Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Copyright on Trad tunes

Les in Chorlton 08 Nov 08 - 08:51 AM
Will Fly 08 Nov 08 - 08:57 AM
Les in Chorlton 08 Nov 08 - 09:05 AM
Leadfingers 08 Nov 08 - 01:12 PM
Wolfhound person 08 Nov 08 - 01:25 PM
Les in Chorlton 09 Nov 08 - 04:16 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 09 Nov 08 - 04:39 AM
johnadams 09 Nov 08 - 07:47 AM
Les in Chorlton 09 Nov 08 - 10:03 AM
GUEST,Stringsinger 09 Nov 08 - 02:02 PM
Richie 09 Nov 08 - 04:11 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Nov 08 - 05:12 PM
Uncle_DaveO 09 Nov 08 - 07:52 PM
Jack Campin 10 Nov 08 - 06:20 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Nov 08 - 07:43 AM
Will Fly 10 Nov 08 - 07:54 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Copyright on Trad tunes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 08:51 AM

I may not be the first person to ask this question but I couldn't find a straight forward answer in the forum.

I have a hand written collection of what I believe are traditional tunes. I have them from a range of sources and I want to print them and use them with friends. The collection is the usual suspects: Soldiers Joy, Speed the Plough, Buttered Peas, Irish Washerwoman etc.

How does sit with Copyright or Copywrite Laws?

Chiz

L in C


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright on Trad tunes
From: Will Fly
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 08:57 AM

Les - I doubt very much that these tunes are in copyright now - if they were ever in copyright, as we know it, in the first place. Unless formally assigned to someone - quite often a family member - printed materials go out of copyright, I believe, after 75 years. From what you're describing, I can't see any problem in printing them out and using them with friends.

Will


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright on Trad tunes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 09:05 AM

Thanks Will. I guess this is essentially what you and others have done?

How do I check tune by tune? I noticed on a related thread that Cadam Wood is quite a recent creation

Chiz

Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright on Trad tunes
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 01:12 PM

Surely this would only be a problem if the material you were printing was for commercial purposes - If there is NO financial gain , there are no royalties due !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright on Trad tunes
From: Wolfhound person
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 01:25 PM

Go through your list and determine how many have known composers - ask around if you're not sure. Then google the composers' names - not foolproof, but it should give you a start.
There's no problem with trad. tunes, provided you don't publish by photocopying someone else's publication - reset them yourself and you're OK. Or tunes where the composer has been dead for more than 70 years - Scott Skinner or James Hill, for instance.

If you print them out then that is publishing, technically, even if it's only 5 or 6 copies for friends. Litigious composers or relatives are rare in the trad. world, but they do exist - safest to ask permission if you're unsure, it will usually be freely given.

Good luck
Paws


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright on Trad tunes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 04:16 AM

Thanks that's most helful

Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright on Trad tunes
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 04:39 AM

Just ring PRS, they'll give you chapter and verse.

I don't have ther number with me, but you can google PRS MCPS Alliance. They're very helpful

Tom


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright on Trad tunes
From: johnadams
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 07:47 AM

PRS will possibly give you some misleading information. There are a whole raft of traditional tunes which are marked up to contemporary musicians because they happened to declare them in a particular way when they put them on their albums. Pete Coe relates some interesting incidents including one while querying a PRS bill when he was told that a trad tune was chargeable because it was registered to a certain F.P.Coe (guess who).

A good source of information is The Fiddler's Companion site run by Andrew Kuntz

http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/

There are a couple of anomalies. There's a guy in the US who allegedly claims ownership of the tunes in John Clare's notebooks because of a letter he owns from the poet deeding ownership of his works. Personally I would say that he can 'stuff his claim into an unlit place' but he has apparently caused trouble in the past. However, for your purposes Les, I wouldn't think that anything like that applies. If you're sure that the 70 year threshold applies to anything not obviously trad, go for it.

J


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright on Trad tunes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 10:03 AM

Thanks John,

so many tunes so few fingers!

cheers

L in C


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright on Trad tunes
From: GUEST,Stringsinger
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 02:02 PM

Here's what I think. You can change the tune within eight consecutive bars of music to claim a copyright. Where you run into trouble is the lyric. You can't copyright a title. For example
James Taylor and George Harrison wrote "Something in the Way She Moves" (different lyric and tune).

Most Dylan, Guthrie, and others have antecedent tunes for their lyrics. For example the tune for Dylan's "Masters of War" is Jean Ritchie's "Nottamun Town". Dylan's "God On Our Side" was "Patriot Game" or the traditional "One Morning In May". Guthrie's "This Land" was taken from an old hymn and is close to the Carter family's "Little Pal O' Mine".

Simon 's "Scarborough Fair" has the first part which is traditional
and the second "Canticle" composed.

Folk songs were meant to be re-written slightly. This is why they
are folk because the tunes are somewhat recognizable.

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright on Trad tunes
From: Richie
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 04:11 PM

Hi,

The date is 1923 (frozen there by the Sonny Bono law) in the US. Anything published after that may be copyrighted. The problem comes when there are copyrights on songs like "You are My Sunshine" which actually IMHO is a folk song.

At some point most folk songs were copyrighted on the US. There are copyrights on some songs that shouldn't be, and could be challenged. Many publishers would rather pay and get permission than go to court.

If you publish anything it is violation and you could be prosecuted. Churches that have copied a few items for their members or choir have been taken to court and/or fined.

Personally I wouldn't worry about it unless you plan to publish it or make a profit on it.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright on Trad tunes
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 05:12 PM

No evidence that "You are my sunshine" is a folk song.

Written in 1937 by Rice, he sold rights to Davis.
The Pine Ridge Boys recording could have been based on the Rice composition, or Davis's use of it. They did not contest the copyright or comment on it, nor did the recording company, Montgomery Ward.
By virtue of purchase, Davis and Mitchell obtained the rights. In the succeeding 68 years since Davis recorded it, no one has contested the copyright of what was a very successful song.

The claim for Oliver Hood is unsubstantiated; at this date it is unlikely that any verifiable evidence can be found.

In any case, the uncontested copyright is the only valid claim in law.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright on Trad tunes
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 07:52 PM

If there is NO financial gain , there are no royalties due !

Wrong. Gain is irrelevant. The quote above is a popular, sort of understandable, myth.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright on Trad tunes
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 06:20 AM

Make sure you don't publish chords. The whole practice of guitar chording is less than 70 years old, so NO chord arrangement can be out of copyright.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright on Trad tunes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 07:43 AM

if the tune is out of copright and I put chords on it an I safe?

L in C


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright on Trad tunes
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 07:54 AM

There has been music with chords and chord diagrams incorporated into it for well over 70 years - as my sheet music collection will testify. True, the chords are a mixture of guitar, uke and banjo - but chords, for all that. The point is that, if it's out of copyright, then you can do what you want. And you can add your own chords to a non-copyright traditional piece.

Just a quick point as well: copyright law in the UK is different from that in the US, with different rules. Also, there is the concept in the UK of "fair dealing", which allows a copy to be made, of a part of a publication, for private and research purposes, for material in copyright.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 22 July 1:07 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.