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captain_dork

License for classical music

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I want to use classical music in a game project of mine (pieces from the works of Bach, Tshaikovsky...) The composers died long ago, so I guess I can use the music without any copyright problems, is that right? What about the copyright of the performer? If I use the Brandenburg Concert or Swane Lake that is performed by a certain symphony orchestra, have I then to contact (pay..) the Orchestra to avoid problems?

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IIRC (and IANAL, but I think) sheet music, arrangements, etc. are free for public use either 50 years from the date of release or 50 years from the date of the composer's death. Actual recordings, on the other hand, have more strict usage laws; you do need to contact the producer for permission to use them.

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You can use any classical music you like, so long as the performer has given you their permission (sometimes you get Classical CDs where the quality is acceptable (at least), and it's all free as in speech (although not as in beer, although you do get this on the 'net)).

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This reminds me of a similar question I've always wondered...

I play a few different instruments. Let's say I made a recording of some classical piece, and wanted to use it in a game. Would this be legal, even if the sheet music I used was copyrighted?

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Original post by Adamb
This reminds me of a similar question I've always wondered...

I play a few different instruments. Let's say I made a recording of some classical piece, and wanted to use it in a game. Would this be legal, even if the sheet music I used was copyrighted?


I'm pretty sure that's fine. I think it's only the physical medium and layout of the notes that's copyrighted by the sheet music; the music itself is out of copyright.

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Original post by Trapper Zoid
Quote:
Original post by Adamb
This reminds me of a similar question I've always wondered...

I play a few different instruments. Let's say I made a recording of some classical piece, and wanted to use it in a game. Would this be legal, even if the sheet music I used was copyrighted?


I'm pretty sure that's fine. I think it's only the physical medium and layout of the notes that's copyrighted by the sheet music; the music itself is out of copyright.


Copyright applies to the composition itself. If the piece is under copyright, then you need to pay, even if you play it yourself. If the piece isn't under copyright or the copyright has expired then you can record it yourself and it's all good, but using a recording performed by someone else would require thier permission.

Yes, this means that when bands cover songs or DJs sample them they generally have to get permission (which usually costs money).

A lot of classical music is now in the public domain, so you can make your own recording with no problem, but using someone else's recording (off a CD for example) would likely require thier permission. If you wanted more modern music, you could either approach an indie-band (or DJ) with a style you like and ask them for permission, or try to find a composer. Many indie bands are happy to give permission to use some music as long as you credit them.

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Original post by captain_dork
I guess I can use the music without any copyright problems, is that right? What about the copyright of the performer? If I use the Brandenburg Concert or Swane Lake that is performed by a certain symphony orchestra, have I then to contact (pay..) the Orchestra to avoid problems?


Just to give you a clear answer, the composition is in the public domain, so you can make your own recordings (or sequence the tune electronically) and use it without any problems. However, many specific recordings will still be protected by copyright, and you would need permission to use those (usually costs money).

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Original post by Kazgoroth
Copyright applies to the composition itself. If the piece is under copyright, then you need to pay, even if you play it yourself. If the piece isn't under copyright or the copyright has expired then you can record it yourself and it's all good, but using a recording performed by someone else would require thier permission.


Sorry; I should have put a clarification in my post so it was clearer. I'm pretty sure it's fine if it's classical music that's out of copyright to record yourself playing the music that's on copyrighted sheet music, as the copyright applies only to the sheet music and not the sound of the music itself.

If the music itself is not out of copyright, then it is not okay.

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hi,

i was wondering about that song the female band play in xxx2 (with the vilions) using that even though, it was just in a movie would it still be illegal.

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Original post by gamerking
hi,

i was wondering about that song the female band play in xxx2 (with the vilions) using that even though, it was just in a movie would it still be illegal.


I havn't actually seen the movie, but I'm just going to take a random stab in the dark and ask - would "the female band" happen to be "bond"? (Website). Thier music would definately be protected under copyright, so no, you couldn't use it without permission.

Damn fine band.

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