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Rights to music in ISU events

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by vexlak, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. vexlak

    vexlak Member

    Maybe this was discussed before but I could not find it anywhere.

    For the Olympic music submission there is a clause that:
    "To clear the music rights, athletes will have to go through different steps, as follows:

    (a) Clear the right to make their recording. This will involve identifying and individualizing the musical contents and their corresponding copyright owner(s) ┬ľnamely, the (i) author/composer, the (ii) performer(s) and the (iii) producer of the recording┬ľ and getting permission from them."

    The is not used on other ISU events music submission forms.

    What if the artist or the owner of the piece does not like the music to be played with figure skating or demands thousands for the right?
    I was under the impression that the major events are blanket covered by ASAP or CISAC licenses.
    Since the skater(s) is not commercially benefiting, should he/she have right to use it (as long they purchased it not pirate downloaded it)?
    Should not any affiliated fees with the royalties or permissions be paid by the even organizer?
  2. vexlak

    vexlak Member

    I found a interesting article:
  3. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller #1 Dick Button Fan

    This is a great topic & question. I had been wondering about this, in light of the new rules (next season) allowing vocals in Singles and Pairs (not just dance). I tremble thinking of a U.S. Natonals consisting of nothing but Celine Dion and Barbra Streisand ballads...not to mention Beyonce, Taylor Swift, etc. I can imagine that the cost of rights for popular vocal recordings can be very high, especially if the skater makes a telecast - i.e., makes the final group at Nationals - and the tune is broadcast to a wide audience.
  4. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    I don't have the answers but those are very interesting and important questions, vexlak.

    It would be horrible if some skaters suddenly found out that they don't have permission from the author/performer/producer. What would they do then?

    I would like to think that given the exposure Olympics get, the rights owners would be happy to say yes, given the publicity gained.
  5. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    Given some of the horrible programs to vocal music, and the horrible edits to some of that music, I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if an artist or a copyright holder refused permission.

    As to what the skater could do if they couldn't get permission, they're allowed to use vocal music but not required to use it. So if they were denied permission to use a vocal version, they could always find someone with a synthesizer and GarageBand and get an instrumental version created for them. Hopefully that would be more satisfactory to all concerned.

    In any case, I hope the skaters have noticed this requirement and that they or their "teams" are working on getting permission now, so that they'll have time to do something else if they get turned down.
  6. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    Does this mean that if Jason Brown makes the Olympic team, he'll have to get down on bended knee shouting Hosannas galore, and begging Prince's favor for use of sp music, The Question of U?! Hmmm, that would be interesting. :drama:
  7. LilJen

    LilJen Reaching out with my hand sensitively

    ^ geez, I hope not. I would think that the USFS would have taken care of that? In any event, anything that ends up online has eventually been muted by Prince's "people."
  8. RAReinecke

    RAReinecke New Member

    I actually contacted USFS on this a few years ago as I do music editing. At that time, they were not concerned with obtaining music rights as it was not their problem to solve. For events that are broadcast, the network doing the broadcast was responsible for obtaining the rights. For local events they were not concerned as rinks pay fees to ASCAP and/or BMI to cover music being played in their rink.

    Getting permission shouldn't be an issue, however, being able to pay the fees might be (or might not be worth it). But this is generally not a responsibility that falls to the individual skaters.

    I suppose I would be surprised if the USOC, perhaps in conjunction with the broadcasting network, would not help with any fees for any skaters making it to the Olympics. I suppose I would also be surprised if this wasn't part of the contract between USFS and whatever networks that they deal with.

    I know for regionals I've had parents contact me for more information as the form they have had to fill out for copyright issues seemed rather extensive. I believe it was providing the information necessary for Icenetwork and video sales (to get copyright permission).
  9. vexlak

    vexlak Member

    That would still need the permission unless the composer is dead over 50 (sometimes 70) years.
  10. vexlak

    vexlak Member

    Normally the competition organizer takes care of the rights by a blanket ASSAP, BMI or similar collective management organization license agreement. This was never a issue with the ISU. All you had to do is to fill in the usic information and they took care of the rest.
    It is the Olympic committee that passes the responsibility on athletes. In the mean time a athlete makes no profit on it, so technically it would be OK, however since the OG sells broadcasting rights for millions, maybe it will not be as easy to obtain permission. Everyone would like piece of the pie...

    I did some Googling and came up with some interesting information.
    For example Beijing OG music rights were paid the the Chinese OC (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-11/09/content_7039017.htm).
    Another, maybe not as relevant yet interesting one about London OG (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/...ondon-2012-Olympics-exploiting-musicians.html).

    Unless the NOC (National Olympic Committee) or skating federation does not help, it would be very interesting....
  11. Sedge

    Sedge Well-Known Member

    The 2012 ISU Constitution contains the following on page 131 ( it has read more or less the same since 1996)


    b) All Figure Skating Competitors and their Members shall:
    i) certify and warrant that the music and choreography presented
    and used by the Competitor have been fully cleared and
    authorized for public use and television and other media
    exhibition broadcast and re-broadcast throughout the world
    without further clearances or payments of any kind on the part
    of the ISU, the organizing Member, the Organizing
    Committee or the relevant television networks or broadcasters
    being required;

    That seems to state that the Feds and skaters are responsible for clearance.
  12. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    The form is asking for permission from the composer, the performer, and the producer. If the skater is paying someone to produce and perform a version of the song, only the composer's permission would be necessary. That would get around the problem if the performer and/or the producer of the "other" version denied permission to use their version.
  13. joeperryfan

    joeperryfan Well-Known Member

    This interests me from the point of view of websites. Let's say that I have permission from Eurosport to have videos of their broadcasts on my site (I don't, it's just an hypothesis), would I need to pay rights to anybody else to make it fully legal? What if it's an amateur video made by a fan?

    I've seen a great deal of rights infringement thanks to Youtube, even on tv I've seen some talk shows where the guests play a video(usually football related) and I'm pretty sure the rights weren't cleared or else they'd be playing from another source, and I've always wondered how a website should behave in this regard.
  14. Blondie12

    Blondie12 New Member

    There are two copyrights involved: the written song or musical co position and second the musical rendition. Like Lady Gaga song, there would be a copyright from the songwriters and a copyright from Lady Gaga'a performance. So you could not just have someone reperform a popular song - there is still the songwriter copyright.

    Copyright stays in place life of the author plus a certain set of years. So classical songs more than 100 years old would not have any issues.
  15. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    Yes, we know that. And that is why the Olympics are requiring permission from the writer, the producer, and the performer.
  16. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    I think they're going to have problems with rebroadcast rights. Plus, rights are country-specific. I seem to recall when this came up a few years ago that music used in competition has different rights issues than does rebroadcast of that competition -- I think there was a quote by someone (Doug Wilson?) explaining why some compilations didn't include routines that were notable for their absence, and why some other compilations substituted alternate music. And with some music recorded long ago, even figuring out who might be the rights holder could be pretty difficult. How's that supposed to work with all the governmentally-sponsored orchestras in what used to be Czechoslovakia or the former Yugoslavia?

    Our local library foundation holds rights to the poetry and stories of a fairly prolific children's writer. I was rather astonished to see the complexity of rights negotiations even when the poem(s) is being included in something fairly standard like a book, especially now that books (and even textbooks) are now available in print and e-book formats. I feel sorry for the rights person who has to individually negotiate rights for each and every poem used in an anthology or reader. Our foundation's agent executes a separate rights agreement for every use.
  17. blueglass

    blueglass New Member

    I think that in Canada copyright is life plus fifty years. I recall a story about Isabelle Brasseur having to personally contact the singer/songwriter directly to get permission to use his song at the 94 Olympics.
  18. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Hit ball, find ball, hit it again.

    And for those of us who are sick and tired of endless programs to Swan Lake and the like, there you have it.
    snoopy likes this.
  19. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    All this is why intellectual property and copyright laws are one of the biggest piles of crap ever thought up by mankind. :mad:
  20. jiejie

    jiejie Well-Known Member

    Ziggy, you wouldn't say that if you were at the forefront of developing IP that then gets stolen, replicated, and somebody else steals profits that should have gone to you. No IP protection ends up with few willing to go to the trouble to develop anything worthwhile.

    In the scheme of things, skaters wanting to use music still under copyright restrictions and having to get permissions is more of an annoying task, not a tragedy. It should be dealt with at the time music selections are being considered for an upcoming season, so any refusals are known about before effort is put into choreography. There is a Big World of music out there and there is plenty that is no longer under copyright and that is not Carmen or Swan Lake. There are also plenty of modern songwriters and producers that would be happy to have their work in front of a larger public audience, with proper credit given and/or fees paid. Not all of them are protective to the Prince level. I just don't see this as anything more than another item on the Serious Skater's checklist, like getting the costume made and the boots broken in.
    Coco and (deleted member) like this.
  21. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    I'm in the middle: I'm all in favor of paying the rights owners, but I think that there should be a master database with pre-determined rights charges (which could vary based on type of usage) and a clearinghouse that would handle the rights. The current system is way, way too complicated and imposes a lot of costs on both the person trying to use the music and on the rights holder(s). It is much like the theoretical "use" taxes that various states and municipalities would like consumers to pay when they purchase an item on the internet without paying sales taxes: every time reporters have investigated this, it turns out that the computations are so freakin complicated that nobody in their right mind as an individual consumer would do it, but states aren't willing to enforce a simpler, uniform model.
  22. vexlak

    vexlak Member

    that is why in IMHO the organizer should be responsible for that. They are making money of that not the athlete. You cannot compare small senior B competition with almost no viewers to GP , EC or WC where millions (in my wildest dreams) are watching,hence the pay to artist should be greater.
  23. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    The fees paid by arenas and rinks to generally broadcast music are the same whether I'm skating to some obscure local punk band or Beyonce. So that's not really an issue for competitions. It's only an issue if someone wants to make a recording of the competition and sell it at a later date. The fees paid to broadcast music over the arena/rink sound system don't cover rebroadcasts so ...

    It wouldn't get around it if the performer was also the composer. A lot of pop singers write their own songs. (Er, okay, maybe not a lot. But some do. :))

    The answer is: it depends, maybe, and sometimes. :lol:

    Seriously though, you've got several situations and rights issues mixed together. In the case of the website, you can't rebroadcast performances without getting the music rights. Whatever rights were gotten for the original competition do not apply to any future rebroadcasts. The exception is a news broadcast where the music of the performance is part of the ambient sound. That's just news and you don't need music rights to broadcast a new story. However if an entire video of an entire performance is played as news, that's a gray area.

    Though I don't see how it would be news. Maybe you'd see that on those morning "news" programs or the talk shows you mention, but that's not really a news story and replaying the entire performance is not really a news story. A real news story would almost always feature an excerpt only as part of telling a bigger story, not the complete performance.
  24. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    I agree. I was referring to music (and to an extent, creative arts in general).
  25. casken

    casken Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty sure this happened to Todd Eldredge once. He had to change out music becuase he couldn't get permission to use it.
  26. aka_gerbil

    aka_gerbil Rooting for the Underdogs

    It wasn't for the their competitive programs that season. It was for their exhibition number, dedicated to Isabelle's late father, to Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven." If I'm remembering correctly, she wrote explaining her father's death and wanting to use the song for that reason. I don't know if he ever saw the performance live, but I seem to remember a commentator mentioning that he had been moved by B/E's program to the song or touched by Isabelle's request.
  27. Sylvia

    Sylvia Prepping for club comp. season!

    Bumping this up to re-post this question from the Programs thread:
  28. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    AFAIK the skater themselves doesn't have to pay, at least not directly. If the program is broadcast on TV, then I think either the ISU or the channel/network is responsible for paying whatever royalties are due to the composer/performer. If the program is part of an event that generates revenue, e.g. a competition where there's an admission fee for spectators, then I think the competition organizers are responsible for paying the royalties.

    I don't know about other countries, but in Canada businesses can purchase a license from the music rights organization. It allows them to pay a single fee to use music without getting the rights to every single piece of music involved.
    I am not sure if something like this is available for skating events.