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Copyright. Who owns it?

Hello everybody!
I have an ownership question: If a production company was given a assignment, for example shoot a music video, and was being paid for it etc., does the production company still own rights/can publish the video themselves without the artists permission?

  • No. You are work for hire. If you want to use it as promotion, just make sure that's in the contract. In the old days, production companies could and did promote themselves. Now, with youtube, etc., there are apps that strip the video, and allow the pirate to upload the song, depriving the artist of income. So it's not as simple nowadays.

    8 months ago
    • Thanks, thats good to know! Will make sure to put this in a contract before agreeing to such projects. Thanks for the answer!

      8 months ago
  • Also remember you couldn't release the music with the video ;-)

    8 months ago
  • I wouldn't let this be a deal breaker. Piracy is serious business, and larger companies like to keep an iron hand on their stuff. Plus, what Paddy said!

    8 months ago
  • There was a programme on Radio 4 this week about copyright in the modern age. It might be of general or even specific interest to you -

    8 months ago
  • as a composer as well as film journalist, i'd like to confirm that the music, unless you have a contract giving you licence, is definitely the copyright of either the original composer/artist, or a publisher acting on their behalf. if you were hired by an intermediary, like a manager or management company, even they might not own the actual copyright, so you really need to find out where that lies - asking the artist direct is probably the best start - and then ask them for permission. if they like what you've done and it's a promo, then there shouldn't be a problem, but if you've fallen out with them, then def proceed with caution.

    7 months ago