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30 Aug 01 - 01:56 PM (#538252)
Subject: copyright
From: iRiShBaBe

im part of an irish trad band! we are about to start record our debut album. we hope to have mostly irish ballads on the album but we're wondering bout copyright. we were told that if a song is over 50 years old u dont need to seek permission to record it... is this true?

kindly let us no,


30 Aug 01 - 02:02 PM (#538257)
Subject: RE: copyright
From: MMario

the short answer is "not true". but it gets more complicated then that. where are you located?

30 Aug 01 - 05:17 PM (#538428)
Subject: RE: copyright
From: iRiShBaBe

in limerick in ireland. how complicated does it get?

we hope to do songs by 'christy moore, the fureys and the wolfetones'

is it difficult 2 get it?

30 Aug 01 - 05:54 PM (#538452)
Subject: RE: copyright
From: SeanM

Ah, a chat shorthand addict...

If (on the main page, right above the threads) you enter "copyright" into the supersearch, you'll recieve more answers than you'd ever possibly have any use for. It's a fairly common topic, and most discussion centers around either UK or USA applications.

In the meantime - the acts you name use a LOT of traditional material. An easy way to tell if it's going to be an issue is to see where they've attributed the song. If the arrangement is copyright protected while the lyrics themselves are traditional, as long as you aren't using their arrangement you're safe. And as to the "50 years or older", to be ABSOLUTELY safe you're better off just calling it at 100 years. Given the influence of the corporate sponsors over the process, in the US it's up to 70 or so years, and chances are it'll go even higher - but if the author's been buried a century, I don't think anyone can legitimately argue that the work isn't public domain.


30 Aug 01 - 08:31 PM (#538569)
Subject: RE: copyright
From: Malcolm Douglas

Quoted from  Music Business Journal:

"Mechanical and performing rights are under copyright in the Republic of Ireland for the lifetime of the songwriter plus an additional 70 year period.  This duration was extended from the traditional lifetime+50 year period by the Irish Government's statutory instrument no. 158 in 1995, and was in accordance with the European Community's (Terms of Protection of Copyright) Regulations."

See also:

Irish Music Rights Organisation
MCPS  This is the UK branch; MCPS Ireland is, I think, separate now, but doesn't seem to have a website of its own yet.

30 Aug 01 - 08:48 PM (#538587)
Subject: RE: copyright
From: Burke

No it's not hard to get permission and the fees are standardized. It's called 'mechanical rights' and there are clearinghouses to help. Try Mechanical Rights Organizations