[bct] Re: Copyright issues and the talent show

  • From: "J Garcia" <j.garcia235@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2006 04:26:56 -0800

Regarding what many of you want to do with your songs, yes there might be
copyright issues stealing someone's intellectual property as the title
stands intact, but these laws are not 100% foolproof. You can use the law's
loopholes such as using background music without another's lyrics. for
example, you often hear people like P Diddy and Miraia Carrie, or however
you spell these people's names, using others music--they've made careers out
of this. Yes they now have to pay residuals, but this is because they were
embarking on commercial ventures for profit and not just for their own
entertainment. Furthermore, hiring lawyers to go after a blind person using
background music from another to obviously create a parody will more than
likely not result in some huge expensive legal fight many have stated here.
In the far fetched and improbable case that some blind person's parody does
reach the desk of a lawyer, you will receive a $.10 cease and desist rather
than a lawsuit. What judge and jury is going to listen to any of our entrys
and decide that we are overwhelmingly guilty of stealing another's work for
our selfish means? If anything I think the judge will probably sentence us
to jail time for mangling another's work. Oh yeah, let's not forget the
amount of times we've all heard very familiar works in bars and clubs.
Believe me, I've worked with my share of lawyers and chasing someone down
for this type of minor infraction of the law is like a cop siting you for
littering if one of your hairs falls off your head and lands on the street.
Radio makes its wealth off of song parodies using music from huge acts such
as the beetles Michael Jackson and so on. In fact, all those celebrity
impersonators (whether music or otherwise) don't request permission to
impersonate a celebrity, they do it because it is an obvious parody whether
directly stated or not. For those of you who are really scared, if you
preface your material or state at the end of your material that you are
simply singing the song or using another's tune you will be just fine. Just
use the word "parody" in your file and you will be alright. This is like
referencing a scientific piece of work, as long as you reference your source
you will avoid plagiarism and will be all right. How many times have any of
you crossed streets when the "don't walk" light is lit? How many of you have
jaywalked across an empty street? There's really no need for the fear
mongering and extreme fear of the law.

J Garcia
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "The Scarlet Wombat" <coconut@xxxxxxx>
To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, March 03, 2006 3:51 AM
Subject: [bct] Copyright issues and the talent show

> DJD, not all of the talent show files came with introductions, Neal may
> have known who was performing.
> I did some extensive legal research last night with my wife, in her 3rd
> year of law school, and was surprised at the results.
> It seems that current copyright law restricts even gratis performances of
> works still in copyright.  For example, Neal mentioned the song "Cheek to
> Cheek.  Performing this song, even if for no remuneration, is a violation
> of current copyright law, unless there is permission from ASCAPk, BMI or
> whomever owns the copyright.  I find this to be extremely narrow and
> stupid, but it is the law and we cannot afford to violate it.  Awards are
> growing for copyright violaters and companies are becoming more willing to
> prosecute the small fry.  The notes are considered a formula, and like a
> recipe in a cookbook, are uncopyrightable.
> This means you can perform the music to Cheek to Cheek, but you cannot
> the words in a public performance without permission.  You can, however,
> change the words to make a parody or satire of the song, that is allowed.
> For example, you could modify the song to be about the other cheeks. [big
> This copyright stuff is enough to give everyone a headache, but Neal is
> protecting us all by his insistance upon doing the right thing.
> Dan
> The words of a song are what are copyrighted, the notes are not.
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