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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2002 5:46 pm 
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Tunes continually get composed and adopted into the tradition. Tunes going back, what? 70yrs? belong legally to someone. Some obviously lose their connection to the composer, etc, etc. I recently learned a great jig from a cd, then read the credits for the name, and discovered it is a recently composed tune (by the performer on the cd). Now, I'm a bit put off about practicing it. I figure there are plenty (to understate it) trad tunes in the public domain that I can do what I like with.

How do recording artists (I'm not one beyond posting to Clips and Snips :smile: ) handle recording tunes that were written 10, 20, 30 years ago? Do they make a point of contacting and getting permission from the composer or their family? What is acceptable use of popular tunes like Kerfunken Jig, etc? I see Ed Reavy's web site is explicit about protecting his compositions.

I think the more formal regard for copyrighted music (I'm not arguing against this) has probably altered peoples' approaches to handling the music. I guess it mainly affects commercial use, like paid gigs, etc. Comments? Suggestions?
Tony

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: TonyHiggins on 2002-08-02 19:48 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2002 8:14 pm 
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I'm not a pro, nor a lawyer; this is just my understanding from friends who have been in the business.

Last I knew, US copyright extended till 50 years from a composer's death -- so Mood Indigo, composed in the mid-1920's, is protected till the mid-2020's, whereas Bad Bad Leroy Brown, from the mid-1970's, is also protected till the mid-2020's.

Copyrighted music is generally played at concerts without paying royalties -- I don't know whether this is because of the law or just that it's no reallyt enforceable. When a song is commercially recorded, royalties are paid to the composer both for records sold and the song being played on the air by radio stations, etc.

I really don't know about, say, recording to Clips and Snips -- I would think it would fall under "acceptable use," since nobody makes any money off it. I would love to send a piece or two from Richard Farina, but am not sure, and don't want to wait till 2016.

Charlie


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2002 8:20 pm 
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On 2002-08-02 22:14, chas wrote:
I'm not a pro, nor a lawyer; this is just my understanding from friends who have been in the business.

Last I knew, US copyright extended till 50 years from a composer's death -- so Mood Indigo, composed in the mid-1920's, is protected till the mid-2020's, whereas Bad Bad Leroy Brown, from the mid-1970's, is also protected till the mid-2020's.

Copyrighted music is generally played at concerts without paying royalties -- I don't know whether this is because of the law or just that it's no reallyt enforceable. When a song is commercially recorded, royalties are paid to the composer both for records sold and the song being played on the air by radio stations, etc.

I really don't know about, say, recording to Clips and Snips -- I would think it would fall under "acceptable use," since nobody makes any money off it. I would love to send a piece or two from Richard Farina, but am not sure, and don't want to wait till 2016.

Charlie



Most of that information is incorrect. Acutally, this really isn't the right forum to be discussing this topic. How 'bout we take it over to Clips or the main board?
Thanks :smile:
Teri


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2002 10:01 pm 
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Actually, I wasn't thinking about Clips and Snips. I was wondering how copyright laws has influenced the performing of what might have been 'no big deal' playing of popular tunes, and whether it has changed anything about trad players' approach to playing music. More of a cultural question. I know in the US how a recording artist would be obliged to deal with the legalities of recording someone else's music. I'm wondering if that is how things have evolved in Ireland. And, more importantly, how that may affect how music becomes part of the 'tradition.' If it's played less, will it disappear in time, regardless of its merits?
Tony

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2002 10:46 pm 
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If it's under valid copyright, one must get written permission before recording it, etc.

Things originally copyrighted in the U.S. prior to 1923 are public domain, but UK and other countries' copyright laws are different.

I'm sure you're right about copyrights inhibiting songs from becoming traditional, because performers don't want to bother with things they'll have to pay royalties on. This is a modern problem though. Old trad players didn't worry with such things, they weren't recording them anyway (pre-1900's, anyway), and copyright was only concerned with printing.

Anyway, if it's that new, we would probably say it's not so much traditional, as it's in the traditional style. This would be because it is recently composed rather than handed down through generations.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2002 1:17 am 
in general, when tunes are out there 'they are out of your hands', it has been an issue that some recording commercially altered tunes and stuck a copy right on them. It is not something that has caught on, I do play a lot of tunes that are somewhat recent [I suppose everybody does without realising] but have never had any problem with that, in fact the few occasionsthe composer was present when I played them, they quite enjoyed seeing their tunes out there.
Having said that, [and I quoted that one in a thread that dealt with the same topic before] Kevin Crawford recorded 'The Stoeln Reel' on 'Good Company'. Maybe he knew well this was the Paddy O Brien composition 'The Swallow's nest' and was trying to avaid comments by Eilein Og, O Brien's daughter and guardian of his body of tunes. Or maybe not, I see a lot of POB tunes played and recorded.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2002 10:37 am 
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just dug out a page I had printed of from 19.03.2000 which was about copyright laws/playing new tunes and TeriK was it you who posted this link under Teri?
The link is http://www.loc.gov/copyright/

maybe it helps again
Brigitte


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2002 10:52 am 
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I don't wish to drag this out and am not looking for a response. My thoughts are basically that there are continuing influences on the evolution of trad music. Copyright laws, and just as importantly copyright customs between players and composers will have a big part to play. I was really wondering how composers feel about this two-edged sword. If I ever compose a decent jig or reel (haven't written any yet), the best thing in my mind would be that it caught on, not that I made money from it. I don't know if this is how others feel. Anyway, I got to obsessing about it because I recently transcribed a tune, Aaron's Key, a jig, written by a member of Stocton's Wing. I heard it on a compilation cd and learned it before looking at whether it was traditional or recent. It's recent. It's a great tune, but, I'm wondering if I want to hang on to it. There's not enough time to learn everything, so why not stick to public domain music. At the same time, if this tune goes the way of Britney Spears (will that name ring a bell in two years?) because no one wants to fool with recent compositions, that's a real shame. In the extreme case, that would essentially halt the progression and evolution of the tradition. Then end. :smile:
Tony

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2002 11:11 am 
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Tony,

There's nothing to stop you in transcribing a copyrighted tune and playing it for your own enjoyment. And, I think you're right there is a natural evolution in tunes, a bit borrowed here, a bit borrowed there, variations and such. The whole copyright issue isn't a problem until you perform it, record it, or publish it as yours. Once you create something, it doesn't matter if you register it or not, you're the copyright owner and have certain rights. Whether a composer enforces those rights is their decision.

I'm going to add my long thread about copyrights only because I think there are too many myths out there and misinformation, and that is where people get in trouble.

Length of copyright protection:

Works published before 1923 – public domain

Works published from 1923 through 1963 – protected for 95 years from first publication

Works published from 1964 through 1977 – protected for 95 years from first publication

Works created on or after 1/1/78 (published or unpublished) – One author; life of author +75 years; joint authors; life of surviving author +75 years. If it was a work for hire then 95 years from first publication or 120 years from creation (whichever is less) If anonymous/pseudonymous then 95 years from first publication, or if the author’s name is disclosed, life +70

Works created before 1978 and unpublished as of 12/31/02 – copyright expires 75 years after death of author (unless already dead for 75 years, then ends on 1/1/03)

Works unpublished and not registered as of 1978 but published between 1/1/78 and 1/1/03 – copyright expires 75 years after death of author, but not earlier than 2047.

Now, how’s that for a confusing mess!

As far as recording and playing on the internet, if the piece/song/tune, whatever, is copyrighted you’re looking at:

1. Mechanical rights (getting the owner’s permission to create a recording and paying them) The Harry Fox Agency handles that.

2. Performance rights (transmitting that recording digitally over the internet) go to ASCAP for those royalties.

3. If you don’t do the above and get busted, you’re looking at the possibility of $150,000 fine per infringement. Your internet provider, once informed, will pull the plug on you and if the site belongs to someone else, they can go down for distributing.

Ain’t worth it.

And then there’s the whole issue of doing an arrangement of someone’s work.

Fair use includes making a copy for yourself only (when we used to record an album onto tape); educational purposes, and parody. The idea that you’re not getting paid for what you’re playing isn’t true. Now if you’re playing at a small get together, wedding, etc., you’re not causing problems. My copyright law professor likened it to how far you stick your head out of the foxhole. But, if you’re playing a pub session and up comes a copyrighted tune, then the pub owner is responsible for paying ASCAP for the performance of the copyrighted work. The owner would ask you for a play list to cover their backside.

I’m not a lawyer, I’m not offering legal advice, I’m taking this from my law books on copyright and the U.S. Copyright web page for public consumption, and all of the above is why I decided to go into immigration law.

T


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2002 9:28 pm 
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Teri,

I apologize profusely for bringing this topic up again, but I suppose the reason that it keeps coming up is that it's a topic of concern for many of us.

Thanks by the way for your link to:

http://www.imro.ie/music_makers/trad_mu ... ight.shtml

I was hoping that someone would have some copyright info from Ireland since much that has been discussed so far originates from US legal sources.

Anyway, what many of us are probably wondering is:

1. Is there an online source that lists who the composers were for the traditional Irish tunes?

2. Is there a resource that shows whether composers are still alive or on what date they died? (to determine when the 70 year statute expires)

I did a query on:

<a href="http://www.songfile.com/">Harry Fox / Songfile</a>

for "Julia Delaney" and it shows Paddy Maloney as the author :- gimme a break!

Surely there is some reliable resource that we can use to determine this important info. Especially if we ever aspire to record or live perform our favorite IRTrad tunes.

Thanks.
J


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2002 1:03 am 
I think the whole discussion refuses to grasp that traditional composers let their tunes out there and to quote from the Chris Langan book 'once they are out there they are out of your hands, they have a life of their own'. Tunes become only traditional once they have gone 'through the process' have gone through the hands of musicians who modify them, change them and accept them as part of the body of traditional music.
Most people won't list themselves as composers, Junior Crehan often based his tunes on existing tunes and considered himself just as one little part of the whole process. Breanan McGlinchey composed around 80 tunes very few can name more than five of them, even if they probably play a lot more of them. The Paddy O Brien and Sean Ryan tunes are widely played though seldom with a composer attached to them. Several Paddy Fahey tunes were included in Breathnach's Ceol Rinnce na hEirreann, O Neill used tunes composed by his friends, Reavey tunes are being played all over the place, and usually much improved after goign through the hands of good musicians. I recently found a 'The Hunter's House' played on a tape by Paddy Fahey, it was a bit like hearing Beethoven play a Vivaldi piece. Seriously, I don't think it is musch of an issue at all. If the composer insists on his copyright at all, it is very much contrary to the label 'traditional'.

For the same reason there is no 'resource' traditional musicinas don't register their tunes at IMRO.


Julia Delaney is to good a tune to come from Moloney, look at Tommy Potts for the shape it has now. I heard Martin Rochford play it with a much nicer second part though.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2002 6:01 am 
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I also don't think you have much to worry about - especially regarding tunes made by the older traditional musicians such as Junior Crehan, Sean Ryan & co. that have been taken up by the tradition.

A couple of weeks ago, after reading this thread, I asked a well-known traditional musician in Ireland who has recorded a number of Junior Crehan's tunes what people did about copyright and royalties in such cases. His reply was, "To be honest I'm not sure of the proceedure regarding newly composed tunes, I must look into it!"

If he's not losing sleep over it, I don't know why you should.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2002 5:18 pm 
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Steve,
Thanks for the comments. Amusing and typical of the Irish. I'll bet most of the composers don't care. The publishers may be a different story.
Tony

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2002 6:17 pm 
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Hi all
I play with quite a lot of people, on a regular basis, who have composed tunes/ who play tunes composed by others. In general, if you want to play something in a performance - a concert or something: not a session - and you know the composer, then letting them know is the done thing. If you don't know the person or have learned the tune from a cd, then you just announce/print the composer... or if you've been taught a tune by the composer (rather than just picking it up as you go along), that tends to be taken as implicit permission to use the tune...
But please don't quote me on this - and I have no experience with anything more formal than small solo/group concerts.
Deirdre


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2002 7:34 pm 
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I agree that it seems contrary to the tradition that anyone would cause trouble if someone performed or recorded an "established" tune, like the ones in O'Neill's.

If I were to compose a tune that was well liked and played in sessions and recorded I personally would be happy with the satisfaction that it was well received, and wouldn't expect to be paid royalties. But then again I've got a day-job and don't depend on royalties for any sort of living.

My guess is that copyright issues probably are only a serious concern if we attempt to use music recently composed by well-known bands/artists who are signed with a record label.


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