Copyrights with music?

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Kage
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Copyrights with music?

Post by Kage » 16 Jul 2010, 01:53

Can music be copyrighted? I have heard in the US that while song lyrics and maybe sheet music can be copyrighted, the instrumental audio (like melody) can not be. If what I have heard is correct you can not copyright music audio without lyrics in the US (only the sheet music). So as long as you reproduce the audio without the sheet music you should be fine.

Again, like I have said, this is all from hearsay.

Does anyone have insight to this? And if this is true could we use it to aid audio development?
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Re: Copyrights with music?

Post by saturn » 24 Aug 2010, 17:31

I'm not an expert, but what I've heard is that you need a "mechanical license" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanical_license) to re-record, sample, or use melodies of non-free/open source/public domain musical material. This includes covers, remixes, etc. (Unless every member of ocremix has this license, I believe all their work is illegal :P ). It's probably a bit more complicated than that though.

But what were you thinking about specifically? We probably have enough people coming through to have lots of original TMW music without any problems.
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Crush
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Re: Copyrights with music?

Post by Crush » 24 Aug 2010, 18:51

Kage wrote:Can music be copyrighted? I have heard in the US that while song lyrics and maybe sheet music can be copyrighted, the instrumental audio (like melody) can not be.
When this loophole exists in the US copyright law (and I doubt it considering the power of the music lobby over there) I would not bet that it also exists in other countries. And because music copyright holders are very eager to sue people for the smallest infraction I wouldn't risk anything.

Keeping to original compositions is better anyway.
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Re: Copyrights with music?

Post by Jaxad0127 » 24 Aug 2010, 21:17

Crush wrote:
Kage wrote:Can music be copyrighted? I have heard in the US that while song lyrics and maybe sheet music can be copyrighted, the instrumental audio (like melody) can not be.
When this loophole exists in the US copyright law (and I doubt it considering the power of the music lobby over there) I would not bet that it also exists in other countries. And because music copyright holders are very eager to sue people for the smallest infraction I wouldn't risk anything.

Keeping to original compositions is better anyway.
I think he means that sheet music can be copyrighted even when the actual music has been in the public domain for centuries. Like classical music. You can make a new version of the sheet music and copyright that (the sheet music) but the song you transcrabed is in itself not copyrightable.
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Re: Copyrights with music?

Post by Rotonen » 25 Aug 2010, 08:56

Arrangements can be copyrighted, yes. There is a legal limit to how much has to be changed in order for it to be called "arranged by". Renditions can also be copyrighted.
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