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TKE Super Dave

Music in video game in Radio Music

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Here's probably a stupid question but it will help settle a debate my roommates and I were having. In Ocoreana of Time (please forgive my spelling of Ocoreana, it's late here and I don't have the game in front of me), Link is able to play an Ocoreana and can play different songs based on the buttons you push. There are some you are taught to play but you can make up your own too, they just don't do anything ingame. My roommates believed that if they made their own song on the Ocoreana and included it in a song that their real life band plays that it would be perfectly legal to use it without any sort of legal contract or at least mentioning the game. I however believe that they would at least have to mention the game if not contact the makers of the game. I'm just wondering would it be legal or not to do as I described above?

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OK this is an odd one so I can't be 100% sure (and this isn't legal advise) but....

If you are talking about playing music in the game, recording that music and using it as part of another piece of music/performance then that would be OK without any contract. You are using the Ocarina as a musical instrument but creating your own music. However, if you were to use video of the game as part of the performance then you would need permission.

Usual disclaimer: you should check with a lawyer.

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Why not just buy a cheap keyboard with an Ocarina sound? Since it's an original composition, you could then play it live and not have to drag a video game around. But if the intent is to have the band onstage with a Nintendo Gameboy as an instrument, that's something a lawyer would know.

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Obscure that's exactly what I ment. Sounds like my roommates might be right. If they were really going to do this we'd check with a lawyer but it was more of a what if situation. Anyone else got an opinion?

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Quote:
Original post by TKE Super Dave
Anyone else got an opinion?


Yeah, I'm with Dan. It's an instrument. You don't need to negotiate to use an instrument in some music that you compose and perform yourself.
IANAL.

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Quote:
Original post by S1CA
I think this one starts to stray into a murky grey legal area of copyright law when you start to think about what constitutes a "musical instrument": http://www.chillingeffects.org/reverse/notice.cgi?NoticeID=898&print=yes

That link is referring to recordings made by Roland (and possibly included with or embedded in equipment they sell). Note the passage that states "works that result from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken or other sounds..." The individual musical notes produced by a synth (however they are created) aren't copyright. If they were then all music created on a Roland synth would be copyright of Roland (which it isn't).
The music that Nintendo have created within the game and which is played during the game is copyright but the individual notes are not. They are not a creative work. Anyone using those notes to create their own original music would be OK.

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Music sampling is in legal limbo right now. Basically you just need to consider the intention of copyright and trademark laws first. You are encouraged to create new stuff and discouraged from using other people's stuff and ideas.

If you are making something new, that's okay. If you use their tools to make something, that's okay. If their tools make a distinctive impact on your stuff, you might not be okay. If their tools are distributed with your stuff, that is not okay. If your stuff is a derivative work of their stuff, you are very much not okay.

Playing your song yourself: No problem.
Recording your own song: No problem.
Distributing your song in a voice-neutral format that recommends using that audio file if available: No problem.
Distributing your own song (Internet, CD, etc) that uses their samples: Probably no problem if your sampling does not substantially contribute to your work.
Distributing their audio samples along with your song: No! Problem!

An easier example: You can use a TurboHammer3000 to build something and sell that new thing. You can PROBABLY include a TurboHammer3000 in your Box-O-Tools if the hammer is just a minor part of it. You cannot redistribute TurboHammer3000, clone it and make a TurboHammer3001, or sell parts to the TurboHammer3000 without permission from the company or some really careful legal advice.

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