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Legality of MIDI music

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Can you copyright a piece of music, or just a performance of it - bands cover music in pubs all the time but is this technically legal? I recently got 1000's of ringtones for my mobile phone, which are in conventional .mid format. This got me thinking, if I make athe best version of a current hit in midi, where does that sit legally if I wanted to distribute it in a game?

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I dunno.. i think there was a legal battle about it. And midi's i think are legal because its not the ACTUAL song, which is why covers would be legal, it wouldn't be the same band playing it or whatever.

You should prolly get the other persons consent if your going to use a piece of music in a game. If its commercial, i doubt its legal.

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You can copyright both. Thing is if you sell anything based on something else, someone is going to want some royalities.

Pub bands etc are small fry, and it's up to the venue to make sure they have the right licence to play music publically.

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The music is copyright (unless it is an old classical tune that is now out of copyright). Creating a copy of that (in midi) would be breach of copyright and so would selling it.

Covers are legal because the creator of the cover pays a royalty to the copyright owner and NOT because it isn't "the actual song".

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Legally, MIDI files have been ruled to be recordings and not sheet-music (even though they've got attributes of each), so copyrights that apply to sound recordings apply to MIDI files.

That's important because recordings and MIDI files have very different copyright laws applied to 'em. American copyright laws are a mess.

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer.

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Quote:
Original post by johnhattan
Legally, MIDI files have been ruled to be recordings and not sheet-music (even though they've got attributes of each), so copyrights that apply to sound recordings apply to MIDI files.

That's important because recordings and MIDI files have very different copyright laws applied to 'em. American copyright laws are a mess.

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer.
That doesn't appear to make any sense. You say they have the same law applied, then in the next sentence say they have different laws. Which is it?

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IANAL, but as far as I know, in the US, MIDIs are considered a recording of a rendition of a song, (the song which may or may not have copyright), and are covered under the same laws as other recordings of renditions of copyright material, if the song is under copywrite; however, MIDIs fall under different copywrite laws for the actual rendition, which while they largely mandate the same thing as sound recordings, differ in the existing case law. If that sentence doesn't make any sense, welcome to American copyright law.

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Quote:
Original post by SiCrane
IANAL, but as far as I know, in the US, MIDIs are considered a recording of a rendition of a song, (the song which may or may not have copyright), and are covered under the same laws as other recordings of renditions of copyright material,......

OK I see what he meant. The composition is protected by copyright from the time it was completed until that copyright expires. Any recording of that composition would itself be protected by a separate copyright from the time of its creation. So, while the composition of a piece of old classical music may be out of copyright a modern recording of the piece would still be protected.

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Quote:
Original post by Obscure
Quote:
Original post by SiCrane
IANAL, but as far as I know, in the US, MIDIs are considered a recording of a rendition of a song, (the song which may or may not have copyright), and are covered under the same laws as other recordings of renditions of copyright material,......

OK I see what he meant. The composition is protected by copyright from the time it was completed until that copyright expires. Any recording of that composition would itself be protected by a separate copyright from the time of its creation. So, while the composition of a piece of old classical music may be out of copyright a modern recording of the piece would still be protected.


Yeah, that's why Elite could use all that classical music without worrying. The music was it's own performance, but it was performing something that copyright had run out on.

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