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Thread: Public Domain

  1. #26
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Public Domain

    It seems pros are mainly fighting an increasingly fierce legal battle. Are they playing any real music, too?
    Do we have to pay for the air we breathe, next?

    I'll be practising tonight *, again, but don't tell those darklings who hold music at ransom, or else they'll be knocking on my door.

    (*) yes, in my corner
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  2. #27
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Public Domain

    Does anybody notice that elephant over there??

    If you want to use something that isn't yours for profit, pay for it or get permission to use it.

    Just because you like something, like a tune, doesn't mean you should be able to take it when you want it for profit.

    Business's that have live entertainment are obliged to pay for rights to cover other artists' work.

    It is a cost of doing business and I thank the Patron's for it. Their clientele appreciates the music.

    It's the right thing to do.
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  4. #28
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Public Domain

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Packard View Post
    Does anybody notice that elephant over there??

    If you want to use something that isn't yours for profit, pay for it or get permission to use it.
    Elephant over here. I am a regular video poster on YouTube, with traditional Irish and Scottish tunes, and I have to fight copyright claims of entities unknown to me every now and then. I guess those are cases when somebody played a version of some age-old tune and copyrighted his version, thereby using something that isn't his for profit.

    And yes, YouTube has an automatic process for that, you find out what buttons to press to say this music is free of copyright and the claim is removed quickly, but it angers me every time that I have to do this at all. It is like somebody building a cabin in the middle of an interstate highway on the grounds that he drove his pickup across this spot and that the spot is therefore his own.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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  6. #29
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Public Domain

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    I understand what you guys are saying, go back to public domain. I play old time music. The tune is the tune and we don't alter it. Now if 100 or more people have copyrighted that public domain tune it would be hard for me to play the melody, which is what they copyrighted without infringing on copyright. Does it mean that only if I play it with a banjo, guitar and fiddle if it was copyrighted that way I can add a mandolin and not violate, or if I add 5 fiddles it's a different version. BMI told me we couldn't play in public any old time tune with out the venue paying fees. They said they were all copyrighted. I was told this over the phone as they were making a venue pay that wasn't hiring us, wasn't paying us, even drinks, we came on their slowest night and sat in a circle just to have a place to play with friends that was large enough to hold us and not have the host if we were in someones home buying the beer. This has happened more than once. I also have a radio show, we still have to keep track four times a year for copyright. We have to play music that has a label, self released isn't supposed be played during that time. I would venture to say if you played every fri and sat night in a Beach Boys cover band Brian Wilson would not see a dime even tho the venue is paying copyright fees to have live music. There is a tremendous amount of $$$$ coming in and not going to those who the copyright organizations are supposed to be protecting. That is part of my problem, and the fact of public domain music being taken away from playing for fun. Gigs are another thing.

    David if I and a couple hundred others play a tune from your book and copyright our arrangements then it becomes hard to play that tune and not infringe on copyright laws. We could all play it as written without changes and copyright our arrangement. I find if hard to believe at least seven pages, more than 100 easy, of folks could play Mississippi Sawyer differently enough to have different arrangements of the tune and still have it be Mississippi Sawyer, yet all have copyrights of the same tune.
    This is from the BMI faqs:

    "What happens when the post-death 70 years is up? Then the song enters the “public domain” or “goes PD,” as some like to say. Once a song is PD, it becomes dedicated to all people and can be used by anyone for any purpose without payment of any compensation to the last copyright owner, the publisher. Advertisers can put it into commercials at their whim, other composers can use the music to support new lyrics or vice-versa, sampling can be done without license, cover records can be made royalty-free, and so on. And if the publisher has no income from the song coming in, there is nothing to share with you."

    https://www.bmi.com/news/entry/C_in_...he_Copyright_T

    Evidently, it's about venues and live bands, not recording the PD tunes.

    https://www.bmi.com/creators/royalty...al_information

    "Copyrighted arrangements of works in the public domain (classical and popular) will be credited at 20% of the otherwise applicable rate of payment for popular songs for all performances, with the exception of the Live Classical Concert distribution, where no payment is made for performances of arrangements of public domain works."

    From BMI's POV, they want the venues to pay the blanket fees - so of course they will tell you "all the tunes are copy written" because someone did do an arrangement of most traditional tunes...so they could get paid on their recordings.

    So copywrite your own arrangement of whatever tune you want to play. It's not about the instrumentation, you have to make a unique version of the tune and register it with your PRO.

    The venue still has to play the PRO fees.

    " I would venture to say if you played every fri and sat night in a Beach Boys cover band Brian Wilson would not see a dime even tho the venue is paying copyright fees to have live music."

    As long as Wilson is a member of a PRO he will get his backend payments. I'm sure they are more than a dime.

    from BMI: "BMI collects license fees from tens of thousands of music users including, but not limited to, radio stations, broadcast television, cable and satellite providers, hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, sports arenas, theme parks, airlines, jukeboxes, retail stores and digital media music users such as internet websites and ring-back tone providers. BMI strives to distribute license fees derived from specific users of music to the songwriters, composers and publishers whose music is performed by those users."

    "There is a tremendous amount of $$$$ coming in and not going to those who the copyright organizations are supposed to be protecting. "

    All my friends who license or otherwise sell music and are in PRO's get their quarterly payments.

    I don't understand why you believe people are not getting their due.

    I also wonder why everyone thinks venues should not pay for using music.

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  8. #30
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Public Domain

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Packard View Post
    Does anybody notice that elephant over there??

    If you want to use something that isn't yours for profit, pay for it or get permission to use it.

    Just because you like something, like a tune, doesn't mean you should be able to take it when you want it for profit.

    Business's that have live entertainment are obliged to pay for rights to cover other artists' work.

    It is a cost of doing business and I thank the Patron's for it. Their clientele appreciates the music.

    It's the right thing to do.
    Thank god someone realizes this.

    Or maybe I'm one of the few players around here getting actually getting royalty payments for my compositions and sees the other side.

    It seems most of you are outraged that you cannot go to any venue and play whatever you want and expect the venue to use all that music - which, other than PD tunes, someone had to write - and make money from the audience, but not have to pay the composers.

    As a composer I find this to be unsettling.

    It's not like you or your band has to pay those fees. You are only responsible when you record somebody's tune.

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  10. #31
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Public Domain

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    So copywrite your own arrangement of whatever tune you want to play. It's not about the instrumentation, you have to make a unique version of the tune and register it with your PRO.
    This is the part I can't wrap my head around. In a pub session, everybody are creating their own versions of tunes, all the time, on the fly - that's how Irish music is. Should they all file their copyrights, online, real-time to keep this music the free experience for everybody it is supposed to be? That is just not feasible. Imposing legal complication on this music is destroying its very nature.

    When I am complaining that everybody is shooting at me, the answer cannot be "just get a gun of your own".
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  12. #32
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    Default Re: Public Domain

    Quote Originally Posted by mandocrucian View Post
    Ascap and BMI leave the biker bars and mafia owned clubs alone. They will bully the grannies, but are scared of people who will shove them into an oil drum or woodchippper, or dump them down an abandoned mine shaft.
    Not as far as I've seen. They pay too around here, and in New Orleans, and so on.

  13. #33
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Public Domain

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    This is the part I can't wrap my head around. In a pub session, everybody are creating their own versions of tunes, all the time, on the fly - that's how Irish music is. Should they all file their copyrights, online, real-time to keep this music the free experience for everybody it is supposed to be? That is just not feasible. Imposing legal complication on this music is destroying its very nature.
    OK, first, this issue does not seem to be dealing with recording, but rather with live performances in public venues.

    Unless you are the venue owner, I would see no need to worry about it.

    Are your session players the only music the venue has? Does it have a radio or sound system? If so the venue is supposed to pay the legal fees for music usage.

    Not the musicians.

    The only time the musicians have to pay is when recording, and that usually goes through the Harry Fox Agency.

    Now assuming the venue is paying the PRO fees as it is legally required to do to use canned or live music, you the musicians are in the clear.

    To the OP:

    Your Farmer's Market is capable of paying you, but is not willing to pay the writers of the music.

    I don't see how you guys are all OK with that.

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  15. #34
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Public Domain

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Are your session players the only music the venue has? Does it have a radio or sound system? If so the venue is supposed to pay the legal fees for music usage.
    They switch off the sound system when we start, and switch it on again when we're through. Ok, so our music passes behind the smoke curtain of CDs and MP3s the venue pays kind of a flat rate for. I wonder how that money is shared between the artists (which artist, played how much of the time - do they have to write a log?).
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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  17. #35
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Public Domain

    I believe the whole system of copyright and patents. I understand and agree that your works should be rewarded and paid for but copyrighting arrangements of old PD tunes is scary. Who of the 100 guys is going to get the fee for your playing the Mississippi sawyer?
    Similar in patents... you can pretty much patent an idea that has not been tried or tested or even not possible to realize with current technology and years later when someone really finds out a way how to do something similar he gets sued... How a producer or inventor of some new material feels when someone unrelated just patents it's use for some specific products.
    Like folks clainming ownership of land on the moon... ridiculous.
    There should be stricter limit to these rights. I don't completely get why the rights can be transfered to third person. I can understand when children inherit copyrights from their parent but would accept if it were limited to 20 or so years after death. Recorded versions are different thing it's the product that should be protected and paid for when publicly broadcasted (probably with no expiration limit)
    Of course we can talk all day but it's not we who can do the changes and the companies like BMI are certainly not interested in change as they would earn less...
    Adrian

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  19. #36
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Public Domain

    Once again, legalese is taking the fun out of play!
    I understand the payment to the author but, the minutiae of the pages of babble makes me happy to not be trying to make a paying hobby out of music anymore.
    I’m going to go play in my corner!
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  21. #37
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Public Domain

    There's one thing here I need to point out - it has nothing to do with profit. Jam sessions at a public location need to pay also. Doesn't matter if there was/is an expectation for someone to make a profit on the event. If it happens in public, it needs to pay. Found that out the hard way as part of an old-time jam. We regularly had to move because of this.
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  23. #38
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Public Domain

    This conundrum could have been avoided, had they kept business out of music altogether.
    Every musician would have a day job to make a living, and everybody would be playing music for innocent fun only.

    No escape now, but I can dream.
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  25. #39
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Public Domain

    In the USA, public domain is pre-1923 for PUBLISHED WORKS... Meaning, unpublished works are automatically covered (today) for 70 years after the death of the author.

    If you're looking for public domain works, make sure they were published before 1923 and also make sure that you're using the arrangements that were published.

    If you're making your own arrangements of public domain songs, research is still a good idea. If your arrangements of public domain songs are in fact unique, they belong to you.
    -- Don

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  27. #40
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Public Domain

    Quote Originally Posted by dhergert View Post
    If your arrangements of public domain songs are in fact unique, they belong to you.
    Who decides what is unique? If I leave a note out here or add an ornament there, if I play it on an instrument nobody has played it on before, if I add backing with a chord progression nobody has used on that tune before?
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  29. #41
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Public Domain

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    They switch off the sound system when we start, and switch it on again when we're through. Ok, so our music passes behind the smoke curtain of CDs and MP3s the venue pays kind of a flat rate for. I wonder how that money is shared between the artists (which artist, played how much of the time - do they have to write a log?).
    It doesn't matter if they turn off the sound system, the venue uses recorded and live music.

    The way money is shared if there is no cue sheet or log is based on sales and radio play.

  30. #42
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Public Domain

    Quote Originally Posted by HoGo View Post
    I believe the whole system of copyright and patents. I understand and agree that your works should be rewarded and paid for but copyrighting arrangements of old PD tunes is scary. Who of the 100 guys is going to get the fee for your playing the Mississippi sawyer?
    It's not that. It's so that the guys that records his OWN version of the tune can claim some payment. RAtes are a lot lower for arrangements of PD tunes than for original music.

    But again, this is for the recording artist.

  31. #43
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    This conundrum could have been avoided, had they kept business out of music altogether.
    Every musician would have a day job to make a living, and everybody would be playing music for innocent fun only.
    My music IS my day job and my business.

    Quote Originally Posted by dhergert View Post
    In the USA, public domain is pre-1923 for PUBLISHED WORKS... Meaning, unpublished works are automatically covered (today) for 70 years after the death of the author.

    If you're looking for public domain works, make sure they were published before 1923 and also make sure that you're using the arrangements that were published.

    If you're making your own arrangements of public domain songs, research is still a good idea. If your arrangements of public domain songs are in fact unique, they belong to you.
    You get it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    Who decides what is unique? If I leave a note out here or add an ornament there, if I play it on an instrument nobody has played it on before, if I add backing with a chord progression nobody has used on that tune before?
    It has nothing to do with what instruments you use to record the tune, it depends on how the tune is played.

    You cannot copyright chord changes, so just reharmonizing will not work.

    You'd have to slightly change a note, rhythm, etc. for you to have a new original arrangement of a PD work. Adding a musical phrase like another section or an intro or outro works well too.

    Then you register it with you PRO- and you can use it and collect payments if you record it.

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  33. #44
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    If we are playing pre and post civil war music, public domain, why does a venue have to pay fees, who will the money go to. I totally understand if we are playing John Prine or anyone who might have written the song/tune. We play old time public domain tunes learned from people who learned it from people who learned it from their fathers, who learned it from their fathers. It has been played in public for 150 years, now you can't play it without the venue paying. Who are they paying, Ghosts.

    We have lost venues where we played only original music, but the venue was being hassled and didn't want to take a chance or deal with the pressure.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  34. #45
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Public Domain

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    You'd have to slightly change a note, rhythm, etc. for you to have a new original arrangement of a PD work. Adding a musical phrase like another section or an intro or outro works well too.
    Hey, we Irish musicians are missing out on a fortune - we could be rich and play sessions on the quarterdecks of our yachts

    Then you register it with you PRO- and you can use it and collect payments if you record it.
    Exactly the one thing I'll not do. I'd never again stand that reproachful stare at myself in the mirror.
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  36. #46
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Public Domain

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post


    Exactly the one thing I'll not do. I'd never again stand that reproachful stare at myself in the mirror.
    Bertram, this is where you have no reason to be reproachful. It's morally OK to copyright a tune and collect backend payments for your recorded work.

  37. #47
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    If we are playing pre and post civil war music, public domain, why does a venue have to pay fees, who will the money go to..
    It goes to the people you learned these tunes from who recorded their versions and had the good business sense to copyright their music, even if it is traditional.

    Your favorite player makes a recording of all PD music. If he does not copyright his versions, then he loses income from his work.

    Is everyone supposed to make records for free? Only get paid for the LP or CD itself, not streaming and such? and so on.

    Hey, I never thought I'd sound like such a capitalist.

    Why don't you guys research Bill Monroe's PRO credits and copyrights?

    http://www.easysonglicensing.com/pag...PublisherID=76

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/s...oe-Song-Rights

    "https://secure.harryfox.com/songfile/public/publicsearch.do"

    Your search for Song Title: Rawhide and Writer: Bill Monroe returned 2 song(s), 2 of which are displayed.

    Song Title HFA Song Code Writer
    RAWHIDE R14250 BILL MONROE

    and so....

    do you begrudge BM and his estate their payment?

  38. #48
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Public Domain

    In science writing, you make a quote with a citation.... There’s no paying a fee to build upon past ideas. Are dancers paying to use a dance move?
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  39. #49
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    Default Re: Public Domain

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMatt View Post
    In science writing, you make a quote with a citation.... There’s no paying a fee to build upon past ideas. Are dancers paying to use a dance move?
    But you copyright the book when you are done and sell it.

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  41. #50
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    Default Re: Public Domain

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMatt View Post
    ...Are dancers paying to use a dance move?
    Using that logic there would be no copyrighted music or books. There are a limited number of notes in the scale and a limited number of letters in the alphabet. They are used over and over again.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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