We have detected that cookies are not enabled on your browser. Please enable cookies to ensure the proper experience.
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 65
  1. #1

    Copyright Questions Answered

    I'll start off by saying that I'm not a lawyer, but as a member of the broadcast industry I have studied copyright law and how it pertains to music in particular.

    I'll start off by describing the law, then work through how it applies to LOTRO and you in a practical sense. You can then decide for yourself what level of copyright infringement you are comfortable with.

    If you have any corrections to make, let me know and please cite sources.

    Copyright Law in the US: The Basics

    Copyright law protects the creator of, well, creative works. When it began it covered only specific kinds of works such as literature, but it has been expanded in the years that followed to include nearly everything. Copyright law protects authors with the following:

    -The right to reproduce the work (such as burning a CD)
    -The right to derivative works (such as a remix of a song)
    -The right to distribute the work (such as selling or giving away)
    -The right to publicly perform the work (such as a concert or streetcorner)
    -The right to publicly display the work (same as performing, but with pieces such as paintings)

    Ah, you may have noticed the big one. "Publicly Perform." You might think that performing copyrighted works is okay, so long as you don't make any money doing it. This is not so. By performing for free, you devalue the work. Simply put, the original author can't make any money performing if other people perform the same work for free.

    A lot hinges on whether it could be proven that playing something in LOTRO is a public performance, something that in the real world is usually dependent on the number of people listening.

    It could also be argued that by posting ABC files on the internet, you are illegally distributing the work, or at the very least derivative works.

    Fair Use

    You may have noticed things like small .mp3 samples on websites that sell music, or excerpts of articles quoted in books or websites.

    "Fair use" is an exception to copyright law meaning that anyone can reproduce small portions of copyrighted works. Though not always required, it is helpful if you attribute the work when you do so. "Attribution" is a fancy word meaning you cite the original author as the creator of the work.

    Parodies are also protected by Fair Use. The Supreme Court defines a parody as "the use of some elements of a prior author's composition to create a new one that, at least in part, comments on that author's works."

    What is copyrighted?

    Everything, as soon as it is published, whether it be posted on the internet, published in a magazine, played on the radio, whatever.

    The author does not need to apply for a copyright if they published it after 1978, though doing so helps prove their case in court if the work is stolen. If published prior to 1978, they do need to have filed the copyright with the US Copyright Office.

    A "poor man's copyright" that is used by some authors is to seal a copy of your work and send it to yourself via registered mail, which is timestamped and considered admissable in court. Obviously, you don't open the package until you're in a courtroom.

    Public Domain

    The "Public Domain" is where works go when they are no longer under copyright. Public Domain works can be used freely by anyone.

    -Works published in the US prior to 1978 remain copyrighted for 95 years from the date of publication.
    -Works published in the US after 1978 remain copyrighted until 70 years after the death of the author.
    -Works of US corporate authorship published after 1978 remain copyrighted for 95 years after publication or 120 years after creation, whichever is shorter.

    There are a few other rules, but this is enough to give a general idea. If you have a specific question and you don't think it's covered here, the US Copyright Office can help you.

    Fun fact: The Copyright Act of 1976 (which took effect in 1978, obviously) originally protected works for 50 years after the death of the author. In 1998, Disney successfully lobbied Congress to extend it by 20 years, as Mickey Mouse was about to slip into the public domain.

    Fun Fact #2: The song "Happy Birthday to You" is copyrighted and will remain so until the year 2030. This is why it is not sung at restaurants such as TGI Fridays, and they instead sing some other birthday-themed song.

    The LOTRO EULA (End User License Agreement)

    Now, with all these laws protecting the author of works, any idiot can assume that Turbine did some covering of their own. They did:

    "...Content created by you must not: (a) infringe any copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, or other proprietary right of any person or entity;..."

    So not only are they (in theory) protected, they could even suspend or ban you for inputting copyrighted material to protect themselves. Not that they need the excuse, as they can ban you for any or no reason at any time. Until it starts happening however, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

    So wait, I can't play any copyrighted works?

    Technically speaking, no. Are you likely to be sued for it? Basically, not a chance in hell. (though I assume no responsibility if you are, *cough* *cough*)

    Remember the case where Marvel sued NCSoft over City of Heroes? The lawsuit stated that NCSoft was responsible for the copyright infringement being perpetrated by the players. You see, players were using the robust hero creation system to recreate approximations of copyrighted characters.

    The point is, Marvel didn't sue each player. It would have been a waste of time. They sued NCSoft, and settled out of court. The conditions weren't released, but it is presumed that NCSoft paid Marvel some money to make the problem go away quietly, though chances are good the lawsuit would have been defeated (details).

    It isn't too much of a stretch for the RIAA, ASCAP, or BMI to try to sue Turbine, but that's between them. And there probably isn't much of a case.

    On the other hand, the RIAA is a bloodthirsty animal when it comes to illegal music downloading. That sort of thing is a lot easier to prove than what songs you play in LOTRO, however. They would have to know when you did it and your account name, and lean on Turbine to release the logs.

    Posting copyrighted material on the forums, however, is easy to prove (if Turbine cooperates). Not all ISP's have rolled over for the RIAA and given them their logs, whether Turbine would do the same is unknown.

    Would-be composers: Who owns the work you create on LOTRO?

    Here's another section from the EULA:

    "...If and to the extent you are deemed to have retained, under applicable law, any right, title or interest in or to any portion of the Content, you hereby transfer, grant, convey, assign and relinquish solely and exclusively to Turbine, in perpetuity to the extent permitted by applicable laws or for the duration of the legal protection afforded to the Content...To the extent permitted under applicable laws, you hereby waive any moral rights you may have in any and all Content..."

    (emphasis mine)

    This is where it gets muddy. It sounds like Turbine would like to claim whatever rights to your work that they can, but precedent in these types of cases is limited. To be safe, I would advise against playing anything in LOTRO that you plan to copyright and sell. You do retain certain rights no matter what the EULA says, but it's best to avoid a battle.

    To clarify what the EULA means by "the Content," I'll make another quote from earlier in the same section:

    "As part of your Game experience, you may be able to input language and upload content to the Game, our servers and similar areas which allow you to communicate with others in various forms, such as in the selections you make for playing the Game (for example, character names, in-game (text or voice) conversations, broadcast announcements, etc.) and in chat channels (text or voice), and to create and modify your user interface, characters, character names, game play and the like (collectively, the "Content")"

    (again, emphasis mine)

    So we can see by "Content," they in fact mean what the player inputs and creates. Though it doesn't specifically say player music, it could fall under "game play."
    Last edited by PugPug; Aug 09 2007 at 11:43 AM.
    Drive down gas prices. Stay home and play more LOTRO.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Behind a tree, arrow nocked...
    Posts
    3,241

    Re: Copyright Questions Answered

    Quote Originally Posted by PugPug View Post
    This is where it gets muddy. It sounds like Turbine would like to claim whatever rights to your work that they can, but precedent in these types of cases is limited. To be safe, I would advise against playing anything in LOTRO that you plan to copyright and sell. You do retain certain rights no matter what the EULA says, but it's best to avoid a battle.
    This typically applies to character images, as created in-game using game mechanics.

    It'd be a real stretch to lay claim to any music posted on the boards, or played in-game, or so I'd think.
    Lle merna aut farien?
    Playing music in LotRO is as easy as ABC!

    Warders of the Weald
    Landroval: Northwoods, Hjogii

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    438

    Re: Copyright Questions Answered

    Great Post!

    Having to deal with copyright issues in everything, it was nice to get a narrowed down/dumbed down version of the legal issues. Very informative!

    Thanks!
    [charsig=http://lotrosigs.level3.turbine.com/0520a000000001b20/01003/signature.png]undefined[/charsig]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    237

    Re: Copyright Questions Answered

    I work in the music industry, (under contract with a major label) and pretty savvy in copyright of music. (registering works, optaining a UPC, ISRC, etc...) All my efforts to inform the uniformed were brushed aside.

    I, at least, appreicate all the time and effort you put into this post... however, don't be disheartened when it is ignored, someone tries to find a loophole, discredit you or you're called a fear monger.
    Achiever 26.67%
    Explorer 86.67%
    Killer 6.67%
    Socializer 80.00%

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    432

    Re: Copyright Questions Answered

    Nice post PugPug.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    194

    Re: Copyright Questions Answered

    I may be mistaken, but I believe that you cannot have a transfer of IP without a signed document. I read the EULA once, and I am doubtful that Turbine could claim ownership of any IP created by anyone in game, or brought into game, as you have not signed. They try to skirt it with an agreement to sign, but I'm doubtful that would work.

    Take a look at the famous dispute between the B-hole surfers and Touch 'n' Go for more on that issue.

    ps Nice post
    Last edited by Pellegro; Aug 03 2007 at 12:07 AM.

  7. #7

    Re: Copyright Questions Answered

    Quote Originally Posted by Pellegro View Post
    I may be mistaken, but I believe that you cannot have a transfer of IP without a signed document. I read the EULA once, and I am doubtful that Turbine could claim ownership of any IP created by anyone in game, or brought into game, as you have not signed. They try to skirt it with an agreement to sign, but I'm doubtful that would work.

    Take a look at the famous dispute between the B-hole surfers and Touch 'n' Go for more on that issue.

    ps Nice post
    The signed document is that you clicked "I Agree" to all terms in the EULA. An electronic signature is just as good as a paper one.
    Mirkwood Intelligence Agency - Kinship / Elendilmir server / Simkin - (55)Hobbit Burglar - Armorer | Amonaug - (60)Dwarf Champion - Armsman | Garald - (35)Man Minstrel - Tinker | Joram - (53)Man Hunter - Woodsman | Saryon - (54)Elf Lore-Master - Historian | Dandra - (63)Elf Warden | Jhegesh - (60)Dwarf Rune-Keeper

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    450

    Re: Copyright Questions Answered

    Nice post. A couple of very quick minor replies:

    Quote Originally Posted by PugPug View Post
    ...Ah, you may have noticed the big one. "Publicly Perform." You might think that performing copyrighted works is okay, so long as you don't make any money doing it. This is not so. By performing for free, you devalue the work....
    The key word, though, is "publicly". You're allowed to perform anything you like privately. And that would presumbly include just playing your instrument at home with a couple people listening. (Otherwise there would be no point to buying sheet music in the first place.)

    Similarly I think you'd have a hard time defining most playing of music in LOTRO as "public performances", especially if your character or maybe one or two other people are around to hear it. On the other hand, if you're entertaining lots of people simultaneously in LOTRO, doing a mini-musical show for example, then you're starting to get into the realm of public performance. I doubt there's an exact numerical number involved in differentiating between public and private performances, but it's probably a stretch to call two or three bystanders "public".

    So this part of it is probably the part I'd be least worried about. I doubt even the RIAA gives a hoot if someone plays a song on their lute in LOTRO in front of three or five people. Posting the songs would be the bigger issue, mainly because it would reach a wider audience.

    The LOTRO EULA (End User License Agreement)
    Remember the case where Marvel sued NCSoft over City of Heroes? The lawsuit stated that NCSoft was responsible for the copyright infringement being perpetrated by the players. You see, players were using the robust hero creation system to recreate approximations of copyrighted characters.

    The point is, Marvel didn't sue each player. It would have been a waste of time. They sued NCSoft, and settled out of court. The conditions weren't released, but it is presumed that NCSoft paid Marvel some money for the right to keep running City of Heroes.
    Getting off-topic, but you're making a bad assumption if you think NCSoft settled "for the right to keep running the game." Marvel's case was virtually thrown out of court and the odds are quite good that had they continued to pursue it they would have lost. (For more info on the story, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of...Suit_by_Marvel )

    So why would NCSoft settle the case if they were going to win? Simple - it's cheaper and better business to settle a case then to drag it through court. Playing the case out, even if NCSoft won, would have cost a ton of money and time and wouldn't be worth it. And who knows, there's always the remote chance they'd lose part of a case, so why even take the risk? Plus, by settling, they opened the door to actually work WITH Marvel, as can be seen by Cryptic being the developer for the Marvel MMORPG. (In fact in my head I can just imagine the settlement went something like -
    Cryptic/NCSoft - "Why not drop your lawsuit and we can work together on making a Marvel MMORPG?"
    Marvel - (realizing they're in a losing position and that CoH is doing well) "Hmm... good idea.")


    Would-be composers: Who owns the work you create on LOTRO?

    Here's another section from the EULA:

    "...If and to the extent you are deemed to have retained, under applicable law, any right, title or interest in or to any portion of the Content, you hereby transfer, grant, convey, assign and relinquish solely and exclusively to Turbine, in perpetuity to the extent permitted by applicable laws or for the duration of the legal protection afforded to the Content...To the extent permitted under applicable laws, you hereby waive any moral rights you may have in any and all Content..."
    Keep in mind all abc music files are created outside of the game in text or music editors. When the EULA talks about "the Content", it's referring to all the resources in the game itself. For example, I don't own snapshots of my character from inside the game even though in a sense I "created" them - Turbine owns those snapshots. And I can't just take art objects or sounds or music from the game and make my own stuff out of it. They own all of those resources.

    But abc music files are created outside of the game with no resources from Turbine. You don't even use any tools developed by Turbine to write them, and even if you did they couldn't claim the work as their own. (It would be like Photoshop claiming they own any pictures you create using their product.) So they can't say your abc music file belongs to them even if you posted it here or play it in the game world. They're your music files, and theoretically if they're also your original songs then they're also automatically copyrighted to you.

    On the other hand, what they probably CAN do is record you playing music in game and use that recording however they like (eg stick a recording of it in their advertising or on their website, etc). And their recording of what you do in game belongs to them, not you. Similarly, I'm pretty sure that you automatically consent to Turbine reproducing anything you post here, so they could probably take any abc file posted here and use it however they like. So I definitely agree with the original poster that if you plan to sell an original song you wrote in an abc file you probably shouldn't post it here, and you might not even want to play it in game if you're worried about it being recorded.


    Anyway, just a couple quick replies. Great post.
    - Hoho, Pie-Runner
    Hobbit Burglar and Yeoman, Windfola server

  9. #9

    Re: Copyright Questions Answered

    Thanks for your thoughts. Based on your input I've updated the "basics" section, the COH lawsuit section, and the would-be composers section.

    Concerning "Content" belonging to Turbine meaning screenshots and the like, I think it does include that, but I believe it also includes much more. I base this on where in the EULA the language appears, and how "Content" is defined in the document.
    Last edited by PugPug; Aug 03 2007 at 08:13 AM.
    Drive down gas prices. Stay home and play more LOTRO.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    194

    Re: Copyright Questions Answered

    Quote Originally Posted by AmonaugTruehammer View Post
    The signed document is that you clicked "I Agree" to all terms in the EULA. An electronic signature is just as good as a paper one.
    I feel hesitant to ask since folks like Lonya enjoy taking pot shots (EDITED) but I'll ask anyway because I'm sincerely curious: Do you know that the above assertion is legally right? I'm not saying you're wrong - I'm genuinely curious. I was under the impression (for no good reason at all) that e-sigs were still up in the air ... Thanks!
    Last edited by Pellegro; Aug 03 2007 at 04:34 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    194

    Re: Copyright Questions Answered

    Last follow up since we have a real legal discussion going on here ...

    As for posting an ABC: As you know, a copyright attaches automatically at the time of creation. Any ABC song that is created would be the property in the first instance of the author. Only subsequent to that right attaching would/could it be posted.

    Is it your view that by posting the ABC the author has granted a nonexclusive license to Turbine to use that ABC however they wish, pursuant to the EULA? If so, wouldn't attribution still be required?

    Or, do you believe the EULA actually gives Turbine the exclusive ownerhsip of the ABC merely from the act of posting (combined, I guess, with the e-signed EULA).

    Just curious ....

    Thanks!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    237

    Re: Copyright Questions Answered

    Quote Originally Posted by Pellegro View Post
    I feel hesitant to ask since folks like Lonya enjoy taking pot shots (even though I am quite certain I've litigated more copyright issues than he/she has ...) but I'll ask anyway because I'm sincerely curious: Do you know that the above assertion is legally right? I'm not saying you're wrong - I'm genuinely curious. I was under the impression (for no good reason at all) that e-sigs were still up in the air ... Thanks!
    I'm sorry, I didn't realize my comments (pot shots) were directed at you. As to the litigation issue, unless you've dealt with copyright issues for 20 years, don't be so certain. To clarify the gender confusion, I'm female, so she would be the correct usage.

    Having said that, regarding e-signatures... You can enter into a contract over the internet with nothing more than a click of a button, typing of a few scrambled letters as confirmation and/or simply answering the confirmation e-mail sent to you when you apply for said contract. All of the above are considered legal and binding should you try to default. Typical contract rules apply however, granting a 24 hour grace period should you change your mind and wish to cancel said contract.
    Last edited by Lonya; Aug 03 2007 at 11:21 AM.
    Achiever 26.67%
    Explorer 86.67%
    Killer 6.67%
    Socializer 80.00%

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    194

    Re: Copyright Questions Answered

    There is no such thing as a 24 "take back" period under the common law of contracts. Some states have specific statutory consumer protection laws that allow certain purchases to be rescinded in some period of time (in my state, car purchases for something like 72 hours), but there is no general rule of law that contracts have a 24 hour "out". A contract, once formed, is binding (unless modified by statute as noted above).

    Anyhow, getting back to e-signatures ... while I haven't looked at, in knowing general contract law and in dealing with what are called adhesion contracts (i.e. take it or leave it contracts like a EULA, on opportunity for bargaining over terms), I would be very surprised if one could give away their rights to IP by merely clicking "I agree". Especially when you're talking about an IP transfer buried in a user agreement for a game. I suspect that would *not* hold water, if push came to shove.

    But it wouldn't come to that anyhow as I'm certain Turbine would steer clear of any user created content. That language is there just to scare kids off who like to threaten legal action over account bans, or game changes, or whatever ....

    Anyway, the most important part IMO to take from any of this is as follows:
    1. End users are *not* likely to be sued, in fact, its *very* unlikely. Even if someone cared, you are far more likely to receive a cease & desist letter first. The various parties at interest are already looked at with some degree of disdain; they're not going to drag someone to court over a simple ABC file issue. Its just not going to happen.
    2. The EULA is between the end users and Turbine. If Turbine wants to enforce the "dont post copyrighted material" provision, they will do so privately. Knowing Turbine as a fair company, they would likely issue a warning before a ban.

    So, put differently, I think its patently reasonable to continue as most users have before, to create and share and play ABC files. If, and when, someone cares, I've no doubt we will all hear about it.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled programming ....

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Behind a tree, arrow nocked...
    Posts
    3,241

    Re: Copyright Questions Answered

    Quote Originally Posted by Pellegro View Post
    I am quite certain I've litigated more copyright issues than he/she has ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Pellegro View Post
    I think its patently reasonable to continue as most users have before, to create and share and play ABC files. If, and when, someone cares, I've no doubt we will all hear about it.
    Pell, you say you've litigated copyright issues. This implies you're a legal professional of some sort. Since you're implicitly representing yourself as an officer of the court, are you really advising players to go ahead and post copyrighted material simply because it's unlikely they'll be caught and/or prosecuted?!?
    Lle merna aut farien?
    Playing music in LotRO is as easy as ABC!

    Warders of the Weald
    Landroval: Northwoods, Hjogii

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    237

    Re: Copyright Questions Answered

    Quote Originally Posted by Pellegro View Post
    Some states...

    There lies the problem. I'm not in the States, thus laws are somewhat different. While it's not in every contract written, a large amount of them have a "cooling period" to protect the consumer from high pressure sales.

    In my line of work, transfer of IP happens almost everyday with collaborations. A single click and the IP is transfered, usually for a specific time but the end result becomes the property of the secondary person, or clicker. I've been in my line of work for over 20 years and hold several copyrights. Encouraging people to post copyrighted material because it's "unlikely" they will be caught seems to be a rather careless suggestion. You claim to have litigated more copyright issues than I, I concede to as I am not a lawyer, but I'm hardly a kid who fears words and I know my rights as a performing artist.

    sidenote: Pot shots are only taken in an attempt to debunk, discredit or prove who's right. In this case, the shots from the pot are crossing large distances. I'm aware that not everyone who posts on these forums is from my country, but apparently it eludes many that we're not all American. It's not the first time I've run into this sort of generalized thinking and feel confident it won't be the last.
    Achiever 26.67%
    Explorer 86.67%
    Killer 6.67%
    Socializer 80.00%

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    194

    Re: Copyright Questions Answered

    Quote Originally Posted by Northwoods View Post
    Pell, you say you've litigated copyright issues. This implies you're a legal professional of some sort. Since you're implicitly representing yourself as an officer of the court, are you really advising players to go ahead and post copyrighted material simply because it's unlikely they'll be caught and/or prosecuted?!?
    I really don't understand your motivations ...

    Anyhow, to answer your post - You can take what you like from my representation that I've litigated. Obviously, you don't have to be a lawyer to litigate.

    Regardless of that point, however, nowhere did I ever advise anyone to do anything. Nor did I present a legal opinion qua legal opinion. There is obviously no lawyer-client relationship here, and no legal advice being given (which of course it would be inappropriate to post legal advice, which is confidential, in any event).
    From the other thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by Pellegro View Post
    I can't ethically, and won't, give legal advice here.
    But I guess I'll have to put a disclaimer on each and every of my posts lest God forbid someone accuses me of acting unethically. Sigh.

    In any event, what is clear is that you are soooo motivated to quash any dissent to your opinions that are you willing to make accusations of professional ethical improprieties - in the face of explicit disclaimers to the contrary. I think that is extraordinarily curious ... and telling ...

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    194

    Re: Copyright Questions Answered

    And to Lonya, friend from afar ...

    Apologies on my assumption. It seems that we are not even talking about the same set of rules! I had thought we were all talking about US copyright issues .... Throwing into the mix international copyright concerns really makes the issue interesting ....

    In any event, I am not recomming that people post copyrighted materials because I think you will not be caught. Reread my post. What I said was I'm pretty sure nobody cares. Again, to recap: Turbine has provided us a forum for the exchange of ABCs - stickied it in fact. Allegedly copyrighted ABC files are exchanged there daily. This has been going on for months yet no word from ASCAP or anyone else objecting to it. No warnings from Turbine (yet). Of coures, all this attention is not helpful ...

    Don't lose the forest for the trees. Even if you're dealing with a technical violation, if nobody cares, why do you? I mean really... you think someone playing an ABC song is in any way hurting the artist??? Oh well .... I'm done here. You guys are set and determined - which is fine, but no further purpose is served by continuing this back and forth.
    Last edited by Pellegro; Aug 03 2007 at 04:40 PM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    432

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Behind a tree, arrow nocked...
    Posts
    3,241

    Re: Copyright Questions Answered

    Quote Originally Posted by Pellegro View Post
    In any event, what is clear is that you are soooo motivated to quash any dissent to your opinions that are you willing to make accusations of professional ethical improprieties - in the face of explicit disclaimers to the contrary. I think that is extraordinarily curious ... and telling ...
    Since we're parsing words, I never mentioned ethics. That my comment should be taken as such is extraordinarily curious ... and telling ...

    Again.

    9. You may not upload or transmit copyrighted material, without the express consent of the copyright holder.

    That's pretty unambiguous. But wait! There's more!

    17. Users must not violate, or promote the violation of, Turbine’s terms of service, codes of conduct or end user license agreements.

    Even suggesting that it's OK, that you won't be prosecuted because nobody cares, would seem to violate that one, no?

    You cannot advise people to post copyrighted material. You won't tell them not to.

    And yet, you keep posting that it's OK, or maybe not OK but you won't get in trouble, but you're not advising anyone, but there's nothing to worry about anyway, not that you're saying it's OK, though nobody will get in trouble if they do post <wink, wink>.

    Take a stand. No complicated legalese. No justification based on your interpretation of one legal case and a loose interpretation of US copyright law. Be clear, concise and unambiguous: Is it OK to post copyrighted material, and are you willing to back your assertion?

    My position is that it's not, and I'm standing by that position.
    Lle merna aut farien?
    Playing music in LotRO is as easy as ABC!

    Warders of the Weald
    Landroval: Northwoods, Hjogii

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    450

    Re: Copyright Questions Answered

    Quote Originally Posted by Pellegro View Post
    ...
    Anyway, the most important part IMO to take from any of this is as follows:
    1. End users are *not* likely to be sued, in fact, its *very* unlikely. Even if someone cared, you are far more likely to receive a cease & desist letter first. The various parties at interest are already looked at with some degree of disdain; they're not going to drag someone to court over a simple ABC file issue. Its just not going to happen.
    I agree that a lawsuit doesn't sound likely. Worst case you'd probably just have the song taken down and get a letter saying "don't post it again". On the other hand, there's still the ethical issue. Just because it's not likely you'll get caught doing something doesn't mean it's ethical to do it.

    So even though I doubt a squad of lawyers is going to come knocking on my door if I post an abc file of some 1970's song, I'm still refraining from doing it because it seems like the proper thing to do.
    - Hoho, Pie-Runner
    Hobbit Burglar and Yeoman, Windfola server

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    593

    Thumbs up In conclusion...

    So... I can freely put folk, traditional and classical music from ancient days gone by based on listening [no sheet music] that would be more fitting to the RP environment of LotRO?

    Fine by me.

    One day when I have enough time to come back (lots going on out here for many months still), I'll probably flood the ABC thread with renditions.
    [COLOR=Navy].,.,.,.,.,.,[/COLOR][COLOR=Cyan]::.[/COLOR][COLOR=Navy],.[/COLOR]A whale of a tale, and it's all true.
    (\./)[COLOR=Navy],.,.,[/COLOR].--""--.[COLOR=Navy].,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.[/COLOR]
    [COLOR=Navy].[/COLOR]`\'---'`[COLOR=#222222].,.,.,.,.,[/COLOR]\[COLOR=Navy],.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.[/COLOR]
    [COLOR=Navy],.,.[/COLOR]'.____,__[U]^[/U]_/[COLOR=Navy],.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.[/COLOR]

  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    450

    Re: In conclusion...

    Quote Originally Posted by Northman View Post
    So... I can freely put folk, traditional and classical music from ancient days gone by based on listening [no sheet music] that would be more fitting to the RP environment of LotRO?...
    Just an interesting aside, but I'm pretty sure it's not a problem to use sheet music when creating an abc file based on a public domain classical work. The reason I say that is that when you create an abc file you are effectively writing your own "sheet music arrangement" of that song. For example, if I convert a piece by Bach into an abc file, what I'm doing in essence is typing out a digital piece of sheet music. And frequently that involves moving notes around, transposing, tempo changes, coding and comments. So my abc version of a song by Bach is going to look, if you printed it out, much different than a standard printed arrangement.

    Another way to think of this is just ask yourself - how do people nowadays make new copies of sheet music for Bach and Beethoven, etc? The answer is they work off of other sheet music for reference. If I was putting together a printed compliation of Bach's preludes and fugues, for example, I wouldn't be doing it by ear. I'd be working off previously printed sheet music written out by someone else, or possibly a couple of different pieces of sheet music of the same song.

    So I doubt there's an issue if you work off of printed sheet music for songs in the public domain. The only thing someone who prints sheet music has a copyright over would be the things in their sheet music that are unique to them, like tweaks to the arrangement, how the whole thing appears visually, the arrangement of the songs within a book, author commentary and such. They don't own the original song itself though.
    - Hoho, Pie-Runner
    Hobbit Burglar and Yeoman, Windfola server

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    17

    Re: Copyright Questions Answered

    I still assert that ABC songs fall under fair use as they are transformative and a small sample of the full copyrighted work.

    We know the following is legal:

    15 second recording clips of songs for preview purposes.
    Thumbnail images of full images in Google searches.

    There are plenty more uses that fall under fair use including private performances, etc. You get the idea.

    So how is stripping a song of its lyrics, harmonies, percussion, voice, instruments, etc. leaving a single note melody different? It is in no way a recording or full copy of the original. If played side by side they don't even begin to resemble each other. It's a sample, and it falls under fair use.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Behind a tree, arrow nocked...
    Posts
    3,241

    Re: Copyright Questions Answered

    If you were taking a melody and transcribing it into a full orchestral score, that might make a better argument of it being a transformative work, as you're adding a wealth of new material to the original. In the subtractive case, what you're doing is reducing the original to meet the playability requirements of the LOTRO system, leaving only the most identifiable essence. In other words, you're eliminating the glitter and leaving just what makes the song identifiable as that song. I'm not sure that would qualify as transformative.

    As for lyrics, someone who is familiar with music publishing answer please: is it typical to copyright the music and lyrics separately?
    Lle merna aut farien?
    Playing music in LotRO is as easy as ABC!

    Warders of the Weald
    Landroval: Northwoods, Hjogii

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    104

    Re: Copyright Questions Answered

    Quote Originally Posted by countbuggula View Post
    I still assert that ABC songs fall under fair use as they are transformative and a small sample of the full copyrighted work.

    We know the following is legal:

    15 second recording clips of songs for preview purposes.
    Thumbnail images of full images in Google searches.

    There are plenty more uses that fall under fair use including private performances, etc. You get the idea.

    So how is stripping a song of its lyrics, harmonies, percussion, voice, instruments, etc. leaving a single note melody different? It is in no way a recording or full copy of the original. If played side by side they don't even begin to resemble each other. It's a sample, and it falls under fair use.
    Assert all you want. You are wrong. The melody is the copyright. Changing the arrangement (which is all you're doing by stripping the rest) does not change the copyright. Whether you add full orchestration to Happy Birthday, or sing it solo, it is still the melody, and still under copyright.

    I created a Square Dance tune based on a Monty Python song (The Galaxy Song). The orchestration is nothing at all like the original, the lyrics are only partially used, the verse/choruses are arranged in an entirely different manner. However the song is recognizable as the Monty Python tune. Should I decide to release it, I would owe the Harry Fox agency money for the 'mechanical' license to that song, even though it is a total transformation of the original.

    Performing it however is covered in the ASCAP/BMI fees I pay every year.

    As long as the song is recognizable, the copyright applies.

 

 
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

This form's session has expired. You need to reload the page.

Reload