by Mike Masnick

TV Shows On DVD Change Music To Avoid Licensing Issues

from the oops dept

Someone recently sent me an interesting article about how a more recent syndication package of the famous old sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati has all different music than the original showing - sometimes even dubbing over dialog in the show to match the music. This was done (of course) because of music industry licensing rules, which would require plenty of extra cash to re-license those songs for syndication (though, some stations still play the old syndicated versions with the original music). Now, however, it appears there's a similar situation with TV shows going to DVD. TV shows coming out on DVD has become a huge business that very few folks in the television industry expected. When the studios licensed the music for the TV show, they didn't include rights for future DVD releases - and, now, many DVDs are coming out with different music than was originally played on the air. This seems incredibly short-sighted (like so many things) on the part of the music industry. Because they want a little extra cash now, they're cutting out all those fans who are going to watch these DVDs repeatedly, where many are likely to remember the music that is played. So, they're missing a huge publicity opportunity in favor of a few upfront dollars.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    AMetamorphosis, Oct 20th, 2003 @ 7:27am

    I bought one of these disc's ...

    I'm glad you posted this article. I awhile back I purchased a compilation disk of on Andy Griffith episodes. I was disappointed when I got home and put the DVD on an realized that the music wasn't the theme. I remember @ the time I figured I must have bought a bootleg DVD and just chalked it up to that. Guess the RIAA really will cut off its nose just to spite its face ...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2003 @ 6:52pm

    Heavy Metal

    This is also the reason that the HBO cartoon movie "Heavy Metal" didn't come out on VHS for years -- the producers of the video had not arranged for redistribution rights for the soundtrack, and they couldn't.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Peet McKimmie (profile), May 18th, 2007 @ 11:15pm

    Re: I bought one of these disc's ...

    Ironically, if you had bought a bootleg DVD, it probably would have had the music you remembered, and you would thus have been happier. Chalk another "win" up to the RIAA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Norm, May 21st, 2007 @ 3:53am

    Same With Electric Horseman

    The opening song for Fonda/Redford's "The Electric Horseman" was sung by Willy Nelson, and was correct in the VHS tape version. However, the DVD version has a different, lousy quality music-only version of the same song.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Yakko Warner, May 21st, 2007 @ 8:42am

    How much are they trying to charge?

    So it's actually *cheaper* to go back and dub episodes' music and dialog (which sounds like a non-trivial task) than to license the music?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    renton, Jun 23rd, 2007 @ 9:16am

    I am watching the DVDs of Felicity, which I had never seen before, and I know from looking at other websites that they changed most of the music.

    Funny thing is, the "cheap" music seems right for the show. (Since I'd never seen it with the original tunes) And I've sought out more music from some of those artists.

    Score one for the folks willing to license their music for TV DVDs

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    T.E. Claydon, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 8:28pm

    Same with 'Tour of Duty'...

    The TV series 'Tour of Duty' has also been neutered of the period music that was such a large part of each episode's character. In it's place, we now have nondescript compositions that vainly try to capture the 'tone' of the original soundtracks, but it's not the same ...and - as is the case with 'WKRP' - that's a damn shame.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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