Voiceovers by Gregory Houser
A man, a martini, and a lot of microphones.: From the "Shooting yourself in the Foot" files - FreePlay Music suing Voice Over Talent

Thursday, June 28, 2012

From the "Shooting yourself in the Foot" files - FreePlay Music suing Voice Over Talent

I kind of wondered when someone would just start tossing lawsuits out there against voice talent who were less than careful in choosing their background FX (I usually see this habit with people who choose not to use an experienced demo producer... it's just another reason that you want to use a professional when creating a professional voice over demo).

Well, I had to say that I didn't expect FreePlay to be the first one to do it, but apparently they did.  Thanks boys!  If you wanted to convince voice over talent to not use or recommend your products, this was quite the way to do it.  You know, because people really enjoy a heavy-handed and threatening notice that you think that they *might* be infringing upon their IP.

I remember the last time I heard these words from an organization it was with Penn State University.  It didn't turn out that well for the company making the claim.  And, IIRC, due to the heavy handed nature of how PSU and the RIAA treated the students and university employees, there were more than a few lawsuits coming out of that blunder.

THAT SAID, if you're using copyrighted music and not paying for it... guess what?  You're stealing!  Knock it the hell off, because we all know that you'd be the first person to holler if someone used your VO for a product without paying for it, right?

Voice Over Xtra has a nice article about this, including information on what to do if you get a nastygram from FreePlay.  I think the best advice comes from the article's author Robert J. Sciglimpaglia Jr. when he states "all voice talent and those who display voice talent demos [...] ensure that no unauthorized music appears on the demos."

While I may not agree with FreePlay's tactics, I can understand their motivations.  Best thing to do is follow Robert's advice.  Decent music beds aren't that expensive, and there's an industry of people who create background music who need support just like VO talent does.  Use a bit a common sense and you won't end up shooting yourself in the foot (much as FreePlay seems to be doing by being over-zealous in their desire to protect their IP).

'nuff said.

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September 27, 2012 at 6:06 AM  
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June 17, 2013 at 4:46 AM  

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