May 2011 Highlights

Q It Up: Can I use Lady Gaga's new song under my commercial? - Part 2

Q It Up: What is your understanding of the laws regarding the use of unlicensed, copyrighted music under commercials and promos, and how do you deal with these requests? In markets small to large, some people, even in management levels, believe they have the right to use music from their playlist under commercials and promos because they pay ASCAP/BMI for Performance Rights. Many have never heard of Synchronization Rights. But it's the gray area that gets most debated. Is it okay for clubs to use popular music under their spots? Has a club or station ever been sued for doing so? Is it okay for stations to use songs from their playlist under a promo that has nothing to do with the artist? Has a station ever been sued for doing so? Do you know of any lawsuits involving copyright infringement we can share with clients, sales and management to use as examples of why it's best to obey the law? Is there any such thing as a "7 second rule" allowing legal use of up to seven seconds of copyrighted music? To our non-US readers, most of what we've printed in RAP on this subject has come from the perspective of United States laws and practices. How is this situation dealt with in your country? Indie producers, are things any different for you?

Feature: Back To The Well

by John Pellegrini

Possibly the most disappointing movie I've seen in the last 5 years was da Vinci Code. With all due respect to Ron Howard and Tom Hanks, I really didn't care for the film at all. Sure it was nice to see most of the locations from the book, but the movie disappointed me because it was nowhere near as good as what I had already pictured in my head when I read the book. I won't be seeing Angels and Demons for the same reason or The Lost Symbol when it gets made into a movie. Again, nothing against Ron Howard or Tom Hanks, it's just that my own idea of what Dan Brown's novels look like is far better than what they make.

Production 212: Slaving Over a Hot Console

by Dave Foxx

I don't know if many of you know this, but the Z100 studios are in the AT&T building in Tribeca in lower Manhattan. When we moved here from Jersey City three years ago, we all had quite a laugh over the fact that you couldn't get decent AT&T cell service in the AT&T building. Needless to say, most of us switched over to Verizon as soon as we could. Consequently, it was only recently that I finally got my hands on my own iPhone. A couple of weeks later, I had to have an iPad2. Obviously, I'm a MAC guy and, in fact, have been since I got my old Apple computer in the '80s. I've thought for a long time that one of my secrets to success has been my reliance on superior technology, which allows me to be as creative as I want to be without fighting with my operating system every step of the way. But... it always wasn't that way.

Test Drive: Wave Arts' Dialog Processor

by Steve Cunningham

Plug-ins designed for speech and voiceover evidently comprise a hot little market segment, judging by the email responses I received from the last review of a speech-oriented processor. Several voice artists and producers wrote that the existence of these plugs helped them drop pounds and extra cables from their remote recording rigs, which in many cases are now down to a microphone, a Mic Port Pro or similar, a mic cable, and a laptop computer. The size of their traveling rig now depends primarily on the size of mic they take, as the Mic-Port-ish interface add negligible bulk (about the size of a nice Dominican Robusto). A mere ninety days after I wrote about an all-in-one processor aimed specifically at vocal work, I got wind of another product aimed at nearly the same market and nearly the same price point. The folks at Wave Arts are offering up their take on a complete plug designed for speech processing. Aptly named Dialog, this plug-in consists of a full set of practical tools for cleaning, enhancing, and otherwise polishing your voiceover tracks, all for $249.95.

Radio Hed: McVantage

by Jeffrey Hedquist

We all know that if we need to include the location of the advertiser in their commercial (it often isn't necessary) then doing it "colloquially" is more effective than giving the street number. For instance, instead of 3972 Minnetonka Boulevard, use something that listeners will actually remember like just South of the Post Office, on the East side of the Square, by the statue of the Unknown Duck Hunter, or... across from McDonald's.

...And Make It Real Creative: Once Upon a Father-In-Law

by Trent Rentsch

My father-in-law is one of the most challenging people I have ever known... which he would emphatically deny. Now, if I said he WASN'T, well, then he would insist... get the picture? A man of academia, the quest for knowledge never ends for him, and he seems to revel in debating any subject, with any one, at any time, simply for the intellectual satisfaction of it. If it's day, he'll insist it is night, and manufacture compelling arguments to support his claim. It only took me 2 or 176 times of falling into his argumentative clutches to realize that I was bringing a pea-brain to a genius-level debating tournament. Which is why I should've known better last weekend...

The Monday Morning Memo: Change Their Minds?

by Roy H. Williams

Not a Chance. People don't really change their minds. They simply make new decisions based on new information. In the absence of new information, there will be no new decision. Give a person the same information you've given them in the past and they'll make the same decision they've made in the past. Want a new decision? Provide new information.

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