Help Me Out Here: Copyright law

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Vince Maskeeper, May 1, 2002.

  1. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    A person wants to create a "backup" copy of a Compact Disc to a hard drive, but then SELL the original CD. They plan to retain their copy of the audio from the disc in digital form, while selling the original physical disc to a new owner.

    Someone outline the legality/illegality of this, and explain to them why...

    Thanks
     
  2. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Vince,

    There was a recent thread (past month or so) on Mike Knapp's Home Theater Talk that covered this very subject (and a few others). It was called "Moral Question..." or something like that.
     
  3. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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  4. Gui A

    Gui A Supporting Actor

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    Vince, I thought that you never really own the music, you just own a license to play it in your house...and like Jeff said in the other thread, once you sell the original, you sell your rights to the license.

    I think another way to put it is that the studios are the only ones that own the music, and the only ones who can make a profit from the music.

    I'm not an expert, but I think that's how it goes.
     
  5. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    That was my point, and I thought it to be pretty common knowledge...
    Copying Cds (in any form, either CD-R or copying to a harddrive) and then selling the originals is illegal- it is piracy. You can, TECHNICALLY speaking, make backups of materials you retain the originals for under fair use.. but copying the music from the discs and sell the original media is not legal.
    In a basic sense, this is no different that copying a cd you never purchased, the bottom line is there are now 2 copies in circulation for which the artist who created to work was only paid once.
    Just wanted to make sure I hadn;t missed the mark on this, as I had a friendly debate with someone on this issue this evening. Granted their arguement started out in disbelief that it was against copyright law, and shifted to being about how they only wanted to keep a few songs they liked and the record companies don't offer that option; my point was that it is still illegal, no matter how much it makes sense to you personally.
    -V
    (I didn't notice he had already been lectured on this here:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=67445)
     
  6. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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  7. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    I wonder if it's really unauthorized commericial use, seeing as he doesn't sell the copies, just the originals, but retains a (now illegal) copy for personal use.

    also, just wondering, given that CDs are (allegedly) close to indestructable, or at least won't degrade significantly, can we really argue that making a copy is really for back-up purposes?
     
  8. Travis Olson

    Travis Olson Supporting Actor

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  9. Larry Seno Jr.

    Larry Seno Jr. Supporting Actor

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    Anyone care to state which specific law they believe this breaks?
     
  10. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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  11. Allan

    Allan Stunt Coordinator

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    "1. Do I need permission or pay a fee if I publicly play someone else's song at a concert? (I think the answer is yes to the fee but I don't know why.)"

    Yes, you have to pay. One of the things defined as infringement is if you have public performance of the copyrighted work. THerefore, performing a song at a concert would be infringement unless you pay a royalty.

    "2. Do I need permission to record my own version of someone else's song and put it on a CD and sell it? Obviously, I'd have to pay them but can they stop me from doing it, for any reason?

    etc. etc."

    No permission needed. However, you must pay a license fee (like in the above.) No one can prevent you from doing this, it is a mandatory license (ie the copyright holder cannot say no).
     
  12. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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  13. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    I thought I remember there being a "no-guilt" copying thing a way back. I think I actually sent either $1 or $2 to some band because I made a full copy, I think it was Pearl Jam. They actually had this "no-guilt" clause on the cd itself. To think I'm an ASCAP member, I should know more of this stuff.
     
  14. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

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  15. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    A cover band is covered under the same agreement as any public play of music in a private establishment. Owners of clubs/bars are technically required to pay a small fee to Ascap and BMI (and SEASAC and SOCAN and blah blah) for playing of material in the establishment-- be it from CD or from live band. So if they have a DJ, a Jukebox or a live band- they are required to pay a fee to have the music played in a commercial setting.

    Originally, I believe, clubs were required to keep playlists like Radio does for proper distribution of royalties. However, they don't any longer- so there is really no direct payment to artists based on what you cover live- rather a general payout based on popularity and statistical likelihood a particular song is being covered or played.

    If you are a commercial band for hire playing private events for profit ( a wedding band), it is your requirement, legally, to be properly registered and paying dues to these publishing companies.

    Now, if you decide to record the songs (or even make live recording available for free on MP3 websotes)- there is a whole new world of mechanical licensing through the Harry Fox Agency.

    Someone above suggested you don't need permission to record a cover- and this is only partially true. The artist can choose to not grant rights to certain songs for whatever reason, like certain artists don't grant rights for their materials to be used in commercials.

    You can try to use compulsory mechanical license provision of the copyright law (basicalloy says you pay a fee and you can cover whatever)- but I have seen people sue over this as well.

    So, technically they might not need to speak to the artist directly to cover a song, the original artist can try to prevent a cover from happening, even if you choose to try to use compulsory mechanical license provision of the copyright law.

    and to repeat this all over again, here's an article about this (by the way, few people realize my dayjob is the owner and webmaster of musicianassist.com)

     
  16. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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  17. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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  18. Dan Lassiter

    Dan Lassiter Stunt Coordinator

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    OK, let's try another angle on this. I sell alot of CDs to a local store that pays cash for discs (a big necessity with all of the remastered CDs I buy). They resell them all for at least double what they pay for them. I do not believe they pay any artists royalties for this. Are these second hand music stores breaking any laws?

    Dan
     
  19. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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  20. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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