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Known artists music on an company international intranet

Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:17 pm
by jp1001

I am own a small company which produces short films / videos. I have been employed by a local company to produce a video of their summer fete. I have now handed over the video to the client however she in not happy with the live music recorded on the day. She intends to place the video on the company international intranet site for viewing by employees from across the globe.
She is now requesting that the music be replaced with a current chart song. I have repeatedly refused to do this stating that it would break copyright law. I have looked on the .GOV site and on the uk copyright fact sheet for specific information on intranet copyright rules.

If possible could you direct me to any relevant info or advise further?

Many thanks

Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:57 pm
by AndyJ
Hi jp

You are right to refuse to do this, without a licence.

It really doesn't matter if it's only going to be seen/heard on an intranet, it would still amount to infringement if a copyright work was used. Other than the law itself here and here* I can't think of any authoritative source that says in so many words that that is the case, but any lawyer who specialises in IP (indeed I would hope most other lawyers also) will confirm this is the case. This would not be copying for private or personal use which can, under certain circumstances, benefit from an exception to copyright law, And there are no other exceptions which might apply here.

It is very easy to arrange for a so-called synchronisation (sync) licence exactly tailored to this company's needs, bearing in mind the licence will need to cover international use if employees across the world are to be able to view it. More details here. A typical licence for worldwide corporate use would be in the region of £300.

*For the sake of clarity, where the law talks about 'the public', this includes even a single individual who is outside the immediate family of the person who makes the work available. It has been held in several court cases that a church congregation, a group of workers within a employer's premises, attendees at a private party held in a pub and film clubs are all examples of 'the public'.

Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:46 pm
by jp1001
Hi Andy,

Thanks for you quick response, that is exactly what I was looking for.

Thank you


Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:45 pm
by jp1001
Hi Andy

Could possibly provide a link to the definition of 'the public' you posted in your answer.

Thank you again


Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:23 pm
by AndyJ
Hi jp,

I'm sorry to say that many of the authorities I would need to quote are not directly available online due their age (often back to the 1930s and 1940s). The best I can suggest are: If you really want list of case citations I can dig them out but I fear that you are unlikely to be able to actually read the judgments without access to a law library which holds the specific law reports.

Afternote (added Sat 23 Sep 2017). While I have attempted to answer your third posting, it needs to be remembered that in my earlier reply I cited two different types of infringement (under sections 17 and 19). Only the latter involves the issue of 'the public'. The former would occur if you or anyone who was not authorised to do so, embedded a copy of a copyright music track in the video. This is a matter of strict liability, where the only three questions are: was a substantial part of the original work copied, was this done without permission of the copyright owner, and are there any statutory exceptions which would allow this particular copying? The second form of infringement would occur if the company then showed or made available for showing, the finished video.

Posted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:49 pm
by jp1001
Thank you again Andy.