#1
Right, the story is... I've been "borrowing" a few chord sequences and sometimes even melodic phrases to put in between some of my own compositions. Is this totally and completely unacceptable? I hear of bands like Led Zeppelin making fortunes out of their fellow artists and musician's tunes, but what's your opinion on doing stuff like this guys?
#2
Chord sequences should be no problem, but melodies are not cool, that are the copyright laws briefly explained from what I understand
#3
That depends to me, I guess it sort of like you can't really steal a I-IV-V progression. No one owns that. It pretty much depends on how exclusive that progression or phrase is to that artist.
#4
Unless it's really obvious, I don't see what's wrong, that is, as long as you properly credit the original writers and get permission. But it depends, I guess. It's like Green Day 'borrowing' Bryan Adam's "Summer of '69" melody for a part in "Jesus of Surburbia" - no one cared about that. But the Coldplay vs Satriani thing, went crazy. Perhaps post a sample of how you borrowed the chord sequences/melodic phrases?
Isn't it a pity?
Now, isn't it a shame?
How we break each other's hearts,
And cause each other pain...


"Music is everybody's possession. It's only publishers who think that people own it." - John Lennon
#5
I think chord sequences are ok if you change the strumming or something so it doesn't sound identical. Melodies I would say are pretty off limits unless you were just taking the notes from it and changing the phrasing a lot or something...
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Quote by angusfan16
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#6
Ehh my band wrote a song with a jazz style progression used often in songs like Topsy by Django Reinhardt and Blank Generation. Hell, we even used a melody from Topsy so we're giving Django songwriting credit for that track. As long as you acknowledge the other person's work and don't do it often, it should be fine.
#7
Bluntly put, stealing is never okay.
In this context, nobody gives a damn about chord progressions, but melodies are pretty much off limits. And think about it this way - do you honestly want people to think you're unimaginative to write your own or do you aim for respect?
I don't have a signature
#8
Quote by 007dude
Unless it's really obvious, I don't see what's wrong, that is, as long as you properly credit the original writers and get permission. But it depends, I guess. It's like Green Day 'borrowing' Bryan Adam's "Summer of '69" melody for a part in "Jesus of Surburbia" - no one cared about that. But the Coldplay vs Satriani thing, went crazy. Perhaps post a sample of how you borrowed the chord sequences/melodic phrases?


Haha, the irony in your sig amuses me.

I'd post some samples, but I haven't recorded said songs with the band yet, and it would be awkwardly embarrassing to do it on my own.
#9
Quote by Alkaline 64
Right, the story is... I've been "borrowing" a few chord sequences and sometimes even melodic phrases to put in between some of my own compositions. Is this totally and completely unacceptable? I hear of bands like Led Zeppelin making fortunes out of their fellow artists and musician's tunes, but what's your opinion on doing stuff like this guys?

Chord progressions are totally okay to "steal". There isn't much chord progressions in the world, some have to overlap. Ever hear of the "four chord song"? Axis of Awesome did a music-comedy bit on it and it basically answers if chord progressions are legal or not.

And as long as the melody isn't spot on, then you should be good. Melodies can differentiate greatly. The basic rule of thumb is you'll definitely know if you stole a melody by listening to them side by side. In the context of asking someone if they sound similar, you'll probably get a "yeah sort of", but if you didn't ask, they had no reason to really think about it and be really judgmental, then no one would notice, get what I'm saying?

Hope that helped!
#10
Quote by dankhus
Bluntly put, stealing is never okay.
In this context, nobody gives a damn about chord progressions, but melodies are pretty much off limits. And think about it this way - do you honestly want people to think you're unimaginative to write your own or do you aim for respect?



I have heard some truly imaginative stuff written by solid musicians that is clearly based around someone else's work. Credit is usually given.
#11
Quote by Alkaline 64
Right, the story is... I've been "borrowing" a few chord sequences and sometimes even melodic phrases to put in between some of my own compositions. Is this totally and completely unacceptable? I hear of bands like Led Zeppelin making fortunes out of their fellow artists and musician's tunes, but what's your opinion on doing stuff like this guys?


Hey its been happening since the dawn of time and music. Im sure that caveman Ug would have nicked some ideas from his neigbour.

As long as you know where to draw the line then its all good.
#12
Chord sequences and simple melodic phrases are fine, usually people won't even be able to pick it up. We have a copyright sticky in the bandleading forum which should answer some of your questions.

In one of my past bands the singer wrote a song and I wrote a cool electric part to go along with it. He went through....errr....something and demanded that all songs including the song in question be played as acoustic folk songs. I wasn't too happy with the situation so decided to "borrow" a solo from another song with the same chord progression and stuck it in his song. Surprisingly enough I received a lot of complements on that solo in the future, and whenever someone would say "I really liked the solo in x song" I'd respond with "thanks, I stole it from the Spice Girls". Hahaha.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#13
Quote by AlanHB

In one of my past bands the singer wrote a song and I wrote a cool electric part to go along with it. He went through....errr....something and demanded that all songs including the song in question be played as acoustic folk songs. I wasn't too happy with the situation so decided to "borrow" a solo from another song with the same chord progression and stuck it in his song. Surprisingly enough I received a lot of complements on that solo in the future, and whenever someone would say "I really liked the solo in x song" I'd respond with "thanks, I stole it from the Spice Girls". Hahaha.


That's funny man, and exactly what I did to a tune my bands main songwriter came up with!

Basically, I couldn't be bothered composing another minute to a solo, so I just nicked a couple of phrases from Joe Satriani's Crowd chant with a couple of my own licks in between.
#14
Quote by Alkaline 64
Basically, I couldn't be bothered composing another minute to a solo, so I just nicked a couple of phrases from Joe Satriani's Crowd chant with a couple of my own licks in between.


LOL! Crowd Chant? Not exactly the most unique set of licks there mate. You're fine.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#16
This is not my opinion. This is the law, as I understand it:

You cannot copyright a chord progression. You cannot steal a melody.

The grey area is, "At what point does a couple of notes strung together become recognizable as a melody that belongs to someone else?"

Play a perfect fifth. Have you stolen the melody from Twinkle Twinkle little Star? No. How many notes do you have to continue to steal before it becomes theft?

The short answer is this: If it is an entire verse, or an entire chorus, you can pretty much bet that your stealing is out of line. If it is two bars, you might be in an area where it goes to court, and out of two judges, one will agree and the other won't. Between those two.... you're taking your chances. How much money do you want to spend defending your theft, and how confident are you that you won't just end up losing in the end?

CT
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

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#17
Last Dance with Mary Jane - Tom Petty
Dani California - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd

Well, no one sued anybody over it.
#18
You forgot to add that nobody is doing to waste time suing you unless you are someone who is already famous or is going to make money off it.
#19
i would never purposely borrow from anyone,ocourse influences come out when your playing but thats a diff story
#20
Quote by Quintex
Last Dance with Mary Jane - Tom Petty
Dani California - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd

Well, no one sued anybody over it.


That's because there is nothing to sue over. The chord progressions are the same, but the melodies are not.

KD Lang DID sue the Rolling Stones over "Anybody Seen My Baby" sounding melodically too much like "Constant Craving" and won.

CT
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

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#21
Quote by ElConky
You forgot to add that nobody is doing to waste time suing you unless you are someone who is already famous or is going to make money off it.


This implies that "We should do the right thing so as not to get caught - not simply because it's the right thing to do."

When you see your neighbour has left his bike out on the front lawn, do you not take it because you fear getting caught? Or do you not take it because doing so would make you a jackass and would make your neighbour upset?

CT
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

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#22
"I don't think anybody steals anything; all of us borrow. ~ B.B. King"
Quote by MetlHed94



Well played, sir, well played.
#23
Excuse the bump, but I ended up recording the one song I'm really worried about.

http://soundcloud.com/oliveroconnor/dont-worry-10# - Mine.
http://www.mojvideo.com/video-bob-dylan-i-feel-a-change-comin-on/3551124e5886d97189fc - Not mine.

Now I know that's a very common chord progression, but I'll leave it for you folks to decide if its stealing or not. I have a terrible voice by the way, I'm a writer not a singer.
Last edited by Alkaline 64 at Jul 9, 2011,
#24
I don't see a problem with 'stealing' a melody as long as you change it a little or use it in a different context. Heck, you can even do it without realizing it.
#25
Quote by thrashdeth
Heck, you can even do it without realizing it.



This is very true. Whenever I write a song or melody, I listen to tons of music on my computer to make sure I didn't subconsciously steal anything.
From a thread asking if it is safe to tell someone the serial number on your amp:
Quote by JAHellraiser
omg dont do it! he can hack your amp get the b00tiful t00b t0anz
#26
Quote by axemanchris
This implies that "We should do the right thing so as not to get caught - not simply because it's the right thing to do."

When you see your neighbour has left his bike out on the front lawn, do you not take it because you fear getting caught? Or do you not take it because doing so would make you a jackass and would make your neighbour upset?

CT


While I agree that you shouldn't pass off others work as your own at any level of music experience, I must say that copyright infringement is far different than stealing. "stealing" music when you make no money of it is more like saying that your neighbors cool bike is your own.
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