☆ Help for dancers who need money or get copyright notices

dancer and assistant rabbit – (*^o^*) Lovely Angel Dance!” [dance]

Shortened link to this video:  ✰ NagatoPyon – dancer and assistant rabbit – (*^o^*) Lovely Angel Dance!” [dance]: http://bit.ly/qxaVuF

Introduction–why a simple message can not be made for this topic

It would be nice if this article contained a clear statement of what you can do.

Unfortunately we live in a money orientated society. The laws reflect the nature of a money orientated world. With the advent of the Internet, you or anyone else could potentially reach out to millions of people with your song, music and or dance.

There are quite lot of companies and individuals who would like to make money from your popularity (and that includes the search engines and video providers) and no doubt laws will eventually fall into place to allow that process to occur.

In a way, copyright and fair use will remain hard to define while this process is going on as “the ground rules will be changing [7]”–or be ignored if you are too poor or scared to challenge those companies and individuals who act illegally, or find loop-holes in the law.

Unfortunately companies for example may suffer from similar things to you, but they have media resources to complain about it, and even the power to try to influence you regardless of what the actual laws are. The spin doctoring of public opinion is a complex area in itself and will not be covered here. Sample words commonly used in influencing (spin doctoring) people include the words “stakeholders, striking a balance, and pirate.”

A check list of things to consider

The following is a check list of things that you can think about. Doing small business studies might help develop the things discussed here more fully. The law is complex, and full of threats, and risks that can make it difficult to even discuss here. It is hoped that the points covered here will give you some direction on what you might be able to do or what you might want to research to make your idea a commercial, profit-making venture.

If you want to make your own dances, music and or songs and distribute them for free, then there are a lot of people doing that and it may be possible to ask them questions about the problems they face and even some of the solutions they have found. It’s not only about laws, but good ways to get your stuff out there to people who might be interested in it.

If you’re a dancer (or an assistant dancing rabbit) and getting hassled by companies blocking your video for no reason or copyright. If companies are requesting that your video be taken off air (on YouTube for example) then there are possibly a few things you might be able do:

  • If you create your own music, dance, and song video: then make sure you keep the original copy and date of production. The reason for this is that your YouTube account for example can be deleted, and then the proof of your upload is lost–opening you up to challenges by others that still retain covers of your work–a very complex situation because some mixes and variants may be original works in their own right.
    • The copyright industry uses spin doctor terms–such as–it’s too hard to check all those videos so automated software will be used, legal loopholes and even legal “threats.” to scar you into doing nothing. YouTube is currently owned by Google, and they have automated their copyright checking making it possible for your work to be flagged accidentally–and end up being claimed by someone else (effectively Google–via YouTube–claims it belongs to someone else via their automated copyright checking software that is in turn a service they offer to their customers) and this allows them to also place adverts on your video without your permission–because you don’t officially own it anyway according to the automated copyright checking software. The motto from this is that keep the original file you used to create the video of your creative work of song, music and/or dance as your account can be taken off you and your work may have copyright claims against it–meaning that from that moment on, whenever your work is uploaded again it will most likely be hunted down, and your account might be closed down or at minimum your own creative video will need to be deleted from your account–unless you choose to challenge the claim (*a scary situation to some).
  • Have you considered using http://vimeo.com/. YouTube is owned by Google, so using another place to post your videos might make it easier to avoid automated copyright detection machines (software) that often get it wrong and once your video and content you made is owned by someone else, YouTube and Businesses don’t seem to mind putting advertisements on the stuff you made and earning money from it–because you are too poor or scared to challenge them legally.
  • change the privacy settings on your videos or YouTube. This restricts who can see and pass the video around to others to some degree.
  • Alter the dance by around 10% or more to make it’s your own dance design and change the name of the dance–how close the name can be to the original dance name is one thing you will have to research.
  • Once you start making money from your dance videos, things can become complex as people might come round demanding you pay a percentage of your income to them (or that you owe them money)–so make sure you know your rights and get very clear messages (verbal only, is generally not useful) that no payments are expected from artists whose music and possibly videos you use as background material for your dance. If you make no money from your dance then the rules are different as businesses trying to take a percentage from your earnings of $0 = $0, unless the country you live in expects fees of some kind. However, even if you make no money from a project, if you have broken copyright then it’s illegal–that’s probably why you need to add words like “cover” and acknowledge the person who made the song, music and or dance. If the music, song, dance and/or video is your creation, then you should be free make use of the material–again make sure you get to know if you are required to state copyright and so on to ensure no one else misinterprets your intentions on sharing your creations.
  • A lot of musicians use similar music and songs, but also seem to use the word “music groups name” followed by the word “cover.” For example one of my absolutely favorite songs is Blue by Utada Hikaru and to share this on YouTube I had to use this persons video (and he does a very good job singing it too): “Utada Hikaru’s ‘Blue’ – Cover by Andrew Pants:” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOROul6jHR4. I don’t yet know what the dancing equivalent of this is. Apparently in some countries, artists that use the word “cover” must pay a percentage of their profits to the original artist–apparently the original artist can also (rarely used apparently) choose the first group or person who will release a version of their song and music first. This rule of using the word  “cover” may also apply to dances–so check up the legal details of what a cover means. Put simply: it may be possible for you to dance exactly like your hero’s and to the same music–as long as it is done by some other musician as a cover (and they don’t mind being promoted by you–ask them if its okay to download their music and upload it for use as background in your dance video).
  • A thing called “fair use”, allows you to use small sections of publicly released videos or music. Possibly DJ’s use this rule to make their music mixes and possibly video-mixes–and you should be able to do similar things too. Some dancers mix their own music and even include their own voice in music clips for their own dances. Any commercial you obtain should be purchased in a legal manner before you start the mixing process [4]. Some countries may decide fair use if only for study and research, and thus any other use would be illegal. This is obviously a complex area and you need to check your mixing software’s information, talk to lawyers if necessary to find out what your local or international obligations are.
  •  Change the background music (I know altering the background music is a problem as it might wreck the dance though). However if the company or person that made the music won’t let you use it that will cause problems. The good news is that there are lots of struggling musicians out there trying to make it into show business and they know how to make variations or very similar music to the popular styles and you might be able to use their music instead. They often don’t mind you using their music because it’s a way for them to promote their music (which they would normally have to pay money for) and you are helping them out–as long as you, ask permission to use the material for the dance, do mention whose music background it is and of course promote whose dance video it is (which would be you). Naming the video of course is interesting because it focuses on the dance and not the music. I suspect you can name the dance video almost anything but you will need to acknowledge whose music is played during the dance (possibly in the “show more section” in YouTube). If you use exactly the same dance movements as another dance group or individual, then you may have to use some world like “cover.”
  • Acknowledge any formal names you use such as the name of the dance and who owns the rights to that particular dance if it’s not a dance you created (see above point on how you change a dance to make it your own creation).
  • Look around at other YouTube-Dancers (http://vimeo.com/ or other video sharing application). Other dancers may have found legal way to do their dances on YouTube and not have their videos blocked or taken off air.
  • As you get international fans all over the world they will put links to your video and share your dances with other people and friends. Unfortunately this means international laws come into play and even local laws in some countries and that might result in a rocky road for  some videos (you might not notice it if your video is blocked in one country or state, but you will notice if your video is blocked all over the world). You may on occasions also have your video “accidentally” blocked by Internet filters on occasions–but your fans will usually fix this up for you as they get upset and complain.
  • The companies who block or take your video off the air are busy people and do get it wrong or perhaps like to intimidate people (I have personally witnessed one musician who got his YouTube video back up and running after a very large company tried to ban it–but he does compose and make up his own songs. I won’t mention his name here because I know it made him very angry and I’m sure he would rather forget the incident!).
  • Some of the systems investigating copyright are done through automatons (software). That software is thought to get it wrong often, but people who make legitimate stuff are too scared to take it to a legal level. The result… it is rumored is that Google and businesses make a lot of money from advertising that is placed on the website because your creative work has been claimed by someone else. I would suggest researching this subject yourself as it’s a situation that is likely to change as time goes on and people become aware of the problems caused by automatic systems.
  • These are just suggestions, but I hope that you will not close down your YouTube account or end up having your videos blocked by some nasty company.
  • Finally, you are possibly producing something that can make a lot of money. Don’t be ignorant of that fact. If for instance you do a Google or Yahoo search and find your videos are being sold to mobile telephones or at a cost downloads why not start selling your stuff also. Places that you might sell your videos include: cdbaby, amazon, or possibly on your own website using a shopping trolley or paypal buttons or whatever. Feel free to search around and find out other methods that enable you to sell your stuff; a handy idea if you want to sell to the mobile telephone market for example. Running a business is not always easy, so it might be wise to also start studying stuff to do with running a business in case your dances end up making you lots of money. Business is also about learning how to promote yourself, and your creations (dances for example); so learn about this because it’s very important and will boost your confidence a great deal.
  • Also look into how you copyright and trade mark your dances if necessary. Some people may need to register their business name if they earn money. Laws do vary from country to country and trading on the Internet also has different laws (possibly because it is an international business activity). That’s why you should try to do some research about running a business–as mentioned above.
  • While you may not realize it, your dances are also getting out to employers and business people who might want to work with you for a variety of reasons too numerous to mention here. Both your business contacts and potential employer contacts are important. If people start coming to you and request you to help them with their business, a business proposal, suggest a business service that might benefit you, or to work for them as an employee: then you might want to consider actually telling people you are interested in running a business or finding employment. Putting your name out there for employment, to create business contacts or to promote your business might actually bring in many more results than saying nothing.
  • While it’s tempting to place adverts on your video–it can reduce your popularity. If you do want advertising in your videos it’s better that you incorporate it into your entertaining video rather than have a commercial before your video starts. One dance team for example dances at several restaurants and business establishments and then thanks them all at the comment section of the video and at the end of the video (in case it’s embedded into a document).  Another way to to place advertising around the outside of your video or surrounding the video in your website. You could also re-edit your videos later and add advertising.
  • One of the things to remember is that if you are advertising your music (to sell for example), then placing advertising on that advertising can be annoying to your audience and may even distract your audience into not buying your stuff.

the mystery guitar man – “Look This Way Baby” [dance]:

Shortened link to this secret dance: |_O)/♫ the mystery guitar man – “Look This Way Baby” [dance]: http://youtu.be/zmM5xekqqSs

Oh Nooooo, the “Look This Way Baby” dance had been blocked. The mystery guitar man must be soooo disappointed 😦

Backup entertainment: No “Look This Way Baby Dance,” but here’s Red Hot Chili Peppers – Tell Me Baby [song/music]

Backup entertainment: No “Look This Way Baby Dance,” but here’s Red Hot Chili Peppers – Tell Me Baby [song/music]: http://youtu.be/oDNcL1VP3rY

Disclaimer: The material produced here is only a rough guide. You should always check with formal reference material from your own country (and international laws if applicable) and/or lawyers to find out what exact details that apply to you. YouTube also provides material that may help you decide what to do if your video gets copyright notices or blocked.

This document covers a lot of ground, so it may change without notice.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cover_version accessed 2012

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use accessed in 2012

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_jockey accessed in 2012

[4] For DJ’s http://www.mixmeister.com/company_isthislegal.html accessed in 2012

[5] For DJ’s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixtape accessed in 2012

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright accessed in 2012

[7] http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/misinterpreting-copyright.html accessed 2012

Shortened link to article:  ☆ Help for dancers who need money or get copyright notices [article]: http://wp.me/p10Tww-1rO

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