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26 votes

What is the legal distinction between watching a YouTube video in a browser and downloading it for personal use?

Although you aren't interested in the TOS, you should be. You are not allowed to make any copy of other people's stuff without permission. The TOS is how you get permission. First, the author uploads ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
25 votes

I forgot to BCC people in music promotion email

Don’t do it again This is a data breach under the GDPR. So, you should implement your data breach protocol which you established when you decided to become a data controller. You did do that, right? ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 213k
22 votes
Accepted

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

A song with the same melody and different lyrics is a derivative work. It does not matter whether the song is to be sung for money, or not. The copyright owner still retains the rights to the melody, ...
serencog's user avatar
  • 571
21 votes
Accepted

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

No, the musical composition itself (i.e., what you might express tangibly in sheet music) has copyright distinct from the copyright that exists on Led Zepplin's recording of the song. Your new cover ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 3,339
16 votes

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

By "buying the song" on Gumroad you don't actually buy the song, you buy the right to do specific things with that song. I couldn't find the exact license terms, but for 800 Yen (about $6) ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 7,372
14 votes

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

general things on copyright Copyright law is very similar globally, due to the Berne convention on copyright. Ány country's copyright law grants the copyright to an author. Copyright is the exclusive ...
Trish's user avatar
  • 40.6k
14 votes
Accepted

Can a song be used in a presentation for work?

The educational/teaching purposes do not apply to any copyrighted work that you chose to include in the educative material that you might produce. The educational/teaching purposes means education ...
SJuan76's user avatar
  • 5,879
11 votes
Accepted

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. That's not quite right, at least not under US law. First off, "classical music" is a style, and music ...
cpast's user avatar
  • 24.2k
11 votes

Copyright transcription of public domain music?

I originally wrote A "transcription" and an "arrangement" are not at all the same thing. But it seems that this was not quite correct. Transcription Merriam-Webste definers the ...
David Siegel's user avatar
10 votes

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

Trish’s answer covers the main point: you need a license, and the license can prevent certain uses such as modified lyrics. There’s a side note though: sometimes, you can use copyrighted works without ...
KFK's user avatar
  • 604
9 votes
Accepted

Are Midi files copyrighted?

They can be, and usually would be. If someone uses a a keyboard or other instrument that records a MIDI file, that file is protected by copyright as soon as it is saved. Or if some person or group ...
David Siegel's user avatar
9 votes

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

Facts cannot be copyrighted. Such a project does not violate copyright law, and if you're in the United States, it is protected by the First Amendment.
bdb484's user avatar
  • 60.7k
9 votes

Is the Scarborough Fair Melody Really in the Public Domain?

Yes Both melody and lyrics source back to the middle ages, as for instance described here. The difficulty could be to make sure you rely your derived work on a variant that is really in the public ...
PMF's user avatar
  • 5,980
9 votes

What is the legal distinction between watching a YouTube video in a browser and downloading it for personal use?

Copying is a necessary and pervasive part of typical internet usage. Visiting any website requires, not only that it is temporarily copied and saved onto your hard drive, but also that every ...
preferred_anon's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Is it legal to arrange music I don't have rights to if it is never performed?

Am I within my rights to arrange it as a cover for non-profit? I'm not sure about that, but I do know that Broadway Licensing isn't the right source for your license. They told you you'd have to ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 37.9k
8 votes

How are MIDI files of copyrighted music licensed?

The midi is an artistic work and protected by copyright just as sheet music or an actual recording would be. It’s possible, even likely, that a midi file running free on the internet is itself an ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 213k
8 votes

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

Seems unlikely that it will "forestall copyright infringement suits". Some jurisdictions, e.g the USA, say that "Works produced by mechanical processes or random selection without any contribution by ...
Lag's user avatar
  • 17.4k
8 votes

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

Technically, this is infringement Overview of US law In the US, Playing copyrighted music in a private setting for personal enjoyment and practice does not require any license or royalty payment. ...
David Siegel's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

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

The title and author(s) of a copyrighted work are not themselves protected by copyright. Many libraries and booksellers and online reference cervices provide such information. Two examples are the ...
David Siegel's user avatar
7 votes

Are Midi files copyrighted?

I would say this is equivalent to asking is something typed on paper copyrighted. Yes or No, depending on the process that caused the text to be typed. If you copy a page of Shakespeare and print it ...
George White's user avatar
  • 12.8k
7 votes

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

There seems, to my ear, to be a degree of similarity between the first two works. The third does not sound, to me, very similar to either of the first two. That is not a legal question, and I am no ...
David Siegel's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Copyrighted Music, Personal Use, and not-for-profit Video Games?

My question is, because I am not making any income from the distribution of the game, would the use of the copyrighted music fall under Personal Use? There are some "private use" exemptions ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 37.9k
6 votes
Accepted

Parody or Infringement? (United States of America)

The question as worded implies that if something is a parody it is automatically fair use or allowed in US copyright law. This is a myth. First of all, in a copyright context, the term "parody" is ...
David Siegel's user avatar
6 votes

Is this excerpt from a classical piece copyrighted?

As the question says the "Fugue in A Major" by Shostakovich is not in the public domain. The work was published in 1950, and so would not be PD under US law, and Shostakovich died in 1975, and so his ...
David Siegel's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

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

It’s tricky. I’ll talk about the general then the specific. In general, your notion of "didn't get permission" doesn't really reflect how the music industry works. Generally, a venue pays ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

To what extent can one claim copyright over a sound?

As for the subject matter (what can be protected), amplitude, frequency, harmonic pattern, duration etc. are all physical facts, and there is no protection for physical facts. The basic requirement is ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
5 votes
Accepted

Copyright of children's folklore songs

The burden rests on A to determine that the work is not protected by copyright, and there is no fool-proof registry where you can look up a particular work. One form of proof would be finding a copy ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
5 votes
Accepted

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?

The Harry Potter company and John Williams may or may not want credit, but they almost certainly want money. You have to get their permission, at least for their creations. In the case of Für Elise, ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
5 votes

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

"Personal use only" does not excuse copyright infringement under US law. The uploader does not hold copyright, and neither gives nor denies permission to copy his creation. The law does not ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k

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