Questions tagged [music]

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

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13
votes
2answers
5k views

Is it legal to buy second-hand vinyls?

I live in a town that has lots of second-hand stores that sell second-hand vinyl records, tapes, etc, for incredibly low prices. I recently bought the soundtrack from A Clockwork Orange for 1 dollar ...
9
votes
4answers
541 views

Auto-generating every possible melody to forstall copyright: will this work?

This article describes a scheme to have a computer generate every possible "8-note, 12-beat melody combo" and release it under a Creative Commons license so that anyone can use it (not exactly public ...
8
votes
4answers
15k views

Will using a cover of a song in a film free me from legal obligations?

I want to use the song "Whole Lotta Love" in my upcoming film. Obviously the song is copyrighted by led Zeppelin. So I'm planning to get a few musicians and cover the song and then use it as a ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

How can NaxosofAmerica claim copyright for classical music in Youtube?

I know that classical music is public domain, so no-one can claim that they own classical music. But I add a classical music: I. Allegro in one of my Youtube videos (https://youtu.be/WJ13om_YkKg), and ...
6
votes
2answers
669 views

Performing music in public

I am a musician. I want to perform music. How do I do this without being sued into oblivion? I am particularly interested in UK law. As I understand it, a specific sound recording (of anything) is ...
6
votes
1answer
141 views

Uploading images of music notation: Do we violate copyright laws?

As I have noticed, it is rather common on music.SE to post a photo of a few bars and ask for help how to play it, e.g. fingering, how to play ornaments, etc. Is that according to copyright laws? My ...
5
votes
1answer
212 views

What prevents me from making a derivative of a work never fixed in a tangible medium?

Suppose I'm a singer-songwriter in the United States, and at one of my concerts, I perform a previously unreleased (and in fact never-before-recorded) song. I play this song from memory and by ear; I ...
5
votes
1answer
264 views

When do I need a licence to play music in a public place and how do I get it?

I would like to know if restaurants, lounges, clubs and places like that need a licence to play music. I'm a developer and I would like to develop a solution that would allow them to play music in a ...
4
votes
2answers
246 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
1k 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?
4
votes
2answers
473 views

Could a song that uses different, but phonetically identical lyrics violate copyright?

There is a YouTube video of a song called "Hapi Berth Dey", which the user says is to the tune "Good Morning to You", which is in the public domain. The video never explicitly mentions "Happy ...
4
votes
1answer
152 views

Publish rewritten sheet music

I used a scorewriter to notate a musical piece. I did so by ear and I do not own the original sheet music. (If it makes any difference: I wasn't able to find the sheet music for sale anywhere online) ...
4
votes
2answers
237 views

Can anyone record a cover of a song I put on SoundCloud?

My friend asked me if he could record a cover of a song that I put on SoundCloud called Gratitude (License: All Rights Reserved). What legal rights does my friend have? Does he need my permission? ...
4
votes
1answer
905 views

How are royalties handled for modern orchestral music?

I'm curious how royalties are handled for orchestral compositions (e.g. symphonies, concerti, quartets, etc.) in modern times (20th Century and later). For example, Dmitri Shostakovich's compositions ...
4
votes
2answers
559 views

Are there legal consequences for giving away my own musical transcriptions of copyrighted works on a website?

I've transcribed a lot of video game music in my lifetime, and am interested in making these sheet music transcriptions freely available for download on a website. I see that a lot of other websites ...
4
votes
2answers
377 views

Write song to the tune of a copyrighted song

my wife is considering writing (and selling) some childrens' books which will contain songs which are to the tune of various copyrighted songs (like the "Let It Go!" song from Disney's Frozen). She ...
3
votes
1answer
588 views

Is caching copyrighted content illegal in EU?

I found this question and this article on wiki about copyright aspects in EU. However they don't talk about caching (I found only this for US). Imagine the scenario where there's a service/website ...
3
votes
1answer
380 views

What can I do to use classical music in an advertisement?

I'm considering using one of the following pieces of music for a commercial (advertisement of my book): Richard Wagner, Ride of the Valkyries Carl Orff, Carmina Burana, O Fortuna - Fortune plango ...
3
votes
1answer
135 views

Can I record an arrangement of another composer's music and upload it to YouTube?

I'm writing this orchestral arrangement of two of John Williams' compositions (Imperial March & Kylo Ren's theme). I will use a program to create a synthesized recording and want to upload it to ...
3
votes
2answers
142 views

Downloading music using “online converters”

Is it illegal to use online converters to download .mp3 files of songs from websites such as Soundcloud, YouTube etc. You can search online for terms such as youtube to mp3 or download from ...
3
votes
1answer
91 views

Music law: releasing a song I wrote that is performed by others on Spotify

I'm a UK-based singer-songwriter. I've had a demo of a duet I wrote professionally recorded by two session singers in the US, as my voice wasn't what I wanted for this one. Piano track is essentially ...
3
votes
2answers
154 views

Is it necessary to audibly announce a copyright notice when using music licensed under Creative Commons Attribution?

I would like to use music licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) as on-hold music; however, the only way to provide attribution would be to announce a copyright notice ...
3
votes
0answers
23 views

What are the steps to follow to use sample from a movie in song?

I wrote a song and I'd like to insert in it a dialogue extracted from a movie. Since I believe the original source is covered by copyrights, I'd like to understand how to proceed to get the permission ...
3
votes
2answers
9k views

Transcribing music and the legality of using musical transcription

I'm learning to play an instrument and I would like to transcribe the songs I heard for later practicing. I have some questions regarding transcribing music and the legality of using musical ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

How are MIDI files of copyrighted music licensed?

Anyone with a music studio can easily download a .midi file from the internet, and then use it to produce a musical track. A midi file exists online for almost every song in the world, and you can ...
2
votes
1answer
101 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
130 views

Parody or Infringement? (United States of America)

I am struggling with the difference between these definitions. Q: Is this a Parody or a Copyright Infringement? In a proposed pilot for a TV/Web show aimed at children for edutainment, one of the ...
2
votes
2answers
47 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
65 views

Using a public domain opera, recorded by someone else, in a parody

I found a YouTube video of a public domain opera, and I want to use the sound portion in a musical parody. I will only use parts of it, alter it dramatically, and wish to claim "Fair Use." Is it ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

To what extent can one claim copyright over a sound?

It would seem unlikely that one could secure copyright of the musical note A 440 (for example). Generally, more complex sounds (music, sound effects) are complex permutations, mutations or ...
2
votes
1answer
206 views

YouTube - fair / allowed / legal use - is it OK to record music performances?

Quite often I take a GoPro / iPhone and record fragments of a music performance. Quite often I upload the content to YouTube. Quite often I receive following message: The copyright holder, which ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

How to use free sound for commercial use?

I discovered that some sound effects in Minecraft comes from web sites that offers free sfx, some of these sounds are under the 'CC BY-NC 3.0' licence which is a non-commercial one. Yet, Minecraft ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

When is it illegal to play someone else's copyrighted song on an instrument?

I am learning guitar and found out that Justin Sandercoe (from famous guitar teaching website justinguitar.com) has been forced to remove some of his lessons because the song he was teaching his ...
2
votes
1answer
708 views

Legality of Music Transcription Service

I'm considering creating a music transcription service as a side hobby project. With this service, clients could request that I transcribe a song (or parts of a song) for them in exchange for a fee. I ...
2
votes
1answer
304 views

What is the “area” of copyright claims and fair use of songs?

There are many lyrics videos and other audio visualizer videos using songs they clearly don't have ownership own. Many of these receive a copyright strike on Youtube and are subsequently taken down, ...
2
votes
1answer
65 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

How can I determine what elements of a work are covered by a copyright mark?

I have sheet music for a piece of classical music that bears the following copyright claim: © 1927 Carl Fischer, New York. © renewed 1955 Fritz Fischer Fischer is a well-known publisher of ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Who is responsible for proving the validity / invalidity of a license for a song should it be challenged?

I have a YouTube video which uses a song that I found on http://freemusicarchive.org/. The website gives me permission to use the song under the CC 3.0 Attribution license. Appropriate credit is ...
2
votes
1answer
113 views

How to remove YouTube video that infringes my IP?

If someone made a video of my song and uploaded it to YouTube: Is that legal? If not, how can I block the video?
2
votes
2answers
327 views

How to obtain a sync license for posting a cover version online?

SoundCloud states: You'll still need permission from the original copyright holders of a song before you can post your cover on SoundCloud, even if you provided the vocals and played all the ...
2
votes
1answer
62 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

Can I be liable for copyright infringement if I allow users to create and share drumpad rhythms?

I've been tossing around the possibility of making something like the Beatnik Rhythmic Analyzer. From scratch. The idea I have is that people will enter in rhythms in the form of actual music notation,...
2
votes
1answer
228 views

Song titles and copyrights

As the copyright owner of a song, can another artist decide to change its title? Or should that be open to change by a performer who wants to perform the song?
2
votes
1answer
348 views

Is all ORIGINAL VERSION classical sheet music in the public domain?

I know that copyright of any musical composition expires 70 years after a composer's death. Does this apply to written forms of such music, like sheet music? I find many pieces of classical sheet ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

Is it illegal to sell my original Video game music for a fan game?

So I am making an original video game soundtrack for a fan game I have started developing. The thing is that I want to sell this soundtrack on BandCamp, and IDK if it's legal sense I am going to be ...
2
votes
2answers
475 views

Using North Korean Artists' Music - Copyright Issues

I am interested in using North Korean artists' work (mostly music) for commercial purposes. I cannot contact them so I don't know how to handle copyright issues. Even if there are such problems in ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Getting a portable version of CD music collection

I own hundreds of original music CDs. I purchased them all at major retail stores. I want to listen to them when I workout. But hundreds of music CDs will not fit in my pocket. I've looked into "...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Where can I validate my music compositions?

After somebody creates his/her own new song, where does (s)he need to register/verify to be sure it's not a plagiarism? I'm curious how these things work–who has the power to say a song is a ...
2
votes
1answer
44 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
77 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?))...