(IMPORTANT: The following information is a basic outline describing aspects of copyright. It is not a comprehensive legal guide to be relied upon without specific professional legal assistance. The following information is based on U.K copyright laws.)
COPYRIGHT (GENERAL) Copyright are the rights of an author for any work they have produced, giving the owner of a work control over the rights in it, how it is used and the right to be credited for the work. It is protection against unauthorised copying of the authors works and ensures that the author is entitled to exploit the work and be the benefactor financially. In the U.K Copyright is covered by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. The Act has been amended since this time to bring it up to date (because the means of reproduction and use can change over time, with technology and new media). Under UK law work is copyrighted on the internet, whether stored, or published.
This protects works such as moving pictures as ‘a film’, no matter what medium it has been recorded on.
The copying, reproduction, broadcasting, use of, derogatory use / treatment of, failing to credit an author where credit applies, falsely taking credit for work (false attribution) are all examples of infringements. It is a copyright infringement even if the person breaking copyright law didn’t realise they were doing so.
To have the right to be identified as the author of the work and for someone else not to have that right. Not to have your work subjected to derogatory treatment by others.
If you have used music in your video, then you will most likely need some form of release documentation to use it, even if it is a friends composition. Informal agreements are all well and good, so long as things don’t change in a friendship. If you are a musician yourself as well as a film maker then that’s ideal, so long as it’s your own composition. Release forms / Synchronisation rights and details for the use of music can vary.
Broadcasters and studios will want assurances and evidence of permission to use music from the owner of the music rights, that includes internet sites like YouTube. The bottom line is, it will be the film maker that gets it if the owner of a work realises the film maker has used their work without permission or payment, and it will cost much more in the long run.
It may seem extreme, but even if someone whistles a tune, or is playing a song - audible on the soundtrack of the film, then these may also need permission, it’s a fiddly technicality, but a real one.
Where someone takes credit for your work and exploits it as if it belonged to them, whether they make money from it or not.
It is always advised that you find out more via books and internet resources specialising in these areas. Otherwise solicitors who work specifically in copyright can advise.
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