Recording and publishing question

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by USC96, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. USC96 macrumors newbie

    USC96

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #1
    I'm new to recording. I mean one week new. Ok, here are my questions:

    1. Where do you upload your playing (my space? Soundclick? Your own site?)

    2. If I record myself playing a popular song (me playing all the instruments and singing) and it's not for profit, am I violating the copyright? :rolleyes:
     
  2. dave@toastmedia macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    #2
    1. Where do you upload your playing (my space? Soundclick? Your own site?)

    anywhere you like really.. you can access a various free hosting sites or build a site and host it yourself.



    2. If I record myself playing a popular song (me playing all the instruments and singing) and it's not for profit, am I violating the copyright?

    You really only violate copyright if you sample the exact data of the sound from instruments or voices.

    The reason why there are so many "cover bands" in the world is because copyright is free if you create the content from scratch.
    There is still a legality with being able to play it in the public domain like on the street and on television etc..

    You will however need to get permission from larger corporations if you end up attracting too much attention to your cover.

    There is a fuzzy element here with the web, if it creates popularity they consider that infringement in a way. Legally its ok, but it would be difficult to confront them over using it as a simple cover example.


    Copyright changes slightly in other countries however most countries apply to one main lineage, the Berne.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berne_Convention_for_the_Protection_of_Literary_and_Artistic_Works


    Australian artists can be covered by a company called APRA
    http://www.apra.com.au/

    Im not sure of the American counterpart, however you can be assured its similar but a lot larger in scale.
     
  3. USC96 thread starter macrumors newbie

    USC96

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #3
    Thanks. I'm not doing it to make money. I really just wanted to upload it so I could send the link to my guitar instructor to show I'm learning something. :)
     
  4. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #4
    Not true. The music and lyrics are copyright of the songwriter(s) and their publishing company. The recorded performance is a separate copyright

    As soon as it is performed in public or transmitted or fixed into a recording medium and given or sold to another person, there are royalty payments due to the copyright owners. Cover bands pay for the use of the copyrighted materials through the annual royalties paid by the bars, clubs, etc. who hire the bands, to the Performing Rights Societies in each country, who then distribute the payments to the publishers and writers. Similarly, radio stations, TV, movies, background music in malls and restaurants - all of these pay royalties for rights to perform.

    If you intend to publish a cover version, there are standard forms that you submit to the publishers for mechanical licensing (PDF for the USA)
    This Web page walks you thorugh it for a CD release.

    You are correct, the issue of releasing on the Web has introduced a bunch more uncertainty about what 'publishing' and 'units' means. But the main thing is -- performing the instruments and vocals yourself does not extinguish the copyright that the writers and publishers hold on the songs.

    Just like you couldn't draw your own copies of Disney characters and sell T Shirts and dolls and movies based on them, even if you did all of the work 'from scratch'
     
  5. dave@toastmedia macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    #5
    The music and lyrics are copyright of the songwriter(s) and their publishing company. The recorded performance is a separate copyright

    Thanks for clarifying mate, Im setting up a record company and production house as we speak, Im always trying to cover the artists I hire so that they retain the best remuneration for the work they do.

    Copyright to watch for.

    Lyrical Content
    Musical Score
    Recorded Performance

    Ahh it never stops for a musician ;)
     
  6. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #6
    Dave, in all seriousness, I recommend you consult with an experienced entertainment/IP lawyer to consider the necessary legal implications. I applaud you for what you are trying to do, but there are just so many ways to get into legal trouble - and based on what you wrote in your post #2 in this thread, my feeling is that you may need some help here. There are a lot of myths out there about what one can and cannot do legally, it makes it easy to head into trouble without even knowing it.

    Add to that a synchronization license if you want to do a music video.

    - Martin
     
  7. dave@toastmedia macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    #7
    Eventually I will seek a legal counterpart to my new business arm.
    At this point in time Im building a studio from my web development project income.

    Thanks for the advice by the way. I can see there will be issues with different countries copyright terms and conditions, as well as copyright legalities for artists. Its not my strong point or forte and really once its tied into contracts written by a professional, I have assurance of my duty and care for the artist.

    One of my parents owns multiple companies and is a contract writer for finance and a few other business interests, I have a good litigious system in place for the web development and multimedia side of things.

    I would prefer to do it right for the artist as I confronted these issues 20 years ago when I started in the media arts.

    If you read my post information, I am clear about the public copyright factor to music, granted there are some aspects missing to the nuisances of the exact copyright terms you also mention.

    Thats the law here in Australia, its the component I know, however the international copyright clauses are not clear to me, in time after seeking a legal beagle, it will be.

    We have also determined that the poster in question is just sending it to his teacher which is well within the legal bounds of what he is doing.

    Anyway thanks for the good advice with regards to certain copyright issues.
    I've seen many a musician skip/ miss and not even know of half of the royalties they are legally allowed to pursue.

    In essence the public information is irrelevant to this question but its all good to know.
     
  8. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #8
    you may want to rethink that phrasing.
     
  9. dave@toastmedia macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
  10. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #10
    are you asking me? what is sepo?
     
  11. Avatar74 macrumors 65816

    Avatar74

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    #11
    I usually use my own site.

    Yes. Profit or not, US Copyright law considers distribution the infringing act.

    Releasing your own cover recordings of music composed by another artist requires what's called "compulsory license". It's compulsory in the sense that an artist is required to grant you license. You can be denied permission to use their recording, but you cannot be denied permission to re-record previously published material. However, there are specific rates based on union and ASCAP/BMI guidelines, that must be paid for use of the material. It is advised that you or a competent IP attorney contact the copyright holder for permission first. Otherwise, you're inviting a lawsuit.

    The fines for violating copyrights are pretty substantial... in the five to six figures. And that's just the statutory fines. That doesn't include civil damages which can be awarded on top of criminal penalties.

    Bands that play cover songs in public venues are covered because public venues that broadcast music (either live or recorded) usually have a licensing agreement with one or more performing rights societies (e.g. ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, SOCAN, etc.) who control the distribution of royalties to their members. But a sound recording is not covered by a blanket license from ASCAP, BMI, etc. There you need compulsory license to be granted... or, in the case of reproduction of the original recording, mechanical license for which the copyright holder can charge whatever they want.

    Note that if you put it up in a place where it can be downloaded, it is considered distribution. It doesn't matter how many people actually downloaded it. If you want to share it with your guitar instructor, then go hand them a physical copy of the recording. The problem is that the internet, and public access to it, risks undermining any "fair use" counterargument that educational instruction falls under. Direct conveyance between student and teacher would suggest fair use.
     

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