#1
Ok.... I have a rather stupid question.

Would I be able to record a cover of a classical piece ( for example: Fur Elise by Beethoven) and put it in my album, and also sell it on itunes and such without the trouble of copyright?

Hope you understood my question.


Thanks,
#2
I think the original compostion may be handed over to public domain at this point. Something like 70 years after the death, copyright is handed over. As long as you, the artist puts a twist on it, you'll be granted what's known as a synchronization license and what not.

Little but rusty on this tbh.

I know Paul Simon did something very similar with Scarborough Fair.

Also, there is a sticky in the band Leading Thread I believe. In fact I'm gonna have a read of that myself.
Last edited by mdc at Nov 6, 2011,
#3
I'm not incredibly well versed in copyright law, but in theory there shouldn't be a problem because Beethoven's works have long been in the public domain. It changes by the country, but most have a year of death + 50 or 75 year rule on works.
#4
Symphony X takes direct excerpts from classical songs and puts them into their songs at random. As long as you don't just copy it note for note and kinda do something unique with it, I'd say you'd be fine.
#5
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
I'm not incredibly well versed in copyright law, but in theory there shouldn't be a problem because Beethoven's works have long been in the public domain. It changes by the country, but most have a year of death + 50 or 75 year rule on works.


This is correct. You may cover the song freely, provided the writer has been deceased for the right period of time. The US is 75 years after and Canada, 50. I am not entirely sure on European copyright laws unfortunately.. The lengths depend not on where the writer was born, but where the song is registered.

Last edited by Zeppelin Addict at Nov 6, 2011,
#6
Infact you can even get most classical music online for free legally now days. Im not goin to advertise a specific site on UG but just google like free classical music scores and stuff.
But one again the "been dead for 50-75" still applies.
#8
Quote by corrda00
Infact you can even get most classical music online for free legally now days. Im not goin to advertise a specific site on UG but just google like free classical music scores and stuff.
But one again the "been dead for 50-75" still applies.


I dont think mods are gonna get pissed is you tell people to go to the petrucci online library lol

And yea. You can play the works. Its really interesting, right now, all of a sudden, tons of the late romantic's works and also a lot of 20th century stuff is going into public domain. I played a brass band concert a week ago where they were literally copying some of the music to give to us the day before the performance because its went public that day
#9
Classical songs are generally in the public domain for reasons described above. Interestingly enough another copyright can arise if you create a unique arrangement of that song eg. Simon and Garfunkel - El Condor Pasa
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#10
i think there is also another copyright law that protects the specific performance or recording. So yes you can play Fur Elise and record it and sell it but you can not take the a symphony orchestra's recording of the piece and use it however you like.
Si
#11
haha yeah o course that goes without say (although maybe not!!)

i.e. no downloading glenn gould and uploading it i tunes and wanting money for it!
#12
Not only may a specific performance be copyrighted, but an arrangement of a piece may be under copyright even when the composition itself is public domain. (Remember, a lot of classical music was written on instruments that nobody uses anymore, so your favorite recording may have been re-arranged for a modern orchestra).
#13
This is correct. You may cover the song freely, provided the writer has been deceased for the right period of time. The US is 75 years after and Canada, 50. I am not entirely sure on European copyright laws unfortunately.. The lengths depend not on where the writer was born, but where the song is registered.


The song does not have to be registered in order for the copyright to exist (at least in the US); the copyright exists as soon as the work is created. See United States Copyright Office, Circular 1, Copyright Basics, (2008), available at http://copyright.gov/circs/circ1.pdf. It follows, then, that the location of the registration is not relevant when determining the length of the copyright.

That said, I don't know how to determine which jurisdiction's law applies. I suppose it seems logical that the place of creation might be a good guess, but I don't have anything to back that up.
#14
^Works enter the public domain at different times in different countries. It all depends on where YOU are. That's why composers that were dying right around mid century (like Bartok) are in the public domain in Canada (life + 50 years), but not in the EU (life + 70 years).
#15
Bitches love it when I access non-public domain scores through the university library
Last edited by griffRG7321 at Nov 7, 2011,
#16
Lots of correct info here, some not so much.

You really have to take it on a piece-by-piece basis. Something from the classical period would certainly fall into the category of "50-80 years after the death of the composer." But people have a sketchy concept of what classical music does and does not include, and someone might be inclined to believe that something by Stravinski is a classical piece, and surely he must have been dead for probably fifty years. But.... they would be wrong.

It is also a good point about an arrangement being considered a unique work and therefore subject to copyright. You really would have to go back to the original composition and create your own arrangement to be sure.

And of course, a recording of Fur Elise or whatever would carry its own copyright. Not for the piece, but for the recording... and probably the arrangement.

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
Quote by mdc
As long as you, the artist puts a twist on it, you'll be granted what's known as a synchronization license and what not.


The "twist" you're referring to would be establishing a new and identifiable arrangement. When you see an arrangement of Ode to Joy in a beginning band book, that is a unique arrangement of a piece in the public domain. There is no need to change the melody, but the accompanying instrumentation/accompaniment would be your arrangement.

A synchronization license is for when you want to synchronize a composition with another media, such as using a song in a movie, or in a commercial, etc.

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.
#18
Quote by griffRG7321
Bitches love it when I access non-public domain scores through the university library


Bitches dont even know that Ive copied thousands of dollars worth of non public domain scores and parts from libraries
#19
I was looking for Shostakovich sheet music earlier, and its almost impossible to find it for free. He also has a few more decades on his copyrights, as he died in 1975. That said, the majority of his music is not in public domain, unlike Bach or Beethoven, where no one owns the copyrights. You can play and arrange Bach or Beethoven however you want without worry, but for composers whose copyright laws still apply, you should contact the company before doing so I would suggest.