Third party samples or loops….public domain

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  • #9598 Reply
    jimandroz7
    Participant

    I have a question.  I use Apple loops and manipulate them adding live music, etc. If someone asks me:  Are there third party samples or loops that are not my own,  aren’t the apple loops in public domain and therefore I can freely say…”no” and avoid copyright infringement?

    Thanks for you insight.

    JimandRoz

    #9623 Reply
    Mark Lewis
    Guest

    Apple Loops are not in public domain. They are owned by Apple and distributed to be used royalty free, but they still own them. Public domain is a completely different and often misunderstood beast.

    #9624 Reply
    Rosalind Richards
    Guest

    Thanks!  This is very helpful.  So I assume then that the Apple jam packs are also

    royalty-free and not considered third party samples?

     

     

    #9634 Reply
    Mark_Petrie
    Participant

    If a library (or any other client) is asking you that question, they’re most likely just checking to make sure you had the legal right to use the loops and samples. They don’t want to get stung like Vanilla Ice and The Verve did 🙂

    #9635 Reply
    jimandroz7
    Participant

    Thank you that’s very helpful!

    roz

    #9636 Reply
    MichaelL
    Participant

    Public domain is a completely different and often misunderstood beast.

    That’s a very accurate statement…to put it mildly. When, and or if, intellectual property enters the “Public Domain” varies greatly, depending upon the type of intellectual property, and the country of origin. Patents can last for 14-20 years, depending on what the patent is for. Trademarks can last forever. Copyrights, which is what composers are most interested in vary. In some countries it is based upon when the work was created and.or published. In other countries, it is based upon when the last living creator of the work died.

    For example in the US, works created prior to 1923, are generally PD. However, in countries that go by life of the author plus 70, or more years, it is possible that someone could have composed a work in 1923, but didn’t die until 1953, in which case the work wouldn’t be PD until 2023.

    In the case of Apple Loops, you receive a license to use the product. One concern with 3rd party loops and samples, is that libraries don’t want you lifting samples of copyrighted works OR recordings. Remember, even if a composition has passed into the public domain, the sound recording will likely have a copyright in force. So even though Beethoven’s 5th is in the public domain, a recording of it most likely is not.

    Cheers,

    MichaelL

    #9638 Reply
    TheOne
    Guest

    MichaelL, thanks for clearing the PD thing out, but I have one more question if you dont mind 🙂

     

    If I use PD composition and create a new recording myself,  can I licence it to libraries or anyone else? and if so, 1: Do I need to get permission from someone?

    2: When I register the work at BMI, can I take the full writer share, part of it, or none? Because I see BMI have a “writer” in their database named: PD aka Public Domain.

     

    Thanks a lot!!

     

     

    #9657 Reply
    Mark Lewis
    Guest

    @TheOne

    Good questions. Here is my understanding of the PD situation

    In regards to your first question, yes you can make your own version of public domain music and distribute it as your own via music libraries. Composers are constantly doing this and our library has tons of re-worked PD material in it. You would not need to get permission because there is nobody to get permission from, they’re most likely dead 🙂
    You just need to be absolutely sure that the piece is actually in the public domain.

    In regards to your 2nd question I am not sure about BMI ASCAP filings but my understanding of it is that since you did not write Beethoven’s 5th you cannot claim to have written it. I believe you would be the ‘arranger’ of an existing PD work.

    MichaelL might be able to comment on the specifics of PROs and PD works though.
    -Mark

    #9659 Reply
    MichaelL
    Participant

    @TheOne…I would ask your PRO. It may be that you are considered the “arranger” of the re-workd PD composition (which may affect the rate at which you get paid). Like original compositions, you can, and should, copyright your arrangements of PD works.

    Although Beethoven and others are now “de-composing” 😆 you still need to be careful. Many Christmas carols, although written more than 100 years ago, have been subsequently arranged by others and published in church hymnals. I’ve heard numerous Christmas carols in libraries that were lifted straight out of hymnals, without any modification. Taking “Hark the Herald,” for example, from a church hymnal, then merely recording it on a toy piano, instead of with a choir, does not constitute a new arrangement, if you don’t re-harmonize, or modify the work in some way. Depending upon when the arrangement in the hymnal was completed / copywrittten and/or published, it may not be in the public domain, and the person merely recording the hymnal version of a carol with different instrumentation is infringing.

    Thoroughly research the PD status of the underlying work AND subsequent arrangements. Sometimes the most familiar version of a work is the subsequently arranged version.

    Cheers,

    MichaelL

     

    #9660 Reply
    woodsdenis
    Participant

    @TheOne

    A UK/Ireland variant is of this is called Trad Arr. Similarly if you take a PD folk/traditional tune and make a unique arrangement of it you register with your PRO as Trad  Arr (Traditional arrangement). You are entitled to the full writers share. Unique is an opinion of course, How many different ways are there of singing “Greensleeves” for example, that is of course you don’t  copy an existing arrangement that was a significant departure from the original.

    MichaelL do you have Trad Arr in the States ?

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