Q: A local govn't agency wants to make a karaoke video with a copyrighted song. Is a license needed? How to obtain?
The video would go on YouTube/FaceBook/Twitter and other social media sites. It is a salute to our heroes killed in the line of duty. No profits or money would be exchanged in any way. If a license is needed, what is the best way to accomplish this?
That sounds like a worthwhile project, but you will still need to get permission from whomever owns the copyright in the song. Also most songs have music and lyrics, so there could be 2 copyright owners. The service providers will want to know that you have the rights to post your version of the song.
Start with a Google search to see who owns the copyrights. Because what you are doing is not to make a profit, the copyright owners may very well authorize you to make use of the material, but may place some limitations on your use or require certain kinds of attribution.
Also, keep in mind the version you create will have copyright implications, so you would want to consider those as well with whomever will be creating the video. Good luck.
Marcos Garciaacosta agrees with this answer
Even if there are no profits or revenue you very likely need a license.
Check the owners and try to contact them.
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