Actually a couple...
I understand we cant use copyrighted material like songs or footage. However, what about spoofs or covers?
Example if I were to do a cover of another artist's copy righted song, is that a copyright infringement? Lets say I did a score myself that sounds just like Star Wars? I am not a composer but what if it was close enough that you could clearly recognize the song or maybe its exactly the song note for note... violation?
Or what about like Weird Al doing those spoof songs does that require permission?
And the same question for footage, can I spoof a movie or part of a movie? Is that a copyright infringement or violation of Fest Rules?
Thread: Copyright Question
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04-01-2010 03:40 PM
04-01-2010 04:15 PM
- Join Date
- Jan 2010
- Vancouver, BC
As David said, spoofs can be considered fair use of copyright material under parody. That said, I believe Weird Al generally got permission for his remakes.
For your other question if you were to develop your own original work that was note for note the same as a previous work still under copyright, I think it is still a violation. I do not believe originality is a defence in copyright, though I may have that mixed up with patents.
However, I would guess you would have a hard time proving what you wrote was original if it does end up being an exact copy of a well known work. For example, if you wrote a copy of the Star Wars theme and get lawyered at, how do you show that it was an original creation of yours, and not due to the billion times you watched the movies, heard the songs in ads, and saw it who knows where? I would be very cautious if I was going down this route.
04-01-2010 05:29 PM
4100xpb I think you misunderstood me on this a bit. I meant note for note as in a cover basically. I doubt I could do a note for note cover of a score, even if I had the right instruments and such. And we know covers aren't original... I didn't mean to imply writing a song only to realize the exact song already exists. Sorry for the confusion on that.
04-05-2010 12:49 PM
This might help: http://www.cleverjoe.com/articles/mu...right_law.html
04-05-2010 02:54 PM
- Join Date
- Feb 2010
Alright, I'm a musician and a composer and here's my two cents. You can do a parody of a song, however, if you're going to make money with it...it would be best to get permission. Weird Al does get permission to parody songs on CDs he sells. An perfect would be his James Blunt "You're Beautiful" spoof "You're pitiful." He recorded it and put it on his website but not on his album.
Having seen people get sued for copyright infringement for "original" compositions I will tell you this. If you write something identical...that's copyright infringement (so if you do an arrangement of a song.) If you write something similar...you just wait to see if you get sued. If you do one attorney (or maybe both) will bring in a composer or a music theorist to analyze both pieces and compare their similarities. At that point, it's kind of up to the "expert's" testimony...but it's not really worth getting sued over. USUALLY if you're using a work for a project that doesn't make money you can get permission pretty cheaply. If you use a recording of something that's already out there you're in trouble on two fronts. First is from the artist (or who ever holds the copyright) and the second is from whoever made the recording. Not a great idea.
It would be VERY EASY to hire a composer cheap who could write you something that's in the style of _________fill in the blank (star wars for example.) There's really no reason to take the risk.
04-07-2010 05:26 PM
If you record the song yourself you're just getting around mechanical copyrights. They won't have you there. You will still owe money on the musical composition and you will need to seek permission.
Elements that can't be copywritten:
Its overall sound if you're a good enough of an engineer to emulate it.
Make something that has the same progression, and write a different melody over it. Melodies are what will get your ass in a sling if you rip them off.
One theme that gets ripped off a lot is Jaws. It's basically a two note ostinato. Now for example, you could rip off the duh-duh, duh-duh, duh-duh sound the bass strings make in Jaws and not get in trouble. BUT, if you start with the brass movements that actually start to form the theme and makes it melodic you would get sued.
My 2 cents