Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Do I Need Voice Over Clearance?

Dear Rich: I'm trying to sort out all the various copyright issues surrounding the recording of audio programs to be used on radio and podcasts. While I know that there needs to be clearance for music used, and arrangements for the recording studio to transfer copyright in the recordings back to me, I'm a bit unclear about the copyright issues surrounding the people who are voicing the program from scripted materials. Is it also necessary to have them sign work for hire or copyright assignments? Do they have any copyright in the materials they've been paid to voice? If the readers are not employees, you should have them sign releases. A narrator, reader, or voice-over artist could conceivably make a claim as partial owner of a sound recording copyright. To avoid that result, have them release such rights -- we've provided a free downloadable agreement you can use and customize. More information on the release is provided in a previous entry.