Often, people ask questions on the e-community asking for clarification of spec issues. As the same questions frequently come up, I'll post our responses here too so people can check this blog first before asking!
What is permissible for soundtrack use?
* The Music Video should be the only area where candidates are using found material
* Copyright permission should be sought from the artist/label
* All material for all other tasks to be produced by the candidates with the exception of non-original sound or image material used in a LIMITED way in video/radio work - which means using sound or video that they will have difficulty in recreating themselves e.g. an explosion or news footage
For a music video, students could use any band/artist BUT in my experience it works much better to use a little known band so that the 'image' of the original does not 'hang over' the project. Thus their actors can play the part of a band without the audience always having the original in mind.
For all other AS and A2 video, copyright audio MAY NOT be used. Soundtrack must be original or from a royalty free source. This could however mean that the students perform an existing song/piece of music themselves- as the audio is made by them. Remember that soundtrack for projects other than music video need not only be music or need not feature music at all. it's all part of the creative process. Good use of foley sound is worth a lot of credit!