How much of a song needs to be changed…

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Kenny 6 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #8865 Reply

    jimandroz7
    Participant

    How much do I need to do to change a

    song  so that it will be be legally another song? Is there a percentage amount?  Will a different mix be enough.

    #8870 Reply

    Kenny
    Participant

    A different mix will not be enough in legal terms, so if your planning on submitting  exclusive I would be very careful with that.

    There is no percentage or specific number of similar notes allowed. But chord progression and grooves can in general not be copyrighted, so you are not required to change anything but the melody.

    But anyway it might be a good idea to f.ex change the key, make some minor changes to the groove and write a completely new melody over it.

    If you just change a few notes in the original cue, it might be enough to legally call it a new song. But, depending on the intended use, I`m not sure that`s what I would have done.

    #8872 Reply

    MichaelL
    Participant

    There is no percentage. In the US, the Supreme Court has established several factors. It more or less comes down to what the average listener hears. Would they recognize the song the you are copying, etc. Then, it comes down to whether or not your song satisfies any of the possible defenses to infringement.

    But….if you are talking about taking your own song and making it different because you want to put it into different libraries, I’d be a lot more flexible, especially if you’re not getting paid upfront. If a library buys your cue it’s one thing, if you just give it to them it’s another. (IMO).

    #8874 Reply

    jimandroz7
    Participant

    Thanks, very helpful.

    Roz

    #8882 Reply

    Wildman

    But….if you are talking about taking your own song and making it different because you want to put it into different libraries, I’d be a lot more flexible, especially if you’re not getting paid upfront. If a library buys your cue it’s one thing, if you just give it to them it’s another. (IMO).

    @michaell…. and of course to all of you 🙂

    I really have this thoughts in my mind that a song which does not work in library A, for whatever reason, I`ll re-arrange a bit, play a new main melody over the backing track and offer it to library B. I am not quite sure how the copyright law treats that issue in Europe but I guess it`s simular to the U.S. I mean, the tracks are my song and if they don`t sell good, but I have the feeling that they could, I have to offer them somewhere else.

    In the beginning of my carrer I did some major mistakes. I gave too much songs to one library for lifetime without getting an upfront fee. Now I am angry about my stupidness 🙂 Some tracks run very good in library A, and that is nice, but with some other songs I would like to try something else. Do you think my described method above is a good idea ?

    Wildman

     

     

    #8883 Reply

    Kenny
    Participant

    I`ll re-arrange a bit, play a new main melody over the backing track and offer it to library B

    I have of course not heard the tracks and the actual changes you`ve made, but in general you should be ok here. To be on the safe side maybe change the tempo, key and instrumentation a bit but it probably should not matter.

    If you think about it: If this isn`t allowed then there is no way anybody can come up with a new blues tune without getting into trouble 😉

    Be a bit careful if the song has any very specific elements that would easily be recognized. I wouldn`t  dare to copy the piano intro from Let It Be, and just play a new melody over it f. ex.

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