Copyright Question

Der Wikinger

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(beginning of rant) If I know a song, make my own arrangement of the song, don't try to make money off my arrangement, play it and post it on You Tube, how can I possibly be infringing on anyone's copyrights? That same logic says if I hear a song on the radio and record it to play back later I could be arrested! Stupid! (end of rant) Anyone have any insights for me?
 

Pete Thomas

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First, whether you make money or not is not relevant (under copyright law).

But copying and publishing/distributing someone else's copyright without permission is not legal. Yes, putting a video on Youtube is publishing.

It's not the same as recording a song form the radio for yourself.

But you would not be arrested anyway, it would be up to the owner of the copyright to decide if you are worth sueing, not a police matter.
 
OP
Der Wikinger

Der Wikinger

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don't matter if it's a strawberry or blueberry tort, if you sue a totally broke bloke, it's an exercise in futility; ya can't get blood out of a turnip. (legal humor)
 

kevgermany

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Copyright on music extends a long time, 70,80 years depending on the country. But it does mean that the earlier jazz/blues is out of copyright. But a modern edition would be copyright - not the msic, but the layout/arrangement.

I'm not sure where transcriptions of music that's still in coopyright stand. There's a long standing tradition of making a transcription, playing it, usually without royalties going to the copyright owner.

But if you buy a legit copy of the music, it has to be OK to arrange/play it - but at what stage performance dues need to be paid I'm not sure. The legit real books would be a good way of doing this.

Here, as long as you own enough copies of a piece of music, you can perform it - at least that's what the music schools do. And it's OK for people to share a copy.
 

Pete C

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Exeter
It seems perfectly reasonable to me that if someone has laboured and used their creative talent to write some original music, then it should be copyrighted and if someone else wants to use it and publish it in some form, then they should get permision and/or pay for the privilege, hence PRS licencing etc. If I produce an album of jazz standards for example, I expect to pay a licence fee. Music seems to be one area where creators of original work get criticised for protecting their output and seem to be expected to give it away for free. End of opposite rant ..............
 

Pete Thomas

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One thing that people need to be aware of is that there are two significant copyrigts.

Copyright in the recording, which is owned by the record company
Copyright in the composition, which is owned by the composer and/or publisher.


If you play a copyright tune on the saxophone and publish it, then it is only the second one that is relevant. If you upload a track from a record, then both copyrights are relevant.
 

thomsax

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Sweden
It's a funny world!! When a arrange a gig for 200-300 persons I've to pay about 1000.00-1500.00 s e k (£ 85.00-120.00) buy sending up the songlist to STIM. The artist get paid for his job/gig. So an artist get paid twice if he/she is playing thier own songs! And I help them to sell thier CDs at the gig!!!

The small places and clubs are closing down. We can't cover the costs. I think the high costs kills the music.

Thomas
 

stefank

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Hobart, Tasmania
Put simply, when you buy a piece of music you generally get a licence to use it privately, but not to play or distribute it to the public (whether for profit or otherwise).
 

Pete Thomas

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Funny thing though, I don't buy the music, I make an arrangement of it, so it's MY arrangement.
Yes, but there is no copyright in an arrangement of a piece of music, if someone else owns the copyright in the composition.

If you arrange a piece of music that is old enough that its copyright has expired, ie it is in the public domain, you then have a copyright in the arrangement.
 

kevgermany

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So are you saying that transcriptions of music that's still under copyright are a breach of the copyright, unless done with permission of the copyright owner?
 

Moz

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Funny thing though, I don't buy the music, I make an arrangement of it, so it's MY arrangement.

But it's not your idea nor your thought that went in to the original tune. Don't worry, I'm not having a go just adding to the debate.

I have not generally bothered about the copyright of stuff until recently when I joined a band that plays its own compositions and I have also taken to writing my own music. I suppose if some other band or orchestra took one of our/ my tunes and played it at a local pub I would probably be quite flattered. However if that same person took one of my compositions, rearranged it then made shedloads of money out of it by having the right contacts in the recording industry without our/my permission I would be extremely p*ssed off especially as I wouldn't have the finances to take anyone to court: I therefore am in favour of people paying to use copyright music in general. Having said this I have no problem with people using our/my tunes for small-time performances. I think it is the degree of copyright theft that is important but unfortunately that leaves the law open to interpretation by the person with the most money.

OK, I have now convinced myself by my own argument: if one wants to use it other peoples music publicly, even ones own arrangements then you should at the very least, give credit to the original composer (as far as record companies are concerned sod them 'cos they've been ripping us (both musician and the public) off for years and now with the advent of file sharing it's payback time.

Cheers

Martin
 

Mikec

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Buckinghamshire, UK
So, you copy someone's music, change it a bit, publish your version without even buying the original in the first place, and you're surprised that that's an infringement? Copy a book, change the plot a little, publish it under your own name and see what happens... If someone composes a piece of music they have a right to 1. be credited and 2. control who copies it, whether for profit or not.
You can of course perform someone else's music and publish your performance with the appropriate permissions and accreditations.
Remember also that the copyright holder may also feel aggrieved for artistic reasons if they don't like what you've done with their material.
To me that's simple natural justice.

Having said all that, many people put their own versions of songs on Youtube and other places without intending or causing any harm, but the rights of artists were hard won and need to be protected, and we should always bear this in mind.
 

Pete Thomas

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So are you saying that transcriptions of music that's still under copyright are a breach of the copyright, unless done with permission of the copyright owner?
Technically, but only if you publish or distribute them. But usually nobody bothers as there is little to gain from a legal action for such low level infringement.
 

rudjarl

Senile Member. Scandinavian Ambassadour of CaSLM
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Some 8 - 10 years ago quite a few many copyright issues was widely debated. I think the consensus for copyrighted music is 50 years from the original year of publishing.

Anyway, copyright does not prohibit all copying or replication in the United States. You have the 'fair use doctrine', which grants you the right to do it depending on:
- the purpose and character of the use
- the nature of the copyrighted work
- the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
- the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Then again, you could always ask the copyright owner :)
 
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kevgermany

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Some 8 - 10 years ago quite a few many copyright issues was widely debated. I think the consensus for copyrighted music is 50 years from the original year of publishing.
It's a lot longer. Depends where you are, but it's something like 70/80 years from publication or death of owner, whichever is later.

Agree, you should ask the copyright owner, I'm sure that most are reasonable - but there was a recent case in OZ where Men at Work included part of Kookaburra in one of their songs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kookaburra_(song)

Judging by youtube, Sony seem to be particulalry heavy enforcers of copyright law, while others are a little more relaxed.

And then there's the DMCA in the USA.....
 

kevgermany

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Just did a little more digging...

From the following article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_copyright

See the heading copyright term - most countries it's now life of the author plus 50 or 70 years. But lots of variation, and it wasn't always like that. Worth reading the article.

My wife gets a lot of music from musicscores.com, and I remember there was a period when some of their stuff was withdrawn due to copyright issues needing clarification. And I seem to remember that some of the downloads are country dependant due to copyríght law restrictions.

And here's a list of copyright lengths by country:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries'_copyright_length
 
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rudjarl

Senile Member. Scandinavian Ambassadour of CaSLM
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Just one more thing and as is said elsewhere in this thread, it is a huge difference when you use copyrighted music as an amateur or as a professional. Amateurs borrow, professionals steal. :)
 
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