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 bewilderment - 'Those Brown Eyes'

DigiTrad:
THOSE BROWN EYES


Related thread:
Lyr Req: Brown Eyes / Those Dark Eyes (33)


GUEST,Buskerjoe 29 Jun 12 - 03:17 PM
GUEST,999 29 Jun 12 - 03:28 PM
DebC 29 Jun 12 - 03:55 PM
Richard Bridge 29 Jun 12 - 04:30 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Jun 12 - 05:32 PM
Richard Bridge 29 Jun 12 - 06:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Jun 12 - 06:12 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 29 Jun 12 - 06:54 PM
GUEST,buskerjoe 29 Jun 12 - 07:10 PM
GUEST,999 29 Jun 12 - 07:12 PM
GUEST,999 29 Jun 12 - 07:20 PM
GUEST,Buskerjoe 29 Jun 12 - 07:38 PM
GUEST,buskerjoe 29 Jun 12 - 07:47 PM
GUEST,999 29 Jun 12 - 08:20 PM
Artful Codger 29 Jun 12 - 08:43 PM
zozimus 29 Jun 12 - 09:05 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 29 Jun 12 - 09:09 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 29 Jun 12 - 09:13 PM
meself 29 Jun 12 - 09:17 PM
GUEST,999 29 Jun 12 - 10:25 PM
dick greenhaus 29 Jun 12 - 10:54 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Jun 12 - 01:40 PM
Joe Offer 30 Jun 12 - 02:56 PM
Joe Offer 30 Jun 12 - 03:17 PM
GUEST,Buskerjoe 01 Jul 12 - 03:46 PM
DebC 01 Jul 12 - 04:40 PM
Richard Bridge 01 Jul 12 - 05:00 PM
GUEST,Howard Jones 01 Jul 12 - 07:00 PM
Joe Offer 01 Jul 12 - 07:24 PM
DebC 01 Jul 12 - 11:32 PM
GUEST,Buskerjoe 05 Jul 12 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,Buskerjoe 05 Jul 12 - 02:55 PM
Artful Codger 05 Jul 12 - 05:45 PM
Tootler 05 Jul 12 - 07:00 PM
GUEST,Howard Jones 06 Jul 12 - 07:05 AM
Artful Codger 06 Jul 12 - 08:03 AM
buskerjoe 22 Jul 12 - 01:34 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Copyright bewilderment
From: GUEST,Buskerjoe
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 03:17 PM

Can anyone help me sort out the discouraging labyrinth of copyright law for releasing a CD with an old song recorded on it? "Blind Jack Copeland" recorded the song (those brown eyes) in 1929.
i'm trying to release my first CD after decades busking, performing and living on nickles. the duplicator, (copycats, out of minneapolis) is proving more of an adversary than an ally. i've been asking for their help in tracking down the holder of the copyright on this song ( tho other two that were in question, "milwaukee blues" and "old rugged cross," i've been able to somewhat "prove" that they're public domain. but this one is proving a stumbling block.
i thought i could just sing a waiver, saying i'll take all the blame. i don't mind paying for even a 70-year old copyright holder, like hank williams' estate of merle travis. but, man, we're talking the frigging 1920's here! it smacks of organized crime. and i've dealt with organized crime in the past and will likely do so again, but not until i'm convinced that there's no upright option.
    anyone with experience in this realm out there? thanks!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 03:28 PM

Tonight I feel so sad and weary
I need your love that cannot be
All I need to make me happy
Just let those brown eyes smile for me.

Is that the opening stanza?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment
From: DebC
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 03:55 PM

-DISCLAIMER-
I am not a lawyer, The following is stuff that I have learned because I have had to go through the process of getting licenses for the songs I record.
-END DISCLAIMER-

In the USA (and I am assuming that since your replicator is in Minnesota that you are in the USA) It's pretty much standard op procedure now that you do have to be able to produce proof that any songs you are recording commercially are either in the PD or that you have a mechanical license granted to you.

You might contact the American Folklife center at the Library of Congress to start. Stephen and Jennifer are amazing in their knowledge and if they don't have an answer might be able to point you in the right direction.

You might also do a search for copyright on Harry Fox, Inc. They represent a bazillion publishers of composed music and it's always worth it to pay the fee just to be legal.

In my own experience, I recorded a 130 year old song that is still under copyright, but ONLY the sheet music. I consulted a lawyer and they said that since I learned the song through oral tradition, that I was in the clear since that version had significant changes from the original. This situation might also be so in your case, but please don't bank on it.

If what Bruce gave you above doesn't help (he is also pretty knowledgeable about this stuff) there are also some very accessible blues folks who might be able to help you: Andy Cohen and Scott Ainslie are the two that immediately come to mind. You can Google them both. My money would be on Andy. he's amazing in the stuff he knows. Send me a PM and I'll put you in touch.

Hope this helps,
Deb Cowan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 04:30 PM

Eminently plausible that the song might still be in copyright in the USA.

Back in 1929, under the 1909 US act, copyright came in two terms - each of 28 years from the investing of statutory copyright (usually either registration or publication with a correct copyright notice). The second HAD to be acquired by renewal and if it wasn't renewed teh song went out of copyright in the USA (not necessarily elsewhere - lots of fun in other jurisdictions). So - then copyright might have lasted until 1985.

But by the 1976 US copyright Act, copyrights were extended. By the Sonny Bono extension Act they were extended again. Lots of useful shit on the LIbrary of Congress website. Yet more fun follows from the US Berne COnvention Implementation Act.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 05:32 PM

"Those Dark Eyes" recorded by Jack Copeland Mathis in 1929 for Victor.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 06:08 PM

With that info - it should be possible to do a Library of Congress search (I think they will do it for you - it used to cost $10) to check for renewal. No renewal in 1957 (29 + 28) - no US copyright.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 06:12 PM

Try checking under his last name, Mathis. I had no luck with looking for his copyright.

I would go ahead and release, but put a note that you wish to pay fees, if any.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 06:54 PM

Blind Jack Copeland Mathis died in 1972.
This is his daughter's e-mail:
Helen Mathis BOYLES
hboyles@charter.net


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment
From: GUEST,buskerjoe
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 07:10 PM

wow thanks so much you guys; this gives me several routes to persevere in.

   the song begins with the chorus: (woody and cisco did a version in about 40, and that's where i heard it)

those brown eyes i love so well
those brown eyes i long to see
how i long for those brown eyes
strangers they have grown to be.

    some parts of this line of work are easier than others. making friends with mikes, pick-ups, learning software, and interfacing with the gnarly world of duplicators are against my bent. i can get so bewildered i don't know whether i've lost a horse or found a rope!
but if i put it down and then come back to it later,i can nudge it fwd. and it is so sweet to have " a little help from my friends."
   i'll e-mail helen, for her blessing if nothing else, maybe even for permission. i really don't mind sending a check, i'd just rather not pay the mafia.

   maybe there's a duplicator out there who is familiar with OT music type issues? i've just gone so far already down the path with this outfit that it makes sense to finish up with them, but i can't really recommend them based on my experience thus far.

    peace y love, you human beings out there in cyber-world!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 07:12 PM

Backatcha, buskerjoe.

PLEASE, when you get this thing done, let us know how to purchase a copy, OK?

B


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 07:20 PM

Something I think we've missed: Get in touch with others who have done the song and ask who holds the copyright and who they paid the cash to.

I forgot to wish you success with the CD, apologies. I hope you have to get lots of reprints done. Hang tough, busker. As my ol' Ma usta say, "These things are sent to try us."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment
From: GUEST,Buskerjoe
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 07:38 PM

here's the pdf the copyright office has on how to conduct a search:

             http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ22.pdf


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment
From: GUEST,buskerjoe
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 07:47 PM

gracias, amigos,
    man, i would gift you a copy for your help not only to me but to others. but first:
   here's a link to a page with a link to a tutorial on how to use the copyright offices services. apparently you can put in the elbow grease yourself or hire them to do it for you.

http://www.copyright.gov/records/voyager.html#

    my CD has 6 originals, quebecois and old timey fiddle & accordion instrumentals, a gospel, 2 OT songs, and if any of you want i will ship it to your for whatever you want to toss into my tip jar, as a way of saying thanks.
send me yr edress or mailing address to: combsjmichael@gmail.com and remind me why yr writing me.
peace to all beings,
   jmc

   (i did write mrs. boyles)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 08:20 PM

jmc, You from here? I'm in Quebec too. I'll e-mail in a few minutes. Wow, this is one small world. No talk about gifting a copy. You gotta live, too. That aside, and if ya don't mind, where in Quebec you from?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment
From: Artful Codger
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 08:43 PM

There has been a previous thread here specifically about this song and its origins. If I recall, it was a little confused with a song recorded by the Carter Family, and it also goes under the title "Those Blue Eyes".

DISCLAIMER: I'm not a lawyer, and I don't profess to be giving accurate information on the terms of applicable copyright law.

Note also that, in the case of a copyright lawsuit being brought against you, the suer would have to prove not only that you violated their claim, but that the original claim was valid. The existence of a copyright registration is weak proof, considering the common practice in those days for performers to copyright any song they recorded, regardless of whether they were the original authors. I believe the suer would also have to show that he did due diligence to protect his claim against infringers. So if you can cite a number of previous recordings where this song was credited as "traditional" or to other authors, and no action was taken by the original claimant to prosecute or collect royalties, the suer would have a hard time proving either the recognized legitimacy of his claim or of due diligence in protecting the claim. I know this song has been recorded by several big names, with quite inconsistent credits, so I don't think you have anything to fear. And unless you expect your recording to go platinum, it would be a huge expense to the potential litigant to attempt suing you, when the claim is weak and the likely reward paltry.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment
From: zozimus
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 09:05 PM

This song was recorded by Irish Singer Johnny McEvoy ages ago. On his CD
he credits to Guthrie,Arkin, Carey and Darling by Harmony Music. If you check Harmony Music it might help.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 09:09 PM

Buskerjoe, If you live in Canada and intend to produce your CD there copyright law is much different than in the USA. I do not know if Blind Jack Copeland Mathis wrote the song or not. He was an old time country singer and many of them did traditional songs verbally passed down from oral tradition. If any copyright claim exists I expect that his daughter may hold it or know who does. Much of this "old time" materiel may have copyright claims filed by recording companies that are not of authourship but of arrangement. (Not worth a plugged nickle)
If you are recording in Canada you do not have to show copyright holder's consent. However if a valid copyright exists you may owe the holder a royalty fee based on the number of recordings that you made. This should only be due to the authour and not the arranger unless you duplicate that arrangement.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 09:13 PM

Artful Codger's cross post says much the same


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment
From: meself
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 09:17 PM

I think some of you have gotten sidetracked - the issue is that the duplicator will not duplicate his music - that is, print the CDS - unless buddy can PROVE that the song is not under copyright. So, it's not a matter of whether he's willing to take the risk; it's a matter of convincing the duplicator that there IS no risk.

Leastways, that's how I understand it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 10:25 PM

Meself seems to have nailed it.

And btw, hi Meself. It's been a while.

Every fucking time the issue of copyright comes up on Mudcat, the same shit gets repeated. There is no law worth a shit. If you wrote it, you own it. And if anyone tries to take it from you, break his fucking legs. Period.

I have had people use my songs--some with and some without asking. I do not care. However, if you use it and make lots of money, you'd better share.

So far I have told three big companies to kiss my ass. They are MY songs. They wanna sue me? Sue me. So far, none have.

This whole 'I own that song' does not mean a thing to me. If I wrote it and did not sign away the rights to it, guess what? It's mine.

What I would do in busker's case is release it but keep a few hundred in escrow. If a company--copyright holder shows up, pay it. You have tried to find out who you should pay. That is due diligence. They make themselves hard to find, tough shit.

Many people here are posting from how things should be. The realities are often different. Trust me, if you hit 100,000 sales, ten copyright holders will show up on your doorstep. Tell them also to fuck off. IMO.

BTDT


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 10:54 PM

For what it's worth, there's a copyright on THose Brown Eyes by Woody Guthrie/Alan Arkin/Bob Carey/Erik Darling


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Jun 12 - 01:40 PM

Information on the Arkin-Guthrie et al. copyright mentioned by Dick.
(Arkin is with ASCAP, the others BMI)
Those Brown Eyes (legal title)*
BMI Work 1505958
Publishers- Figs D Music, Sanga Music Inc., Woody Guthrie Publications Inc.

Other songs with same title.*
Maybelle Carter (BMI)
Those Brown Eyes (Legal Title)
Alternate title- Brown Eyes
BMI Work 1505959
Publsher APRS

There are 5 other "Those Brown Eyes," Legal title, registered with BMI.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment - 'Those Brown Eyes'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jun 12 - 02:56 PM

This page (click) gives a short biography of Blind Jack Mathis (1903-1972), whose full name was Jack Copeland Mathis. The bio says that Mathis recorded "Those Dark Eyes" on Victor on 18 October 1929.

I found a song titled "Those Dark Eyes I Love So Well" recorded by Fay and the Jay Walkers in a box set titled Paramount Old Time Recordings. I listened to it on Spotify, and it's definitely the same song (but a bit too unclear to attempt a transcription). This page says the Fay and the Jay Walkers record was Paramount recording Pm 3156, recorded on 2 April 1928.

Here's the chorus I hear on the Fay and the Jay Walkers recording:
    It's those dark eyes I loved so well.
    It's those dark eyes I long to see.
    It's now I mourn for those dark eyes.
    For a stranger they have grown to me.
The version in the Digital Tradition is the one attributed to Woody Guthrie/Alan Arkin/Bob Carey/Erik Darling, and it appears to be somewhat of a folkie standard. Spotify says it was recorded by Johnny McEvoy, The Coachmen, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Jim & Jesse, Michael English, Ann Breen, The Tarriers, Foster & Allen, Rick Robbins, The Rooftop Singers, T.R. Dallas, and a group called The Truth.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD Version: Brown Eyes (Guthrie)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jun 12 - 03:17 PM

There's a recording of the song by Woody Guthrie and Cisco Houston on a Smithsonian/Folkways recording called Woody Guthrie Sings Folk Songs

BROWN EYES
(as recorded by Woody Guthrie with Cisco Houston)

CHORUS
Those brown eyes I love so well
Those brown eyes that I long to see
How I long for those brown eyes
Strangers they have grown to be

Just a year ago today
When my brown eyes went away
Up in (the) heaven I long to be
Where a brown eyed angel waits for me.
CHORUS

Last night I passed her on the street
I bowed my head 'cause I could not speak
Another man was at her side
Soon, I thought, she'd be his bride.
CHORUS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment - 'Those Brown Eyes'
From: GUEST,Buskerjoe
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 03:46 PM

meself has it right, as has been said -- my dilemma is persuading the duplicator that they are not opening themselves to liability by running me off 1,000 discs. and to persuade them it almost seems i am going to accumulate enough knowledge to have a minor in copyright law.
   i had been hoping that the duplicator (copycat in minneapolis) would be an ally in tracking down this info, even if i had to pay some extra.for example, most duplicators are happy to either have the artist do their own graphic design or mastering, or, for an extra fee, they have the specialized knowledge & staff to provide that service, presumable for a competitive cost.
   but i've gotten no help and less encouragement from the duplicators, and part of what it makes me wish is that there must be some duplicators out there who are more familiar with this kind of terrain.
    like, just to pay the fee in a parking garage doesn't require me to get a fricking degree in concrete architecture & design, you know? you roll up in your scooter, truck or bus, they tell you what it will cost, and you get to decide whether or not you want it.
but with some of the OT material a lot of people like to cover and re-vivify, it can get murky, and i'd hoped to have to do less of this myself. but with all the help iv'e gotten, 98% of it here form youse, i'm confident i'll track it down, and will report back.

   one source of confusion is two titles for the same song, Those Dark Eyes, and Those Brown Eyes. I'll admit that the guthrie/houston version is the only arrangement i've ever heard and my son and my's recording are practically indistinguishable from theirs as far as arrangement goes. but they didn't write it, they just worked it up, that was 72 years ago, and they've been dead since the fifties and sixties! so it rankles me to write a check ofr $120 unless i become convinced it's legit. some of the carrion foul circling over make me wish they'd find an honest way to make a living.
and i don't know where the idea i live up north came from; i live in NW taos county, NM, 20 miles south of the colorado line, in tres piedras.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment - 'Those Brown Eyes'
From: DebC
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 04:40 PM

Hi Busker,

I have never had a duplicator/replicator help with licenses or the research. I am not meaning to be dis-respectful, but it isn't their job. It's in their policies that the artist is solely responsible for all mechanical licenses for any songs under copyright. You either produce the proof or they don't do the job. It's really part of the process of releasing a recording for commercial purposes. I am sorry, but that is the way of it. It is incumbent upon the artist to do the research to make sure the legal ducks are in a row.

I suggest you contact my friend (and others here know him as well) ANDY COHEN. he's got to be one of the MOST knowledgeable musicologists I know and he might be able to help. You might also try to contact Elijah Wald, the writer. I apologise but I don't have contact info for him, but a google might bring it up. If they don't have answers, they might be able to point you in the right direction.

Good luck,
Debra Cowan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment - 'Those Brown Eyes'
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 05:00 PM

I am now bewildered, BuskerJoe. You admit you reproduce the arrangement from Guthrie/Houston. That is a copyright work. Copyright now lasts for life +70 (more in some cases in the USA). Guthrie died in 1967 (Houston in 1961) so his works will be in copyright at least until 31 Dec 2037. So why don't you think you need a mechanical licence?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment - 'Those Brown Eyes'
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 07:00 PM

In the UK, this issue is handled by the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) which is in alliance with the Performing Rights Society (PRS) which licences live performances. You don't have to approach the copyright holders yourself, you just fill in a form listing all the tracks with details of the composers and arrangers, and how many CDs you'll be manufacturing. MCPS calculates the royalties due, which you pay to them and they pay the copyright owner. MCPS gives you a certificate to show the manufacturer (even if everything is non-copyright and no royalties are payable, you still go through MCPS to get the certificate). For small runs you can pay a flat fee, but if only a few of the tracks are copyright then it may be cheaper to fill in the form and calculate the actual figure.

I appreciate it is more complicated in the US as there are a number of rights agencies, but perhaps it would be simpler to do it through one of them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment - 'Those Brown Eyes'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 07:24 PM

The Woody Guthrie/Alan Arkin/Bob Carey/Erik Darling version is quite unlike the others. If that's the version you're recording, then you ought to be paying royalties. It's registered with the Harry Fox Agency, http://www.harryfox.com, so licensing is easy. Now, if you're singing the 1928 Fay and the Jay Walkers version, then there's a chance that version goes back before 1923 and is in the public domain.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment - 'Those Brown Eyes'
From: DebC
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 11:32 PM

Joe O's got it right.

Debra


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment - 'Those Brown Eyes'
From: GUEST,Buskerjoe
Date: 05 Jul 12 - 02:20 PM

Re: why i'm hesitating to pay the royalities --

   milwaukee blues, those brown eyes, big rock candy mountain.... all these songs are out there swimming in the folkosphere, passed around, unlike   Ruby Tuesday or Light My Fire. DArling copied guthrie, who copied mathis, who copied Fay and the Jay walkers, who copied..... who knows?
   so years from now, when someone learns it from my recording, do they owe my heirs? i've got a few songs i've written myself, and yes i can see charging some coins if someone wants to record them, or at least ask my permission. but each of those guys above (guthrie, et al) took it and recorded it. i guess it's different if you're backed up by a producer like whoever didi teh tarriers, or lomax in guthrie's case. those of us living out of our guitar cases have a harder time coughing up hundreds.
   and how does fox come in on this? they buy and sell, kind of like the mortgage bundlers.. reminds me of the song hazel dickens sang:

    rich folks sell junk bonds, do S & L scams
    we fight their bloody wars in far-away lands
    I've worked hard, stayed honest & got by somehow
    making a living by the sweat of my brow.

   and i see, for example, the FRC, field recorders collective, releasing CD's with old time musicians, financed on a shoestring, with scores of songs not in the public domain, but songs that have become part of the folk repertoire. wreck of the 97, no hiding place down here, red wing, when the roll is called up yonder, casey jones... can't think of all the titles, but obviously a significant part of them are still under copyright.

   for a guy who earns only a few thousand bucks a year and would like to step up a rung on the revenue ladder, it seems a legitimate use of time to make sure i've researched this as thoroughly as i can before sending yet another check, especially when i have to make it out to mafiosos who themselves wrote no songs, but buy up rights knowing they'll turn a profit on enough of them to justify the ones that never move. it rankles me, is all.

   and while i'll grant that the duplicator's job isn't to do my copyright research for me, i expected that, like artwork or mastering, it is a specialized enough detail, like pulling permits for a building contractor , that they would have been at least half as helpful as this bunch of generous strangers has been in mudcat.
   
they also wanted me to document that milwaukee blues is public domain, and the amount of time it's all taking places my project in peril. the clock ticks, the purse grows lean faster than the bewilderment lessens. but i am getting there. mostly thanks to you guys.
more as i actually resolve this. grandkids and july 4th busking also have their demands on my schedule.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment - 'Those Brown Eyes'
From: GUEST,Buskerjoe
Date: 05 Jul 12 - 02:55 PM

Re: why i'm hesitating to pay the royalities --

   milwaukee blues, those brown eyes, big rock candy mountain.... all these songs are out there swimming in the folkosphere, passed around, unlike   Ruby Tuesday or Light My Fire. DArling copied guthrie, who copied mathis, who copied Fay and the Jay walkers, who copied..... who knows?
   so years from now, when someone learns it from my recording, do they owe my heirs? i've got a few songs i've written myself, and yes i can see charging some coins if someone wants to record them, or at least ask my permission. but each of those guys above (guthrie, et al) took it and recorded it. i guess it's different if you're backed up by a producer like whoever didi teh tarriers, or lomax in guthrie's case. those of us living out of our guitar cases have a harder time coughing up hundreds.
   and how does fox come in on this? they buy and sell, kind of like the mortgage bundlers.. reminds me of the song hazel dickens sang:

    rich folks sell junk bonds, do S & L scams
    we fight their bloody wars in far-away lands
    I've worked hard, stayed honest & got by somehow
    making a living by the sweat of my brow.

   and i see, for example, the FRC, field recorders collective, releasing CD's with old time musicians, financed on a shoestring, with scores of songs not in the public domain, but songs that have become part of the folk repertoire. wreck of the 97, no hiding place down here, red wing, when the roll is called up yonder, casey jones... can't think of all the titles, but obviously a significant part of them are still under copyright.

   for a guy who earns only a few thousand bucks a year and would like to step up a rung on the revenue ladder, it seems a legitimate use of time to make sure i've researched this as thoroughly as i can before sending yet another check, especially when i have to make it out to mafiosos who themselves wrote no songs, but buy up rights knowing they'll turn a profit on enough of them to justify the ones that never move. it rankles me, is all.

   and while i'll grant that the duplicator's job isn't to do my copyright research for me, i expected that, like artwork or mastering, it is a specialized enough detail, like pulling permits for a building contractor , that they would have been at least half as helpful as this bunch of generous strangers has been in mudcat.
   
they also wanted me to document that milwaukee blues is public domain, and the amount of time it's all taking places my project in peril. the clock ticks, the purse grows lean faster than the bewilderment lessens. but i am getting there. mostly thanks to you guys.
more as i actually resolve this. grandkids and july 4th busking also have their demands on my schedule.

i'm puzzled: how does the names erik darling (from the 50's) and guthrie (from 10-15 years earlier) wind up on the same version? what next, the guthrie/darling/buskerjoe version? i'm sure there's some logic, but it escapes me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment - 'Those Brown Eyes'
From: Artful Codger
Date: 05 Jul 12 - 05:45 PM

Shortcut: Find a recording of the song which is attributed to "Traditional" and point the duplicator to that. How can you be expected to prove the unprovable? Leave it to lawyers and priests...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment - 'Those Brown Eyes'
From: Tootler
Date: 05 Jul 12 - 07:00 PM

Lesson: Don't copy other peoples' arrangements. Create your own. If the song is traditional, then you will owe no one royalties. See AC's post above.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment - 'Those Brown Eyes'
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 06 Jul 12 - 07:05 AM

If you use someone's composition and it's still in copyright, they're entitled to royalties. In addition, an arranger has copyright in their arrangement. So if you're playing someone else's arrangement there are two separate copyrights and two separate royalties.

It's up to the composer or arranger to decide whether they want to collect royalties themselves, collect them through an agency such as Harry Fox, or simply sell the rights to a publisher in return for a one-off payment.

With respect, I think you're making it difficult for yourself. I got mechanical copyright clearance from MCPS (the UK equivalent of Harry Fox) within a few days, simply by filling in the forms. It may rankle to go with the system, but the system is set up to deal with this, and they'll tell you very quickly whether or not the tracks are copyright and how much you'll have to pay. If you don't like it, then only record music which is out of copyright (although you'll probably still have to go through the process in order to satisfy the manufacturer)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment - 'Those Brown Eyes'
From: Artful Codger
Date: 06 Jul 12 - 08:03 AM

Such agencies don't do due diligence: they don't determine if someone spuriously claimed a copyright (as, for instance, with the bulk of the Carter Family songs). So they'll soak you for old songs that are in fact in the public domain as long as they have someone registered as copyrighting them. I'd be surprised if they even look any further than the titles--which could apply to entirely different songs. And if a song is copyrighted under a different name, or not copyrighted through a big agency, they'll give you a "false negative", still leaving you open to infringing copyright. Their business is to do the least work for the most money, and while their searches MAY help, you need to recognize the limitations of their services--and their eagerness to take your money, whether they're entitled or not.

The situation is not unlike YouTube's flagging/ad system.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Copyright bewilderment - 'Those Brown Eyes'
From: buskerjoe
Date: 22 Jul 12 - 01:34 AM

the people who recorded it 72 years ago didn't write it, probably didn't pay royalties to the ones who preceded them, 84 years ago. they probably didn't compose it either, all of these people aren't even feeding the worms anymore. it still seems to me like organized crime.
   AP Carter and Roy Acuff both made a lucrative practice of ripping off material and getting legal rights to it. it stinks.
if someone's poor, or living, i can see paying them, but since all of these guys earned their sandwich money singing songs others had composed, the mafioso's desire to pull up the ladder after them rankles me. if someone's alive and poor especially i like to help protect their lunch money. "some will rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen."
i did write woody's outfit asking permission and no one wrote me back; jack boyd's daughter also wrote me, convinced her father had written it when another had recorded it already.
if one is a well-paid engineer or musician with thousands to throw at a project it's one thing. in this case my values and my purse run together. so i'm going with a duplicator who's telling me that this is not an issue. 1000 copies that i might be able to sell in seven years of gigging and busking; seems a poor use of $120.
thx all for yr feedback, i'll give anyone a shout about it when it comes out. it's at the duplicators right now. yay.
      buskerjoe


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: 21 July 1:22 PM 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.