arragement question of song in public domain

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  • #37107 Reply
    boinkeee2000
    Participant

    I am doing an arrangement of a chopin song (in public domain) on guitar. I found a few versions on youtube that is similar to my version since im sticking to the same key and original piano arrangement slightly tweaked for classical guitar. is it possible that someone has copyrighted an arrangement of a public domain song and go after folks who had the same idea? using the same key and original piano arrangement albeit for a different instrument would almost make it sound similar or identical despite the difference in fingering, inversions, execution etc…

    #37108 Reply
    jdt9517
    Participant

    I have published a number of public domain performances and have had no problem with claims of infringement. Melody is the primary area looked at for infringement purposes, and the melody resides in the PD piece. For a long time, arrangement of an exesting work was not even copyrightable. Still now, unless the arrangement is a carbon copy of the other person’s copyrighted work, there probably will not be a problem. A couple of my best paying tracks are piano solo versions of PD compositions. The gift that keeps on giving!

    #37109 Reply
    boinkeee2000
    Participant

    I see, thanks jd for your input..i i am more worried about the arrangement per transcribed to my instrument (guitar). i can understand that if you play a rendition of minute waltz in piano it would be the same finger placement as any other pianist would cover it. but on guitar i can hit a harmonic on a certain note in the piece and worried another arranger would go “hey i came up with that harmonic idea on that note”, hence can a technique/idea be copyrightable?

    #37115 Reply
    jdt9517
    Participant

    If it is the same PD notes, it’s not going to matter whether it is played by a piano, guitar, banjo, gazoo or the like. It’s the note placement. If the note placement is PD, nobody would biother you claiming infringeent because you played the part on electric guitar.

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