Copyright is a means of protecting people’s intellectual property and giving the owner control over how their original ideas and materials are used and ensuring they are not infringed. Now that the Awards Ceremony shown on BBC Alba, there are some new things to consider.
In the first instance, it’s important that your actors or those you’re interviewing have signed the FilmG consent form and are happy to be on the website, social media platforms, and on the television broadcast should the film be shortlisted. You can find contributor consent forms at the bottom of the page.
Music is a key component of every film, and since we now broadcast a highlights show on BBC ALBA it is essential that music is clearable for this purpose – not just online use. Whether you are using online library music, music of your own or a composition by someone you know, or traditional music, there are guidelines to follow.
USING MUSIC LIBRARIES
Many websites offer copyright-free music, but this DOES NOT mean the BBC will broadcast it. Music should be chosen from the MCPS (Mechanical Copyright Protection Society) Production Music Library. We would recommend the following sites though there may be a license fee. It is worth enquiring about this.
YOUR OWN MUSIC
If you, or someone you know who has given you permission to use it, have composed the music in your film, it’s yours to use as you wish. It is, however, essential that we have consent from the composer for all uses, including a potential BBC Broadcast.
TRADITIONAL MUSIC OR MUSIC FROM A BAND YOU LIKE
If using traditional music or a traditional song, it should be free to use if the last living composer or writer is over 70 years dead.
Many filmmakers want to use music from a band or artist they like and have permission from the band. Unfortunately, separate consent may be required or the BBC might not accept the track.
IMAGES, BRANDS AND ARCHIVE FOOTAGE
Copyright extends beyond music. If you use photographs or images in your film, you must have written permission from the copyright holder. This applies for archive footage and brands too.
You shouldn’t, for instance, be seen to be promoting any specific brands. It’s important not to linger on brand names or logos and use verbal references sparingly unless there are very strong reasons for repeated references to a brand.