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Old 10-16-2009, 02:48 AM   #61
chokmool
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My drummer and I used to do video productions, and occasionally needed to know if the music a client wanted was still copyrighted(some pretty old stuff sometimes). This may or may not help, but here's a couple of things you can do.

There are lists, Google: "public domain music", and pick a list. Many are categorized by genre or date, which makes it a bit easier.

I believe the US is 70 years after death of the copyright holder, plus an extension of 28 years, so it is doubtful that anything popular from the 1940's on, is not still covered. I'm sure there are exceptions.

Rules for Corporate copyright holders are a bit different too. I think their initial term is 95 years.

For specifics, Google: "copyright terms and the public domain."
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Old 10-16-2009, 11:01 AM   #62
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From a US copyright guide (putting this first, as Buddy Holly was American): http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ15a.pdf
Works originally copyrighted between January 1, 1950, and December 31, 1963: Copyrights in their first 28-year term on January 1, 1978, still had to be renewed in order to be protected for the second term. If a valid renewal registration was made at the proper time, the second term will last for 67 years. However, if renewal registration for these works was not made within the statutory time limits, a copyright originally secured between 1950 and 1963 expired on December 31st of its 28th year, and protection was lost permanently.

Interesting stuff from Canada's Intellectual Property Office: http://www.cipo.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/c...ng/wr00506.html

General rule

The general rule is that copyright lasts for the life of the author, the remainder of the calendar year in which the author dies, and for 50 years following the end of the calendar year. [I knew I saw that language somewhere....] Therefore, protection will expire on December 31 of the 50th year. After that, the work becomes part of the public domain and anyone can use it. For example, Shakespeare's plays are part of the public domain; everyone has an equal right to produce or publish them. This rule applies to all categories of works except those to which special rules apply. Some of the more important special rules are listed below.

...exception...

Sound recordings


This category includes audio cassettes, CDs, recordings and similar devices. Copyright lasts for 50 years after the end of the calendar year of the first fixation of the sound recording.


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Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
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Old 10-30-2009, 05:19 PM   #63
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axemanchris is the best!
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Old 11-01-2009, 07:55 PM   #64
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Thanks, man!

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

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Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
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Old 11-22-2009, 02:50 AM   #65
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I have a question. In one of my band's songs, we have a solo in which the Rhythm guitarist and I go back and forth with different solos (think Welcome Home), it's only about 8 bars each. It's usually improvised, but once I played a part of the solo to Soothsayer by Buckethead and like how it fits into the song, and the fact that's it's like a "tribute" to my favorite guitarists (I see people do things like that live all the time for ones like Jimi). It's a small riff/melody, only about 3-4 seconds long, and it repeats several times in Soothsayer with licks in between, it's the part from 4:57-5:18.

I was wondering if something like this is considered "compositionally important" enough to pose an issue if we were to record the song with me playing that. Also, I'm assuming it would be fine to do playing live in a place that had payed the blanket fees for covers (hell, I'd do it in any other place as well, not like anyone will notice). It's mainly the recording issue I'm concerned about. Thanks.
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Old 11-29-2009, 12:20 AM   #66
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Geez.... I don't know. It sounds to me like one of those 'grey area' questions where the answer is that "there is no clear answer." It could ultimately be determined by a judge.

I like to go on the basis of, if in doubt, play it safe.

Let me change your question slightly:

I have a song where the basis of the song is built around the walk this way riff. It's only a two measure motif that keeps repeating. Would it be a violation of copyright? Well... still not totally clear, but I would venture to guess that that particular riff would be considered either compositionally important, or more likely would most certainly be considered melodically unique. You could well find yourself on the losing end of that one.

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

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Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
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Old 11-29-2009, 04:47 PM   #67
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I see what you're saying, but my question is more like "6 seconds of my song is based off of 6 seconds of his song, is that ok?" And I was just wondering if something so small could be considered important. But I suppose it might be considered melodically unique? Especially because I'm using the riff on purpose (not like I coincidentally created the same one)?
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:16 PM   #68
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Question for you... I looked though some of the band name thread, but didn't see anything that would relate to my problem. I have a cover band that has performed in Southern California for 5 or 6 years using a certain name. Lets call it "The Big Bad Dog Band" (not the real name). I've been getting emails from a guy in Illinois with and original band who is telling me we must stop using our name, he has it trademarked. What he has trademarked is "Big Bad Dog" as his band name. His trademark is only 6 or 8 months old. Am I obigated to change the name of my band simply because he has trademarked Big Bad Dog? He's released a couple CD's and claims his fans find my website instead of his. I don't believe it's my problem... Is it?
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Old 12-06-2009, 01:33 AM   #69
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Honestly, I'm not sure. Try this, though... find his website. DOES he have a couple of CDs under that name?

Here are my thoughts. They may be wrong.

Ask him to send you a copy of the trademark papers. If he refuses, then you refuse.

If HE wants to sick a lawyer on you, it's his dime. If a lawyer is involved, the first strategy the lawyer will use will be to send you a copy of the trademark papers along with a "cease and desist" kind of letter.

If there are no papers, he has no case.

If there are papers, read through them carefully. Do they define a territory where the name is trademarked?

Another thing that I find a little suspicious - and remember, I may be wrong here - is that typically, a trademark applies to a logo or a symbol or something. Think McDonald's "Golden Arches" logo. A band name... idunno.

If it were me, I'd call him on it and see how far he is willing to go. If it's looking like you're going to have to go to court and risk losing and paying the bill, then change it and save yourself the hassle and expense.

If it's looking like he's really serious, and has a genuine claim, you might otherwise choose to consult an entertainment lawyer yourself.

Keep us posted on how it works out. This could be interesting.

EDIT: quick search turned up this:

http://ezinearticles.com/?Can-You-T...Name?&id=453285

Seems maybe you can trademark a band name. However, what I do know about trademarking is that it is rather expensive, and takes a long time. I seem to recall something like 18 months and $2500 or something. I don't know why some independent original band would go through that effort and expense. Or even how they would even pay that expense when there are so many other things to spend what little money you make on.

I'm still thinking along the lines of calling his bluff.

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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 12-06-2009, 02:03 AM   #70
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axeman, I agree. What you posted answers Morrok's question too. When it comes to the gray areas, it often depends upon who blinks first, or how actively, and how much money an artist has to protect their legal rights.

To Morrock, I've actually played some blatantly stolen riffs, and no one said a word. Of course, we weren't a threat to anyone either.

In Mrocketscience's case, I would say that the guy giving him grief doesn't have much of a leg to stand on. Trademark issues, as you have often pointed out, are different than copyrights in some significant ways. One thing that is a large consideration in both though, is the party filing a suit needs to be able to explain how they have been financially, or in some other way harmed. That's not cheap, or easy. These are matters of Civil Law, and unless we're talking about significant amounts of money, it's usually not worth going to the Courts over. Then again, some people file frivolous suits, and you have to deal with it. Like you, I'd say stand your ground, but if the guy wants to rumble, change you name, and move on.
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Old 12-08-2009, 02:38 PM   #71
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Thanks guys for your input.. I think I'm going to do what you suggest and just sit on it until something comes from a lawyer. If it does, I'll just change the name and be done wth it... No sense spending more money. After all, while our band does turn a profit, it's still a hobby really. Don't want to turn it into a money pit....
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:13 AM   #72
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Is this guy still e-mailing you?

If he is, does he seem reasonable?

I just ask, because the course you've decided to take is reasonable, but there are some "odd" folks out there. Hopefully this guy doesn't think he's Orly Taits or something. If he does send you anything by snail mail, either on his own, or from a lawyer/law firm, consider getting your own counsel. I just say that, because these guys usually back off if you lawyer up too. Especially if yours has a good reputation.

For various reasons, I've had a business lawyer(the same guy)for over 25 years. He's not cheap, I rarely need him, but he makes annoying people go away(yes legally). He's been well worth every penny I've paid him. Hopefully you won't need to go that far.
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:39 PM   #73
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Hi... Yeah, he's still emailing me. He wants me to take down my website. However, the domain name belongs to me, so he won't be able to use it. I've offered to put a link to his band on my page for people looking for them, but haven't gotten any response on that. So, I don't know where it will go from here. I may get a new web domain that just uses the initials of my band, and redirect traffic from my old web page. Oh, and put a link on the page that says "If your looking for douchebag "Big Bad Dog" from Illinois go HERE"... lol...
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Old 12-28-2009, 11:47 PM   #74
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Meh.... I'd stand your ground and don't worry about it until he gives you reason to. If the domain reflects your band name and will be a more intuitive name for your fans to remember your address, you should use it. I mean, it IS yours.

Be professional. Don't resort to flaming him publicly on your site.

CT
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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 02-22-2010, 06:32 PM   #75
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What if you upload it to a site like Soundclick that is a 3rd party which would have the upload date and time that couldn't be tampered with?

Would that be legitimate proof that you made the song first?
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:23 PM   #76
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I dunno. Might be....

I guess it comes down to whether you want to protect your material with something bullet proof, or something that is so well documented that it might not be proof but is certainly compelling, or with something that might hold up.

To use my analogy above with the bicycle. Some people just leave it out on the front porch and hope nobody steals it. Others get Kryptonite locks and then lock it in their basement on top of that. Others just throw it in the back yard... maybe locked.... maybe not.

How far do you want to go to protect it?

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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 03-17-2010, 09:59 AM   #77
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Ok, help me out...

I started a group call "Mission Complete" only to find out a band in Texas has the same name (Im in Florida btw)

All they have is a free, 3 song EP, and I have 4 MIDI;s of my songs. What happens, do I have to change the name?
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:24 PM   #78
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Go to page one of this sticky.... right at the top.... look for "Help! Someone stole my band name!"

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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 04-08-2010, 06:51 PM   #79
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Thanks for this, Chris. Very well written, and explained.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:21 PM   #80
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Thanks!

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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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