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Thread: Copyright question

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    Seaman, Mezzoforte
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    Copyright question

    Is it a violation of copyright to post a performance online of a "modern" piece (meaning less than 50 years old )? Does it make a difference where or how it is posted?

    Anne

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
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    On this site you can post excerpts of less than 1 minute duration of any work. If it is your own work/performance then no problem, post it, if it is a performance by someone else then it is their copyright, and I don't think the age of the work is the only criterion, a recorded performance is copyright by the performer and probably the recording company.

    It can also depend on the country the work/recording is published in, and is usually related to the date of the composers death, I'm not sure about how it relates to performers or date of recording. Our esteemed regulator Lars, AKA Krummhorn, can give chapter and verse in more detail.

    The reason we get away with up to 59 second excerpts instead of the more usual 30 seconds is that the forum is hosted in Denmark and is thus governed by Danish Copyright laws.
    Cheers MIKE.

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso wljmrbill's Avatar
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    In USA I believe the clue is : performed for profit in public performance is violation of copywrite rules.. not positive.
    ....To play only what is written is the domain of science. To realize what is not written is the domain of art."
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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsetmike View Post
    . . . Our esteemed regulator Lars, AKA Krummhorn, can give chapter and verse in more detail.

    The reason we get away with up to 59 second excerpts instead of the more usual 30 seconds is that the forum is hosted in Denmark and is thus governed by Danish Copyright laws.
    Spot On, Mike!

    Only to add, that a posted/copyrighted excerpt or performance [greater than 59 seconds] would require full acknowledgement of permissions received to re-publish the musical work ... AND ... the administrators would require a copy of that letter (from the artist/composer) in advance of posting.

    Just because it is on YouTube does not mean it is in the Public Domain. Quite the opposite in many cases.

    Be extremely careful - the penalties for violating copyright laws are very severe . . . and . . . well . . . one could literally lose their shirt if caught and prosecuted. It's simply not worth that risk unless you have several million dollars laying around as chump change, and have nothing else better to do than spending 5 years in a government penitentiary.

    In a nutshell: If you have the slightest reservation that it might be wrong, it probably is.
    Kh ~~.
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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
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    Lars, maybe you could expand on the duration of copyright after death of composer/author. Also in the case of a recorded work I believe the copyright subsists with the recording company, would a record made in say 1950 still be copyright? What, if any, is the time limit for that and is it affected by the life time of artist and/or composer?
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

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    Seaman, Mezzoforte
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    Thank you for all the information so far. I knew this crowd would have the answer.

    So all those people on YouTube who have posted their interpretations of Dale Wood and Josh Groban are in violation of copyright law? But not J. S. Bach?

    Anne

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    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster FinnViking's Avatar
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    In finland it is forbidden to post anything (even one second) whose composer / any copyright holder is either living or died less than 70 years ago - unless you pay a fee. I believe this to be the EU standard. According to any copyright laws most music on youtube - pop and other lighter music in particular - seems to be illegal.
    Last edited by FinnViking; Dec-05-2012 at 08:22.

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsetmike View Post
    Lars, maybe you could expand on the duration of copyright after death of composer/author. Also in the case of a recorded work I believe the copyright subsists with the recording company, would a record made in say 1950 still be copyright? What, if any, is the time limit for that and is it affected by the life time of artist and/or composer?
    In the US it is 70 years after the death of the composer, or heirs of the composer who may also own the rights. You are correct about recordings ... and those time limits could be infinite if they are owned by a performing group/orchestra, and would not be in public domain until the demise of that group/orchestra and then after everyone has been deceased for 70+ years.

    In France it gets a little tricker ... Jean-Paul could enlighten us more on this, but there I think it is closer to 95 years for copyrights. Seems during both world wars, the copyright time-clock was not ticking and France adds those years to the usual 70 that is almost universally accepted.

    Denmark, I believe, has a 100 year provision on copyrights - Frederik could verify this. I've read the Danish copyright laws and they are specific about some "works" and not so specific on other types of "works", whether they are music or non-music.

    Kh ♫

    Quote Originally Posted by Organiste View Post
    . . . So all those people on YouTube who have posted their interpretations of Dale Wood and Josh Groban are in violation of copyright law? But not J. S. Bach?

    Anne
    Not exactly, at least imho ... that is, unless the performance was for profit perhaps. That is fine line - as organists, we are free to play any music in worship services or concerts. We are playing the music - as opposed to selling copies of the manuscript afterwards.
    Last edited by Krummhorn; Dec-05-2012 at 20:33. Reason: mpm on self (lol)

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