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Old 04-16-2009, 04:44 AM   #41
Samzawadi
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I have a question. You know the trick for copy writing your music by mailing it to yourself and not opening the envelope? How do you get Canada Post to record the date that it was mailed?


There's normally a postmark or similar with the date that it reaches the sorting office.

This method is highly dubious, however, and not really the best idea if you've got something you actually value.
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:01 PM   #42
axemanchris
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I have a question. You know the trick for copy writing your music by mailing it to yourself and not opening the envelope? How do you get Canada Post to record the date that it was mailed?


Did you read post#14 in this thread?

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/foru...19&postcount=14

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Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
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Old 05-21-2009, 04:56 AM   #43
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If I change my lyrics a bit, like AABBCCDD becomes AABBCC the DD, would I have to mail it to myself again?
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:03 PM   #44
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I would guess that to be a tough call. Let's say for instance, you wrote Old Time Rock and Roll. The original lyric was "just take them old records off of the shelf" and you changed it to "just take those old records off the shelf" and the rest of the song followed just as before, it would hardly be considered a significant variation of the original work.

However, if you changed it to "just pull them old songs out of a hat" then that's starting to get significant - particularly if the melody is then changed too. If the melody remains fundamentally identical, then you're still in almost the same ballpark you were before.

I think it would come down to similarity in rhythm, context, message, and syntax. If it is *essentially* the same, then I would think it would be seen as a clear attempt to copy the original.

Now, if you're going the 'mail it to yourself' route, despite the caveats, it really doesn't cost you much more than an envelope and a few minutes of your time to re-submit it.

CT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk
Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.

Last edited by axemanchris : 05-22-2009 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 05-22-2009, 12:38 PM   #45
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Alright, thanks a lot
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Old 06-19-2009, 09:38 AM   #46
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Hey everyone

First off, great stuff axemanchris! Super useful...

Anyway, I have a copyright question and I'm not sure if it's been covered much in this thread yet. Say you're in a band and you write most of the songs... then, 5 years after your band breaks up, the former vocalist records a song that you wrote - with the same instrumental parts. I know copyrights can get confusing in the band environment... so what should you do to get your copyright? Can you just use any of the methods mentioned above with everything you wrote?
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Old 06-21-2009, 11:50 PM   #47
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So you have two issues here...

1. Someone has infringed your copyrighted work
2. You need to prove that the copyrighted work is yours.

If you did, indeed, write more than 50% of the words and melodic content, then the song is enough yours that you have creative control over it. He can't record it without your permission or at least without paying licensing.

Legalities aside, most people, when confronted, will cease and desist just to be peaceful if they know they are in the wrong. If that's the case, then you're good. Otherwise, he might force you into proving it. Can you? What do you have?

Now, assuming you can prove it.... sign up with a music licencing agency (see above.... way up.... like the CMRRA, etc.) Register your songs there, and direct him to the music licencing agency. He can send his fees to them, or directly to you. Either one is fine with you.

If he refuses, then it comes down to, "How much money do you want to spend for how much gain?" Sure, if you take it to court and win, then you can recoup your fees as part of the settlement. So, it also comes down to him, "How much does he want to spend for how much gain?" If you lose, he'll recoup his legal fees as part of his settlement.

In any case, if you decide to take legal action and have sufficient proof to justify spending money on it, the first step will probably be a letter from your lawyer directly to him asking him to cease and desist or else face court action.

That's kinda the short answer.

It kinda sucks that it can potentially cost SO much to protect what is yours.... and that there are no guarantees.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk
Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:25 AM   #48
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Thanks! Just wanted to have an idea of what I should do... I'm working on some of my band's first originals and I'm doing pretty much 100% of the writing, and we're all in highschool so there's no guarantee we'll ever play together after highschool... so I wanted to make sure my stuff is protected.
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Old 07-03-2009, 09:49 AM   #49
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If our band releases our songs through i-Tunes are they initially copyrighted there and are we safe from people using our songs for any means which would break copyright? For example on an advert, or even stealing the lyrics?

Thanks.
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Old 07-03-2009, 01:55 PM   #50
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They won't be officially copyrighted, but you will have a piece of that 'disinterested third party' paper trail that I talked about.

Now, even with a formal copyright, you're still never really 'safe.' If someone decides to infringe on your material, you *will* have to step in and take action. And again, at that point, it will always come down to what I said above, "How much time and money are you willing to invest for how much gain?" And again, part of your success in winning won't so much lie in a formal copyright as much as it will lie in your ability to prove you owned the material before the other person.

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Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk
Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.

Last edited by axemanchris : 07-03-2009 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:22 PM   #51
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Chris (or anyone), are you familiar with the online copyright system of the US?

It is on copyright.gov
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:05 PM   #52
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No, I'm not. I can't help thinking that it must be at least an attempt at making the formal copyright process more accessible and efficient for more people, while allowing them to reduce the number of people they employ collecting paperwork. I'm sure it must be totally legit.

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Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk
Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:06 AM   #53
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i know this is probably an stupid/obvious question, but if i have an album on vinyl am i allowed to download it from the net using pirate bay or somewhere similar, for my own personal use? is there a limit to the number of copies i can have e.g. one vinyl, a tape for my car, on my computer and on my ipod is 4 copies already.

what about if i have lost the CD but still have the case? the Cd is in my house 'somewhere' but i can only produce the empty case...
finally what happens if a buy a CD - put it on my ipod, lend it to a friend and never get it back? what if i put it on my ipod then sell the CD/donate it to a charity shop?
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:44 PM   #54
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The "home taping act" or whatever it is formally called (and Canada has an equivalent) allows for making an archive copy as a backup or for a transition to another medium. This law came about when people wanted to copy their LPs to cassette to listen to them in the car, for instance.


Yes, you are allowed to do that. Now, technically, getting something from Pirate Bay is not legal. You are not making a copy for yourself - you are taking a copy from someone else. Ethically, so long as you bought a copy, whether you make the copy yourself for your own personal purposes, or whether you get it from a torrent, the end result is really the same.

In effect, to answer all your other questions, the guiding principle comes down to, "is someone else who *didn't* purchase a copy getting one for free?" If you lost it.... meh.... I don't think anyone is going to quiz you on it. If you gave it away or sold it at a garage sale, then you gave it away or sold it.... you relinquished your copy on your own free will so someone else could have it.

Ultimately, IMHO, it should come down to whether you are ethically doing the right thing (as in, the artist is getting the money that they are entitled to in return for their creativity and hard work), not whether you could be charged for illegal activity.

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Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk
Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:40 AM   #55
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Wassup Chris. Hopefully you can clear this up for me.

I have a song on my profile "Never Get the Chance". This was written by the founder of the band, whom had written the chord progression and lyrics to it before presenting it to me. I arranged it so it had more dynamics (previously it had none, just the chord progression), and wrote the guitar riff to it which repeats throughout the song and the repeated solo.

Although the guitar riff is now a main feature of the song, I believe I have no copyright entitlements to the song itself. I am proud of the work I did on the song, but it wouldn't have existed had I not been supplied with the "framework" before it as such.

What do you think?
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Old 08-28-2009, 08:43 AM   #56
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Composition credit still goes to your friend. Nice of him to let you use it, though.

Something to think about - and I admittedly don't know much about this - is that an arrangement can *also* be copyrighted.

Consider this.... a tune like, say, "Jingle Bells" is probably a public domain song. However, a concert band / small orchestra / whatever might choose to play Jingle Bells at a Christmas concert. The director buys a book or a score with an arrangement of Jingle Bells and the band learns it. Why does Mel Bay or Hal Leonard or whomever have the right to make money from it? Because it's their *arrangement*, which is a copyrightable creative work.

What I don't know is: What does that mean in terms of how much who is entitled for financial compensation? What's the difference between this and some cover band coming in and saying "we changed the arrangement so you can't sue us for stealing your song?"

My guess is that the arrangement and the composition are copyrighted separately. Steal the composition and the arrangement and you've stolen twice - or at least from potentially two separate interested parties. (get taken to court twice, or by two people).

Based on that logic, the composition is still his, but you could copyright the arrangement.

This would not give you any rights to the composition itself without at least providing compensation to the composer. But if someone else covered the song and used his arrangement, they would owe you nothing. If someone else covered the song and used your arrangement, they would owe you and your friend.

This all makes sense to me.

The big question is.... proportionally.... how much would they owe you and your friend?

At what point does an arrangement become a copyrightable 'creative work?' Maybe some things are obvious (a full orchestral score where new parts are created and included to complement the composition vs a single acoustic guitar playing just the chords), and the grey area in between is decided by a judge - similar to "where does a few notes strung together become a copyrightable creative work?

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Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk
Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:41 AM   #57
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so if i play my songs live someone else can just steal it? although i got it recorded on my computer...?

and what if i go to a major lable and show them my work and want a record deal.. and they steal it and uses it for another artist.. how can i trust them?

how can i protect my songs for free or for a very small price?
it's stupid that you would need money to protect something you created in music -.-
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:40 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by unnamed123
so if i play my songs live someone else can just steal it? although i got it recorded on my computer...?


Not if you can prove you owned it first. Note that you don't have to prove you wrote it. It is assumed that the first owner is also the writer. A date stamp on your computer would NOT be acceptable. Read above elsewhere in this thread for more info on that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unnamed123
and what if i go to a major lable and show them my work and want a record deal.. and they steal it and uses it for another artist.. how can i trust them?


Again, not if you can prove you owned it before them. Keep in mind, though, that the more money that is available to fight against you, the more absolute rock-solid your case has to be that proves you owned it. If a court case potentially goes upwards to $20 000, do you really want to get into that kind of cost to protect a song that might not be worth that much, knowing that you might lose it all in the end? High-priced entertainment lawyers are good at what they do. Do have deep enough pockets and a secure enough support to fight that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by unnamed123
how can i protect my songs for free or for a very small price?
it's stupid that you would need money to protect something you created in music -.-


See above in this thread.

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Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk
Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
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Old 10-12-2009, 02:28 PM   #59
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i heard copyright lasted 50 years after the death of the writer in the US....70 years in some countries.

Can people cover Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly without worrying about the rights now ?
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:24 PM   #60
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Great question. How about "I think so."

Holly died in 1959, which puts him just over 50 years dead.

This source here, from Cornell U, suggests that works published in the US in that time period (1929-1963) become public domain 50 years after the death of the composer. However, it also suggests that the copyright may extend to 95 years following the composers' death if the copyright was renewed.

http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm

This does make a couple of suppositions:
1. That Holly (aka Charles Hardin) was the primary composer of any given song.
2. That the song was first published in the USA.

Now, check footnote #8. There are a couple of good links there. One tells you (a US govt resource) "how to investigate the copyright status of a work" and another tells you (a Pennsylvania U site) How to tell if a copyright has been renewed.

A source at this forum suggests that a company MPL communications still holds the rights. Hard to say how credible this is, but a visit to the MPL site seems to show that they are currently licencing works by Holly. Now, is that because they just haven't been removed from the catalogue? I dunno. Just because a work has been sitting in someone's licencing catalogue for years and years doesn't mean they remove things the day they become public domain. I really don't have a ready, definitive explanation for that. http://www.digitalspy.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=1123308

This CBC article (reasonably credible source, but journalists aren't copyright experts, so beware) suggests that Peggy Sue was to become Public Domain shortly, but it also said 2010. http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2009/...licdomain2.html Why 2010? Because, I think, copyright goes to the beginning of the next calendar year. So, Holly died in 1959 would have his copyright protected until the end of 2009. I seem to recall reading that somewhere. Canadian... USA.... can't be sure.

Maybe this 'calendar year' language is what still allows MPL communications to still licence his work... but only until Jan. 1/10. ??

Here's another interesting link: Holly's widow has trademarked his name and image, and therefore controls how and where those resources are used, such as whether or not they can be used in conjunction with the Buddy Holly Festival, etc. Sure, nothing to do with his music, but an interesting related side-note.

http://www.buddyhollyarchives.com/2...-february-2009/

tl;dr - It might be, but it might not be.

CT
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Quote:
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