Streaming TV series altered music scores?

Discussion in 'Internet Streaming Services' started by harsh, Apr 27, 2021.

Tags:
  1. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    22,914
    450
    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    According to an article in the New York Times, the streaming services are being forced to use changed soundtracks of some popular streaming shows.

    They cite the example of Dawson's Creek where the opening theme song has been replaced.

    I hadn't noticed this, but apparently it has been going on for quite a while in other formats as well.
     
  2. 1948GG

    1948GG Icon

    1,250
    50
    Aug 4, 2007
    Possibly the earliest and most obvious example both on the dvd and streaming (currently on hulu) is "The Wonder Years". Way way back when the series was rerun on independant (non-network) broadcast tv in the 90's (I have a complete vhs collection still, packed away for some future archeologist to unearth) where the music was the original, before digital.

    But virtually all the popular songs including the opening theme song "with a little help from my friends" originally by joe cocker were later replaced for the dvd release several years later. I don't believe I ever saw the series on broadcast after that (then again wasn't looking post dvd release).

    So nothing new; of course, replacing all the music on "Wonder Years" was a pretty huge effort, which really delayed the dvd release when it finally was.
     
  3. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

    52,277
    2,657
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    Not the first I have heard of the practice. But a good reminder.
     
  4. Eva

    Eva Active Member

    281
    55
    Nov 8, 2013
    Most noticeable was on WKRP discs which had much of the music replaced. It all comes down to music rights issues.
     
    SamC likes this.
  5. 1948GG

    1948GG Icon

    1,250
    50
    Aug 4, 2007
    Uh, not quite. It all comes down to artists and their lawyers/agents wanting another payday for work done literally decades ago that generated, at the time, a certain amount they got and frittered away (usually) on the usual suspects. Now they want compensation as if the content in question was made yesterday, like property that increased value simply because the neighborhood is now in a desirable section of town.

    Of course, according to the copyright laws that they have paid good money to congress to mutate to their advantage, making renewals automatic until the end of the universe and that nothing created in the 'modern' era will ever revert to the public domain. Okie dokie. At some point in the not to distant future, anything they've created will never be seen or heard of again, and their progeny will continue to reep manna from heaven.... if anyone not in their right mind will pay for it.

    Of course, in the examples cited here, the cost to simply replace those works in the context of the entire work, is lower than paying the amount demanded by the original artists, then it will be done. On something like "Wonder Years", the popularity was enough to fund that replacement, I'm surprised that there was enough in something like "Dawsons Creek" to do the same, although perhaps it was simply the theme song and not huge chunks of music that needed to be replaced like on WY.

    But I'm sure the actual amount/cost of doing so, in this age of AI, continues to drop off a cliff. Things will eventually level off to reality at some point, probably when we are all dead and buried and folks won't care one wit if the original song is included. Now just who was this Joe Cocker person?
     
  6. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    22,914
    450
    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    There's a whole lot of misinformation to unpack in your post. I'm sure you're not alone in being wrong about much of what you hold is true with respect to copyrights but that doesn't make it true.

    The royalty thing has been around since before copyrights. It is a great way to spread out the compensation that is based on usage rather than trying to come up with a lump sum up front.

    Copyrights don't expire on a periodic basis; they last until death + 80 years.

    Royalties are negotiated, not government mandated.

    The "evil" lobby in music is arguably the broadcast radio industry that weaseled their way out of paying for everything except the songwriter.
     
    Brad_73 likes this.
  7. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

    52,277
    2,657
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    Most of the content with issues was created before the modern markets existed. You probably remember when one had to watch TV when the shows were on the air? If you wanted to see WKRP in Cincinnati you had to tune in at a specific time on a specific channel. There were reruns but they were limited. The rights owners for the music licensed their music for use in the show based on the market that existed at the time. Allowing the music to be used for one or two airings over the course of a year was typical.

    The market for reruns expanded. 24x7 cable channels were created and suddenly "air a couple of times" became repeated reuse. The home video market opened up and now music that the owner agreed to have air a few times the season the show was on the air was being sold as permanent copies. Eventually streaming services allowed people to watch that music content on demand. Every step of the way content owners had to adjust their contracts to cover new distribution methods - some not even thought of when they allowed use.

    The gray area between the permission given when the show was produced and the permission given now is the argument. If the song owner signed over unlimited rights to be used as part of the production without considering multiple markets that had not yet been introduced they would probably lose that argument. Or get their lawyers involved to clarify the definition of what rights were granted. This is NOT an issue with the song owners frittering away the money made when the show was produced and wanting money they don't deserve. This is an issue of the producers using the songs far beyond the expectations revealed at the time permission was granted.

    Consider this. You had a friend a few decades ago and one day they asked to borrow your car and offered to pay you $100 for wear and tear. You said "sure, any time". Over the next few months your friend drove your car a couple of times without asking each time (relying on the "any time" permission granted). A few years later, after not using your car for a while, your friend takes your car and goes on a cross country road trip for more than a week. Still relying on the old $100 payment to use the car "any time" and not paying you more.

    Fair? Perhaps you should have specified more clearly what you meant by "any time" but who would expect someone would show up years later and take your car on a long road trip without further compensation. You take your friend to court and you lose - the judge agrees that "any time" is not limited and the $100 payment covers all use.

    Fair? Bolstered by the court victory your friend continues to borrow your car at will ... but now he starts renting it out to his friends at $20 per day. Still not paying you for the continued use. Back to court you go and the judge points out that in your initial agreement you did not say that your friend could not let others drive your car nor that your friend could not charge money.

    Fair? Finally your car dies or ages out and you get a new car. Now you are probably thinking that your issues with your "friend" are over. Nope. You agreed to allow your friend to borrow your car "any time" for the $100 initially paid and the new car is now your car. Sounds like you are stuck loaning this "friend" your car for life. And don't think you'll get out of the problem by buying a second car - that is also "your car".

    Music is less tangible. One can have multiple copies without diminishing the original. (Borrowing a car prevents the owner from using it at all.) There is a financial impact of the continued use. The owner of the rights to the show are continuing to profit off of the use of the music. Those with foresight likely licensed their music for a limited time - one year or until the beginning of the next broadcast season. Then the producer is stuck if they want to reuse the song or re-air the episode. And your friend can't borrow your car because you thought ahead a few decades ago and specified that the "any time" use was limited and had restrictions. It is good to think ahead.
     
  8. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    22,914
    450
    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    Syndication has been around for a very long time. Imagine how many times each episode of Gunsmoke (1955-75), The Honeymooners (1955-56) or I Love Lucy (1951-57) have aired and how far back that started.

    Hmmm.... I wonder if Daniel Boone with Fess Parker still holds up.
     
  9. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

    52,277
    2,657
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    Actually good illustrations. For early programs actors expected most episodes to be re-aired at most six times and were often paid residuals only for the first airings. Then the content owner was free to keep airing the performances without further payment. At the beginning of the 70's reruns became more common and actors signed contracts with additional residual payments. Just part of the changes in the industry.

    The expectation of re-airing early TV was low enough that a lot of TV programs were erased and their tapes reused for other programs. Cheaper tape and the development of "re-runs" generally stopped that process.

    It reminds me of Marty in Back to the Future when he sees Jackie Gleason on TV and says he saw the show as a re-run. "What is a re-run? You'll find out, kid."

    The explosion of UHF TV in the 1970s providing more places to "re-run" programming and the explosion of cable channels in the 1980s and 1990s gave programs a lot more places to play.
     
    Steveknj likes this.
  10. Steveknj

    Steveknj Icon

    1,703
    207
    Nov 14, 2006
    Nobody in the 1970s could foresee the TV landscape developing as it has now. That caused all kinds of issues with licensing and copyrights that have bubbled up now. Everyone wants a piece of the pie and are unwilling to give it away for free just because we want it. It's one reason why at the dawn of new technologies that made music more prolific there were huge legal battle how to handle it. When cassettes were popular the music industry and content creators battled to see just "how legal" it was for consumers to "tape" something. Same with VHS when that came out and later with downloading and streaming music (remember Napster and that battle?). So this stuff is STILL being sorted out and in some cases, like the cases of older content, might never be. But I would imagine anything new takes into account all forms of residuals now.
     
    makaiguy likes this.

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements