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Song and video copyrights

GUEST,Amy 16 Jan 12 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,Amy 17 Jan 12 - 06:23 PM
Crane Driver 17 Jan 12 - 06:47 PM
Phil Cooper 17 Jan 12 - 09:40 PM
GUEST,999 17 Jan 12 - 10:17 PM
GUEST 17 Jan 12 - 11:06 PM
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Subject: Song and video copyrights
From: GUEST,Amy
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 01:43 PM

Hi, I am working on a website and have a few questions regarding copyrights. I am creating a site for parents and their children that pools together resources I have collected as a music educator. I have a song section that contains about 50 of my favorite folksongs with mp3's (my acapella singing).   I have made sure that these songs are in public domain. I wish to add more but these songs are of known authorship. I know that mudcat includes many songs of known authorship and posts the following at the bottom of the page : "PLEASE NOTE: Because of the volunteer nature of The Digital Tradition, it is difficult to ensure proper attribution and copyright information for every song included. Please assume that any song which lists a composer is copyrighted �. You MUST aquire proper license before using these songs for ANY commercial purpose."

So if I am not using them for profit, is okay to post lyrics and an mp3 of my singing?
Here are few more scenarios...

If someone has aurally collected folksongs or rhymes and recorded them in a book, can I reprint that song or rhyme and just cite the book?

What about a classic song like "Somewhere over the rainbow" - do I need to find if the copyright has been renewed?

Can I include a video from youtube of "Singing in the Rain" from the original movie?

There are so many sites such as mudcat that list lyrics- I just want to make sure I am doing the right thing.

thanks! amy


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Subject: RE: Song and video copyrights
From: GUEST,Amy
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 06:23 PM

Any input? I'd really appreciate it....


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Subject: RE: Song and video copyrights
From: Crane Driver
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 06:47 PM

Hang on Amy - there are several copyright experts on here (I'm not one of them), I'm sure one of them will be along soon


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Subject: RE: Song and video copyrights
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 09:40 PM

Songs on recordings would require a mechanical license. There's a fixed royalty rate for that. Video rights need to be individually negotiated, last time I heard. That requires talking to the authors or agents and publishers. Not as easy as getting a mechanical license. Youtube videos are supposed to have rights belonging to the writer/poster, but they don't pay too much attention till someone else raises a fuss. So what are asking for is vague in a legal sense.


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Subject: RE: Song and video copyrights
From: GUEST,999
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 10:17 PM

Amy, if the song you wish to do is attributed to a person, seek that person's approval. If they are not self-published then you need the publisher's approval and that will likely cost.

If a song has been recorded and released to the public then you need no one's permission to sing or even record it, BUT, you will likely have to pay a licensing fee because you are doing the song and giving your rendition of it to other people.

Most people I know who release their own CDs will likely tell you to go ahead and they won't worry about $.10 a copy provided that they are given credit for the song's authorship or arrangement, but some may, and they'd be rightfully ticked if you circumvented that process/procedure.

The issue is not one of whether or not you are doing your work for no profit. It's a question of whether the copyright holder sees it the same way.

Example: someone videos you doing a song that's copyright to Slowey Joey or Blusey Suzie. The video-er puts it on YouTube without your permission, and it goes 'viral'. Not only is the poster responsible, but so are you. YouTube seems like a free service, but someone somewhere is making bucks with it, and the writer/arranger has a right (thus the term copyright) to a split of the proceeds. Cover yourself and get written permission from the copyright holder. Always.

Some will come back to you and say, "This is what it will cost you." If you can't afford it, don't use it. If the copyright holder says, "Yeah, you have my permission to use it for this one project but you will require permission if there's a second printing, then take it from there. Hope that helps. (I haven't covered all the bases. That's what music lawyers are for.

Best wishes to you.


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Subject: RE: Song and video copyrights
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 11:06 PM

Thanks for spelling it out for me....pretty much what I thought, but wanted to make sure.

Does anyone know how to handle if someone has aurally collected folksongs or rhymes and recorded them in a book, if I can I reprint that song or rhyme and just cite the book?

Also are you saying that a site like this has sought permission for every song posted?   I would certainly contact a musician (who is alive) to seek permission. The gray area for me is to what lengths to I go to post lyrics to Somewhere Over the Rainbow, when it is everywhere on the web. If I did post said lyrics, I would probably include a link to the someone singing it from Itunes, where someone can purchase the song. There are indeed so many angles...


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