Question: Can I use copyrighted scripts for my demo?
Yes, we believe that you can re-record copyrighted scripts for your demo as long as you do not sell your voice over demo (please read why below) . In other words, if you simply give away your demo (market it) to obtain work, like all professional voice over artists do, then we have been told this is absolutely fine.
Professional voice over artists create their demos by using excerpts of recordings that they have been paid to record. But when breaking into voice, you must create a demo by recording artificial excerpts. And unless you are an experienced copywriter and can create your own material, you will need to use copyrighted material.
Why can you use copyrighted scripts? We did some research. What we found indicates that most material can be used without requiring the author’s permission.
The most compelling reason for this is the "Fair Use Act" law, which indicates that copyrighted material can be used, without permission, as long as it is not being directly used to make a profit.
To confirm our findings, we asked someone in AFTRA’s legal department (a voice over union) if it is okay to use copyrighted text on demos -- she said, "No problem at all."
We hope this helps.
If you need scripts, we have transcribed thousands of them to be used for practice and demos - visit www.edgestudio.com/scripts.htm.