An Interesting Copyright Issue.

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Pariah
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An Interesting Copyright Issue.

Post by Pariah »

This is from a segment on my local NPR station so I don't have citation but this is the gist of a very interesting wrinkle that has come up in copyright, specifically the credited song writers copyright.
A song writer needs to submit to registration the complete annotation for a song for that copyright to be enforceable. After that a song writer can go to town license his creation for more money, commercials, use in TV and movies, that sort of thing.
None of this is news to most of the smart people who use this forum.
But here is the new wrinkle, someone noticed that there are annotations of very popular songs where sections where there may be a solo are not annotated or barely notated at all. For example, all the chart topping "classic rock" songs that featured improvised or semi improvised guitar solos. And even more affected are many, many songs by Jazz artists that are almost or entirely improvised in studio.
Basically there are tons of songs out there with blank spaces in the annotation that are just labeled "instrumental solo here" or maybe a bit of a chart indicating in the most basic ways the chord changes that do not actually describe the notes played in any important way.
So the thing the courts are going to have to decide is: Can these cases of undocumented improvisations be considered copyrighted? Could someone carefully transcribe a Jimi Hendrix solo then perform it with no obligation to the credited song writer at all? Maybe even sell that transcription as a newly created work.
It's a tricky little wrinkle in copyright law and it will be interesting to see which way the judgement drops.
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DEyncourt
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Re: An Interesting Copyright Issue.

Post by DEyncourt »

Huh. That IS an interesting copyright problem.

My feeling is that public sentiment will declare that in particular improvised sections from popular recordings will be not claimable even through very careful transcriptions. Such cases may even be ruled legally the transcriptionist's property, but even if that transcriptionist were also a musical artist and can play his/her transcription such that a new recording sounds all-but-identical to that popular recording, most people who would be inclined to pay royalties probably will not do so (or will do so to the original artist or his/her estate).

Upon further thought: I think that such transcriptionists should be legally required to pay a royalty to the original artist.
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macnuke
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Post by macnuke »

the world according to Kanye...
"I changed one note and made it better so it's mine now"

but I say if someone played it as original .... it's theirs.
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Ribtor
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Re: An Interesting Copyright Issue.

Post by Ribtor »

The saxophone soloist in Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street' claims he wrote that part but Rafferty claimed he had previously recorded that part on Guitar.
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Robert B.
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Post by Robert B. »

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Metacell
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Re: An Interesting Copyright Issue.

Post by Metacell »

If it means all TV commercials have noteworthy instrumental solos in them...then I'm ok with it...I might even start watching commercials.

Anyway, nothings original.
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Kirk
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Post by Kirk »

I agree the songwriters still should get royalties from those works.
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Pariah
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Re:

Post by Pariah »

Kirk posted wrote: I agree the songwriters still should get royalties from those works.

Ya, but what if the credited writer had nothing to do with the improvised part of the song?
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dv
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Re: Re:

Post by dv »

Pariah posted wrote:
Kirk posted wrote: I agree the songwriters still should get royalties from those works.

Ya, but what if the credited writer had nothing to do with the improvised part of the song?



The improviser gets cowriter credit, then proceed normally.
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