Copyright on pre-1950 music

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  PeteJ 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #26157 Reply

    PeteJ
    Participant

    What is the situation for recordings of classical pieces from the repertoire when it comes to sync? The music is out of copyright but the score is probably not, Is this something to worry about? I’m thinking here of classical guitar music. I have an album of pieces but worry about submitting them.

    My suspicion is that technically the publisher of the score has some rights, but that where there are multiple publishers these are unmanageable and are usually ignored. Is that it?

    Thanks.

    #26164 Reply

    Michael Nickolas
    Participant

    I think what you are saying is that you’ve recorded compositions that are in the public domain, but used copyrighted sheet music as your source when making the recording?

    I can’t help, but that is an interesting question! I would wonder if it makes a difference if the published sheet music (score) is simply a reprint of the original, or if the publisher has added to it and copyrighted it as an arrangement. Or maybe it is a reprint of the original but the publisher has included it in a copyrighted collection? Very interesting….

    #26166 Reply

    PeteJ
    Participant

    That’s it, yes. In theory an arrangement or even an edition is copyrighted, but I don’t imagine this can be respected in these circumstances. On my guitar forum this issue is taken seriously but I’ve not seen it discussed in relation to music libraries.

    #26167 Reply

    Alan
    Participant

    I’ve done a few PD guitar and piano things and I’m not too concerned about it. If you are recording a Sor study for instance, check the arrangement you are recording against the same study from other sources. If all the notes and rhythms are the same, who is to say what sheet music (if any) you played it from.

    I’m no expert on copyright, but I have always presumed that copyright on printed versions of unaltered PD classical works is limited to the actual sheet music, not the underlying composition.

    If you want to play it safe then only submit PD music that is already available in one or more reputable libraries.

    Side note: Crucial insists the composers must have died prior to 1917 on PD tracks.

    #26168 Reply

    Michael Nickolas
    Participant

    Maybe Crucial doing that has something to do with the fact that a US expired copyright doesn’t mean the composition is not under copyright in another country. Maybe having died prior to 1917 somehow clears it across the globe…

    #26170 Reply

    PeteJ
    Participant

    Alan – Thanks. Yes, that’s about what I thought, and Michael’s point would explain Crucial’s system.

    Not that many people care. I’ve just heard an entire Scriabin album posted by someone who had nothing to do with it.

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