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Is The Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss II public domain yet?


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#1 _greyfox()   Members   -  Reputation: 1133

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 01:44 AM

Hello. Just a short question here.

 

So I was watching 2001: A Space Odyssey and I heard this piece of wonderful music "The Blue Danube Waltz" composed by Johann Strauss II. I really liked it, and now I'm thinking if I could use it in my game? And is it a public domain yet?

 

Thank you, everyone, in advance


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#2 ShadowFlar3   Members   -  Reputation: 1258

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 01:58 AM

IANAL

 

http://www.shockwave-sound.com/Articles/010_Copyrights_in_Public_Domain_music.html

 

Classical music compositions are public domain, but any music you download (.mp3, midi, etc) is still either recorded or arranged by someone who holds the rights to that recording or arrangement.

 

That being said the matter is not easy. If you want totally royalty free you could use your midi sequencer or finer music software to program in the composition from the sheet music. But I reckon most people just buy the rights to use a recording from some party that has recorded a performance of that piece.

 

Still, hiring a composer to do original (non-orchestrated?) music for your game might be cheaper so using classical music is by no means a workaround to good game music.



#3 _greyfox()   Members   -  Reputation: 1133

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 02:03 AM

Thank you for clarifying. This is as much info as I need for now.


“There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation, where they work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don't need to impress people they don't like.”― Nigel Marsh

#4 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9859

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 07:49 AM

Edvinas, you need to know when Johann Strauss II died.  Was it more than 80 or 90 years ago?


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#5 bschmidt1962   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1828

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 09:19 AM

Johann Strauss (aka "The Waltz King") died in 1899, so you're ok.  (not to be confused with Richard Strauss, also a famous composer who died in 1949)

 

Not all "classical" compositions are in the public domain yet, as Hans Zimmer discovered after he was sued by relatives of the late Gustav Holst.  Music from Gladiator (which ZImmer did the score for) sounded remarkably like "Mars" from "the Planets".  

 

Always check both the current law, date of composition and date of death of the composer whenever you want to use a musical work.


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#6 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4764

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 10:09 AM

IANAL

 

http://www.shockwave-sound.com/Articles/010_Copyrights_in_Public_Domain_music.html

 

Classical music compositions are public domain, but any music you download (.mp3, midi, etc) is still either recorded or arranged by someone who holds the rights to that recording or arrangement.

That is 90% correct. Classical compositions are not public domain as such. However, it happens that many/most classical composers are dead long enough so their works are indeed PD.

This includes Gustav Mahler since last year, but for example does not include Richard Strauss or Janne Sibelius, or Carl Orff (the works of Strauss and Sibelius are PD in some countries with minimum copyright terms, however).

 

Works by Johann Strauss are generally in the public domain (though as correctly noted not necessarily arrangements and recordings).






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