Questions tagged [music]

For questions about laws applying to musical works, recording and performance.

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If I buy a song on Bandcamp, can I then use that song in my audio streaming website project accessible by the public?

I want to replicate this site here (note I am not a non-profit like freeCodeCamp): https://coderadio.freecodecamp.org/ I'd like to repurpose it to feature a different genre of music. To accomplish ...
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1 vote
1 answer
74 views

Is it legal to allow users to upload their own music to an app for baseball walkout songs?

Ballpark DJ and Walkout Song DJ both allow users to upload music from their phone storage to play as walkout music or inning break songs for baseball games. BallparkDJ also allows using Amazon and ...
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3 votes
2 answers
220 views

Is an algorithm producing music copyrighted?

It is my understanding that algorithms (not their concrete implementations) are not copyrighted. Musical scores or productions usually have a copyright. Some music is constructed from a small set of ...
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3 votes
1 answer
52 views

What does copyright law have to say about publishing written notation for recorded music?

If you google the name of any popular song, among the top suggestions will be " chords" or "tabs" or "piano arrangement", etc. Many of these hits will take you to forum ...
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1 vote
0 answers
41 views

Sheet music artwork

I would like to take sheet music collection inherited from my grandfather and use the artwork covers to create a coffee table book. I am not copying any of the music, but I will be including photos of ...
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Use MIDI sys ex format from competing product

Suppose that Albert is developing a new music application that produces MIDI output for some hardware modules (LCD displays etc.) in system exclusive format. There is a competing music application ...
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2 votes
1 answer
940 views

What would the copyright laws probably say about these 3 similar pieces of music? [closed]

Hopefully, someone with some knowledge or background in copyright and music can provide me with some insight for this question. The following 3 short pieces of music seem to share a similar tune (or, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
89 views

Voice samples from the old movies in the music tracks

I bet most of you have heard - in some music compositions - short 5-10 seconds "injections" of voice-lines from some old movies. I'm producing a track right now, where I want to insert a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
72 views

Does a Creative Commons license on sheet music affect what performers can do with their audio recordings of that piece?

As a composer, I only produce sheet music and I license all of it using the Creative Commons “Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International” license. This should allow a performer to perform and record the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Audio exhibition rights for self-hosted video files: third-party content question

Suppose that there is a website hosted in USA, with most of its users in the USA. The website is owned by a Canadian corporation. Suppose that the website allows users to create videos using their ...
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2 votes
1 answer
106 views

To whom does copyright of an item belong, if a computer program is used to create it, according to the Deutsches Urheberrecht?

Section 69b of the German Copyright Law "Deutsches Urheberrecht" states that: Where a computer program is created by an employee in the execution of his duties or following the instructions ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Is licensing required to use an excerpt of a song within a recording?

I'm currently recording a cover version of a song for inclusion on a compilation album which will be sold on Bandcamp. Because Bandcamp does not pay mechanical royalties, the organiser of the ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Contract termination in distrokid - [closed]

It looks like from the big four (ditto, distrokid, tunecore and cdbaby) the only ones that do not want my rights forever (irrevocably) are distrokid and cdbaby (for more information have a look at my ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
47 views

Do I grant ditto (music distributer) a free license?

I am looking into the ditto agreement (a music distribution service that puts my music on spotify) and there is the following section in it: You agree that the licenses you grant are royalty-free, ...
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0 votes
2 answers
91 views

What legal rights does ownership of music grant me?

I am looking into music distribution service called TuneCore and can see the following in the terms of music distribution: (b) By clicking the “I Agree” button, you irrevocably grant to Company, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
63 views

What if a copyright registration service goes bust?

When I create a song I immediately upload it to dropbox. That way I can make sure I can recover it if my hard drive is failing (as i don't have redundancy) but also to show I have a tangible form of ...
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1 vote
1 answer
55 views

Examples for songs copyright violation

it looks like you have to learn from examples of what constitutes copyright violation when sampling someone else's tune for example in a hip hop song (or even in a rap song). I used search engine ...
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1 answer
43 views

How similar should a tune be to constitute theft of someone else's tune?

i am a composer of hip hop songs. As opposed to rap songs, hip hop songs are very melodic by nature. now sometimes i get inspired by someone else's tune, or write my own tune and then find out ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
35 views

When to publish my song

When i work on a song i usually start with the beat. I then add some lyrics and change their melodic composition until it fits with the beat. i then do improvement, for example try singing like a girl ...
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1 vote
1 answer
31 views

Music- what if I move or cancel distribution service

Suppose a songwriter wants to use a distribution service to push songs to spotify. From reviews on YouTube all of the distributors (ditto, distro kid, ccd babe etc.) they all have their influencers ...
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6 votes
1 answer
160 views

Would I be violating copyright by transcribing music that was written over 100 years ago, but published in 1992?

A particular set of piano rolls were recorded before 1913, but to my knowledge were not published until 1989. The recordings are piano transcriptions of symphonic works, performed by their composer/...
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0 votes
1 answer
79 views

In the US, is it legal to download mashup songs from YouTube for personal use?

Let's take for example the song Viva la Pompeii, a mashup of Pompeii by Bastille and Viva La Vida by Coldplay, both copyrighted songs. As far as I can tell, the mashup itself is not copyrighted. If I ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is there a licensing recourse to recycling a riff?

I don't mean covering a song and making a few changes to the arrangement; there are mechanical licenses for that. I don't mean sampling, because this involves recording, and I'm thinking of playing ...
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4 votes
2 answers
267 views

Are the title and author of a song protected by copyright?

I am developing a platform where users can search songs by BPM and Key. The only thing that came to my mind is: can I show songs' titles and authors after the user does a search, without violating the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
52 views

Do I need a license to play music on free internet radio?

I want to make an internet radio station where I play music I like. If there are no adds and I don't make any money whatsoever, do I need to worry about copyright?
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2 votes
1 answer
77 views

Use a Netflix Show Title in a Product [closed]

I'm a music arranger, and I am preparing a series of string quartet pieces. I want to use an "Inspired by the Netflix series 'Bridgerton'" phrase (or some such phrasing) on the packaging and ...
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1 vote
1 answer
133 views

Is it ok to set up a private music website without royalties? [closed]

Suppose that there is a private band. They occasionally record covers for the fun of it, they don't distribute, sell, or perform live so don't require any permission / royalties for their covers. ...
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1 vote
1 answer
118 views

Is a teacher playing music in the hallway legal?

I am a highschooler in Alabama (USA) in a school of 700 or more (not 100% sure). When walking through the school, there is a teacher playing music into the hallways. The issue is that the songs she ...
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1 vote
1 answer
72 views

Can the copyright status for unreleased musical work expire

This may be an iterative of a common question, though I feel the specific scenario justifies asking. Is there an established guideline regarding the longevity of copyright protection status for an ...
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2 votes
1 answer
81 views

Creating a cover song for a video game

Based on some cursory internet searches, I understand the following: If you create a cover song, you still need a license for it from whoever owns the original song. If you want to put a song in a ...
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3 votes
4 answers
2k views

Are Midi files copyrighted?

If I have a midi file of a public domain work, it the midi file copyrighted? This is a question that is related to this thread/question: Can I use public domain midi files commercially?
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1 answer
245 views

Can I use public domain MIDI files commercially? [closed]

Lets say I made professional music with the hope of selling them from public domain MIDI files. The files would have been modified slightly with the notes arranged slightly differently. Would that be ...
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-4 votes
1 answer
74 views

How do I give all the right credit to the Harry Potter company and John Williams if I create a variation on the theme song? [closed]

I want to know how do I give all the right credit to the Harry Potter company and John Williams if I create a variation on the theme song for it and if I plan to sell it. I don't want to be sued by ...
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0 votes
1 answer
48 views

I want to do a piano tutorials platform and I have copyrights question [closed]

We are working on a solution to learn the piano, like this one, or this one. I have read that for each song that I will add on the platform, I'll need to have the permission of the artist (and we will ...
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4 votes
2 answers
173 views

Is it allowed to use a copyrighted music track on a video, but without integrating the audio into the video?

It's generally known that if you use a song to create a music video, you must have obtained a master use license to publish the track as a part of the music video, and also a synchronization license ...
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2 votes
1 answer
76 views

Music in private online social gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic

Me and a small group of friends (10 people) are going to have a party. Normally, we would meet each other at someones home. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, everybody will stay at their own ...
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2 votes
1 answer
67 views

Uploading purchased (edited) music to YouTube

Say that a hobbyist DJ purchases CDs, digital tracks and what are known as mixtapes (free music) and slows them down or things like that. If that DJ wants to share the result of this, is it legal to ...
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0 votes
1 answer
122 views

Copyright of a children's song with no author or date information

As a follow-up on Copyright of children's folklore songs, artist A wants to use the melody of "Five little ducks". The song is not on the list of public domain songs. A sound recording ...
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1 vote
0 answers
315 views

Is the .exe file format copyrighted by Microsoft in a creative naming capacity?

I wanted to know if the name of the .exe file format used by Microsoft Operating Systems is copyrighted. As in, is it possible that I'm committing copyright infringement by adding that suffix ("....
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-2 votes
1 answer
32 views

Royalty split between a singer/songwriter and composer/producer [closed]

I have written the lyrics to a song, came up with the melody and paid a composer to translate it into musical notes and create the song (with instruments). I paid for his services. Now, I want to ...
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1 vote
1 answer
104 views

Playing copyrighted music legally -> personal and small group usage

I play guitar. I just want to know what is legal or not regarding my playing copyrighted music. I understand that performing in public (whatever that means!? Formal event? More than just me? Other?))...
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2 votes
2 answers
346 views

Copyright of children's folklore songs

Suppose artist A wanted to include a song to the tune of a children's nursery rhyme, such as Pretty Little Dutch Girl. This song was written in the 1940s, so if the composer was Australian, it would ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
100 views

Can I get sued if someone uses a song on my app without proper copyrights?

I have a small social media sort of app, if some user were to use a song on my platform without proper copyrights can the platform(my app) get sued ? No there is no monetization for user.
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1 vote
2 answers
86 views

Can music publishers/agents demand service fees for compulsory copyright licenses

By my reading of the compulsory copyright licensing rules, if I want to record a cover of a song and sell one copy of it, I would need to obtain a license, but if I send in a proper notice along with ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
52 views

Copyright laws on music instrumental tracks?

First off, I know very little about the law whatsoever - so please bear with me on this one! :) In my spare time, I've being making instrumental accompaniments to some of my favourites musicals and ...
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0 votes
0 answers
63 views

Risk/Information Regarding Copyright/Trademark Violation

I have previously participated in the illicit accessing of files (music, etc.) that were most likely copyrighted/trademarked/etc. as well as the distribution of modified versions of these files (...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Legality of short clips cut from famous movies to fit a new soundtrack

Bob has written a short piece of music and realized that it brilliantly fits certain sequences from a certain famous, copyrighted movie. He cuts essentially a music video from those sequences which ...
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0 votes
2 answers
52 views

Usage rights for a composition that later turned out to be plagiarism

If an artist makes a composition and later turns out to be a plagiarism from another, who bought the rights, or perhaps used it because it was released under creative commons, will it have ...
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2 votes
1 answer
114 views

Can musicians effectively sue politicans that use their songs without permission?

Just about every presidential election cycle I can recall has multiple stories of candidates using songs at their rallies which they have failed to secure permission for. Afterwards, there will a ...
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1 vote
1 answer
133 views

Is there a requirement to delete already illegally downloaded music?

If someone has illegally pirated music and has it downloaded is there a legal requirement for him to delete it?
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