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Localizing the Digital RevolutionAudio and video engineering, lip-sync recording, standard voice-over…
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Every time a voice is recorded to announce or sell any product which is intended to be distributed in a particular market a copyright release should be paid to that voice talent by the contractor company. This implies that the artist gets a compensation for releasing the right to use his voice in that particular work, for a particular time frame and territory.
As this often happens most of the times this is not even written in a contract, is not considered when the service is sold to the client, or when the voice is hired. This is the case of small-scale productions, when budget is too low to lose time in redtape that is useless both for the client and for the voice. Because a copyright release or buyout document should be legally registered to have any value, it should respect the country particular legislation in that area. But who is going to bother for an IVR project of 390 euros ? But this is no excuse, the voice or the agency, or the studio should inquire if the product has a large audience, in which case a simple written document, even an email should act as proof of that copyright release.
For up-scale projects like TV or cinema spots, the voice contractor should be clear as to where and for how long the ad whould be broadcast and the voice should get the right compensation within the fee. The agency should have a document handy for the voice to sign or accept, or in any case should provide that information to the artist, so that he is aware that his voice will be used in a particular market. Again, such a document doesn’t need to be a convoluted 20 pages, but it should outline how, when and where the voice of the artist will be exploited.
As Creativecommnos.org puts it “a proper copyright release form has to encompass the owner of the copyright, the designated licensee of the copyright, the conditions of the licensing with all the limitations and the exact name and definition of the copyrighted work that is the subject of the copyright release form.”