Written permission from copyright holders is required for entries that include copyrighted songs or videos. The Fair Use provision of U. S. copyright law does allow schools to incorporate portions of songs as long as those portions are less than 10% of the original. Regardless of length, copyrighted music may not make up the entire sound track of an entry without written permission.
The online entry submission form includes a place for attaching permission documentation. That form also includes a place to indicate that an entry has no copyrighted content. Please remember that entries cannot be accepted without this documentation. ASCAP is a source that can help you locate where to apply for permission to use a copyrighted song: https://www.ascap.com/home/ace-title-search/index.aspx
Enter the name of the song in the search bar, and contact information should appear for that song. When you do make contact, ITV recommends using every communication avenue possible, including telephone calls, e-mails, and US Mail. Keep written records of your attempts and continue to contact them until you have received a written reply. ITV also recommends that students and their parents get involved in the effort to acquire permission.
In your application for permission to use a song, spell out the details of how you will be using it for a non-profit school project and that you’re teaching students how to edit, write and plan a video production. Attaching a storyboard might help. Indicate that this video is being entered in a local contest that broadcasts winning entries on the Internet and on the local government television channels.
Music can also be purchased from companies like Digital Juice and Storyblocks.com, and can be downloaded from Web sites like www.freeplaymusic.com but read all use guidelines carefully to ensure you are complying with any restrictions. Most pieces have some type of restriction for free use along with paid usage by use case.
YouTube is another popular source of music content and is subject to copyright law. Contact information for the YouTube channel’s owner is usually found in the About section of the channel’s main page.
The best way to avoid the challenge of applying for written copyright permission is to use programs like GarageBand and Logic. Students may use either program to create their own music. Student bands and school music groups may also write and perform their own music.
Creating original digital content is an important 21st-century skill. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) also identifies the importance of teaching students respect for the creative property of others.
Pictures and videos downloaded from the Internet for use in news shows, documentaries, and the anchor categories do not need written permission because of standard news industry practices. However, these videos and pictures will still need to be cited during the end credits. ITV encourages students and teachers to take their own pictures or create their own drawings where possible.