The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
copyright question Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 27th November 2009
  #1
Gear Nut
 
mixmkr's Avatar
 

copyright question

Does a mastered version of a "final mix" and/or "compilation" become a different sound recording than the pre-mastered version, for copyright purposes?

And if so, does the person paying for the mastered version then become the copyright owner? (presuming the mastering company is "for hire")
Old 27th November 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
dan p's Avatar
 

No.Someone usually owns publishing/writing for every track.
Mastering involves an hourly fee usually.Sometimes by the project but not in my experience.


Dan P
Old 27th November 2009
  #3
Gear Nut
 
mixmkr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan p View Post
No.Someone usually owns publishing/writing for every track.
Mastering involves an hourly fee usually.Sometimes by the project but not in my experience.


Dan P
huh??

Understanding there are typically TWO copyrights for music.. 1) for the writing. 2) for the sound recording, your answer throws me for a ???

For sure someone owns the copyright for the writing...usually the author, but yes sometimes a publisher (when that copyright is transferred).

Mastering having an hourly fee would only indicate that they are "for hire" and therefore would have NO right to copyright ownership of the final recording, under that stipulation.


My question is since mastering DOES change the recording, does it therefore allow for a NEW copyright on a NEW recording? Or would the owner of the original "pre-master" (or whatever you want to call the submiited file to the mastering house), still maintain copyright ownership over the MASTERED file?

And typically, the person (or company...ie record co.) who PAYS for the recording (or mastering in this question), they usually are the owners of said copyright.

So...back to post 1. Anyone run into this question(s)?
Old 27th November 2009
  #4
Gear Nut
 

If you're releasing material under your own label you can copyright the recording & the underlying music with an SR if you are claiming the rights to both.

If you're an artist under contract with a record co. they may want the rights to the masters & would be written into your contract.

Mastering is a service.

If release a different version (remastered) you'd file another SR for that release but you'd still retain songwriting rights with the previous claim. You file another PA/ SR if there's a revision in the composition/ writing itself or part of a complition etc..
Old 27th November 2009
  #5
You only have claim to a copyright if the "new" product can be genuinely considered a derivative work. These commonly include arrangements and reee-mixes.

Mastering is generally part of the process in creating the work on-behalf of the artist or label. Just like mixing engineers don't own the recordings they are paid to make, mastering engineers don't own the audio copyrights to the recordings they master either. You on the artist's or label's dime, and therefore you are an extension of them.

Hope that basic explanation helps.
Old 27th November 2009
  #6
Gear Nut
 
mixmkr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorseHorse View Post
You only have claim to a copyright if the "new" product can be genuinely considered a derivative work. These commonly include arrangements and reee-mixes.

.
This is what I am getting at ...and thanks NorseHorse.

But more specifically, other than remixes, jingle mixes, etc... has anyone seen mastering to create a "NEW" product?

ie... Band X sends their copywrited material (using form SR) to be mastered (10 pop songs, etc..) and imagine a manager/producer paid for the mastering upfront, COULD they claim copyright ownership by registering a new sound recording? (use form SR again, instead of PA)
Old 28th November 2009
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by mixmkr View Post
But more specifically, other than remixes, jingle mixes, etc... has anyone seen mastering to create a "NEW" product?
No. Only in regards to radio edits, whereby ISRCs must be unique to every version & every mix of a work.
Old 28th November 2009
  #8
Gear Nut
 
mixmkr's Avatar
 

thank you Adam. For awhile I thought my communication skills had taken a hike.
Old 29th November 2009
  #9
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mixmkr View Post
This is what I am getting at ...and thanks NorseHorse.

But more specifically, other than remixes, jingle mixes, etc... has anyone seen mastering to create a "NEW" product?

ie... Band X sends their copywrited material (using form SR) to be mastered (10 pop songs, etc..) and imagine a manager/producer paid for the mastering upfront, COULD they claim copyright ownership by registering a new sound recording? (use form SR again, instead of PA)
no. No new master - even a significant re-edit - can be considered a new copyright. The copyright, in fact , lies in the recording. Not even the mix. Even separate ISRCs do not make unique copyrights.
Old 30th November 2009
  #10
Gear Nut
 
mixmkr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
no. No new master - even a significant re-edit - can be considered a new copyright. The copyright, in fact , lies in the recording. Not even the mix. Even separate ISRCs do not make unique copyrights.
So.... a digitally "remastered" version couldn't call for a new copyright... that's what you're saying too?
Old 30th November 2009
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mixmkr View Post
So.... a digitally "remastered" version couldn't call for a new copyright... that's what you're saying too?
Yes and no.
Old 30th November 2009
  #12
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

yes, that's what I'm saying. The Beatles have been remastering content for the past few years a number of times. But the fact remains that the recording copyrights begin to run out over the next few years...... doesn't mean to say that someone will contend these copyrights are new in the future - should it be worthwhile. As yet there is no precedence or support in law.... the copyright resides in the recording of the performance NOT the mix or master.
Old 30th November 2009
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by mixmkr View Post
So.... a digitally "remastered" version couldn't call for a new copyright... that's what you're saying too?
That's what we're saying. Only the ISRCs are unique.
Old 30th November 2009
  #14
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey View Post
That's what we're saying. Only the ISRCs are unique.
thumbsup
Old 30th November 2009
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Edward_Vinatea's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey View Post
Only the ISRCs are unique.
In this country ISRCs are only used to identify the recording {i.e. edit version}. The recording is usually protected by copyright form PA which means Performing Arts, and/or SR for Sound Recording. This is one that can be used when the author is also the producer and wants to protect the recording at the same time. Other forms of protection exist, but these are the two most widely used.

Regards,
Old 30th November 2009
  #16
Lives for gear
 
dan p's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea View Post
In this country ISRCs are only used to identify the recording {i.e. edit version}. The recording is usually protected by copyright form PA which means Performing Arts, and/or SR for Sound Recording. This is one can be used when the author is also the producer and wants to protect the recording at the same time. Other forms of protection exist, but these are the two most widely used.

Regards,
Had I elaborated this is what I would of said.
Record companies when involved usually own the sound recordings,and a big portion of the publishing,and the writer/s own the copyrights.
More artists are doing it all themselves thus filing one form when you are wearing all the hats!
Old 30th November 2009
  #17
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan p View Post
Record companies when involved usually own the sound recordings,and a big portion of the publishing
Record companies and publishing companies are two different entities. Some record companies have a publishing branch but they do not have to be involved in the publishing of the record.

Record companies who force a dual record/publishing deal on the artist/song writer are scams. Even more so if they cross-collaterize the deals.
Old 2nd December 2009
  #18
Lives for gear
 
dan p's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt View Post
Record companies and publishing companies are two different entities. Some record companies have a publishing branch but they do not have to be involved in the publishing of the record.

Record companies who force a dual record/publishing deal on the artist/song writer are scams. Even more so if they cross-collaterize the deals.
True.I see more people doing it on there own these days but the majors usually take a good piece of artists publishing when they are involved.INdie records are usually self produced so they may get the largest portion of the publishing but not in all cases of course.I have never heard of any deal being exactly the same.
L.A. is full of these licensing/publishing companies.They are willing to make deals based on them keeping publishing you get your writing and up front sync is sometimes split but again not in all cases.
There are other companies who will pay you a flat fee but no royalties.
Usually the pay is good in those instances.I just had my former boss get paid up front for a spot form one of these companies last week.No ownership though.Sucks!


Dan P
Old 2nd December 2009
  #19
Gear Addict
 
ajv205's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mixmkr View Post
Does a mastered version of a "final mix" and/or "compilation" become a different sound recording than the pre-mastered version, for copyright purposes?
-YES

Quote:
Originally Posted by mixmkr View Post
And if so, does the person paying for the mastered version then become the copyright owner? (presuming the mastering company is "for hire")
-NO. You are the owner of that recording, because you created it, unless you signed papers from the person hiring you stating otherwise.
Old 2nd December 2009
  #20
Gear Nut
 
mixmkr's Avatar
 

ok..now we've got conflicting answers between just a simple yes and no.

ah....gotta love these copyrights
Old 2nd December 2009
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea View Post
In this country ISRCs are only used to identify the recording {i.e. edit version}.
By definition, ISRCs are unique – internationally – for each music video or sound recording: a cover version, an edit version, a remix, etc.
As far as mastering goes, a new "sound recording" is created only if creating an edit version. In all other cases the new "sound recording" already exists.
Old 2nd December 2009
  #22
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey View Post
By definition, ISRCs are unique – internationally – for each music video or sound recording: a cover version, an edit version, a remix, etc.
As far as mastering goes, a new "sound recording" is created only if creating an edit version. In all other cases the new "sound recording" already exists.
it still doesn't make it a new copyright in the broader sense. If I put out a release of an out of copyright recording and you do the same a week later I cannot charge you for copyright infringement unless I absolutely could prove you'd taken your master from my sources - unlikely!!

The copyright is in the recording - not the mix etc. That means ANY derivative mix is covered under the original copyright - or rather the parts that are in essence from the original recording...... Same for books - abridged versions or online edited versions come under the same copyright - and, as such - will expire at the same time. The Beatles catalogue which is due to expire over the next 15 years doesn't come back into copyright because of "Rockband".

Now - the issue is , unfortunately, compounded by the fact that a label releasing such a copyright free recording does in fact create a protected product in itself. One would have to track down the copyright free masters for a new release rather than appropriate from a rivals CD release... interestingly - I'd like to see someone PROVE that kind of copyright infringement, even with ISRC....easy to bypass! You see a similar version of this nonsense in publishing - creating a new arrangement of a classical piece to gain a copyright. Know how people get round it {and I've done this and witnessed it a hundred times or more} - swap two instruments function in the piece. No-one has ever managed to protect a new arrangement of a public domain piece even though it's inferred in the copyright. The only proof you ever have is tracing receipts to purchased printed sheet music - so a tip... do it with MIDI !!

So let's make a clear definitive statement. A master and a mix are not the copyright - they are a subsidiary copyright under the original recording. No new master, or edit, or shortening or remix creates a new copyright {in so far as the original copyright material is termed}. If "mega DJ" creates a mix with a sample of a track whose recording copyright has one year to go then he needs permission {and payla} for the dance remix. As soon as the copyright expires he needs no sample recording clearance {likely he will need publishing but that is a different matter}.
Old 2nd December 2009
  #23
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajv205 View Post
-YES


-NO. You are the owner of that recording, because you created it, unless you signed papers from the person hiring you stating otherwise.
not true in both cases.

You are NEVER the copyright owner if you are commissioned to do anything - EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT PAID. Sure - you don't give up the work but it is not yours at all. I don't know where you came up with that information but it goes against law in every copyright protecting nation on Earth. Copyright is to protect the intellectual rights - not the physical goods. When you protect a recording it is NOT the work of the mix engineer but the physical recording of a performance . Not the RECORDING itself - but the recording of the piece. A recording studio is NEVER the copyright holder of an acts recording - even if they are not paid. Just as a mix engineer is never the copyright holder of a mix - even if not paid.

When you do a remix - your components MAY be protected. But they are intertwined with components of an existing copyright - the number of huge messes I've seen with illegally released dance versions is incredible !! heh

That is why we get paid up front and we warrant royalties IN CONTRACT not as a right.

C'mon guys - I think we've gotta be careful when spouting copyright law. There is a lot of misinformation spread around - the one I've just answered here if taken as gospel by an unsuspecting innocent could lan hem in a WHOLE heap of trouble. My advice - DOUBLE and TRIPLE check these things yourself. Most importantly - if you are a recording person and you think {wrongly} that you may hold another persons copyright I urge you to go and check the law with a legal expert before you do something that will take your studio away from you !! I'm lucky - my business partner is a music lawyer - how else do you think we've done so well heh
Old 2nd December 2009
  #24
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
Yes, and especially since copyright can refer to multiple types of copyrights. It's a regular minefield for a rookie, so lawyer up.
Old 2nd December 2009
  #25
Gear Addict
 
ajv205's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
not true in both cases.

You are NEVER the copyright owner if you are commissioned to do anything - EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT PAID. Sure - you don't give up the work but it is not yours at all. I don't know where you came up with that information but it goes against law in every copyright protecting nation on Earth. Copyright is to protect the intellectual rights - not the physical goods. When you protect a recording it is NOT the work of the mix engineer but the physical recording of a performance . Not the RECORDING itself - but the recording of the piece. A recording studio is NEVER the copyright holder of an acts recording - even if they are not paid. Just as a mix engineer is never the copyright holder of a mix - even if not paid.
I see what you are saying, but I mean that I am the owner of the master I created that the label will then exploit, not the copyright of the original recording, until I am paid by the label (as work for hire), and as such I am technically entitled to royalties as a producer. This is why when I first started working with the majors, they all had me fill out paperwork to get on board as "independent contractor" (not just a w9, but more involved contractual stuff), and I subsequently signed off on future ownership of masters I create for them as "work for hire". Maybe we are talking about apples and oranges in comparing the copyrighted original recording versus the master I created for the label. Please elaborate if necessary.
Old 2nd December 2009
  #26
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajv205 View Post
I see what you are saying, but I mean that I am the owner of the master I created that the label will then exploit, not the copyright of the original recording, until I am paid by the label (as work for hire), and as such I am technically entitled to royalties as a producer. This is why when I first started working with the majors, they all had me fill out paperwork to get on board as "independent contractor" (not just a w9, but more involved contractual stuff), and I subsequently signed off on future ownership of masters I create for them as "work for hire". Maybe we are talking about apples and oranges in comparing the copyrighted original recording versus the master I created for the label. Please elaborate if necessary.
I'm saying the master of anything isn't a copyright in itself since it embellishes upon an established copyright - the recording. they cannot use your mix in terms of the work for hire or even royalty agreement without "reasonable compensation " - ie your fee and/or royalty. If someone doesn't pay you then of course you withhold any work you've done.....HOWEVER - it doesn't belong to you despite being your work on the mix. Commissioned work in any field belongs to the commissioning agent.

Now - labels DO make you sign release forms just to cover butts - it's also a chain of evidence relating to who asked what. But a mix engineer or master engineer is not free to do what he/she likes with the mixes or masters because a label doesn't pay!! Nasty huh !! heh

So, what I'm saying is - you are in fact NOT the owner of the master even when you've done the work on it. As a commissioned agent you are work for hire. If you are in demand you will have such levy that you can get a royalty.....but there is absolutely no legal backing to pay anybody a royalty for recorded works - there is for publishing.

You get royalties because that is the arrangement you have in place - a good thing. But there is no defacto entitlement to them as a producer or even artist! It all depends on the deal.
Old 2nd December 2009
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Edward_Vinatea's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey View Post
By definition, ISRCs are unique – internationally – for each music video or sound recording: a cover version, an edit version, a remix, etc.
As far as mastering goes, a new "sound recording" is created only if creating an edit version. In all other cases the new "sound recording" already exists.
Adam, the bottom line is that a copyright is your best protection, new master, new remix, new edit version or not. An ISRC only registers the contents of intellectual properties for identification purposes only. It does not establish authorship or ownership of such intellectual properties and would be easily challenged by anyone who produces a PA or SA form from our Library of Congress located in Washington DC.

Here is how it works: If you were to whistle or even play with a toy piano a few melodic lines into a cassette recorder, then send your cassette to Library of Congress of the U.S.A. for registration, your melodic lines will be protected under The Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998 which extended copyright terms in the United States by an extra 20 years. Add the Copyright Act of 1976 which would last for the life of the author plus 50 years, or 75 years for a work of corporate authorship and you arrive to the expiration date.

Obviously, people send CDs these days but there are other methods to send in for registration.

What does this all mean? If you heard any music that resembles pretty much your music lines, anything too similar in a techno, rock or even a classical record, guess what? You can sue the label and get an injunction and/or better yet, have them pay you a very steep price for their copyright infringement. Here is the caveat, if in court the label lawyers or the defendants {authors} involved in the dispute, submit a copyright entry "PA" or "SA" that can establish that their works were protected prior to your entry, your case will be dismissed and you get nothing.

This is what can devastate a songwriter. Ever heard people who argue their music was stolen? They didn't copyright their ideas.

In some cases the poor man's copyright method might help you establish that you came up with the melody first, but don't take this method to the bank.

I hope you understand now, since apparently you didn't on my previous post.
Old 3rd December 2009
  #28
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea View Post
Here is how it works: If you were to whistle or even play with a toy piano a few melodic lines into a cassette recorder, then send your cassette to Library of Congress of the U.S.A. for registration, your melodic lines will be protected under The Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998 which extended copyright terms in the United States by an extra 20 years.
You actually don't need to register your songwriting for it to be copyrighted, though it's a good idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea View Post
This is what can devastate a songwriter. Ever heard people who argue their music was stolen? They didn't copyright their ideas.
They didn't make an official registration of their copyright so they could prove it later on, but they already had copyright on their music. This is often misunderstood.
Old 3rd December 2009
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea View Post
Adam, the bottom line is that a copyright is your best protection, new master, new remix, new edit version or not. An ISRC only registers the contents of intellectual properties for identification purposes only.
yes I know. No confusion here. Only pointing out the extent to which things change (or don't change) with regards to the mastering stage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodreason
are some of you trying to say that, by only "mastering" a recording, you then qualify as the owner of the copyright in the sound recording?
Not at all, I'd hope.
Old 3rd December 2009
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Edward_Vinatea's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt View Post
You actually don't need to register your songwriting for it to be copyrighted, though it's a good idea.
You acquire copyright from the moment of creation. This means that you are entitled to use what you create for your personal use, but when you plan to market it, you need to be business savvy and avoid problems not only because you want to prevent others from using your music ideas, but because you don't want others to keep you from using your own.
Quote:
They didn't make an official registration of their copyright so they could prove it later on, but they already had copyright on their music. This is often misunderstood.
Lagerfeldt, you are from Denmark, we are in the USA. It's here where serious money derived from publishing is usually made and thus, a lot of cut throat and blatant ripoff stuff happens.

When George Harrison and Billy Preston wrote in a year you weren't even born in Copenhagen, "My Sweet Lord", later recorded in the UK, it became a big hit worldwide. But, The Chiffons claimed that the melody was taken from their hit "He is So Fine". In the U.S. federal court decision in the case, known as Bright Tunes Music vs. HarrisongsMusic, Harrison was found to have "unintentionally copied" the earlier song.

Very different from when Freddie Mercury and Bowie sued Vanilla Ice for "Ice Ice baby". Van Winkle's defense was that the bassline had "an extra note". His defense didn't fly, he finally admitted sampling 8 bars from the record, thus the sample was proven as being taken from "Under Pressure" and Ice had to pay $4M. If Vanilla Ice had had the copyright registration, he would have had to have written the bassline when he was a baby.

Do you still advise to not worry about copyrighting or registering one's work?
Top Mentioned Products
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
10 Dollars / So much gear, so little time
14
homestudioguy / So much gear, so little time
4
djsandman / Music Business
14
emazeone / Rap + Hip Hop engineering and production
2

Forum Jump
Forum Jump