12 February 2010

Slide shows and music

I find fiddling slide shows to be great fun, except for one task. To select music to go with the slide shows. The clearer the vision of what I want, the harder it is to find. Fortunately, Magnatune exists. They let you listen to music without commiting your money, and let you buy a license to use a piece of music in your own creative projects. All directly from the website; and at a very reasonable price. I think this is important. If we, as photographers, want others to respect the difference between hanging our picture on their wall and using our picture in their own publications/creations, we should honour the same for composers/musicians. Obtaining such rights, however, tend to be either prohibitively expensive or bureaucratically difficult.

One argument against Magnatune is that they are the microstock of music, underselling the true value of the music.

Personally I feel caught in the middle. I think it's great to have the possibility to buy music licenses within my modest budget. On the other hand I think microstock is underselling images.


Boris said...

Jostein, I am thinking that you're struggling here (if there is any struggle at all) with what is legal and what is ethical. Not all things that are legal are ethical and vice versa.

So far I am finding the idea of Magnatune fascinating. But I am merely streaming music to my workstation while I write code or debug...

Alunfoto said...

What's legal may differ from country to country. In Norway, a purchase for personal listening does not automatically authorise use in other creative work. I believe the correct English concept is "royalties".

Respecting royalties for music is just as important as for photography, and I think in many ways the situation is worse for musicians than for photographers.

In my country there are laws specifically adressing this too, and I know both photographers, broadcasters and videographers who have been fined brutally for not respecting it. However, the fees demanded for legal use are outrageous. So small-scale creations like slide shows from yours truly, for a total audience of maybe a hundred people over a lifetime, can't hope to cover the costs of using the music at all. With licensed music from Magnatune, however, one is out of the legal quagmire, and still have money for spread on the bread.