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Demo Script Usage

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by Ken Everett, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. Ken Everett

    Ken Everett Active Member

    Until now, I've been focusing on audio book narration. However, I'd like to open opportunity to get engaged in commercial VO work or perhaps narration of training videos, etc. Therefore I need to put together a demo of commercial voicing. My first "dilemma" is to pull together a few scripts for presentation.

    Is it acceptable / legal to use the same text from a few commercials which have aired on TV or a local radio station?

    I have found a few sites with voice "evaluation" scripts for commercials. I have no idea if they were ever used for actual production. But either way, is it okay to use such sample scripts found on the Internet to produce MY demo?

    Are either of the above sources okay to use as long as I derive a re-worded version of the text?
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    It's hard to say. I'm not an attorney so take what I have to say for what it's worth....

    I don't know if they'd have any legal recourse, in that you aren't making money from the direct sale or resale thereof, but you might get a cease and desist if someone stumbled across one of your on-line demos and got pissed about it.

    You'd be better off to write your own scripts - fictional copy - at which point you would own it, and, if you wrote well enough, it would also showcase your ad copy writing skills as well. I've done a lot of VO work over the years, and I made quite a bit of extra money from the same clients for editing and rewriting the illiterate garbage they sent me to read.

    If you are really concerned about this, you should contact an attorney who is well-versed in copyright or commercial law.


  3. Ken Everett

    Ken Everett Active Member

    Thanks Donny. One follow-up. When writing my own copy, should I use fictional client / store names? I should think McDonald's or Payless Shoes are not going to object if I give them some free exposure. Right?
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I wouldn't think so. The only rub is that you shouldn't be presenting the demo as an actual spot that you did the VO for... at that point the ethics become ...uhm... "questionable". ;)

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