Forums

    11 posts

  • avatar
    121 sounds
    1544 posts
    interpretations of classical music => copyright?


    Hi,

    someone uploaded a classic guitar, recorded, playing a piece from modest mussorgsky.

    does anyone know what the deal is with classical music?

    - bram

    Warning: if you break the rules, see my avatar. Freesound Admin, Moderator, Ex-Freesound-Coder & Benevolent Dictator For Life.
  • avatar
    117 sounds
    38 posts


    maybe not totally the awnser,.. but take a look at this:

    http://www.bmi.com/news/200107/20010705b.asp

    "Even if the composer is no longer above ground, his or her work can be protected by copyright law for 95 years or longer. Works created after January 1, 1978 can be protected for the life of the composer plus 70 years, before those works move into the public domain."

    ...All your sound are belong to us... www.twistedlemon.nl
  • avatar
    121 sounds
    1544 posts


    so Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881) should be ok. however, Maurice Ravel (March 7, 1875 – December 28, 1937) did the famous orchestration of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition", further complicating matters. does a "remix" change the original authors's copyright, does it extend it? In this case not that important as they both died before 1978 but still an interesting question!

    - bram

    Warning: if you break the rules, see my avatar. Freesound Admin, Moderator, Ex-Freesound-Coder & Benevolent Dictator For Life.
  • avatar
    3050 sounds
    476 posts


    do you mean that its not ok if, for example, I record my cousin playing a piece authored by (say) Andres Segovia??
    I had the idea that interpretations belong to the player (??)

  • avatar
    121 sounds
    1544 posts


    don't know... I don't think so actualy.
    for example, what if you create a piece with the tones of a tune by michael jackson?
    sure, it's your interpretation, but copyright still applies.

    (thx for the pictures by the way, I'm going to put my powerpoint slides online today)

    - bram

    Warning: if you break the rules, see my avatar. Freesound Admin, Moderator, Ex-Freesound-Coder & Benevolent Dictator For Life.
  • avatar
    1 sound
    2 posts


    IANAL -

    I think for a given recording there are usual 3 copyrights. This applies
    in the United States. The european rules maybe different.

    1 - performance rights - the interpretation/the actual performance of the player
    2 - songwriter rights - whoever composed the work
    3 - mechanical rights - which is the physical recording. ie. the tape/or the digital recording

    For decomposing composers - the very old works go into public domain

    New Conventions of Behavior http://www.ncob.net Experimental Audio project and Sample Library http://www.rz-1.com Online Drum Machines
  • avatar
    7333 sounds
    33 posts


    Below is a link to some more information concerning public domain in the U.S.:
    http://www.unc.edu/~unclng/public-d.htm

    Namaste! Jovica Storer http://www.c-o-l-o-u-r-s.org
  • avatar
    0 sounds
    7 posts


    In most cases, the simplest way is to take the date of death of the composer, and add 70 years. This applies to the United States... in Europe and most other places I believe it is the lifetime of the author plus 50 years. However, in the case of classical composers, anything created before the 1976 copyright revision didn't get the "lifetime +" deal. There is an extension involved (this is what the BMI quote from above concerning '95 years' is about.) Here's where it gets muddy.

    For these copyright holders, their copyright lasts for 120 years from the creation of the work OR 95 years from the 'publication' (printing of the score, etc)... whichever comes first. So Mussogsky died in 1881. I don't know when "Pictures" was publishes but let's say it was created in 1875 and published in 1880 for the sake of argument. The copyright would have expired in 1975... 95 years from the date of publication.

    As far as Ravel's orchestration of Pictures At An Exibition, it would not apply here, as an orchestration or arrangement cannot be copyrighted. The actual written orchestration, as in the visual representation of the arrangement, yes this can be copyrighted, but royalties do not need to be paid for ideas concerning the arrangement or orchestration when being used within the music. The only two aspects of a musical composition that can be copyrighted are the actual composition (music / words) and an actual recording. Performance cannot be copyrighted, as that specific performance is owned by the person who owns the SOUND RECORDING copyright... arrangements and ideas concerning the performance of the piece also cannot be copyrighted.

    So, Ravel's arrangement is a derivative work of the Mussorgsky piece, and does not extend in any way Mussorgsky's copyright. He would've had to have had permission from Mussorgsky to write an orchestration and publish it assuming the Mussorgsky's copyright was still in tact. This would in no way extend Mussorgsky's copyright. Note however, if Ravel made a SOUND RECORDING of his arrangement, he could own the copyright to that specific SOUND RECORDING, but never the arrangement which is contained on that sound recording (because an arrangement/orchestration copyright does not exist) or the SONG/COMPOSITION copyright (because Mussorgsky composed the piece).

    up up down down left right left right b a start
  • avatar
    0 sounds
    7 posts


    RZ-1
    IANAL -

    I think for a given recording there are usual 3 copyrights. This applies
    in the United States. The european rules maybe different.

    1 - performance rights - the interpretation/the actual performance of the player
    2 - songwriter rights - whoever composed the work
    3 - mechanical rights - which is the physical recording. ie. the tape/or the digital recording

    For decomposing composers - the very old works go into public domain

    Performance rights arent quite that, as the actual performance and interpretation of the player cannot be copyrighted, unless you are talking about the specific SOUND RECORDING in which it is on. In fact, U.S. copyright law is very biased against performers / improvisation especially... but that is another topic altogether!

    Performance Rights exist to compensate a songwriter when their work is played on the radio, performed in concert, etc. The PERFORMING RIGHTS ASSOCIATIONS such as ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC exist as an intermediary between the songwriter and the institution that wants to license their performing right.

    So, if you own a pizza place and you wanna play the radio during business hours for customers, you're *supposed* to have a license from ASCAP and BMI for performance rights. Ie, the right to 'perform' (by way of radio transmission) the music of the songwriters that appear on the radio. Now, the application of this is hard. ASCAP can't walk into every pizza place, shoe store, and bakery and make sure everyone has licenses if they're playing the radio. But, they are known to send out representatives and hand out a fine once in a while. Crazy, right? But true.

    Here are the rights than any copyright owner has:
    (note, I'm not talking about a Creative Commons license, as that involves dropping alot of these rights. These are the general rights of a copyright holder.)

    (1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;

    (This is the MECHANICAL right... ie. you write a song, and someone wants to put it on a compilation CD. You can say no)

    (2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;

    (To refer to the posts above, if Ravel wanted to create an arrangement for Pictures At An Exibition and publish/sell it, he would've had to get permission from the composer, Mussorgsky... assuming all copyrights Mussorgsky had were active at that time).

    (3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;

    (Pretty much self-explanatory... the right to sell and distribute the work).

    (4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;

    (This is the PERFORMANCE RIGHT discussed above)

    (5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and

    (Doesn't really apply to music for the most part. But, if you wanted to use a giant projector to show the score the Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin (which is still copyrighted) in a sound installation or something, you couldn't do that). Had to struggle to come up with an example for that one tongue

    (6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

    (Also self-explanatory, I think)

    Steve

    up up down down left right left right b a start
  • avatar
    0 sounds
    7 posts


    After some reading, I'm really not sure on the stance of arrangements. I thought for sure that you could use a recording embodying an arrangement, but now I am doubting myself. Can anyone verify this? Sorry for any confusion.

    up up down down left right left right b a start
  • avatar
    121 sounds
    1544 posts


    steve, my head is still spinning...
    could you -as far as you are concerned- give a summary for freesound? what can we have here?

    interpretations by the freesound USER of classical (as in long past copyright) works?
    interpretations of non-classical (as in copyrighted) works?

    - bram

    Warning: if you break the rules, see my avatar. Freesound Admin, Moderator, Ex-Freesound-Coder & Benevolent Dictator For Life.

    11 posts