Credit: Sterin.genini on Flickr. CC. Some Rights Reserved.
I thought I would write up some more on creating Machinima, as with my previous post on the matter. I think the art form has a lot more potential and especially with being able to get one's hands on classic games from sites like Abandonia and the Macintosh Garden.
Music, sound and fonts play an important role in the finished rendering of a Machinima movie. A piece of media is layered with many other media forms, and it is important to recognise that these all can be separated as single entities. For instance, a SFX (Sound Effect) may have been specifically recorded for the use of Foley in media. This sound effect may have been produced by one artist or several, it may have been tweaked by a Sound Engineer, and then cleaned up in Mastering. It may have been produced originally in use someone. Finally, it is possibly hosted by a website company who makes these sounds available to the public. Also the Codec used with the sound may be owned by a Company who has license to its distribution (See Licensing and Patents MP3), it may have a file type that is associated with a particular type of player, or streaming player. So, think on this for something as seemingly simple as a can of softdrink being opened.
If you have doubts about the legalities of using such additives to your media, how about removing those doubts altogether and support Open Standard resources such as Open Sound, and FreeSound.
For Royalty Free music you might like to go to Incompetech. The music is licensed under Creative Commons with the attribution license attached. This means you may use the music but MUST attribute the track in your credits to Kevin MacKleod who has specific instructions to using his compositions. You should be doing this anyway, your credits should be an index of who and what has been resourced and used in order to make the media your audience are viewing.
More resources ... for music ... Open Source Music ... and Archive Org for excellent 78rpm and Cylinder.
Alternatively you may like to use a track or portion of by a friend's band, in this case you MUST have them sign a music release form (I have copies for people interested in pursuing this avenue). This is for two reasons: the first being that when you come to screen your work at any festival or broadcast it Online or on television, the broadcaster will possibly request this document. Secondly if your friend's band sees the finished product and then for whatever reason denies having given you permission, you have the document to prove it.
Remember you can also use tracks that are out of copyright from the out of copyright period which from memory is music either fifty or seventy years old - but still, you need to double check. Estates still can retain copyright, and some tracks can be attached to other works that are not out of copyright.
Also, you may use traditional songs and music if you have someone you know record a version of it. Traditional arrangements are a great resource. Did you know that songs like "House of the Rising Sun" are traditional arrangements? You can do a cover of "House of the Rising Sun" without any copyright issues.
Finally with a track as donated to you by a musical group, think about distribution and how that musical group will want people to see the media you have created just as much as you do. This increases the exposure of the work.
Same situation can be applied to adding fonts to your media. Open Font Library and the Google Font Library.
For font licensing rules, you can visit Fontbook found in the Applications folder of your Mac. Goto Preview and select Show Font Info, of Apple Key "I" will display Copyright and Licensing details.
For more information on Creative Commons you can investigate the Creative Commons Organisation (Australia) or the Global site.