.
Voice Actor & Attorney

Have you heard about TuneSat? Well, for a voice over artist, producer - or anyone who posts their own demo or the voice over demos of others on their website - it's a name to learn about quickly.

TuneSat is new software that encrypts music or sound effects to track how many times that music or sound effect has been played over the Internet.

Its technology was developed by Scott Schreer, the president of Freeplaymusic.com (see my earlier articles about Freeplay Music).

So far, ASCAP (one of the collectors of music royalties), is refusing to accept TuneSat technology as an accurate monitor for plays of a music track over the Internet. But this is not preventing TuneSat technology from being used by music libraries all over the Internet, as described in this Digital Music News article.

DEMANDING $2,500 LICENSE FEES

As explained in earlier articles, FreePlay Music was - and still is - sending emails to voice over artists, producers and others who are using unlicensed copies of FreePlay Music tracks being displayed on the Internet, demanding sums of $2,500 per track as a "sync license" to use their music.

And now, TuneSat is selling its technology to other music libraries - 5-Alarm Music and MusicTrax Productions, for example - which are following suit.

This has snared some big players in the business (whose names I cannot divulge, due to attorney/client privilege).
 
KNOW YOUR MUSIC SOURCE

Don't let that happen to you. My recommendations are:

1. If you have a voice over demo
that does not consist of actual gigs, and you do not know the source of the music on that demo, TAKE IT DOWN IMMEDIATELY from any website until you get the physical music licenses in your hand.

2. If you have a website that hosts voice over demos, DO THE SAME until you either verify that all music on those demos are properly licensed, or you set up your website so that it complies with the "Safe Harbor" provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. (For more information about that click here: www.copyright.gov/onlinesp.)

3. If you are a producer of voice over demos
, or other content that uses music that will ultimately end up on the Internet, MAKE SURE you read the TERMS OF SERVICE for the website where you downloaded the music. Follow the procedures to properly license the use of that music.

For further information on Mr. Schreer and TuneSat, you can check these links:
-------------------------
ABOUT ROBERT

Robert J. Sciglimpaglia Jr. is a popular voice actor, actor and attorney representing voice actors, actors and other performers. He is also owner of All In One Voice, a voice over instruction and business/legal services firm. And he is author of the 120-page Voice Over LEGAL eBook, a comprehensive guide to business and legal issues for voice actors and other performers, including demos and copyright issues.
 
Web: www.allinonevoice.com
Voice Over LEGAL eBook: www.VoiceOverLegal.com

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Comments (7)
Gene Schrieber
1/25/2013 at 1:22 PM
OH I see now. I would hope there is a first warning type of thing for people that are unaware. Pull it down or else type of thing. Yikes that's only fair for people who had their demos produced by someone that might not even be around any more
Rob Sciglimpaglia
1/25/2013 at 10:03 AM
Gene, sorry for the confusion about the article. I am not in any way affiliated or represent TuneSat, and no, a company does not need to hire a lawyer to use this technology. The way I think it works as an outsider looking in, is the music library sends their tracks to TuneSat, which encodes it somehow, and then TuneSat monitors its play over the internet and sends reports to the music library owner. TuneSat also will send out demands for payment to websites or voice artists that are broadcasting the music on a website if TuneSat suspects the music is not properly licensed. I represent some of the entities that are on the receiving end of these notices demanding sums of thousands of dollars for each unlicensed usage of all or part of one of these music tracks, and I am not at liberty to publicize their names due to the attorney/client privilege.
Rob Sciglimpaglia
1/25/2013 at 9:54 AM
Hi Dan.
You are correct that copyright claims can certainly be made by the owners for their copy, especially for audio books and corporate e-learning scripts. The issue with music on demos certainly affects, not only voice over artists who post their demos on their websites, but also any site that posts demos, like agencies, pay to plays, producers, etc, and in fact, some of these entities have been hit with demands by TuneSat. Distributing through tape or CD is not the same as "broadcasting" over the internet, which is where this particular issue arises.
Gene Schrieber
1/25/2013 at 7:59 AM
So all the other companies that are purchasing this technology....are CLIENTS of the author? (which is why he can't mention them "Attorney CLIENT privilege"? just curious. That part of the article stumped my flow of reading when I got to it. Asking because I am wondering out of curiosity if a company has to have an atty to purchase and employ this technology. Otherwise why would attorney client privilege come into play...things that make you go hmmmmmm
Dan Duckworth
1/20/2013 at 5:18 PM
Very interesting. What are your thoughts, Robert, about talent agency reels, Voice123, voicebank.net, etc. Few, if any in the past, have vetted every demo that is posted. Also, most demo copy that is used does not have written permission to use. It's probable that the prevailing attitude over the years has been one of "no one is selling demos, they're just given away. So who cares?" Even for your own gigs, do you think that somewhere along the line there should be some kind of written permission to use it, not necessarily limited just to the music element, but the whole production? If you were going by the letter of the, etc. etc.
And when demos were only distributed by CD, tape, etc, there was probably little practical way of tracking all demos. Anyway, thanx for your thoughts and any further enlightenment you can throw on this brave new Internet world.
BP Smyth
1/12/2013 at 1:45 PM
Thanks, Robert, for the update. A lot of VO folks have had no idea that the studios who make their demos could possibly be using music without permission.
Rebecca Michaels Haugh
1/12/2013 at 5:17 AM
Thanks Robert - this is exciting news! I find it positive, actually, for the musicians. Of course if people have been using music without permission, it's bad new for them. So be it!
Best,
Rebecca of www.LoveThatRebecca.com
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