Sep 24 2011, 05:28 PM
Member of the congregation with camcorder on throughout, obviously didn't feel that the "photography during processions in and out only" rule applied to him. How should one deal with this after the event given that the minister didn't ask him to stop?
The soloist was very disconcerted during register signing with it pointed right at her, but we didn't find out till after the service was over that they HADN'T requested recording permission (and hence hadn't paid for it!). I feel particularly disgruntled because it didn't seem to cross anyone's mind that the soloist might not want to be captured for posterity - quite apart from the legal issues, surely it's just plain rude?
Sep 24 2011, 06:12 PM
Yes of course its plain rude but people (the general public that is) don't think and have no idea about performance and recording rights/issues and as a performer you have to bite the bullet and go along with it unless in your T&C's you state something specific about recording the performance..
It's just not in peoples mindset to consider a performers rights and you would have to be prepared to have a discussion which would probably cause problems either on the day or afterwards and in turn you get a reputation for being difficult..bad words travel fast I'm sorry to say and whilst you and the singer may have given exemplory performances if you kick up a stink that will be what's remembered..
Its your call really..
Sep 24 2011, 09:25 PM
I really understand how annoyed you feel. I have been the organist at a village church for the past 3 years and, although the wardens and Priest in Charge are very nice people, it is obvious they have absolutely no idea how to employ a church musician.
The head master of a local private girls' school has had both his daughters married at the Church within a 2 year period despite the fact that none of the families concerned attend. He arranged - and the Priest in Charge agreed - for a relative to play for the services, and I was not informed. I found out by pure chance but lost out on two ?60 fees. I have since kicked up a fuss but the wardens were gob smacked. I don't think I would dare insist on a double fee for camcorders - not for the time being anyway.
Sep 24 2011, 10:42 PM
To be fair, it is set out quite clearly to wedding couples that video recordings double the musicians' fees - whether the couple thought that Uncle Fred with his home digicamcorder didn't count, or whether Uncle Fred just decided to do it, we can't tell, and it wasn't the incumbent conducting the ceremony (I am pretty sure the incumbent would have had a word during the first hymn!) so either the minister was unaware or uncomfortable. The parish secretary, however, said that a letter would be sent. It's not as if the charges are particularly high, either! It was offputting, though, to have someone sitting in the congregation with the camcorder at their eye throughout the entire service. I was just wondering if anyone here had had to send such a letter after a wedding...
Sep 24 2011, 11:49 PM
If you have a contract with the church that states that you get doubled fees for a video recording, then it is the church's responsibility to pay you the appropriate amount and recover it (if they can) from the wedding party. It depends how strongly you want to press this and whether you want to risk damaging your working relationship with the church.
Wedding parties rarely exhibit much respect for the church. At a recent wedding at our church, the vicar gave his usual request about no flash photography during the service, but throughout the service there was a photographer snapping away up in the west gallery with his flash on. The vicar was livid; he said afterwards that he nearly stopped the service. Perhaps the photographer was being paid and was determined to earn his fee come ###### or high water, but, if he was a professional, what was he doing using a flash when the distance involved will have rendered it completely ineffective? This has no relevance to musical fees, of course, but it is part and parcel of the same attitude.
Sep 25 2011, 06:46 AM
Since the advent of camera phones I have routinely included a 50% surcharge in my fee to cover such 'ad hoc' recording. Whilst a camcorder may be overt, on the whole people tend to just stick their iPhones on record and do it slightly more subtly. It seemed to me therefore sensible to factor this normal human behaviour into my fee structure.
Sep 25 2011, 07:21 AM
The difficulty is that many mobile phones can produce a video recordiorg. It is almost impossible to prevent them being used during the service. Equally, it is almost impossible to collect the extra fee after the service. Often, the couple say that they neither took nor authorised the recording, referring the organist the whoever is alleged to have taken the recording.
By far the simplest way around this problem is to charge a single 'global' fee that includes all pre-performance rights. (i.e. the recording fee) for all weddings. This then includes the errant relatives who video-record the event , even against the wishes of the couple. It does not take into account the additional fees that are due in respect of music and words that are still in copyright, just the organist's rights under the Copyright, Design and Patents Act. (A separate licence is needed for the recording of contemporary music. The standard CCLI arrangments do not, as far as I am aware, deal with that.)
An organist's contract should include a clause to the effect that there is a single fee that includes all domestic recordings and another stating that it is the church's responsibility to collect the fee and pay it to the organist. It might be desirable to make separate provision if the copyright of the recording is not owned by the couple. This sometimes happens when there is a 'professional' recordist.
It is so very important to set up the correct contract at the outset. The RSCM standard form of contract is no longer issued and the ISM form of contract seems not to take account of recent case law. A modern form of contract is available, without charge, on the Organist Publications Website.
Regrettably, many church organists do not have a written contract. It is the absence of such a document that gives rise to difficulties.
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