March 13, 2016 at 8:08PM
Does Artist own free music video we shot?
I own a music magazine which approached an artist to shoot their video to feature on our companies YouTube channel. Now the artist wants to be paid for the advertising money we've made, has threatened us with legal action, reuploaded the work to their channel, removing our logo and creates copywrite claims on the video and song on our YouTube channel.
- we approached the artist, this was not a work for hire, we were not paid
- artist accepted the pro-Bono music video production, I would think this implys use of the recording (I'm not sure how you shoot a music video without using the recording)
- artist agreed to upload the video to our channel (I have written proof of this but not a contract)
Since the song has become a hit, the artist claims they did not know it would have become a hit song and they served to have made money from the video. They feel entitled to the money we have made from the video. I do not feel this was since the production was my companies investment.
I am familiar with copyright law and from my understanding we own the rights to the video since we were the creators of the video, we're not hired and were not compensated. We do not own the copyright to the recording but as I said she gave permission for us to upload and I feel the use of a song is implied in a music video.
My question is, do we own the work and are we protected? Should I counter claim the artists claim on the vidoe and song on our YouTube channel? And should I flag the artists channel for reuploading our work?
I hope you can provide some insight. I have asked several other lawyers and they pretty much tell me "we should have got a contract" which isn't helpful and I know now since this video is from multiple years ago.
Thanks in advance!