Drum Corps International
A note about music licensing and the Kiwanis Kavaliers

A note about music licensing and the Kiwanis Kavaliers

by Drum Corps International

When a corps decides which music to play on the field, the corps must do much more than choose a hot brass arranger. For a corps to appear on DCI CDs and DVDs, complicated music licensing rights must be secured. Because video music licensing rights (video synchronization rights) differ from audio licensing rights (mechanical rights), the Kiwanis Kavaliers will not appear on the 2003 Drum Corps International Division I DVDs, although the corps appears on the 2003 CD set. Securing the video licensing to the Kiwanis Kavaliers' Beatles-themed 2003 program, "All You Need is Love," would have created huge production fees, according to Jeni Paulson, DCI's music licensing agent. "The Beatles' music is very popular, so if Sony ATV (the publishers of the Beatles' music catalog) says, 'If you want it, you have to pay for it,'" Paulson said. Part of any music licensing contract includes a clause that recognizes each publishing company equally, Paulson said. Therefore, if Sony ATV demanded a significantly higher fee for these video rights, all other publishing companies that DCI negotiated with would then receive the same fees, Paulson said. Therefore, "If you pay Sony that amount, then you have to pay all the publishers the higher amount," Paulson said. Doug Darwin, director of the Kiwanis Kavaliers, said if he had anticipated the licensing issues, he may have planned the corps' season differently. "If we had known that, we wouldn't have selected the show," Darwin said. "We're very disappointed that we couldn't be include in the video. I thought it was a great show, and it's too bad that people won't be able to watch it again and again. However, I understand the situation. We decide that what was best for DCI was best for us. I agreed with the decision that we would have to miss out this year." "We are sorry the Kiwanis Kavaliers can't be on the video products," said DCI executive director Dan Acheson . "Music copyright holders are taking these types of permissions very seriously these days. Because we are in the music business, we have no choice but to respect the owners of this material, as we would expect people to respect the materials that Drum Corps International has produced," Acheson said.

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