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Taking Care of Business
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Old July 20th, 2003, 10:43 PM   #16
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
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To bad you can't talk to the late Geaorge Harrison about what Paul Tauger was just talking about. My Sweet Lord (Harrison) He's So Fine (Shirelles) The court found for the Shirelles that Harrisons work was substantially similar to the original and it cost Harrison a very large sum of money.

Don B.
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Old July 21st, 2003, 06:24 AM   #17
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Hi Paul
I dont doubt that in effect it IS a breach of Copyright, however, i have had variations of some chords which i have written, produced and published.

As i did not seek an actual copyright owners license (aus) as far as they were concerned it was considered public domain as i distributed the non profit work via internet.

Now we did all we could to at least get some royalties, or even stop the distribution of the copy, however that all fell on deaf ears as i am but a small fish in the proverbial pond which is the music industry...

the info i stated was what happened to me.. I dont agree with it one bit
Now I personally see it as being a breach, however here in aus, if there is enough variation they can do what they wish...
being electronic, in my case it seems they did a note analysis and messed around with it from there... they didnt actualy sample it... If they did it would be a different story...

(in this case it was a variation which to some people wouldnt be noticable apart from the Synth Sound Patch (which again wasnt sampled but emulated and the final 7 notes, however it kept the same "flavour" of the chord, which is what led me to investigate)

Again i dont like it, but they got away with it by doing this...
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Old July 21st, 2003, 10:11 AM   #18
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Quote:
I dont doubt that in effect it IS a breach of Copyright, however, i have had variations of some chords which i have written, produced and published.
"Variations of chords" can mean anything -- a Cm7 is a variation of Cm, but neither is protectable under copyright. If you mean chord progression of your song was copied, then you may or may not have been infringed. I don't know Australian law, so I don't know what similarity standard is required there. In the US, the test is "substantial similarilty," which has both a subjective and objective component. Copying is determined by weighing likelihood of access to the original work and whether the accused work is substantially similar.
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As i did not seek an actual copyright owners license (aus) as far as they were concerned it was considered public domain as i distributed the non profit work via internet.
Australia is, I believe, a member of the international Berne Copyright Convention and, like the US, does not require registration for a work to be protected under copyright. However, the fact that the copyright owner is a non-profit, or distributes over in the internet, does not render the work public domain. Something is in the public domain only if it has been expressly dedicated to the public domain, or its copyright has expired.
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however here in aus, if there is enough variation they can do what they wish
As I said, I'm not familiar with Australian law. However, in every country that I know about "variation" isn't the key to avoiding infringement -- not copying is. There's no magic quantum of difference that will immunize a copy from liability. If access is either proven or presumed, and the works are substantially similar, then infringement liability will result.
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(in this case it was a variation which to some people wouldnt be noticable apart from the Synth Sound Patch (which again wasnt sampled but emulated and the final 7 notes, however it kept the same "flavour" of the chord, which is what led me to investigate)
As I said, a chord isn't protectable and, in many cases, a chord progression isn't either. If you write a song in the key of C, it's almost certainly going to start with a C-major chord, and alternate through F-major, G-major and probably A-minor and D-major (I-IV-V). The term for that in copyright law is "scenes a faire." If someone copies your chord progression and only varies the melody slightly, e.g. you a flatted incidental instead of a sharped one, it would still be infringing.
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