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Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Frank Soyke, Jan 12, 2014.
I don't understand, what does PAL have to do with blu-ray, if everything is HD?
What would it cost to do this right? To clear all the music the publishers will allow, restore all the tapes and present every episode with no cuts whatsoever (assuming it is still possible at this point)? The demand is there. If I had to, I'd give up extras to get it that way (and they already made extras for season 1; they can just use those at no additional cost).
It isn't HD, and unless they start releasing SD shows on Blu-ray, any idealized release probably would still be on DVD. PAL has a slightly higher resolution (540 lines vs. 480 for PAL) but a slower frame rate (25 fps vs. 30 fps for NTSC). Converting NTSC to PAL has always had mixed results at best, as would converting it back to NTSC from PAL.
That was my initial point. I know they are SD, I suggested BD to avoid PAL vs NTSC and region coding. The whole reason of releasing an SD series to BD in Europe would be to avoid music licence fees and have worldwide compatibility.
Rather than going back and redubbing some of the original dialogue, why couldn't they just drown it out with the replaced music, like Game Show Network did on some episodes of The Newlywed Game?
I'm sure the rate is going up, but as of a few years ago the music publisher would get between $5 -10K for the synch rights, and since WKRP used the hit versions, the various record labels would charge about $10K in master recording rights.
So that's about $15-20K per song (and usually per use, though sometimes producers can cut a deal for multiple uses at a discount.) So now you get an idea of just how big the clearance costs can get with a show of this type.
To a DVD producer, is it worth $10,000 every time Jennifer's doorbell rings? Probably not.
Fox is one of the few studios who use region coding on most of their bluray discs, actually. But I'd happilyfind a work around for this problem if it was releasedin region 2 or 3.
I've always been confused by this. Yes, I understand that set rates are used. But when those rates ARE paid, how do the publishers distribute the money?What percentage goes to the singer(s), what to the musicians, what to the lyricist, what to the composer?In the case of Jennifer's doorbell, it was a chime version of Fly Me To The Moon (IIRC). Does that version really cost the same as the Frank Sinatra / Nelson Riddle version?Also, for radio, there used to be a special exclusion based on length on play - under X seconds, no fee, over X seconds - pay up.
Unless there's a different agreement in place, half of the publishing license fee goes to the publisher, and the other half is split evenly amongst the composers. The recording artists and musicians are not compensated from this payment.
The master recording licensing fee (paid to the record label) is divided between the record label, the recording artist and the musicians involved in the recording in accordance with some arcane formula that probably changes on a case-by-case basis (according to the amount of advances and expenses against the artist's account that are still outstanding), and which is apparently the subject of much ongoing litigation in the industry. So no one knows for certain.
Yes-- in terms of the publishing fee, Jennifer's doorbell (in theory) can cost the the same as Frank Sinatra. The synch licensing fee is for the use of the song, regardless of who is performing it. Since a much smaller slice of the song is being used (and in a somewhat incidental manner), the publisher may not charge the full rate... but they **could**.
How do they determine the fee? What factors go into deciding how much a publisher will charge a studio to use a song?
Assuming the publishing company agrees to license the requested song at all, the following relevant details are among those considered (in no particular order) during the negotiation of the initial licensing agreement:
- The type of rights being sought.
- The geographic area of the proposed release.
- The length of the proposed licensing period (number of years)
- The proposed use of the song (ex: as background music vs. a prominently featured song or theme song)
- The amount of the song being licensed (Jennifer's doorbell vs. Frank Sinatra's full rendition, for example)
Publishers used to grant reduced "medley" rates, and allow for multiple uses of a song within a project (for only the one fee), but both of these practices are less common these days. Nowadays, if you want to use a song three times in a show, you pay for it all three times.
If the licensing request is for a home video release of a previously produced program, the above can again be considered, but the publisher is equally likely to just look at the program and determine how integral his song is in the finished product, which may allow him to charge a premium price for its licensing. The home video producer can either bite the bullet and pay up, or simply delete all traces of that song in the final product.
One somewhat related reason that home video producers often delete songs (or more annoyingly, use replacement music) is that many agreements with publishers contain a "most favored nation" clause-- meaning that those publishers get paid the highest negotiated rate, no matter which of them negotiated the deal. So if you're the producer, and have managed to secure every song but one for $5,000 from their respective publishers, you may have a real problem if you absolutely HAVE to use that last song, and the publisher wants $10,000 for it. You're much more likely to cut it than give a lot of other publishers a raise.
Thanks a lot Kevin for explaining all that. Do you happen to know why it seems like in some other countries, music use on previously produced programs is less onerous?
In some other countries, there is a system that is analogous to a singer's "compulsory license" (which allows anyone to cover a song, and specifies the amount of royalty to be paid). In those countries, companies can issue a product containing music, as long as the specified royalties are paid.
Generally, in those countries, the music publishers are compensated for each of their songs contained in the program in question at a standardized rate, which is collected by a national royalty society. In some cases, the publishers split a pool of royalties computed and collected as a small percentage of the projected MSRP of the final product. In any case, they are not allowed to just name any figure, as they are here in the U.S.A..
So yes, the costs are standardized, and **much** less onerous. Of course, the markets are much smaller, and potentially fragmented...
Thanks for the explanation, Kevin. As a music fanatic, I've been buying foreign box sets (particularly Bear Family) on American singers forever. I had always heard it was easier/cheaper to license overseas in many cases. I guess that applies to DVD/Blu as well.
I guess that partially explains why we may have seen some things licensed to Canadian companies which seem to do better in terms of retaining original music than their U.S. counterparts.
I don't want to off topic too much, but I had to say I'm glad to see another fan of Bear Family here. I have a few of their boxes also (not as many as I want due to $$$ requirements) and they are a first rate company that has never disappointed me. Just got done listening to their new Hank Thompson box a couple of weeks ago.
Also wanted to thank Kevin for his very informative posts.
I hope WKRP fans will someday get their wish of a complete NOB release.
I have their Johnny Horton sets, the Jim Reeves set and Jimmie Rodgers set. A friend of mine at church recently gave me a copy of the Hank Snow sets on an mp3. I have quite a few of their single CD releases, too. You're always assured of quality with Bear.
I hope this show gets released to DVD by StarVista/Time-Life by either the end of this year or early next year.
Additionally, I also want Chicago Hope, and St. Elsewhere to be released by Shout! Factory ASAP!!!
They only do one show a year (and The Wonder Years has the fall 2014 slot) so the best you can hope for is the end of 2015.
The Wonder Years release does at least give us some hope, although one shouldn't hold his breath for too long of course, but I'm sure with the huge interest in an uncut WKRP release it would mean company money well spent and ensure a big success for all. I'm taking a deep breath...