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Need direction

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  • Need direction


    I hope I'm in the right spot.. or at least "a" right spot ...

    I'm a non-technical mentor for Team Spark 562, Monty Tech in Fitchburg MA. I'm working with a group of our kids on our website. While I have a technical mentor assisting with the more technical aspects of the site, I am working with the kids creatively.

    As the kids are working on the site, they are reviewing previous years of judges comments, as well as the judging criteria sheet, to get a feel for what they will want to include.

    Part of the judging mentions the use of music (as well as video etc.) It is obviously going to make for a richer site if we do. We also noted that there is a section regarding copyright recognition.

    There are several different ways the kids would like to use some music (i.e. picture montage, video background, etc.) All of the music they chose is (or will be) purchased by me (or my son) on i-tunes. Given that, we are trying to confirm the permission to use these songs. An e-mail to itunes customer service got the following response:

    Hi Maribeth,

    Leanne here from iTunes Support. I see from your email that you would like to use some of your iTunes purchases on a public website that will be judged in a competition, and want to be sure if this is legal. I certainly appreciate how eager you must be to have this issue addressed and I would be happy to help you out today.

    The iTunes Store Sales and Service Policies are available for you to review:

    Terms of Sale

    Here is the section you will want to look at:


    (i) You shall be authorized to use Products only for personal,
    noncommercial use.


    You may copy, store, and burn iTunes Plus Products as reasonably necessary
    for personal, noncommercial use.


    The delivery of Products does not transfer to you any commercial or
    promotional use rights in the Products. Any burning or exporting
    capabilities are solely an accommodation to you and shall not constitute a grant, waiver, or other limitation of any rights of the copyright owners
    in any content embodied in any Product.

    I would say that its ok, as long as you are not making any money of the website. To be sure, please forward your concerns to our marketing department. You can visit the iTunes Labels & Marketing page for more information or the appropriate contact:

    If you have any further questions or concerns regarding this issue, please let me know and I would be more than happy to address them for you.

    Have a great day!


    iTunes Store Customer Support

    I'm inclined to think that our use of the product is NOT commercial, nor for financial profit, and we are NOT making the music available to anyone except for while they are on the site watching our clips.

    I have contacted a lawyer friend, as we are a very small team (low budget) and our kids give their everything, I would hate to see them disqualified from an award because of an oversight.

    Is there any information available that defines what the judging sheets means by recognizing the copyright? Or how that is done?

    Appreciate any help!!

  • #2
    Re: Need direction

    If for example you create a video and post it on the internet you are obligated to properly license 3rd party content such as music.

    There is a source of 'open source' music - search for music under the 'Creative Commons' arrangement.

    There are many stock music houses that have a wide range of music, a wide range of pricing, and a wide quality range.

    The fact that your application is for a non-profit educational environment doesn't matter, you are still required to adhere to the law.

    Music houses have something called a rate sheet. The rate sheet has the price for say national TV commercial use, or educational web use, and about 2 or 3 dozen other categories.

    I you go to site like you may be able to find a lost cost track for anywhere from 10 to 100 bucks. Which is relatively economical.

    Check out the creative commons first, then something like second.


    • #3
      Re: Need direction

      I agree with everything 1311 said. Of the many open source music sites out there, I prefer: . They have a great selection of very well produced music. They have a nice interface for reviewing music:

      I usually open up ccMixter while i'm working at the day job and save MP3's as I come across something interesting that we can use in our video projects.

      Also, if you're considering adding a music background to your website (on load for example), you should probably allow for an "Off" button. Our team was "dinged" for that last year.
      Jonathan Steele
      Mentor on FIRST Team 3019
      Chaparral HS Firebirds, Scottsdale, AZ