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Old 19th April 2012 , 01:06 PM
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Good afternoon all,

Long time no see

Needing some advice on copyright issues..

I've just begun a project where i've done a cover of Quincy Jones - Bossa Nova for an AustinPowers style theme.
Question is, how different does the cover have to be to avoid copyright issues?
I've done the song in a different key, but it's obviously still similar.

Anyone in the know?

Ta muchly, -Tif
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Old 19th April 2012 , 04:50 PM
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A cover is a cover. Pay the royalties or dont release it.

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Originally Posted by Tifstorey View Post
Good afternoon all,

Long time no see

Needing some advice on copyright issues..

I've just begun a project where i've done a cover of Quincy Jones - Bossa Nova for an AustinPowers style theme.
Question is, how different does the cover have to be to avoid copyright issues?
I've done the song in a different key, but it's obviously still similar.

Anyone in the know?

Ta muchly, -Tif
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Old 19th April 2012 , 08:21 PM
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Yeah, I reckon you'll have to pay up mate.

Would maybe be different if you had perhaps recorded a song that was similar to something else but not exactly the same but if it's a cover, then i don't see any way around it.

I would imagine simply changing the key makes absolutely no difference.

Besides, I know if it was one of my songs being copied and used for commercial purposes, i'd want my cut.
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Old 19th April 2012 , 09:57 PM
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Don't get me wrong here - i'm all for royalties and enforcement of copyright laws when it comes to this kind of thing, but the project in question is an anti-bullying campaign for kids which will be given away for free. The clip is about 5 seconds long and i feel paying royalties is a bit over the top, hence me creating a similar track.

As far as i'm aware, there's no way to subside the cost for playing a 5-second clip as opposed to the full track is there?
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Old 20th April 2012 , 12:04 AM
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nope. a covers a cover. Your choice is to pay the royalty or take the risk. Of course where you have changed the arrangement that may give rise to separate liability as the arrangement is a different right.
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Old 20th April 2012 , 06:38 AM
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Even though it's being used for a great cause, i would imagine that you still need permission to use it.

I may be wrong though.
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Old 20th April 2012 , 08:39 AM
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If you do not pay the royalties you are in breach of copyright .... simple as that. The length of the clip may well considerably reduce the amount you have to pay, as may the purpose of the clip in the first place. You will find that out when you make the enquiries
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Old 20th April 2012 , 10:46 AM
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Alright, cheers for that folks. I shall make enquiries and see what it's going to cost me.

Out of curiosity (genuinely), how different does a track actually have to be to avoid copyright? There's obviously a line that differentiates one track from another. Is it a mix of bpm/key/arrangement? Is it up to the composers intentions? Is it just a case of the owner of a copyrighted track hearing a song that sounds similar and saying 'I'm going to take that further?'.
I did alot about copyright laws a few years ago but don't recall there being a black & white set of rules on this.
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Old 20th April 2012 , 08:27 PM
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The rules are pretty clear. If you are using someone else's rights you pay for them. There are lots of instances of cases where people used a clip of someone else's record, had a hit themselves, and then had to pay loads over in compensation. One snare drum hit is enough.

In your context, the payment is literally miniscule (a penny on each copy made or something like that). The problem is you have to pay a sum up front on a short run (like a hundred quid from memory).



Quote:
Originally Posted by Tifstorey View Post
Alright, cheers for that folks. I shall make enquiries and see what it's going to cost me.

Out of curiosity (genuinely), how different does a track actually have to be to avoid copyright? There's obviously a line that differentiates one track from another. Is it a mix of bpm/key/arrangement? Is it up to the composers intentions? Is it just a case of the owner of a copyrighted track hearing a song that sounds similar and saying 'I'm going to take that further?'.
I did alot about copyright laws a few years ago but don't recall there being a black & white set of rules on this.
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Last edited by TrevCircleStudios; 15th May 2012 at 02:25 PM. . <
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Old 21st April 2012 , 05:35 PM
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Quote:
how different does a track actually have to be to avoid copyright?
Quite simply it has to be nothing like the original ... i.e. a completely new song
It can be a breach of copyright to use even a passage from an original
There is absolutely no way of simply trying to change an arrangement and then claim originality
There have been many copyright cases involving just portions of an original song
If you studied copyright laws a few years ago and don't understand that, then you weren't paying attention LOL
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Old 15th May 2012 , 12:16 PM
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Just thought i'd update people on the situation.

Looked into retrieving a licence for the song, but because it could be a worldwide DVD release for schools, they wanted quite a hefty upfront fee as Trev mentioned.

So, i've composed something completely different. (It has the same BPM though.. hope that's not a cause for concern? )

Cheers for the advice all.
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Old 15th May 2012 , 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevCircleStudios View Post
The rules are pretty clear.
Where would one find the rules? I'd love to read them as the band I am in plays a lot of ancient stuff but has just added a song that I know was released in 1988 and I would like to do my homework. I have read a fair bit on the PRS web site but don't understand it well enough to pass an exam (or court case).
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Old 15th May 2012 , 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tifstorey View Post
[snip], they wanted quite a hefty upfront fee as Trev mentioned.[snip]

Cheers for the advice all.
Harhar. Not often I'm wrong but I'm right again!

Quote:
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Where would one find the rules? I'd love to read them as the band I am in plays a lot of ancient stuff but has just added a song that I know was released in 1988 and I would like to do my homework. I have read a fair bit on the PRS web site but don't understand it well enough to pass an exam (or court case).
If you are only playing these songs live the venue's licence covers it. If you are recording the track for release/sale, that's when the copyright infringement issues and requirements to pay a licence fee start to come to the suurface
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Old 15th May 2012 , 02:30 PM
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read more here: http://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/pr...usic_copyright
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Old 15th May 2012 , 02:46 PM
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Thanks Trevor.
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