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THE COPYRIGHT ISSUE

UnitedByRhyme

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Hey guys

 

So I've been asked about copyright and if I have permission to use the beats I'm using and stuff (In the comments in BANQUET). I have just contacted the places I am using and asked, I'll be waiting on responses. Emails were sent at roughly 10:30 Tasmania time, on the 3rd of May.

 

But I still feel like it was unnecessary, I'd love to hear from anyone exactly what the big deal is.:) I am not writing that out of spite, I would honestly like to hear and learn. I would understand if I was making money off the tracks, but I won't be. As well as that, I did do some research prior and it was 50/50 about whether or not you needed permission.

 

1. It's a mixtape, that means an unofficial release and the only people who ever know it exists will be people who search for it.

2. Everything will be creditted where necessary.

3. No money will be made.

4. I see it as a win/win. Sure, I get free promotion by using the beat but so does the underground artists who the beat belongs to. If someone likes an instro they hear in my track, they look in the credits and can be directed to the real artists.

5. Even if I get permission and the artist say yes, all they'll do is say 'but you can't sell it and it must be creditted.' The only difference between what I was doing and that was not asking. Of course, they could say no, but does anyone have any suggestions as to why???

 

Maybe this is an issue because of demographics, age differences, attitudes...I'm not really sure. I can see how using someone else's work is an issue, but to me it isn't as serious as some of you seem to think:). Anyway, I'd like to hear your say.

 

And one other thing: its not only beats I'm planning on using. I was going to use some samples from THE SIMPSONS GAME at the end of BANQUET, there's a line about "slugs sucking up sexy sleaze with a smile" which I kind of think fits in with the theme. Thing is, from my research the massive businesses won't bother chasing you for an uncredited/no permission sample. They make enough money and it isn't worth their time and resources to chase down someone like me. Thoughts on that?

 

Can I also just clarify that people know what a mixtape is? It's an unofficial release usually used to promote yourself when you start out (though as I prefer underground stuff, it's not really about promoting, its about getting stuff out there). A mixtape uses beats by other artists and is full of samples, for example check out SAVILIAN KID OR KONCEPT MIXTAPE (I admit the lyrics to his stuff suck). It samples beats from heaps of artists. Often they are only used in rap, they arent as serious in other genres though do occasionally pop up. A rap mixtape will usually have no original production. Everything is done by you: album art, liner notes, pressing and all that (if you want, mine will just be digital). You basically spend money making it that you won't make back.

 

I didn't mean to drag this out so long but yeah, hope to hear some thoughts on the copyright thing and has anyone had similar issues, either with not getting permission or using an uncredited sample?

 

Cheers guys



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People have different opinions on how their work should be used

 

Some people are very relaxed and are happy for you to do anything you want, others want to tightly control their work.

 

Sometimes people will overtly say what they want (for example marking their work as "creative commons - share and share alike") but most people dont.

 

If you dont ask someone ahead of time, they can get pissed off and even go as far as legal action. You simply dont know.

 

So when you are building your "greatest song ever" on someone elses foundations, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment if your song and all the effort you made is wasted because you have to destroy it. Better to determine the ground rules, and not invest too much of your time in a project unless the other person has given permission

 

 

 

 

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UBR, I agree with fabkebab.

 

You wrote: Maybe this is an issue because of demographics, age differences, attitudes...I'm not really sure. I can see how using someone else's work is an issue, but to me it isn't as serious as some of you seem to think. Anyway, I'd like to hear your say.

 

And one other thing: its not only beats I'm planning on using. I was going to use some samples from THE SIMPSONS GAME at the end of BANQUET, there's a line about "slugs sucking up sexy sleaze with a smile" which I kind of think fits in with the theme. 

 

 Thing is, from my research the massive businesses won't bother chasing you for an uncredited/no permission sample. They make enough money and it isn't worth their time and resources to chase down someone like me. Thoughts on that?

 

I believe this kind of rationalising can become a slippery slope. For a number of reasons, I think it’s advisable to make the effort to contact the owner of the beats/music beforehand. Bottom line is that it’s simply a courtesy, and can maybe prevent confusion or misunderstandings in the future. :)

 

One of the reasons – although it might apply mainly to outright songs – is that, unbeknown to a potential mix-maker, the owner/creator of the music might have listed that work with an agency for possible licensing. Agencies are always looking for beats. And it’s also possible that a music supervisor comes along, wants to license that piece, but on the condition that it’s not being published or used anywhere else by anyone else. 

 

This may sound extreme, but I know of at least three instances where a song was picked up by a publisher for exclusive use, and the songwriter had to hastily remove the song from a forum where he’d showcased it. I also know of an instance where a songwriter shared how excited he was about having a song of his picked up, but wasn’t able to share the actual song with us at that time, because non-use anywhere else was part of his contract. All he could do was give us the exciting news of which publisher had picked up the song, and for what purpose. 

 

You wrote:I didn't mean to drag this out so long but yeah, hope to hear some thoughts on the copyright thing and has anyone had similar issues, either with not getting permission or using an uncredited sample?

 

As regards anything of mine being snagged, I can only speak as a lyricist.   

There’ve been a couple of instances involving lines here and there, but the most annoying snag – a full lyric - occurred a few years ago. A composer on the Kompoz site had created a music bedtrack and was looking for a suitable lyric. He selected the one I offered, and began looking for other instrumentation. After a couple of years of no further progress (for health reasons, the composer had become inactive on the site but hadn’t notified me), I decided to cancel my Kompoz account. In the meantime, I’d given the lyric to my usual co-writer, who was using it for one of the songs on his album. 

 

Imagine my surprise when, in browsing through my account before cancelling it, I discovered that the lyric had a couple of years earlier been ‘taken’ by someone else, entirely without my knowledge. 

 

Now, I’m certain it was an honest mistake. The songwriter – an old guy in Sweden, not too familiar with music-making in the online world – had apparently seen the lyric on the other person’s page, thought it was up for grabs, and took it for a song of his own. In his liner notes he wrote that the song was for his own pleasure and not for any commercial purpose. He did at least indicate that the song was ‘based on a lyrical idea of D. Devine’. Although annoyed, I didn't contact the guy about it. I reckon he was simply clueless, not familiar with collaborating, and didn’t realise that interacting with the lyrics writer is part of the collaboration process. So I let it go.

 

What I felt most badly about was that now the song my co-writer had created for his album was not unique.

 

Oh, I’ve just remembered another instance from a few years back. My co-writer and I had written a nice, fun, bouncy country song (with  great vocals from a paid professional), and I’d placed it with a licensing agency, hoping an appropriate pitching opportunity might come up.

Imagine my surprise when several months afterwards I happened to stumble across a banjo-oriented site where free samples of certain kinds of music were provided so that banjo people could play along with them and learn their chords, blah blah blah. And guess which was one of those songs? Yep. I suppose the site’s owner had snagged it from Soundcloud before I'd removed it. I emailed her a couple of times and asked her to remove the track, but had no response. OK, in the real world I’m sure that song will never be picked up for commercial purposes, but what if??? And what if one of the contract conditions is that it can’t be accessible anywhere else online (until after official publication)? I’d be screwed, right?

 

And the fact remains that time, effort, and money were put into that song, and - although it's being touted as a 'free sample' - the owner of the site is no doubt making money in some manner from providing these 'free' samples. 

 

Sorry about the ramble. Hope the thoughts are useful. ;)

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Thanks everyone, I can see the issues now, its becoming a bit clearer.

 

I suppose if for nothing else, it comes down to courtesy.

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Hi UBR

Guessing you are 'rather young' (at least as compared to an old fart like me) but you should know that 'mixtape' has a much older meaning, dating back to cassette tape days, when people would copy songs from vinyl albums (or other cassettes) onto a tape so that they could play a bunch of favorite songs easily, or make a dance tape for a party, etc.  There were even 'dual cassette' tape decks designed and sold for the purpose (I still have one!) to make it easier to copy from one tape to another.

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Hi Mike

 

I did know about the original mixtapes, i knew someone would say about those eventually.

 

I just wrote about the mixtape definition in my case.

 

But you're right I am young and I wasn't around for those mixtapes. 

 

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