View Full Version : rules on copyright

02-21-2002, 09:37 PM
Whats the rules on using music in your programs?

If the sheet music is published, can you make your own recording of it and therefore use it legally?

What if you use someone elses recording?

02-21-2002, 10:54 PM
After a certain time all music enters 'public domain' before that I think you can only use 30 seconds without paying a royalty.

But, as I understand it, you can only be sued for the money lost by you violating copyright.
So if you use music legally posted to a free forum there is no money lost -> no copyright case.

This is in Australia, may not be same elsewhere.

02-21-2002, 10:58 PM
Music should be free. I hate humans, we try and milk money out of everything.

02-21-2002, 10:58 PM
but what if you had a legal copy of the sheet music and made your own recording of it?

02-22-2002, 12:34 AM
I believe you'd be OK unless you tried to sell your program, then you might run into problems. Owning the sheet music doesn't give you any rights to the song. You just get to play it.
You could always contact the writer and ask permission.

And Brian - Music is free. Nothing stops you from playing a song, except your own limitations. However, making money from someone else's creation is not (and should not) be allowed unless permission is given.

02-22-2002, 02:24 AM
There is something about a version of a song.
Like 'Wierd Al's' take offs of songs. (MJ's 'Beat it' to WA's 'Eat it' )

Have to change a certain amount of the song. Don't know how much.

Try a free song site as you can not, as I understand it, be sued unless the artist would have lost money by you using their song.

02-22-2002, 07:10 AM
Yeah, novacain - parodies are protected - you can't be sued for them... However, I think Weird Al gets permission to do it, more as a courtesy than anythign else.

02-22-2002, 09:52 AM
Get round the problem my making it the users fault.

Write\perform recod your own music, encode it as mp3,

Get your software to play from those files, details kept in an ini file or similar, and say they're free to change the ini file / playlist to any mp3 they have access to as long as they're not breaking the law.

Its effectively what some games ("The Sims" for example) do, you can change all the radio stations\music types to your mp3 colllection.

PS Weird Al rules, Ammish Paradise is currently my favourite.

02-22-2002, 03:29 PM
>you can not, as I understand it, be sued unless the artist would have lost money by you using their song.

If you buyed a copy of their sheet music, and made your own recording of it, and packaged it with a game you made...technically they wouldn't be losing money. Right? Its your own recording...

i just found this site:


I am gonna check it out...

02-24-2002, 08:52 PM
>>they wouldn't be losing money. Right?

No. I believe you would have to pay the owner of the song to perform it. A royalty.

02-24-2002, 08:58 PM
But how could that be? What about in choirs all around the world? In choir we sing songs all the time by people who are still alive and have a legal copyright on their music. I have only heard that it is illegal to photocopy the music. Several of my friends and I have gotten together, bought some Boyz II Men sheet music, and learned some songs, and performed them at concerts, etc. My school's choir that I am in even puts out a CD of our Spring Concert...but we dont pay royalties to anybody...so is that against the law?

02-24-2002, 09:15 PM
>>But how could that be? What about in choirs all around the world?

If they get paid for the performance, they pay a royalty, I would think. Else after a certain time it becomes public domain, ie free.

If you sang a song for free, you can not be sued for the money you made in singing that song.

>>My school's choir

Educational and religous groups get more lee-way. No way Metalica is going to sue the Catholic Church or Coloumbine High School over the end of year CD that will make a few thousand dollars at best.