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#2081895 - 05/13/13 12:54 PM How to publish my performance legally correct?
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 453
Loc: Europe
Please help me to clarify the “music rights” situation in a short, easy to understand and pragmatic way. I do not want to do things in a legally incorrect way, just because I don´t know about the legal regulations.

Imagine this situations, which most of you will be very familiar with:
I am a hobbyist piano player and have purchased sheet music from a legal store, the edition is a new one, and also the composer is still alive. Obviously somebody still has rights on the music.
I now want to go to the public with my performance of the piece, either by uploading it to YouTube, or even by playing it somewhere life. But I do not want to violate any rights. So, how to publish my performance legally correct, considering the following, very usual possibilities?

Case 1: Do I already violate rights if I publish my performance of the piece without any further request of permissions (somewhere/ from somebody) although I haven´t any economic interests by publishing my performance? The typical situation could be: I have practiced and am proud about how I perform the piece and now would like to upload my recorded performance to YouTube, without actively asking YouTube (or some other instance) to pay me (or somebody else) for the incomes from maybe by YouTube automatically to my publication linked commercials? I just want to present myself.

Case 2: Do I already violate rights …. same as case 1, but with changed typical situation: I am playing in public, let´s say in a park, and without asking me for it, clearly no beggary, clearly no intention of busking for tips, people in the end anyway give me something of material value for it (flowers, a free drink, a small tip) just because they loved it so much and I can´t find the polite way how to reject this presents?

Case 3: I play in a situation where I do not receive any “income” by my performance, but my performance is intended to be a commercial act for something none-commercial, i.e. for people to become interested in the work of a social society which wants to (A) just recruit interest in a topic, (B) recruit volunteers, or (C) attract people to become a member who then would pay a member fee to the society or (D) attract people to make a donation for something.

Case 4: I guess I right away violate legalities if I would in case 1 to case 3 intent to earn myself any “income”, correct? I first would have to ask for a permission for my “public” performance at the publisher/editor/composer (sorry, I have really no idea whom I actually would have to contact), right?

Finally a different situation:
Case 5: What happens if I play from sheet music (i.e. from the IMSLP), which is no longer under rights because (A) the composer is dead for 71 years and at the same time (B) the printed sheet edition of the music I am taking the piece from is older than 25 years (am I right it is 25 years, yes?), or (C) the edition is for already more than 2 years out of print (am I right that in this case something special applies, yes?)?

Case 6: How to deal with the situation of case 5, but somebody meanwhile published a re-print of the old sheet which I would like to play from, and the re-printer (maybe) gained new rights (at least) on its re-print, while I use the old edition?


PLEASE: any simple to understand and reliable answer (please no guess according to your feelings about the situation) and any tuning of my cases for better matching legal situations is welcome! I do not wish to open a general discussion on the “music rights” and “rights violation” topic, neither a discussion on “piracy”. There are already many threads discussing these. Instead of always reading about rights violation I as a not good informed hobby pianist would just once get the information on how to actually do things legally correct in typical situations of a hobby pianist, and believe that this thread will then also become a helpful resource for many others!



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#2082089 - 05/13/13 08:14 PM Re: How to publish my performance legally correct? [Re: Marco M]
Peyton Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 2629
Loc: Maine
Unless you are a professional I don't see why you should worry about it. I've put tons of stuff up on youtube and never heard boo. You are small potatoes...don't worry about it.
_________________________
"One's real life is often the life that one does not lead."- Oscar Wilde
www.youtube.com/Biffer5
www.peytonart.com


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#2082099 - 05/13/13 08:26 PM Re: How to publish my performance legally correct? [Re: Marco M]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8585
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: Peyton
Unless you are a professional I don't see why you should worry about it. I've put tons of stuff up on youtube and never heard boo. You are small potatoes...don't worry about it.

Ditto...

I too have written several original songs and posted them on YouTube… maybe 40 or 50?

On some of the them I wrote “Copyright” in the intro of the video and some of them not. It is my understanding that any original work posted on a public outlet like YT is copyrighted by default. Of course, if someone steals your work and uses it as their own to make money, you could pursue legal avenues, but it probably wouldn’t be worth it.

I enquired with a music publishing organization once about publishing some of my songs and they said they would be glad to do it for me… thing is, if I allowed them to use my music commercially, I would have to sign the ownership of the music over to them… of course, I would retain credit for writing the songs. It didn’t sound like a good idea to me…

Like Peyton said, unless you are at the right place at the right time, and know the right people, our music is small potatoes… or even smaller, in the real world. Of course, our own world of our own music is what's important to us! smile

Good luck.

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#2082112 - 05/13/13 08:48 PM Re: How to publish my performance legally correct? [Re: Marco M]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1766
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: Marco M


PLEASE: any simple to understand and reliable answer (please no guess according to your feelings about the situation) and any tuning of my cases for better matching legal situations is welcome! I do not wish to open a general discussion on the “music rights” and “rights violation” topic, neither a discussion on “piracy”. There are already many threads discussing these. Instead of always reading about rights violation I as a not good informed hobby pianist would just once get the information on how to actually do things legally correct in typical situations of a hobby pianist, and believe that this thread will then also become a helpful resource for many others!





I think you have come to the wrong place for this, ok there might be one copyright expert here. But I thought the whole subject was so complex that a copyright protection industry has been set up, but still can't do much.

Read this:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110913094639AAD9uyi
_________________________
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#2082113 - 05/13/13 08:48 PM Re: How to publish my performance legally correct? [Re: Marco M]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5658
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Part of the problem, Marco, is that the laws are different in different countries. And there are different kinds of rights - copyrights, performance rights, mechanical rights (cds, youtube). So there isn't, in fact, one right answer to any of the situations you mentioned, though there might be "one" right answer depending on your location.

Generally speaking, in the US, for live performances, it is not the performer who needs a license, it's the venue - the restaurant, the bar, the concert hall, etc. If you are performing for a group of friends in your own home you don't need a license.

If you want to make a cd you need a mechanical license, and in the US those are often administered by the Harry Fox Agency.

In some US cities if you're going to perform and are obviously looking for tips (which you say you are not) you need a buskers license.

And in the US it has nothing at all to do with whether or not you are making money from it. If it's in violation it's in violation even if you're doing it for free.

In Europe, I have no idea smile

I'm with Peyton and Rick - you're way too small to worry about it.

And even if you are in the US, frankly, the laws can be complex, so that there is no simple answer.

Sorry that that's true, but there you go. Go play your piano in the park, have a friend video it, and put it up on youtube. If the license holder finds it and objects youtube will let you know smile

Cathy


Edited by jotur (05/13/13 08:49 PM)
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#2082264 - 05/14/13 03:52 AM Re: How to publish my performance legally correct? [Re: Marco M]
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 453
Loc: Europe
Thanks everybody for your answers, although being too small to worry about it wasn´t actually the answer I was interested in. I really would once like to know if I am "officially" supposed to get a special licence for my own performance of a piece of somebody else, if wanting to go public with it. My CASE 1 "officially" affects many people here on the forum, uploading their performances to YouTube, so lets try to get at least CASE 1 reliably answered:

A sheet music didn´t run out of rights by now. Am I legally allowed to publish my performance of the piece on YouTube without specially having asked the rights holder for a permission, even if not having any commercial interests by this but personally just see it as a private invitation to everybody in the world to get privately known of me and of how I play those sheets? Can my publication of my piano playing on YouTube still be considered by legalities to be a private act? Did the rights holder of the sheet music grant me the right to publish my performance on YouTube by the legal purchase of the score? Yes or No?

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#2082266 - 05/14/13 04:22 AM Re: How to publish my performance legally correct? [Re: Marco M]
Allard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 342
Loc: Netherlands
YouTube Help has extensive information about copyright and how they deal with it.

In short, buying the sheet music does NOT give you the rights to publicly perform it. This includes posting your performance on YouTube. You need permission from the copyright holder to do so, regardless of whether you seek to monetize your performance or are just sharing with friends.

However, as other posters have stated already, you don't really need to worry about it. The worst thing that can happen (I think; no guarantees) is that your video gets removed. And that probably won't happen.
_________________________
David Lanz - Where the Tall Tree Grows
Nobuo Uematsu - Aerith's Theme (Final Fantasy VII Piano Collections)

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#2082280 - 05/14/13 06:00 AM Re: How to publish my performance legally correct? [Re: Marco M]
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 453
Loc: Europe
Thanks Allard, that´s some clear answer!
With this my sketched CASES 1 to 4, which concern music of still copyrighted music, are then all answered. What a pitty. I really thought that the performer would have gained at least some small rights to perform at least a little bit in public by the legal purchase of a sheet. Obviously not.
This was about sheet music which still have rights holders.

Would you also know about legalities of performing in public from sheets which already run out of copyrights, like the once available for free from the IMSLP, as I sketched situations as CASE 5 and CASE 6? I know that legitimacy for copying such old sheets is granted in most countries, regardless of often expressed intimidations, but do not know if any limitations would apply for performing such music in public.

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#2082840 - 05/15/13 12:43 AM Re: How to publish my performance legally correct? [Re: Marco M]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: Marco M
A sheet music didn't run out of rights by now. Am I legally allowed to publish my performance of the piece on YouTube without specially having asked the rights holder for a permission, even if not having any commercial interests by this but personally just see it as a private invitation to everybody in the world to get privately known of me and of how I play those sheets?


Probably not, but then do it anyways and think of it as a form of free advertisement for the composer/publisher - just be sure to play well wink! If you get asked to take the video down (which is highly unlikely to happen), just comply if and when that time comes. Forum member and professor (?) at the University of Iowa Kreisler, with the help of another professor, are in the process of recording performances of over 9000 videos of piano teaching repertoire of works both very old and very new here: https://www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

I wouldn't worry about it - just obviously don't claim rights to the compositions by mistake in uploading the videos.

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#2082841 - 05/15/13 12:52 AM Re: How to publish my performance legally correct? [Re: Marco M]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: Marco M
Would you also know about legalities of performing in public from sheets which already run out of copyrights, like the once available for free from the IMSLP, as I sketched situations as CASE 5 and CASE 6? I know that legitimacy for copying such old sheets is granted in most countries, regardless of often expressed intimidations, but do not know if any limitations would apply for performing such music in public.


Just because music is uploaded to imslp, doesn't mean it's legal everywhere, but just in Canada where the website is hosted. You'll need to research how copyright laws of your European country compare with Canada's (for instance, the United States copyright term length is slightly longer than Canada's). The only restriction for performing like century-or-older music in public would be any necessary licenses for monetizing such things (if such "street performer" licenses exist, if this is even the sort of extreme "public" performing you'll ever do, and if you'll ever even monetize it in the first place).

Here's a summary (but of United States copyright law):
Quote:
1. Works created after 1977 have the copyright term life of author + 70 years (the EU standard term).
2. Works for hire, and works anonymously or pseudonymously published, protection is extended to 95 years from publication.
3. The renewal term of existing copyrights first published before 1978 was extended 20 years from 47 to 67 years, for a total term of 95 years from date of publication. The 95-year term applied only to works first published in 1923 and later, which means nothing will enter the public domain until Jan. 1, 2019.


see http://imslp.org/wiki/United_States_Copyright_Law for more regarding the above


Edited by Bobpickle (05/15/13 12:56 AM)

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#2082849 - 05/15/13 01:24 AM Re: How to publish my performance legally correct? [Re: Marco M]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21910
Loc: Oakland
As I recall, if a piece has never been recorded, you need the composer's permission to record it. However, once the initial recording is made, you can record it again for a set fee.

If a piece is in the public domain, a publisher may copyright a new edition of it, but the copyright does not last as long as it would if it were the original copyright of the music. I doubt whether there are any changes to the mechanical (recording) rights.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2082890 - 05/15/13 03:18 AM Re: How to publish my performance legally correct? [Re: Marco M]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
A good summary of most organizations who file [fake] claims against individuals such as yourself and the rest of us here just trying to share our hard work: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Music-Pub...890&sk=info

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#2082933 - 05/15/13 06:39 AM Re: How to publish my performance legally correct? [Re: Marco M]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8026
I was thinking of uploading a work by a dead composer whose works were still under copyright for one of the "Unsung Heroes" e-citals in Pianist Corner. I knew that royalties of some sort would be due, and wanted to pay them myself. After researching it for a while, I finally gave up. Although it was clear that some kind of payment was due to somebody, "the powers that be" had not set up any way to make a payment without crazy and cumbersome tracking of hits to the host server, etc. All of it clearly was set up for commercial operations, not for little amateur productions. But they still emphasized that a payment was due in ANY situation, no matter what.

I really should have gone ahead and done the piece, because I knew I was too small for them to care about, but I had this stupid bee in my bonnet about wanting to do things right. I'll try not to make that mistake again. It is kind of interesting how the sheer stupidity of copyright laws and how the agencies implement them turns people into lawbreakers, people who normally try to play by the rules.

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#2082937 - 05/15/13 06:49 AM Re: How to publish my performance legally correct? [Re: Bobpickle]
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 453
Loc: Europe
Thanks a lot everybody!
As it can be seen also in Bobpickle´s citation of US American law "1. Works created after 1977 have the copyright term life of author + 70 years (the EU standard term).", in Europe you in principal have to wait for 71 years after the death of the author until you are allowed to copy (the 70th year of death has to be fully past). The detail about what happens if a re-print is published by the rights holder is not clear to me, and I can only guess according to what I read so far on the internet that this does not renew the 70 years expiry date of copyright, here in Europe. I somewhere even read that the copyright would expire even earlier, if the print edition would be out of print for more than 2 years. Unfortunately I do not have any contacts to confirm these things reliably and therefore explicitly warn you to make conclusions from my statements. That´s actually why I ask in this thread for clarification...
Well, and the "performance" right in Europe seems to go hand in hand with the "copy" right, and I therefore (again) guess that everything what has no copyrights anymore can be performed and recorded without a specially expressed permission, besides a maybe applying "busker"-licence.

After we have isolated much the situation, can anybody reliably confirm that in Europe the "performance right" roughly equals to the "copy right"?

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#2082949 - 05/15/13 07:31 AM Re: How to publish my performance legally correct? [Re: Marco M]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2423
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Marco M
After we have isolated much the situation, can anybody reliably confirm that in Europe the "performance right" roughly equals to the "copy right"?


Perhaps in some European countries. I know in the UK (where I grew up) that you technically needed a performance license. Some licenses for musicals were routinely denied to schools in case they influenced ticket sales in the West End!

But, as others have said, you are over-thinking it. Nobody is coming after you for putting your performance online. Sure, someone might claim the rights to the piece and get ads stuck on your YouTube page; many here have had the honor of having automated systems decide their performances are actually rips of CDs by some famous artist and have had to protest that. But that's the modern version of busking. Don't worry about that, worry about your performance.
_________________________
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  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

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#2083058 - 05/15/13 11:45 AM Re: How to publish my performance legally correct? [Re: Marco M]
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 453
Loc: Europe
Meanwhile I found this, about the copyright Law in Germany, which somehow can´t contradict to European law:
In Germany the GEMA is in charge of charging for the use of the copyrighted works of GEMA members. The GEMA by law has the right to suppose that everything is copyrighted, and it is the performer/user who has to present the prove that a coppyright holder is not a member of the GEMA and thus a work could be excluded from the user´s duty of payment to the GEMA. So, unless you don´t have the proof that a piece is allowed to use / to perform free of GEMA liabilities, you by law have for a public performance to first request a licence from the GEMA, which most often implies that you will have to pay for the licence.
Although on the GEMA internet site it is said that a user would for the public use of a piece always be obligated to this procedure as a matter of principle, they do not mention nowhere (at least not findable for everyman; I didn´t find it within an intensive 2 hour search) the fact that there exists an expiry date for a copyright.

I found on a German goverment internet site the expiry date of a copyright concerning the public use of a piece to be dated to 70 years after the death of the author of the piece (UrhG $ 64), counting legal years, so better wait 71 calendar years. A constriction applies if the piece of the author so far was never brought to public and now someone first time brings it to public: this someone gains a 25 years copyright on the piece, if I understood it correctly. (hey! let´s find in grandma´s music library an unknown manuscript of a piece of Beethoven, and get rich throughout the forthecoming 25 years!). Also, editings of the original music (which itself also have had to comply copyright laws) gained their own copyright, and finally also a legal (permitted) performance gains itself a copyright, which means that if someone had permission to perform a piece, this someone has copyrights on i.e. recordings of this performance, if I understood it correctly.

The copyright on printed sheets seems to be pretty much the same, though having an expiry date of 50 years only in Germany. An indeed exisiting 2 years "out-of print" clause is difficult to rely on since print-on-demand offers can exist. And if not speaking about a 1:1 copy of the original sheet but publishing an editing of it (this could already be, if I understand it correctly, the edition of recommended fingering or putting the sheet into a new context by adding it i.e. to a sheet collection / repertoire book, or the scientific elaboration of a so called Urtext edition), the user has to know that the new edition gained its own copyright again, although the original version´s expired copyright will not become affected by this anymore. Therefore an over 50 years old print edition seems to be allowed to copy from, but not from a newly edited Urtext edition maybe showing the exactly same.

Law knows a lot of paragraphs, and things then seem to be by far not as easy anymore if you start to derive economic interests by your activities, because someone could try to sue you for unfair competition or whatever pettifoggers are after. But for the hobbyist the economic part won´t become such matter anyway, I guess.

So, I expect to not infringe any copyrights if I publicly play in a situation free of commercial interests a piece from a 1:1 copy of an over 50 years old sheet AND the author is dead for more than 70 years already. Beyond that I expect to not infringe copyrights if I play from original sheets instead of using any copy, and if I properly cared for the performance permission from some performing rights society. That´s how I understood it - but I am not any authority.

No, I will not bother you and start a new thread about which performing rights society I would have to make my agreement with, if temporarily living in country S with nationality D playing a piece of a composer with nationality B living right now in country F and wanting to publish a recording of my performance on an server of a company from country A. That´s, in my opinion, too unreasonable to get a hobby pianist occupied with, really. I am going back to the piano now, and anyway liking some classic music I will focus on some old beautiful pieces, then!

EDIT: What a crazy situation, as you said before as well:
The copyright laws intimidate me making contemporary music more popular and the rights holder due to their unpragmatic performance rights policy will have lesser chances to once earn something with their music.


Edited by Marco M (05/15/13 04:11 PM)
Edit Reason: comment added

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