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Taking Care of Business
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Old February 14th, 2008, 10:06 PM   #16
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Richard, Allen,

Thanks guys for that! I will do just as you said Richard. Interesting reading for sure. Some of this just seems unrealistic....
Thanks again.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 09:56 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Allen Plowman View Post
I can start a band, and play live performances of famous bands. I can keep all the money, and pay no royalties. If i make so much as a demo cd of the music to send to venues to listen to my sound, i would be in violation of copyright laws. I can perform live, but not record and sell it.
Just to make sure I understand correctly, I want to take this and apply it back to books, as in Lloyd's situation as I understand it in other posts.

If he does a public book reading he is ok. (performance) If he tapes the reading and then sells the video he is in violation for placing copyrighted material into a tangible form. Is that correct?

I am going to try to phrase this as generically as possible in the hopes that Mr. Tauger will comment. In what form does 'derivitive(sp?) works' apply. Is derivitive works what allows a band to play cover music live? Applying it books, could a group then 'perform' the story of the book. How might that be different than say the 'Lord of the Rings' books and movies.

Hmm....after reading that, it sounds complex. Let me try again.

Would a group 'performing' a story live be comparable (from a copyright standpoint) to a band playing another bands music live? I tend to be mathmatical in my thinking so I could phrase this as....

'copyrighted song' is to 'coverband playing live' as 'copyrighted story' is to X.

I have recently found 'Circular 14, Copyright Registration for Derivative Works.' in the copyright.gov web site listed above and will be reading it but I would appreciate comments as well.

Randy


Sorry for the long post, and its gonna get longer now. Mr. Plowman, how does your band senerio above work in the face of so many resturant chains being sued over the use of the 'Happy Birthday' song?
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Old February 15th, 2008, 10:01 AM   #18
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Sorry for the long post, and its gonna get longer now. Mr. Plowman, how does your band senerio above work in the face of so many resturant chains being sued over the use of the 'Happy Birthday' song?
NO WAY!!! Restaurants are being sue for this? It's not in the public domain?
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Old February 15th, 2008, 10:16 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Lloyd Claycomb View Post
It's not in the public domain?
I thought for sure it was common knowledge by now that "Happy Birthday" is not in the public domain, but if you need clarification about this, you can read more about it on Snopes, Wikipedia and other sources:

http://www.snopes.com/music/songs/birthday.asp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Birthday_to_You
http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2003/7/5/112441/6280
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Old February 15th, 2008, 10:16 AM   #20
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NO WAY!!! Restaurants are being sue for this? It's not in the public domain?
Actually I have forgotten if it was sued or threat of suit but yes. I'll admit I have not researched the matter but a good google will likely find things.

Randy
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Old February 15th, 2008, 10:23 AM   #21
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The way I understand it, (from my days playing in a band) the venue in which a band plays purchases licenses from ASCAP and BMI and any other regulating agency, in order to provide music to their patrons. This license covers the "cover band" that plays there. If perchance the band decided to play in the street in front of their home and did not secure licenses for the music then they would be in violation of copyright.

that famous birthday song is not in the public domain and it's rights are vehmently protected. That is why restaurants have those sappy stupid birthday songs they sing.

Whenever a discussion like this comes up and reveals the sorry state of affairs and how lawsuit happy some people are it makes me shake my head. I mean, hearing stories of a 12 year old girl being sued by architects for taking a snapshotof a building with her Bar... oh, let's see; female action figure with an unrealistic figure, camera, claiming it violated their rights. If I hold up a standard stage microphone in a video and use it's proper name, or iif the viewer can just see it in the video... I could be sued? What is this world coming to? (Rhetorical question).

Pretty soon someone is going to trademark or copyright or some other way register the color sky blue, and they we will all be out of luck.

sorry it's Friday, I'm in a bad mood work around lawyers and needed to vent. ;)

oh and here's a good read on the song in question

http://www.boycott-riaa.com/article/15999
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Old February 15th, 2008, 11:59 AM   #22
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here are clearly defined laws, there are gray areas, and its difficult to know them all. I advised two things early on in this thread. contact a lawyer, and read the US government site about copyright law. A public reading of a book without permission is expressly prohibited. playing a video for a public group is prohibited. a news team can play part of any of it as a news story. I admit, I am not a lawyer. I work with recording some music, and obviously video. I have researched the specific areas I need, and it was very confusing at first, and still is. it is easier to have a specific question, such as "can I take a picture from the internet and use it as artwork for my video" (of course the answer is probably not, but possibly).

Lloyd specifically asked about reading from a book, and showing pictures, in a for profit video. That is expressly prohibited according to copyright laws. If the book in question is not covered by a copyright, or is royalty free, he is able to use it. My first thought to Lloyds dilemma would be to make a book to use in the video. your only showing a few pages, as long as he doesn't zoom in on a tight shot, you should be able to make a prop from pictures you take with your camera, and print on a heavy paper, using a photo printer.

Another option would be to find a struggling artist that has written a book, and needs exposure. you might get permission to use it in exchange for credit in the video.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 10:38 AM   #23
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Thanks again Allen. I don't know if this adds to this discussion or changes anything, but this work I was inquiring about was likely to be through a 501c3 non-profit organization.

Is the issue solely that you are MAKING MONEY from other copyrighted work? In this case, say the 501c3 organization was to produce these videos and distribute them at basically cost + S&H, or even publish them on the internet (YouTube, etc.) for free (i.e. not sell them at all).

Would that be different than doing it for profit? Or does that even matter?
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Old February 17th, 2008, 10:45 AM   #24
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MAKING MONEY has no impact on whether or not Copyright Law applies to a given situation. It might come into play in terms of damages awarded, but you can be sued for infringement even if you LOSE money. It simply is not important. Infringement is illegal copying. Period.

By the way, damages are awarded on EACH infringement, and they can impound ALL EQUIPMENT used in making the illegal copies.

Please read the posts by PAUL TAUGER and use the search function. These topics have been covered.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 08:20 PM   #25
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"Happy Birthday" is not in the public domain, but to the best of my knowledge, "Good Morning Dear Teacher" is public domain.

So what?

Well, aside from there being two notes to match the syllables of "Hap-py" vs a longer single note to match the syllable of "Good", the music is identical

Guess which one we always played? Of course, everybody thought it was just our version of "Happy Birthday"

Good morning to you
Good morning to you
Good morning dear teacher
Good morning to you

Just put a little break in your voice to make "Good" sound like "Goo-d" and you'll get it.
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