Sometimes I do feel like I am the Grinch when I have to contact clients and let them know they have to remove something from their websites, Facebook... or worse, when I see a TV commercial or cinema ad which is using our radio commercial audio on it.
Why is this a problem?
On the bottom of every script we send out to every single client, there is a part which says: "Please Note: All copyright for this script is owned by West Coast Radio Pty Ltd, if you wish to use this script at another station or in any other media, you will need to seek permission from us, fees may be charged."
Why do we include this line?
We have a contract with the production companies we use to supply our voices, to only play those commercials here on our stations.
We cannot allow them to be played elsewhere unless an additional fee is payed to the company and then compensating the voice over talent.
This is also why our fees for production are so small when compared to major metro stations.
So what do I do?
If you want to use your commercial, which we have written, payed for the voice talent, and produced in-house here... be it your website, or on another radio station, then you need to seek permission from us - a quick phone call or email will mean that all problems will be quickly dealt with.
For example, you may be allowed to use it for free if it is an in-house voice. For a limited amount of time (usually 3 months). Longer usage may attract a fee.
But if the voice is from a production company, then you may be charged a small fee to do so, again for only 3 months, then the audio MUST be removed, or the fee paid again.
If however you wish to use the audio in a video clip on YouTube, Facebook, and other social media - then the fee may be larger.
Each fee is calculated on a case by case basis with the production company who will want to know EXACTLY what you are going to do with the audio.
For example, you can't pay to use the audio to create a video on Facebook, then suddenly a TV commercial (or cinema ad) appears with the exact same audio on it. You will be invoiced, charged, and there may be costly legal action.
Again, please, just ask - it is quicker and less messy if you do ask permission.
The extra fee is usually not that much and it saves you, us, and the production company problems down the track.
What about the MP3 file?
Remember the mp3 that is sent through to you when your commercial is completed, is a low quality mp3 file.
The quality is good enough to play on your computer, but not for using in a video production, and any other radio station worth their salt is going to ask for a higher quality wav version to play on-air.
So, put simply, don't do it unless you have gotten permission to, and payed a fee to do so.
Otherwise, well... you could get a call from a lawyer (and no one wants that) or worse... you will get a call from me when I find out about it!