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Copyright Issue
Old 15th July 2005
  #1
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DeeDrive's Avatar
 

Copyright Issue

A good friend of mine is in band, who has a song that uses the line "Sending out an S.O.S", he sings it repeadity to the same melody as the famous Police song, although the tempo is a little slower, the melody is EXACTLY the same, so it's pretty obvious to me that he's singing the police song. My initial reaction is that this is obvious copyright infrigment. The band is pretty small, so I don't see it becoming an issue, but some people I've talked to say there are not "ripping off" the police, but because the song is so popular, merely "alluding" to the police song. What do you guys think? It Sting gonna sue when these guys make it big?
Old 15th July 2005
  #2
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XHipHop's Avatar
To extend the question a little further...

In many rap songs people steal other people's lines all the time...

Legally, is this ok?


I hear it on the radio and on the records all the time so it has to be ok, right? So wouldn't that make the Sending out an SOS thing ok?
Old 15th July 2005
  #3
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It case you guys are curious to hear the song it's at:

http://myspace.com/edict

The song is called "Only One", and it's about 2/3 of the way through the song.
Old 15th July 2005
  #4
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Last I checked once references and "samples" or partial songs are this specific and large, then yes, it has to be payed for. As an example, check the Puffy, "Every Breath You Take..." Definately paid for to cover.
Old 15th July 2005
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natpub
Last I checked once references and "samples" or partial songs are this specific and large, then yes, it has to be payed for. As an example, check the Puffy, "Every Breath You Take..." Definately paid for to cover.
I'm more talking about this kind of stuff:

http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/features/id.395


Sorry to steal the thread but I thought they were related enough.
Old 15th July 2005
  #6
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By the way, legal or not, that is the coolest part of the song! Don't let them take it out. it's worth being sued over

Also, the snare roll at the end of the 2nd verse is cool too.
Old 15th July 2005
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

I don't think this would cause any problems since I read somewhere that dr dre avoids copyright infringement by having a band recreate samples for him, so If you are recreating it, I don't think anything will happen
Old 15th July 2005
  #8
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Also, about 1:56 in, is there an apple "error" beep in the song? "Cause i'm the BEEP only one.."
Old 15th July 2005
  #9
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Really, you like the snare roll? I always thought it was a little too Linkin Park-ish for me. I can't hear the beep, maybe it's the phased guitar in the background?
Old 15th July 2005
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeDrive
Really, you like the snare roll? I always thought it was a little too Linkin Park-ish for me. I can't hear the beep, maybe it's the phased guitar in the background?
It is VERY linkin park but it works for me. You have that thin drum'n bass snare going on in the verses so it is definitely appropriate for that vibe. I'm into DJ Shadow style drum programming or drum n' bass stuff so i give it a thumbsup
Old 15th July 2005
  #11
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As far as I can remember from studying this stuff...

There are 2 copyrights in a track:

1. The copyright in the song (AKA publishing) and

2. The copyright in the recording of that song (AKA the 'record').

If it were a sample of someone else's track you would need permission for both of these rights from the record company and publisher respectively. If it is a re-recording/cover you only need to get the writer/publishers permission. Here in the UK this sort of stuff is very open to negotiation as far as how many points you would need to give away etc.

Does that help?
Old 15th July 2005
  #12
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You'd gain more in sales from the publicity obtained by Sting suing you than you'd lose in royalties...

Not that I'd endorse such a tactic...


Justin
Old 15th July 2005
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djavid15
I don't think this would cause any problems since I read somewhere that dr dre avoids copyright infringement by having a band recreate samples for him, so If you are recreating it, I don't think anything will happen

The actual compositional idea is still legitimate intellectual property there for it would be bound by copyright.
Old 15th July 2005
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dissolva
IANYL (I am not your lawyer) but when you use someones song without permission, it's a copyright violation. You need to obtain permission from the copyright holder as well as a license to use it. An example of this is there was a Lo Fidelity Allstars track where on the original UK indie release they sang the hook from a Prince tune on the outro to the song, when it was released in the US on Sony the hook tag ending had to be edited out because they had never originally gotten permission to use it.
That's right, it's way better to admit to a sample before release than to get caught once the record has gone into production. You may end up with a whole load of copies that cannot be sold. It also weakens your position when striking a deal to clear the sample with the other party(s).

Also, someone mentioned recreating samples. This can get you around the recording royalty, but you'll still need to clear and pay for the Publishing.
Old 15th July 2005
  #15
Gear Nut
 

It's not just getting copyright permission; you also would have to get mechanical rights since it is being recorded. This is who does that:

http://www.harryfox.com/index.jsp
Old 15th July 2005
  #16
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jakerbean7's Avatar
 

IAANYL (I, also, am not your lawyer)

The mechanical license is actually compulsory. The copyright holder can't prevent a band from obtaining a mechanical license to cover a song. The standard mechanical royalty rate is $0.085 per song, per record until January 1, 2006 when it will become $0.091 per song, per record.

Sampling without permission is illegal no matter the length of the sample. Permission is needed from both the copyright owner of the song and the copyright owner of the sound recording.

Sound-alike's are "re-recordings" meant to sound like samples. If the sound alike uses lyrics, melodies, etc. from the original you need a mechanical license. Since you are making a new recording you do not need permission from the owner of the original sound recording. You must also notate that it is not the original artist on the record.

Jake
Old 15th July 2005
  #17
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My opinion is to take it out, I don't see the point, I don't think it makes or breaks this song at all, so why bother stealing Sting's song? I would think he could sue, but would he bother, I doubt it, unless somehow this became massive, in which case the band would be able to easily work out a deal, right?

I also think the whole stealing thing in general, whether it's an actual sample or singing a line from someone else's song, is very very very tired, but that's beside the point.

My 2 cents.

P.S. I like the fact that you posted the soundfile for us to hear to be able to better understand what you are talking about thumbsup .
Old 15th July 2005
  #18
Gear Nut
 
jakerbean7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP11
I would think he could sue, but would he bother, I doubt it, unless somehow this became massive, in which case the band would be able to easily work out a deal, right?
Yes, they could work out a deal. More than likely one that says Sting will make all of the money of the song. "Bittersweet Symphony" anyone?
Old 15th July 2005
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakerbean7
Yes, they could work out a deal. More than likely one that says Sting will make all of the money of the song. "Bittersweet Symphony" anyone?
Well, these are all good reasons people should learn to write music and stuff. You know, melodies and lyrics and arrangements that are, oh, I don't know, sort of original...or something.

Then they, too, could have lots of money like Sting or The Rolling Stones when their original compositions become standards that other people want to steal because they can't write anything nearly as compelling.

Did that bittersweet dude ever right another song? Can he write music?
Old 16th July 2005
  #20
Gear Nut
 
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I agree. I just think it's good to know how to go about doing things legally. Also you can be sure any band I record that wants to do a cover will be signing a contract complete with indemnification (hold-harmless) clause stating that they are solely resposible for obtaining mechanical licenses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP11
Did that bittersweet dude ever right another song? Can he write music?
Actually, Bittersweet Symphony is a great song and is original for the most part. The sample was actually taken from a symphony that recorded a Rolling Stone B-Side. I'm not sure how it all worked out but I do think I remember reading a quote from Mick or Keith saying that it was a great song and they would have been happy to grant permission for the composition. I'm sure permission for the sound recording wouldn't have been too hard to come by. The Verve sport fairly crafty songwriting on their own, but they have not (to my knowledge) released any new material since. The whole thing would have been really easy to avoid with a bit of forethought.
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