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using copyrighted music in games

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hey, the game im programming, i am going to sell it, but i want to use some music, popular music, do i have to ask the producer or something to use it, or can i use it freely?

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The music industry is not very forgiving on such things. You need to talk to the owner of the song's copyright or their agent (can be a legal minefield). A cheaper way is to find a friend who can compose something origional for you and come to some arangement with them, ie profit sharing. either way get some legal advice relvent to your country.

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if you want to sell you gam you have to ask the producer but if you don't sell then (i think) you can use any song you want(at least it's like that with movies...i think it's the same with games)

regards,
m4gnus

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If the song is copyrighted you must ask permission. If you dont, in theory this is a crime.

This is always true and in particular if you are planning to sell the game.

So think about the rules your country applies on this matter( USA [smile]? )

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If I'm not mistaken, the copyrights for music expires after 100 years, meaning that you can use classical music like Mozart or Bach. Beware though, the recordings you find on CDs are the intellectual property of the musicians that did the recording, so you'd have to re-record the music yourself.

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Original post by Goldfish
If I'm not mistaken, the copyrights for music expires after 100 years, meaning that you can use classical music like Mozart or Bach. Beware though, the recordings you find on CDs are the intellectual property of the musicians that did the recording, so you'd have to re-record the music yourself.


So from 2070 you can release a special version with the Rolling Stones greatest hits!!! Wheeee [lol]

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What about composing a song using parts of copyrighted music (lots of techno stuff is a good mix of littlebit here and there). Isn't there something that if you only use a small part it is ok?

Just an example (maybe wrong on this). You can searh for images on google. Google have collected alot of images which they store in their DB. These images is only thumbnails of the real image. They don't need permission for this because if you rescale an image, and it would differ for more than 30%, then it is ok?????

But if you would do the same with music samples, you would have to "change" the sound at least 30%.

And I think the copyright of music gets removed after 30 year or something... but that is just something I read somewhere really quick, so don't take my word for it.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by DarkSlayer
Just an example (maybe wrong on this). You can searh for images on google. Google have collected alot of images which they store in their DB. These images is only thumbnails of the real image. They don't need permission for this because if you rescale an image, and it would differ for more than 30%, then it is ok?????


Actually, it's not. ANy time someone complains to google, they remove the links to the image. That 30% "rule" has no legal bearing. If you use 30% their lawyers can still sue you for 100%.

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Original post by Avont29
is there a way i can ask online, or do i have to call make an apointement, blah blah

You need to get written permission from the copyright holder. And unless you are ready to spend hundred thousands to millions of Dollars on licenses and lawyers, you should better forget about popular music. Get a friend compose you something instead. You will never get permission to use music from some major publisher for free in your game, never ever.

Quote:
Original post by m4gnus
if you want to sell you gam you have to ask the producer but if you don't sell then (i think) you can use any song you want(at least it's like that with movies...i think it's the same with games)

Nope, you can't. Any distribution of copyrighted material is illegal, unless you are the legal owner of the copyright, or have written permission from the owner. This is no issue if you write a game for yourself, and never intend to give it out to anyone else. But as soon as you start distributing it, free or not, you're infringing copyrights. And that can become very, very expensive, if the music industry decides to sue you.

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And I think the copyright of music gets removed after 30 year or something... but that is just something I read somewhere really quick, so don't take my word for it.

Depends on the country. 50 years in the EU, around 100 years in the US.

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What about if you apply a sound filter to a tune or sound effect?

Irrelevant, unless the song becomes totally unrecognizable. And even then, you'd better not tell anyone from where it came, because it could be seen as a derivate work.

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well, one song i want to use, the artist is in jail, could i use that?

No.

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another artist i want to use his song, be he's dead, can i use it if he's dead?

No, unless the copyright has expired.

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Quote:
Original post by Avont29
well, one song i want to use, the artist is in jail, could i use that?

another artist i want to use his song, be he's dead, can i use it if he's dead?


There is nothing stopping you from using these songs if you live in a country without copyright relations with the US (since you live in the US). According to the US copyright office, these contries include Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Nepal, Somalia, and others.

Otherwise expect to hear from the lawyers representing whoever "owns" the music. For example, if you want to use a Beatles or Elvis Presley song you will have to pay Michael Jackson royalties for using it - As strange as it may sound, he "owns" those songs.

Basically, if you didn't create it yourself, you must get permission to use it. Read the copyright FAQ for more info.

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Check the law regarding copyright expiry in your country.

For music recordings in the UK it expires 50 years after the recording/1st publication - BUT only if the recording was made in the EEA. If the recording was made outside of the EEA then the copyright is subject to the laws of the originating country as defined by international treaty.

The sampling of copyrighted works in your own compositions is a legal grey area. There is currently as case going through the US courts (involving Eminem i believe) that should create precedent one way or the other.

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For example, if you want to use a Beatles or Elvis Presley song you will have to pay Michael Jackson royalties for using it - As strange as it may sound, he "owns" those songs.


Except the copyright on the Beatles back catalogue will soon expire (by soon I mean in the next 5-15 years). The music industry is lobbying pretty hard to get the rules changed as you might expect from people who have such little integrity that they inflicted the crazy frog on us.

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I'd suggest either finding a good indie-band that you like and asking them nicely if you can use some of thier music (indie's will often be more friendly to this type of thing), or make a post in Help Wanted looking for a composer (and being sure to post using the template).

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Quote:
Original post by Yann L
Quote:

What about if you apply a sound filter to a tune or sound effect?

Irrelevant, unless the song becomes totally unrecognizable. And even then, you'd better not tell anyone from where it came, because it could be seen as a derivate work.


Not quite. Hundreds of DJ's do the exact same thing all the time. Check this one out :

http://www.ntzrplk.com/audio/johnallan/crates/crate_05.01.05.06.mp3

I'm almost positive this guy has never spoken to the owner of Nirvana's songs.

BTW, if you'd like some original music, I might be able to help you out. PM me if you're interested.

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And I think the copyright of music gets removed after 30 year or something... but that is just something I read somewhere really quick, so don't take my word for it.
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depends on the country. 50 years in the EU, around 100 years in the US.



and the correct answer is..... (drum roll please)

the life of the artist plus 50 years. (at least in the US)

macroeconomics in college paid off [grin]

~guyaton

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@Delstar81: If the "creator" of that mp3 plans on selling that stuff, he should contact the copyright owner of the songs he uses, otherwise it can get quite expensive.

@topic:
I think it is quite audacious to use any tune (or picture or something) you didn´t create yourself in order to make your own profit of it without even asking for permission? Perhaps I´m too idealistic for this world ;)
Being a 'musician' myself, I would be quite pissed if I bought a game, installed it and heard one of my songs playing there without having been asked for permission by the creator of that game. If I could afford it I would sue him til the end.... most publishers can afford such a step and as has already been said, the music industry is not very forgiving about copyright infringements.
AFAIK live DJ´s, or the clubs they play in pay a so-called GEMA fee (at least in Germany) if they play music made by other artists, which are registered with the GEMA.

Avont29:
If it is techno you want to use, make it yourself, isn´t that hard. If you can´t do it yourself, simply get some DJ to help you out, there should be lots of them.
Otherwise ask a indie-band (as has been said) you like, get a composer to do a soundtrack for your game or ask the copyright´s owner for permission (will most likely end up with you paying for that permission)

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Quote:
Original post by guyaton
and the correct answer is..... (drum roll please)

the life of the artist plus 50 years. (at least in the US)

macroeconomics in college paid off [grin]

Nope, apparently it didn't, especially if they taught you incorrect information at your college ;)

[indepth:on]
The correct answer is much more complex than a simple number. It mainly depends on when and under what conditions the original work was published. The Berne Convention guarantees a minimum of 50 years after the authors death, but many countries went beyond that minimal requirement. The US signed the controversial Sonny Bono Copyright extension act in 1998, which extends the copyright to 70 years after the authors death minimum. Depending on further conditions, this period is extended to 95 years. Here is a flowchart that lets you compute when a certain copyright expires.
[indepth:off]

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Not quite. Hundreds of DJ's do the exact same thing all the time.

They pay royalties to the RIAA, which in turn dispatches them to the copyright holders.

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I'm almost positive this guy has never spoken to the owner of Nirvana's songs.

Well, he'd better hope that the copyright holders/RIAA never notices his songs then - because he'd be in for a nice lawsuit for copyright infringement (Note: I didn't download the mp3, but I assume it's remixed Nirvana material).

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Quote:
Original post by matches81
If it is techno you want to use, make it yourself, isn´t that hard.

I find that statement ridiculous, and it's probably insulting to the people that can do it well. GOOD techno is not easy to produce, by any means.

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