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Old October 3rd, 2011, 02:05 PM   #1
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Classical music and copyright

I want to use some classical music for my showreel on my web. Do I need to pay for it? I heard, the music could be long out of copyright, but any reproduction (recording) could be still under copyright. Anyway, many people (like Phillip Bloom) uses classical music on daily bases for their personal projects. Does it mean they are paying for it? How expensive could it be?
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 02:56 PM   #2
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Re: Classical music and copyright

Depends on what orchestra or group recorded it. You want Chicago or Cleveland? Gonna pay out the nose. If a lesser orchestra or group records it, could be very inexpensive. Chances are you can find production music versions of many popular classical music pieces. I'd suggest searching the libraries before stealing a commercially released piece. You will save a lot of time and money.

Problem with commercially released pieces is they are recorded under union rules which make the recording very expensive. No organization is going to give it away for free. I did a bunch of years of classical recording which included me winning an award for one particular piece. A compilation CD was put together and I ended up paying the sync rights on 5000 copies of the CD. That money went to the composer and orchestra.

Your other option is to pay a musician or group to record the piece you want. Then you can tailor it to your needs and you own it. Done that a couple of times for commercials.
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 03:25 PM   #3
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Re: Classical music and copyright

thanks for the reply! what libraries do you mean?
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 05:26 PM   #4
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Re: Classical music and copyright

SmartSound has classical music that is licensed, just like they have other styles. I bought several of their collections on CD when they were on sale a while back. Check out their website. There are probably other sites that have licensed classical music at a reasonable price.
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 05:36 PM   #5
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Re: Classical music and copyright

APM and killer tracks are great. For royalty free, footage firm.
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 05:46 PM   #6
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Re: Classical music and copyright

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Originally Posted by Peter Berger View Post
thanks for the reply! what libraries do you mean?
Check out the Dewolfe Music production library online, They represent, among others, the London Philharmonic so that ain't no slouch of a band.

A surprising amount of music in the classical style actually is still in copyright. For example, Aaron Copland was writing in the 30s and 40s and his works are defintely still copyright.
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 06:12 PM   #7
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Re: Classical music and copyright

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Check out the Dewolfe Music production library online, They represent, among others, the London Philharmonic so that ain't no slouch of a band.

A surprising amount of music in the classical style actually is still in copyright. For example, Aaron Copland was writing in the 30s and 40s and his works are defintely still copyright.
Keep forgetting about DeWolfe! They're great too!
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Old October 4th, 2011, 04:22 AM   #8
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Re: Classical music and copyright

If the music is out of copyright (over 75 years after the death of the composer / arranger) and you record it yourself and have the musicians permission - all if fine.

If you use recorded music you will have to pay royalties to publish it on your show reel - the IOV do have a licence issued by the MCPS, if you have this licence check the conditions to see if it allows this.

You can use library music as the fee you pay the library allows this.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 06:13 AM   #9
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Re: Classical music and copyright

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Originally Posted by Robert Turchick View Post
I'd suggest searching the libraries before stealing a commercially released piece. .
A bit of a harsh answer for a reasonable question.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 06:50 AM   #10
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Re: Classical music and copyright

Composers, musicians and music publishers beg to differ :)

Cheers.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 07:07 AM   #11
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Re: Classical music and copyright

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Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
If the music is out of copyright (over 75 years after the death of the composer / arranger) and you record it yourself and have the musicians permission - all if fine.
That may be dependent on what country you live in. Despite international copyright law, there are still variations from one jurisdiction to another. Note that the vast majority of the printed sheet music of classical compositions available today EVEN THOSE IN PUBLIC DOMAIN, are themselves modern "editions" and still subject to copyright. The copyright owners of the scores have a finger in the pie even if everything else is PD.

To be sure there are PD facsimiles of old scores, and even modern "open-source" libraries to eliminate this issue. For example;

http://www.thepublicdomainsite.com/
International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) Portal
Copyright and Public Domain Music
public domain music, public domain songs, public domain classical music
http://www.pubdomain.com/
ezFolk Library
Main Page - ChoralWiki
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Old October 4th, 2011, 09:59 AM   #12
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Re: Classical music and copyright

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Originally Posted by Allan Black View Post
Composers, musicians and music publishers beg to differ :)

Cheers.
My post was in direct response to Roberts, which was in itself an answer to the original poster (Peter), I wouldn't for one minute think that Robert was accusing Peter of stealing music. However, his wording certainly implied this.

As an ex- professional musician myself (Violinist) I agree with you that unauthorised usage of music in video is a problem. There are plenty of decent Royalty Free classic albums about, and there are even more naff ones in circulation. Do a Google search, many of the suppliers have short samples.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 12:41 PM   #13
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Re: Classical music and copyright

Sorry for the misinterpreted words but this is a personal issue for me as I'm a composer and musician too. I don't want to rehash all the threads out there about this but it is too common a thing for people to steal music. That's all I will say about that here. And I did offer several alternatives so hopefully the OP can find what he needs. The fact he's asking makes me a happy person!
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