The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #57463   Message #905492
Posted By: Blackcatter
07-Mar-03 - 05:07 PM
Thread Name: Irish Rover copyrighted?
Subject: RE: Irish Rover copyrighted?
Hello all,

Remember the difference between covering a song for fun and covering a song for profit. I'd guess that Tommy Makem would sue if the Cheiftains chose to do Four Green Fields without paying Makem his deserved royalty. As for me singing it at the local open mic night - different story.

As for Tiparm Music - I don't believe that it still exists - Both Tommy Maken and the various Brothers Clancy have their own companies that probably control a lot of what Tiparm owned.

As for Tiparm copyrighting public domain songs - remember that there is a difference between owning the rights to a song and owning the rights to a recorded performance. Maybe it can be argued that the Clancy Brothers own the copyright on their arraingment of a tradional song, but I doubt it. Slightly changing the lyrics and a few notes of a song rarely consitutes a new song in the eyes of copyright judges. Plus, arrainging a song has to do with more than the basic tune and words itself - tempo, harmonies, pronnunciation, interpretation, instrumentation, etc. do not change an original song to make it "new." Writing new lyrics to a trad. tune, would however, consitute a copyrightable set of lyrics. The tune would stay public domain.

If the Chieftains did record Four Green Fields and I chose to put their recording in a play or movie, both the Cheiftains and Tommy Makem would have a legal right to royalties (assuming that Tommy Makem still owns the right to 4.G.F.).

pax yall