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mingusmonk

Copyrights, Tresona, DCI - 2 podcasts

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The problem seems to be that they submit for license in October, but don't hear back sometimes until May or June. What are they to do if they get denied the rights? That's pretty late in the production cycle to make any significant changes to the program.

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The problem seems to be that they submit for license in October, but don't hear back sometimes until May or June. What are they to do if they get denied the rights? That's pretty late in the production cycle to make any significant changes to the program.

That being the reality we have, it would seem to me that the current cycle is not large enough. These things will need to be planned and committed to, for good or bad, much earlier and part of long term planning. Typically, there are at least 6-8 corps that know they will reasonably be in the top 12 each year. Such that they should, from the very beginning, be laying all the groundwork to secure everything well in advance as much as possible. They don't have to spend their off season months hoping to keep the organization alive and can afford the luxury of longer term planning and strategy. The rest of the corps might very well be uncertain they will even field a corps next summer, so their inability to commit to programs 18-24 months in advance might be reasonable. Is there any real reason, other than choice, that prevents the perennial top corps from engaging in this longer term planning?

Edited by Tekneek
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I assumed no such thing. You're talking about legal responsibility, as in who must legally be responsible for such an arrangement. There is nothing in copyright law that prevents a drum corps from working with DCI and whatever partners ahead of time to try to make sure that the proper clearances are obtained before the show is even put onto the field. They know exactly how they intend to use the different elements, which could then be pushed through the process. You don't have to have a finalized performance recording in order to pursue such clearance and rights arrangements.

There is a bit of a domino effect that has to take place though, right? Corps have to know they are going to (or are at least very likely to) put a piece into production before DCI is going to likely need to synch it. So first they have to know they have the right to arrange/perform. And if you listened to the Tresona podcast, their co-founder concedes that there are a number of composers and publishers that do not work quickly. Not to mention that on both the perform and synch sides, DCI is not the most important contract on the desk ($$$).

Even with no legal barrier against "pushing through the process," there needs to be some certainty before an organization can negotiate synchs. At a certain point, playing too far out in the future would involve too may theoreticals and what-ifs for rights holders have any desire to play along.

Design teams start working very early nowadays, but they do not "know exactly how they intend to use different elements." Can you imagine Bluecoats this year without Great Gig? Because this was not locked in as a tune in October. Far from it.

Also, if you listened to the Dan Acheson podcast, DCI is not staffed to burn and churn licensing talks all 24 x 7 x 365. Can that change or does it make financial sense to change? I don't know.

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Should DCI have a full-time representative to handle all licensing requests? Would that help with some of these issues? Could we get an advocate to lobby the publishers on our behalf, knowing we go through this cycle around the same time every year?

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Should DCI have a full-time representative to handle all licensing requests? Would that help with some of these issues? Could we get an advocate to lobby the publishers on our behalf, knowing we go through this cycle around the same time every year?

Sure. As long as somebody is willing to absorb the cost. The consumer.

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That being the reality we have, it would seem to me that the current cycle is not large enough. These things will need to be planned and committed to, for good or bad, much earlier and part of long term planning. Typically, there are at least 6-8 corps that know they will reasonably be in the top 12 each year. Such that they should, from the very beginning, be laying all the groundwork to secure everything well in advance as much as possible. They don't have to spend their off season months hoping to keep the organization alive and can afford the luxury of longer term planning and strategy. The rest of the corps might very well be uncertain they will even field a corps next summer, so their inability to commit to programs 18-24 months in advance might be reasonable. Is there any real reason, other than choice, that prevents the perennial top corps from engaging in this longer term planning?

Those stable corps right now work over a year beyond the synch. We know one design team will be meeting in a week and a half. That is about 13 months before next years CD/DVD's start get finalized. These are the same designers that work throughout the summer editing and developing changes to the current show. (side note: are you willing to allows changes to the show?) Are you expecting them to work two shows at a time or hiring a second design team and working 2 year cycles? Figure they'll be cool with doubling their workload without significant pay changes? The ideas that seem reasonable to you don't seem so reasonable to me. And Dan Acheson laughed on the podcast at the thought of corps teams working that far out .

Edited by mingusmonk

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Should DCI have a full-time representative to handle all licensing requests? Would that help with some of these issues? Could we get an advocate to lobby the publishers on our behalf, knowing we go through this cycle around the same time every year?

That is essentially what Tresona does. I've used them to secure arranging and performance rights for my band. Yes, they work for the publishers, but they also work for me as an arranger/director. The process has never been so streamlined and easy.

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You don't have to have a finalized performance recording in order to pursue such clearance and rights arrangements.

In most cases you absolutely do have to have a final version, sent to the publishers for approval. And yes, all your hard work can be for naught if it's rejected (often without explanation).

It's just not as simple as securing the arranging/performance rights in November and inquiring about mechanical/synch rights. The corps generally won't even get an answer if they ask about them, as they are not the publishers. The system simply doesn't work that way.

Now, if it was possible for corps to get tentative mechanical/synch clearances with their performance/arranging rights, that would be cool...but that's not how it works, and likely won't ever be without a major overhaul in US copyright law. Often in publishing companies different departments/people handle different kind of rights requests.

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Those stable corps right now work over a year beyond the synch. We know one design team will be meeting in a week and a half. That is about 13 months before next years CD/DVD's start get finalized. These are the same designers that work throughout the summer editing and developing changes to the current show. (side note: are you willing to allows changes to the show?) Are you expecting them to work two shows at a time or hiring a second design team and working 2 year cycles? Figure they'll be cool with doubling their workload without significant pay changes? The ideas that seem reasonable to you don't seem so reasonable to me. And Dan Acheson laughed on the podcast at the thought of corps teams working that far out .

The top corps already know what next year's show is, and are likely already securing arranging and performance rights for the music they may potentially use. Synch and mechanical right are not even part of the equation, nor should they be.

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Only the producers of the recording (DCI or whatever company they contract) are able to secure those rights. That's why we sometimes have music that doesn't make the DVD/BlueRay. It's not because corps want that music removed, it's because the rights needed are not the same as what they (the corps) secured months prior. Mechanical and synch rights are only secured *during* the production process. The reason they aren't secured in advance is that some publishers want to see the final product, to ensure it's in line with the desires of the rights holder (preventing, say, a piece of music from being used in an offensive way, or way that runs contrary to the rights holder's views on his/her/their music).

This can't be entirely true. We know from Madison Scouts and "Empire State of Mind" that video rights for that song had already been turned down by May of the performance year (because all summer long the audio went silent for that song on the Fan Network's video-on-demand performances of Madison's show--and because Michael Boo says so in his story about why the sync right were withheld), so in that case, an inquiry was clearly made much earlier than you describe.

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