The Wonder Years Unavailable On DVD Due To Music Licensing Rights

from the another-one-bites-the-dust dept

One of the tragedies of ridiculous music licensing practices has been that TV shows that involved great music can no longer be seen -- because when they were first aired, there was no aftermarket, and so no rights were cleared with the music owners. The famous case is the TV show WKRP in Cincinnati, which tried to get around the issue by replacing all the great classic rock in the original, with crappy new music -- really harming the quality of the show. Tom sent in a note pointing out that the classic 80s TV show The Wonder Years is actually facing a similar issue, and because of it, the show is not available on DVD. The show was famous for integrating great music into the overall show -- clearing all that music for a DVD release is apparently too difficult, leading to an overall loss to society and culture.

Filed Under: copyright, music rights, the wonder years, tv shows, wkrp


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  1. identicon
    scott36, 21 Jan 2009 @ 9:30pm

    Paying someone to advertise their product.

    One of the reasons I have not bought the dvd set for Northern Exposure it was released with alternate music due to music industry greed.

    However the prohibitive costs of licensing the music is completely backward in my opinion. The key to selling any product is exposure. Isn't this why anyone trying to sell anything spends time and money thinking of ways to advertise their product.

    Personally hearing a new song or old favorite in a movie, tv show, hell even teasers and commercials is what sparks my many itunes impulse buys. Really old catalog stuff in particular. Honestly think about all the music you loved but never knew the performer and one day you hear it and thanks to google can find who the artist was by typing in a few lyrics. Then thanks to the beauty of a la carte song buying can buy it and enjoy it forever.

    I consider it product placement to have your song played to a captive audience. Didn't the music industry used to bribe people just to get exposure? Remember payola?

    I wouldn't go so far as to say they should pay for the privilege of having their music used. Since the producers benefit from the song as well it is a symbiotic relationship both sides benefit.

    Licensing should be a token amount just to say we have a deal. But should never for one second should the fee be so high that the use of music places a financial burden on the show or translate to ridiculous dvd set prices. However an artist should be able to refuse to allow their songs to be used for any personal reasons. I wouldn't want my work to show up in some hate groups recruitment dvd for an extreme example.

    Wake up music industry! You used to bribe, cajole, and strong arm the radio stations just to get some airplay. And for some reason you forgot that exposure sells your product.

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