Copyright Permission


Under The Dark Moon
May 1, 2001
Back in the Hellhole called Texas.
Copyright laws are a bit confusing, probably sometimes even to the band themselves. How does one go about getting permission to use copyrited material? You'd think you'd have to possibly contact the label, but they really can't help. So, do you go to the real copyright owners...the musicians themselves? Anybody here very knowledgable on this subject? Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
Look on the cd that the song is on , and it should say who owns the copyright to the material on that cd . Then you would have to contact them by phone , give them alot of information and wait a few months for them to get back to you and tell you if you can use the song . If your goin for an opeth song , then giveup , unless you've got a bit of money in your pocket . Remember when you get the copyright to a signed artist's material alot of people have to be informed
A bit of history here.

When copyright was extended to encompass recorded music (early 19th century I think), the music distributors fought it tooth and nail. Before this, distributors had simply ripped off the musicians and sold their music for profit. The extended copyright would force them to actually pay the artists for the music! Who had ever heard of such a silly notion? Paying musicians for recorded music, hah!

But they lost the legal battles, and thus had to pay a lot of artists a lot of money. Not very happy with this, they opted for a future alternative - make the artists sign over the copyright to the label. Very handy to avoid all the legal hassle of ripping future artists off, and that's the way it is today.

And now look at the riaa, fighting to protect their precious copyright because music distribution over the net eliminates the need for their handling and reaping of profits.

I'll be very surprised to find a signed artist who still owns the copyright for their own music.
Well, it's only for promotion purposes, like 2 minute samples or whatever. It saves me a bit of money because I've bought entire Opeth CDs and given them to people I know if I think they'd like Opeth. This way I could say "here, you may like them" and give them the CD with some little samples and let them decide. I'd guess if it's no huge thing that I'm gonna be making money off of (which I'm not...I'm spending money on it), then I don't see why anyone would make a fuss over it. I contacted KOCH to make sure it would be ok, but they seemed to not be able to really do anything about it and they told me if I could possibly get the band's permission, it may be cool. I've done my part in contacting the label...I don't know what else to do.
Yeah while what you are doing is probably technically illegal in the eyes of the label....if you are just doing samplers, therefore promoting the band, then I don't see why they would have a problem. And if the band are ok with it, dont worry about it, really.
But only those people in the states. Trademark juristiction is national only. Copyright exists instantly upon creation of an original work that is fixed in a tangible medium and if in a Berne Convention or U.C.C. Convention country (most of the countries of the world) that copyright applies internationally, no marking or registration required (of course, that makes it a lot easier to prove you own the copyright should a legal issue occur). And, of course, music is funny because the copyright of THE SONG and the copyright of the RECORDING OF THE SONG are different and sperate. And, the only parts of THE SONG that are copyright are lyrics and melody - chord changes and rhythm are not. So you can steal any drum beat from anybody you want to... but you have to record it yourself. So - if we look at Opeth, for example, guess who makes by far the most money? But that is, to a certain extent, fair. Of course, copyright lasts life + 50 years in most countries, then fall into the big free-for-all acid pit known as the public domain, so any compositions by composers several hundred years dead? Public Domain. Of ocurse, since record labels are often corporations and corporations are legal entities... some songs may never go public domain, I guess. Hmmm... ANYWAYS!

I actually had to learn all that shit as part of a media comminucations and marketing class I had to take when I was at CDIS learning Multimedia. I guess it's probably really good stuff to know if you're any sort of artist, but man, was it dry at times (reading legal jargon). Other times (good stories and learning of practical applications) more interesting.

Incidentally, yeah, the turning over of the copyright of the music to the record label is important, but kinda necessary to the artist/label relations for copyright literally means "the right to copy" a work, and I don't think a band would want to sign papers allowing the printing of every CD and printing of lyrics, and encoding of audio files... that's why labels exist - to do that shit. (Yes, many labels, especially in the past have been crooked. Some of the stories about the Beatles...)