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Dynamo_Maestro

Music laws

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Hi

In terms of copyright law and well law in general, is it illegal if I put an edited version of a classical theme from the 20th century (or before) in my game and by edited I mean remixed. Theres a cut scene that would go brilliant with "Dance of the Knights" playing but I dont really want to get sued for using it.

What exactly is the process of using a dead persons work (obviously I am not going to pass it as my own)?

Regards

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This should clear everything up. http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm

Remixing a song would be considered similar to reusing a song, rearranging it, reorchestrating it etc.

Cheers,
Chris

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There are 2 different copyrights at work here. One is for the composition itself. The other is for the recording. They're separate things.

So if I want to use Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D-Minor in my game, I'm free to do so provided make a brand new recording of it from scratch. If instead, I take a recording of someone else's recording and use it in my game, then I'm in violation of their copyright, even though I'm not violating Bach's.

Also be very careful to make sure that the music itself (especially from a 20th century composer) is actually in the public domain before you decide to use it as videogame music. Generally the rule is that copyright of a song is good for 70 years after the death of the composer. (Hans zimmer got into trouble for the Gladiator soundtrack (2000), which had music that sounded remarkably like Holts' "the planets"--Holst died in 1934, so "The Planets" was still undercopyright in 2000).
Brian Schmidt
www.GameSoundCon.com

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Interesting - this track from Bastion references a classical piece who's name escapes me (although the composer has denied being influenced by anything, and says it may have been from a sample library he used). I was wondering how they got away with that - I guess because its entirely new instrumentation.

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Interesting - this track from Bastion references a classical piece who's name escapes me (although the composer has denied being influenced by anything, and says it may have been from a sample library he used). I was wondering how they got away with that - I guess because its entirely new instrumentation.

Would love to check it, but your link directs me to a 404 page.

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Ahh... it's because Grooveshark isn't available from Germany anymore since January - they said it's because of "disproportionally high running costs".
Forgot about that. (and how much it sucks)

Could you just tell me the name of the track then so I can have at listen somewhere else?

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Yes, sorry - it's "The Mancer's Dilemma" from Bastion (by Darren Korb).

If you can identify the piece of music I'll be forever grateful - it's been driving me crazy trying to work out where I've heard it before!

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Thanks!

Great tune, but I can't say I've heard that particular motive before - you're talking about the harp, right?

It's not the most innovative melody, it's quite probable that someone has wrote something similar before...

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