WHY are some recent shows having DVD music rights problems???

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Jeffrey Nelson, Dec 19, 2004.

  1. Jeffrey Nelson

    Jeffrey Nelson Screenwriter

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    Like Dawson's Creek, for example...you'd think that, by now, the people who do the paperwork would put down in writing that, not only does the studio have the broadcast rights for the music contained within the episodes, but also video release rights IN ANY EFFING FORMAT THAT WILL EVER COME DOWN THE PIKE. If the artists don't like that, then their music won't be included in the shows in the first place, and the fans will never again have to complain about missing or replaced music. I just don't get it...
     
  2. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC Cinematographer

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    To be fair, it's only VERY recent shows that do this probably...even as recently as 2001 or 2002, they probably had no idea how big the TV on DVD industry would become, and didn't realize that so many shows would be released.
     
  3. LizH

    LizH Second Unit

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    Up until a few years ago, the networks' business model looked something like this:

    1. [1]Create show.
      [2]Create enough episodes for syndication.
      [3]Once the show leaves the air, sell it into syndication.[/list=1]

      As a result, the networks may have the broadcast rights for some music, but not necessarily the home video/DVD rights.

      Up until recently, home video never really factored into the equation.
     
  4. Joshua Lane

    Joshua Lane Second Unit

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    Dawson's Creek isn't exactly "recent"... it started in January of 1998. And in the DVD timeline, taht's a bit old.
     
  5. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    I can answer that in two words - GREEDY ARTISTS!

    Glenn
     
  6. Christian Preischl

    Christian Preischl Screenwriter

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    It's not the artists, Glenn, it's the music rights holders.

    Chris
     
  7. Andreas_K

    Andreas_K Stunt Coordinator

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    I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that the US doesn't have a strong history with releasing TV on VHS tapes (correct me if I'm wrong). If studios had thought there would be profit in that I guess they would have secured music rights for video/dvd releases in the past.

    In the UK there were quite a few shows released on VHS. That must have been pretty profitable if you consider what people were willing to pay for a tape with usually just two episodes. I think you ended up paying about four times as much for a season of a show as you do today on DVD. So studios apparently only bought the rights for a European VHS (and automatically DVD as it has become more popular) release for some shows like Ally Mc Beal for example. That's the only way I can explain why Ally is available in Europe and not in the US.
     
  8. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    No it isn't. It's cheap producers, who won't buck up for the rights in the first place. The rights holders have every right to demand more for uses they weren't paid for in the first place.
     
  9. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I think actually the 'blame' lies with both groups. The people who have the rights to the music want a certain price for the use of their property. It's theirs so they can set a price (reasonable or unreasonable) for its use.

    Then there's the problem of the studio that doesn't want to spend money that they feel there's a chance they may not make back. It's a business so they want to make money. They aren't releasing Quantum Leap: Season Two, for example, because they feel it's a great show and they want the DVD to be a perfect historical record of the original boradcast. They're releasing it so they can make money on it. Sure, there's plenty of fans who would pay a few dollars extra to get the original versions of the show but the studio must not think that it's a good move financially to spend the money on the music.

    The worst part is that the people that get burned are the fans of the show. The majority of fans want the original versions so they either 1. get the altered music versions and at least have the show in some form on DVD or 2. they choose not to buy it and don't get to enjoy the show on DVD.
     
  10. Bill>Moore

    Bill>Moore Second Unit

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    I think owners of the music rights have been getting bolder in wanting more money for the inclusions of their songs on the DVDs. They know fans will be upset and it will be a pain for the studio to remove them if they don't pony up the money. On the other hand, the studios don't want to be relinquishing any of their profit just to include a few songs. Not nearly as many fans are aware of changes to the music in the general public as we have here on these and similar forums. Sometimes a studio may figure that the show will sell pretty darn well whether or not all the original music is included.
     
  11. JohnAP

    JohnAP Second Unit

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    Unfortunaltely, it is a no-win situation for everyone when the original music isn't used. You can't just blame all artists, many of whom are not filthy rich and depend on royalties for their income. Some rights-holders have gotten a bit greedy, while many studios don't see a justification for paying for music that could just be replaced with something cheaper(and usually crappier).
    Only shows that started airing in the last couple years are potentially safe.

    I will say that if a small company like Shout! could justify paying for all the music rights to Freaks and Geeks, then larger companies often have little excuse when they just replace everything. They should at least take fan input on what songs are absolutely essential to particular episodes if they can't make the numbers work for all the music.
     
  12. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    That's sort of lumping everything into one basket. It's not Shout! being a small company that's important, but that Freaks & Geeks is a low-profile show that would have seen a significant drop-off had music been replaced. With a more mainstream show, the cost/benefit analysis could easily swing the other way.
     
  13. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    You're also assuming that the rights situation for all these shows is the same, which isn't necessarily true. Just because one situation is a certain way does not mean they are all equal, nor does it mean all parties involved are handling the situation in the same fashion.
     
  14. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    That would be the answer.

    --
    H
     
  15. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    I'm making no assumption about the rights situation at all; indeed, I'm saying that to treat these different situations as attributable to one cause and having one solution is foolish. Given Freaks & Geeks's small-but-dedicated audience, there's more profit to be had in paying (and charging) more for the music rights than replacing the music and hoping for volume.
     
  16. Linda Thompson

    Linda Thompson Supporting Actor

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  17. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    It is only sticky if a reasonable offer is made, and then refused. I realize that group 'A' may have a different definition of reasonable than group 'B', but I think that a flat fee should be set up. The owners would get a cut of every sale, and that way it would be to their benefit it they agreed to it.

    I also think that the studios should make it a habit to list what songs (rights-holders) were not included. Nasty? No. Not compared to what the hold-outs did to the viewers. Who is being the jerk? The studios for keeping the price of a series at a reasonable level...?

    Glenn
     
  18. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    So it's okay then that the studio makes a profit if they are ripping off the rights holders? The only reason the studio doesn't have DVD rights is because they couldn't be bothered paying for them in the first place. I think you hae your jerks mixed up.
     
  19. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    We really don't know if they couldn't be bothered or not. I would think that if some music was going to be replaced, then the studio would have to go out and figure out what they can put innits place, and then ask,nget it cleared, etc. It might be cheaper, but it is more work then just asking the original rights-holder(s).

    As another example, 'Felicity' is missing most of its original music. In that case, I think the studio did try, but lost.

    If an episode of anything had 5 songs in it, and when you played your DVD 2 of them had been changed, what would you think?

    Glenn
     
  20. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    My point is that if music needs to be replaced, it is because the studio and the rights holders couldn't come to terms, or that the studios didn't bother to ask.

    The show's producers didn't pay for the right to use the music on DVDs, so is it the rights holders' fault that they would like to be compensated for a use that they weren't paid for, especially since both the show's producers AND the public seem to value that music so much?

    I don't like music being replaced any more than anyone else, but I'm not going to arbitrarily blame the rights holders when they are the ones who weren't paid for the DVD rights in the first place.
     

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