Questions tagged [music]

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

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1 answer
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How does one access the recordings after acquiring a PRO license?

Consider a business, planning to play a music playlist within it's premises, having a legally-acquired license from Performing Rights Organization (PRO), like ASCAP, SESAC or BMI. Is there an ...
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2 votes
1 answer
43 views

Creative commons license on sheet music of classical pieces and performing in public

Suppose that there is a piece of classical music (let's say written by Bach in 1726) and there is a recent arrangement (sheet music) of that piece which was made available through Creative Commons ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Take part of a song slow it down a bit and put it on a loop

Lets say someone hypothetically took the beginning part of a song and slowed it down a bit and put it on a loop for 3 min.. In this scenario the original song was copyrighted. Would this be copyright ...
2 votes
3 answers
132 views

Why is a cover song not fair use? (But parody songs are?)

Considering fair use law, parody, transformative works: Weird Al always asks for permission for his parodies but many law professionals have stated he would not have to. Considering all this, why does ...
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1 vote
1 answer
44 views

What's the difference in copyrights between a book and lyrics of a song?

As far as I understand copyrights, both books and lyrics of a song are protected in the same way. Are they really? It's much easier to find whole lyrics of a song than it is to find whole text of a ...
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6 votes
2 answers
2k views

May I add additional lyrics to a copyright song without claiming any ownership?

A copyright holder has flatly refused my request to add additional lyrics to one of their songs, for use in a private congregational church setting. Does this mean it is simply illegal? I have seen ...
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12 votes
2 answers
3k views

Legality of busking a song with copyrighted melody but using different lyrics to deliver a message

Are there any legal impediments to busking a song with melody and lyrics copyrighted in the United States---with the same melody but with different lyrics---on U.S. streets? Does it matter if the song ...
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4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Copyright transcription of public domain music?

Can I copyright my transcription of, say, a public domain Mozart symphony for brass quintet? I downloaded a public domain PDF of a Mozart symphony. I used the musical content from the PDF and created ...
1 vote
0 answers
46 views

Where can I buy a license to use digital copyrighted music for piano lessons

I am a piano teacher and wish to display copyrighted music on a tablet for the kids to play music from. I will arrange simplified music for them. What sort of license do I need? Where can I buy this? ...
1 vote
0 answers
20 views

How to mark attribution for musical arrangements with minor changes?

I'll often make minor changes to sheet music, by tweaking a few notes, adding a repeat, some extra bass notes, or some other minor changes. That technically makes it a custom arrangement, but nothing ...
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4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does buying a song on Gumroad allow me to use it in my video commercially?

If I purchase music from the link in a_hisa's music video description, can I use the music in my video? Description: a_hisa - Happiness Bell from 8th album「colors 6」 buy on Gumroad https://gumroad....
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1 vote
2 answers
68 views

Does Payola apply to Spotify and related services?

If someone paid a Playlist Curator to host music on the curator's playlist, without any disclosure of the payment, would that be illegal? US Title 47 Section 508 states this kind of behavior is ...
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1 answer
134 views

Obnoxiously loud music from a festival

There's a local annual festival that plays their music really loudly. I can hear it from three and a half miles away, and it's really annoying. There are houses just a few hundred feet away; I'm sure ...
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-4 votes
1 answer
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Is it copyright infringement if I don’t actually make any money from someone else’s audio? [duplicate]

Say I use audio snippets from copyrighted speeches (TED talks, news segments, etc.) on top of some original music. If I use this in a public performance that is completely free and generates no profit/...
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0 answers
14 views

If I use a preset for a synthesizer VST in a song and make a commercial use of the song, do I need some license for this preset?

Assume one uses a preset for some synthesizer VST in a song and make a commercial use of the song: does one need some license for this preset? I live in the United States.
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is the Scarborough Fair Melody Really in the Public Domain?

According to Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Scarborough-Fair-Melody.png the melody to the tune Scarborough Fair (which had been popularized in the 1960s by Simon and ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
141 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
234 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
56 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
51 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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2 votes
1 answer
942 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, ...
2 votes
1 answer
111 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
110 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
110 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
142 views

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 ...
-1 votes
1 answer
50 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, ...
0 votes
2 answers
99 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, ...
2 votes
1 answer
64 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
59 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
129 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 ...
-1 votes
1 answer
36 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
34 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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
202 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/...
0 votes
1 answer
126 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
29 views

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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
278 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
55 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?
2 votes
1 answer
80 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
134 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
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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
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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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
377 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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0 votes
1 answer
383 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
171 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
49 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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
189 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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