I have been making a documentary, titled â€œTango Your Life,â€ whose trailer can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0atvWyQ4rrs, if you care to watch it.
Basically I filmed and used in my documentary film many dance scenes, which come with copyrighted music, being played during the filming sessions. As these were dancing scenes, itâ€™s not possible to avoid the music.
When I approached a law firm here in Buenos Aires, their interpretation is that I sync the copyrighted music to the film. That means, I have to pay the copyright loyalty to two groups: one representing composers/authors and the other for record companies. The loyalty is extremely high enough to put me out of the game.
When I asked the firm about â€œfair use,â€ their response was:
1) Fair use is provided by our law only for the limited use of a work for educational o scientific purposes. Other uses are not comprised within this exception. If you proceed to sync fractions of music themes with your documentary without having prior authorization from their authors, you could be subject to a lawsuit.
Then I discovered â€œDocumentary Filmmakersâ€™ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use,â€ under which I believe the music recorded and used in my documentary falls under the protection of â€œfair use.â€
I admit there are some incidents in the film, where the music was used beyond â€œfair use.â€ For example, some scenes start with a dance scene, which later is overlaid with an interview while the music continues to play to the end of the interview. This kind of scenes will be fixed to comply with â€œfair use.â€
So my question is, â€œIf the documentary shows dance scenes that come with copyrighted music, does it fall under â€œfair use?â€
Please provide your advice here or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.