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Music/copyright law and the use of prior recorded music
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GregC
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 11:28 am    Post subject: Music/copyright law and the use of prior recorded music Reply with quote

Not exactly Kronos related, but many of us record on the SEQ. Knowing what music law is might save someone a future legal headache.

Disclaimer: I am not a legal person or giving any legal advice. I am collecting some knowledge from sources that 'appear' to be authoritative.

Here is example of that:

"Generally speaking (writing), the copyright holder of the original compositions/recording owns the exclusive rights to control how those copyrighted works are used by others, including you. The same goes for the right of an estate to control the use of a deceased relative's use of name, image, and performance."

To me, that sounds very broad and conclusive. So all the tribute bands ( Journey, Floyd, Genesis tribute bands) have permission to perform that material ? Especially, since there is money involved, gigs,etc.

I think of the millions of midi files around. all those midi file creators got permission ? Does not seem possible.

And many of us simply play the cover tune for fun and entertainment. No economics involved, not a penny is made. If a WAV file of the original vocal phrase, or even the isolated drum rhythm, is used for the newly created version, , then distributed to friends, or posted on the internet, that is a copyright violation ?

How about all the song specific Programs and Combis in the Kronos ? There are about 50(?) of them as per their title. Did Korg, and the various 3rd party creators have to get legal permission or obtain some kind of 're-use license ' ?

Changing the name around on the original material seems to be a sketchy workaround. As I read the quoted the black and white of Copyright.

BTW, not trying to argue what Copyright says. Thats been done a million times.

Hoping to get some common sense, real world opinions from folks who have had to deal with the stated restrictions
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GregC
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/royalties-for-cover-songs
Royalties for Cover Songs
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 2:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Music/copyright law and the use of prior recorded music Reply with quote

GregC wrote:

To me, that sounds very broad and conclusive. So all the tribute bands ( Journey, Floyd, Genesis tribute bands) have permission to perform that material ? Especially, since there is money involved, gigs,etc.

And many of us simply play the cover tune for fun and entertainment. No economics involved, not a penny is made. If a WAV file of the original vocal phrase, or even the isolated drum rhythm, is used for the newly created version, , then distributed to friends, or posted on the internet, that is a copyright violation ?

How about all the song specific Programs and Combis in the Kronos ? There are about 50(?) of them as per their title. Did Korg, and the various 3rd party creators have to get legal permission or obtain some kind of 're-use license ' ?


Speaking only as a Canadian since I don't know the US law but I imagine it's probably pretty similar:

The venue locations you play at as a band are the ones who are supposed to have the appropriate licensing with the appropriate groups (SOCAN in Canada) which includes a listing of songs that can and cannot be played at that venue.

That cost comes from the venue itself so as musicians, that's something you need to clear with the venue first. Most people never do.

After speaking with my lawyer, he assured me that it's completely irrelevant if you make money or not - copyright infringement is exactly that, no matter how you look at it. The monetary aspect is moreso involved when considering damages and such.

At any rate, with regards to song-specific settings and such in the Kronos (and surrounding which my entire business is based) sound replications are settings that are used within the keyboard, are a function of the keyboard and are therefore not able to be copyrighted.

If I throw a bunch of saw samples in layers, suddenly I have the "Jump" patch (generally, you get my point hopefully) but there's no way to copyright that.

Copyrights come in when there is intellectual property involved. Not so much song titles, but moreso things like Lyrics, Phrases, Melodies, etc.

That's why you can't include certain sequences (Sweet dreams, it's the primary melody) or samples lifted directly from the album. Even samples like isolated guitar samples (Living On a Prayer - Bon Jovi, the wah guitar parts) often aren't included in sample sets including my own because they're literally played and recorded by the artists themselves. They exist as a waveform on a product being sold which is copyrighted.

I know in my 80's/90's sound pack collection... There were dozens of very cool samples I wanted to include but couldn't because of their 'likeness' to the original.

Now, it's very unlikely that there would be some sort of copyright claim made against me but from an operating business aspect, this is not something I'm willing to risk.
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danmusician
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Following up on enigmahack's post, it is my understanding that it is the venue's responsibility to pay performance royalties in the US as well.

Also, I would second the comment that whether money changes hands is irrelevant. People do not seem to grasp that. It's called "copy" right law, not "profit-from-a-copy" right.

The MIDI sequence question is interesting. First of all, once a piece has been recorded and published, it's fair game for other people to arrange and record their own versions. The copyright owner does not hold the same control as they do over piece that has not been published. The statutory rate for a mechanical license must paid for each recorded copy made. SO, it is possible that you would need to pay for a MIDI sequence living in your Kronos, but who is going to collect the 9.1 cents? Deeper than that, does a MIDI file qualify a "recording" in the sense of a mechanical license?

As for all the MIDI files floating around the internet, I would assume that most, if not all, are violations for copyright law. I suppose that if the owner wanted to pursue it, they could.

Many years ago, I was at a clinic from a Yamaha rep. We were discussing sampling sounds from synthesizers, such as the DX7, since the patches are copyrighted. My question was, is it legal to do so. The response from the company rep was this:

The patch programming was copyrighted, the sound produced was not. So, I could not distribute the patch parameters, but I could distribute a sample of the timbre produced by the DX7.
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 3:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Music/copyright law and the use of prior recorded music Reply with quote

GregC wrote:

And many of us simply play the cover tune for fun and entertainment. No economics involved, not a penny is made. If a WAV file of the original vocal phrase, or even the isolated drum rhythm, is used for the newly created version, , then distributed to friends, or posted on the internet, that is a copyright violation ?

How about all the song specific Programs and Combis in the Kronos ? There are about 50(?) of them as per their title. Did Korg, and the various 3rd party creators have to get legal permission or obtain some kind of 're-use license ' ?


On the first point, that would be a copyright violation. You can't sample someone else's work for use on your own recordings. Most of the time this stuff flies under the radar until you write a hit and it receives a million likes on youtube or other social media.

Regarding the tribute band scene, you don't need permission from the Artist. All that is taken care of by the venue thru ASCAP/BMI licensing fees.

Regarding synth sounds, you can't copyright those. If you want to create a new tune with the OB Jump patch, you won't be hearing from EVH.
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 4:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Music/copyright law and the use of prior recorded music Reply with quote

GregC wrote:
Not exactly Kronos related, but many of us record on the SEQ. Knowing what music law is might save someone a future legal headache.

Disclaimer: I am not a legal person or giving any legal advice. I am collecting some knowledge from sources that 'appear' to be authoritative.

Here is example of that:

"Generally speaking (writing), the copyright holder of the original compositions/recording owns the exclusive rights to control how those copyrighted works are used by others, including you. The same goes for the right of an estate to control the use of a deceased relative's use of name, image, and performance."

To me, that sounds very broad and conclusive. So all the tribute bands ( Journey, Floyd, Genesis tribute bands) have permission to perform that material ? Especially, since there is money involved, gigs,etc.

I think of the millions of midi files around. all those midi file creators got permission ? Does not seem possible.

And many of us simply play the cover tune for fun and entertainment. No economics involved, not a penny is made. If a WAV file of the original vocal phrase, or even the isolated drum rhythm, is used for the newly created version, , then distributed to friends, or posted on the internet, that is a copyright violation ?

How about all the song specific Programs and Combis in the Kronos ? There are about 50(?) of them as per their title. Did Korg, and the various 3rd party creators have to get legal permission or obtain some kind of 're-use license ' ?

Changing the name around on the original material seems to be a sketchy workaround. As I read the quoted the black and white of Copyright.

BTW, not trying to argue what Copyright says. Thats been done a million times.

Hoping to get some common sense, real world opinions from folks who have had to deal with the stated restrictions


In UK, I think it is a question of scale. At pub band level, then probably nothing specific happens, but I guess an honest pub is paying PRS to play music, whch covers it generically, but at that scale there are a lot of minnows and you are hardly on a scale where you are earning big money and ripping the bands off. At that level I have never earned money in that my outgoings usually exceed the incomings - you play for the fun of it and the pleasure you get out of entertaining a crowd.

At theatre/club level, then (using my (ex) Pink Floyd as an example), the theatres needed a set list in advance to work out PRS levies to deduct from the fee we received. I.e. the venue paid the levies due to PRS before any money reached us.

And it depends on the band of course. I think Dave Gilmour is reasonably happy with the number of Floyd tribute bands out there. the big ones pay their PRS fees and in total they keep interest in the Floyd back catalogue (and royalties) going. But I know of a tribute band that had a "cease and desist" order from the act that they were emulating, because they were using the band logo.

Experiences and opinion may vary of course! Smile
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

danmusician wrote:

The patch programming was copyrighted, the sound produced was not. So, I could not distribute the patch parameters, but I could distribute a sample of the timbre produced by the DX7.


Yeah, I always wondered if I could sample that cool gong sound from my uncle's vintage Synclavier to use in one of my compositions, without hearing from one of MJ's lawyers. Perhaps, if I could prove I sampled it from the instrument.

https://medium.com/micro-chop/the-opening-of-beat-it-is-an-exact-replay-from-the-incredible-sounds-of-synclavier-ii-record-659061d90b37

Or as enigmahack suggests, is there risk of 'likeness' to the original? If you purchased a Les Paul and a talk box from your local Guitar Center and sampled individual "Whoa, whoa" notes only (no phrases), would it be too risky to include them with the LOP patch in your sound pack?

Also as mentioned, sequence phrases should be careful to avoid copyrights infringment, but not a directly-sampled instrument timbre. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm sure some would argue over the 'likeness' of an applied (phrase-like) ADSR envelope or the sweep of a resonance filter.

Like the OP, I am also interested in this subject.
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweat wrote:

Yeah, I always wondered if I could sample that cool gong sound from my uncle's vintage Synclavier to use in one of my compositions, without hearing from one of MJ's lawyers. Perhaps, if I could prove I sampled it from the instrument.

https://medium.com/micro-chop/the-opening-of-beat-it-is-an-exact-replay-from-the-incredible-sounds-of-synclavier-ii-record-659061d90b37

Or as enigmahack suggests, is there risk of 'likeness' to the original? If you purchased a Les Paul and a talk box from your local Guitar Center and sampled individual "Whoa, whoa" notes only (no phrases), would it be too risky to include them with the LOP patch in your sound pack?

Also as mentioned, sequence phrases should be careful to avoid copyrights infringment, but not a directly-sampled instrument timbre. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm sure some would argue over the 'likeness' of an applied (phrase-like) ADSR envelope or the sweep of a resonance filter.

Like the OP, I am also interested in this subject.


My understanding about the Synclavier and sampling (like most keyboards)

You're allowed to use the internal sounds from a keyboard in your own artistic works, regardless if they sound like another keyboard or sample or synth or not. As long as you can show you got the sound from X keyboard, it should be fine. Otherwise, no artists could use keyboards for running the risk of the keyboard's internal samples being infringed upon somehow.

Jordan Rudess can't copyright his lead sound, since they're just settings. If his sound however contained samples from a specific library (spectrasonics electric sitar let's say) then he's allowed to record songs using those sounds but not release those sounds since they're not his to release.

We as musicians are licensed to record using the internal sounds within the Kronos and put it on an album. Same is true for those other synths as well.

It's when you want to take samples from a Synclavier and put them on your Kronos and sell them that there's an issue.

It's a very large grey area unfortunately.

Oh and I meant to talk to the Whoa Whoa Whoa samples - If you buy a talkbox, a Les Paul and so-on... Then the legal ramifications come down to: What are you doing with the samples. If you're making them for your own sample library, then you have to know if the sample like-ness is too close. If someone heard just the guitar sample by itself, would they know for certain from where the 'idea' came from. That's the risk :-/
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GregC
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

enigmahack wrote:
Sweat wrote:

Yeah, I always wondered if I could sample that cool gong sound from my uncle's vintage Synclavier to use in one of my compositions, without hearing from one of MJ's lawyers. Perhaps, if I could prove I sampled it from the instrument.

https://medium.com/micro-chop/the-opening-of-beat-it-is-an-exact-replay-from-the-incredible-sounds-of-synclavier-ii-record-659061d90b37

Or as enigmahack suggests, is there risk of 'likeness' to the original? If you purchased a Les Paul and a talk box from your local Guitar Center and sampled individual "Whoa, whoa" notes only (no phrases), would it be too risky to include them with the LOP patch in your sound pack?

Also as mentioned, sequence phrases should be careful to avoid copyrights infringment, but not a directly-sampled instrument timbre. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm sure some would argue over the 'likeness' of an applied (phrase-like) ADSR envelope or the sweep of a resonance filter.

Like the OP, I am also interested in this subject.


My understanding about the Synclavier and sampling (like most keyboards)

You're allowed to use the internal sounds from a keyboard in your own artistic works, regardless if they sound like another keyboard or sample or synth or not. As long as you can show you got the sound from X keyboard, it should be fine. Otherwise, no artists could use keyboards for running the risk of the keyboard's internal samples being infringed upon somehow.

Jordan Rudess can't copyright his lead sound, since they're just settings. If his sound however contained samples from a specific library (spectrasonics electric sitar let's say) then he's allowed to record songs using those sounds but not release those sounds since they're not his to release.

We as musicians are licensed to record using the internal sounds within the Kronos and put it on an album. Same is true for those other synths as well.

It's when you want to take samples from a Synclavier and put them on your Kronos and sell them that there's an issue.

It's a very large grey area unfortunately.

Oh and I meant to talk to the Whoa Whoa Whoa samples - If you buy a talkbox, a Les Paul and so-on... Then the legal ramifications come down to: What are you doing with the samples. If you're making them for your own sample library, then you have to know if the sample like-ness is too close. If someone heard just the guitar sample by itself, would they know for certain from where the 'idea' came from. That's the risk :-/


I read this twice from the above posts:

" whether money changes hands is irrelevant. "

In your Syclavier samples example, you said the trip wire is when you put them on your Kronos and sell them.

So I guess, money is relevant Smile

I think I know the answer to this . I am acting more obtuse than usual to root out your Synclavier example
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

danmusician wrote:


The MIDI sequence question is interesting. First of all, once a piece has been recorded and published, it's fair game for other people to arrange and record their own versions. The copyright owner does not hold the same control as they do over piece that has not been published. The statutory rate for a mechanical license must paid for each recorded copy made. SO, it is possible that you would need to pay for a MIDI sequence living in your Kronos, but who is going to collect the 9.1 cents? Deeper than that, does a MIDI file qualify a "recording" in the sense of a mechanical license?

As for all the MIDI files floating around the internet, I would assume that most, if not all, are violations for copyright law. I suppose that if the owner wanted to pursue it, they could.



I have a theory why copyright attorneys or interested authors are not dogging all these midi file creators.

Along a similar line of presentation, what about YouTube and the million guitarists, drummers and piano players recreating 'cover songs' openly ?

Its seems doubtful that all these folks are getting permission and buying various licenses from organizations like Harry Fox or wherever publishing co or whoever holds the copyright to the song(s)
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GregC wrote:

I read this twice from the above posts:

" whether money changes hands is irrelevant. "

In your Syclavier samples example, you said the trip wire is when you put them on your Kronos and sell them.

So I guess, money is relevant Smile

I think I know the answer to this . I am acting more obtuse than usual to root out your Synclavier example


Copyrights don't care about money.

Licensing/usage agreements do however. In the case of the Synclavier or other keyboards, it's the latter, not the former.
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GregC wrote:
danmusician wrote:


The MIDI sequence question is interesting. First of all, once a piece has been recorded and published, it's fair game for other people to arrange and record their own versions. The copyright owner does not hold the same control as they do over piece that has not been published. The statutory rate for a mechanical license must paid for each recorded copy made. SO, it is possible that you would need to pay for a MIDI sequence living in your Kronos, but who is going to collect the 9.1 cents? Deeper than that, does a MIDI file qualify a "recording" in the sense of a mechanical license?

As for all the MIDI files floating around the internet, I would assume that most, if not all, are violations for copyright law. I suppose that if the owner wanted to pursue it, they could.



I have a theory why copyright attorneys or interested authors are not dogging all these midi file creators.

Along a similar line of presentation, what about YouTube and the million guitarists, drummers and piano players recreating 'cover songs' openly ?

Its seems doubtful that all these folks are getting permission and buying various licenses from organizations like Harry Fox or wherever publishing co or whoever holds the copyright to the song(s)

YouTube has taken plenty of things offline due to copyright laws in various countries, including covers. The giant OLGA website was also taken offline for publishing free (user generated) guitar tablatures of every song imaginable.
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GregC wrote:

...

Along a similar line of presentation, what about YouTube and the million guitarists, drummers and piano players recreating 'cover songs' openly ?

Its seems doubtful that all these folks are getting permission and buying various licenses from organizations like Harry Fox or wherever publishing co or whoever holds the copyright to the song(s)

that works through an automated system on youtube. It analyses your song and if you use samples from an existing record or your song looks a lot (cover) like an existing song in their database it will be automatically flagged. Then it's upon the copyright holders if you are allowed to keep it on your channel, it they agree (automatically) then you get advertisements at your video where the benefits of that goes to the copyright holders.

Now the bad part, you can also get a strike, then your video is taken offline and the strike is added to the standing parameter of your channel, if you got a few strikes (i believe the count is three) then your channel gets a bad standing and will be automatically shutdown on youtube, so people can't see it anymore.

Now since you don't know upfront if you get a flag or a strike it's almost impossible to use existing songs to demo techniques or tutorials or sound sets. It always has to be unique material to be sure that your youtube channel won't be affected by this.

Sometimes that's a real pitty, for instance i've created a remix of Ed Sheeran - Shape of You, where i use lots of tricks to modify the acappella of that song to 134 bpm and where i synced that vocal to my new dance arrangement for that song. Now that would be a great tutorial to show how to do that. But it's impossible to show on my channel due to copyright infringement. But i do use these kind of examples in my workshops in the studio which are more focused on production techniques.
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sander, we meet both aspects at the same time.

- all kinds of legal sharks working for the music industry, or for their own backyrad company profit, harrassing sites like OLGA or trying to generate some money from real or merely claimed copyright.
- a development of song re-creation (opposed to pure cover songs) as new form of internet culture, mainly via youtube, which is a) hard to stop or control altogether and b) has lots of positive effects for the top 40 business, working as kind of free advertising for the popularity of their songs, without really replacing their offers.

So what happened, after OLGA went down? You can find the same and more on Ultimate Guitar and plenty of other sites, including apps etc. The creative cover culture on youtube is endless, having become such a vital part of modern pop culture (including allusions to songs, films and everyday life), that besides Google the whole music industry would shoot a big load into their own foot if they would try to prevent that.

Of course blunt song copying is not accepted. But re-creation is alive and kicking, and it would be a chanceless Sisyphus job to stop that, or even to define exact borders.

@Qui: With Ed Sheeran you probably have the problem of using his voice in your arrangement. But there are lots of re-creation covers of "Shape of you" on youtube, which are not flagged at all.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly, I understnad what is the so called "copyright" law. And I actually consider it kind of stupid in some cases. I am not saying that it is stupid in general, and we do not need such a law, no. I am just saying that some of the regulations are really ... absurd. I remember, back when I was filming different videos for youtube, I actually used a certain song on the background, and I got an email saying that, the artist who has the rights for this song is really offended that I am using this music without his own acknowledgment. I actually went on to hire a lawyer from jamesonlaw.com.au, as they are having some of the best specialists in this domain. At last, it was settled really quick.

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