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lain_lain@live.com

Don't Wanna Be Sued

9 posts in this topic

Hello all, I've come to get recommendations before I make changes to my blog. I'm at the moment making a monetized blog that focuses on video game music. I'll sometimes write reviews of indie games, write reviews on indie game soundtracks or upcoming composers, or do a musical analysis on certain songs. It'd be much easier to draw in a crowd if I could actually have the music itself embedded in the blog post. However, I can't use the ever popular Youtube as that would be seen as copyright infringement from what I've researched. That's totally understandable. It wouldn't be copyright infringement to post a link leading to the site that has the actual music. I actually don't have a problem with that. However, if the user uploading the music isn't the sole owner of said music, then I can still possibly get into trouble. So, I'm at a loss. I could very well message every video game company or composer and ask for permission to embed their music in my blog. That would be a ton of companies. Yet, with their busy schedules I don't see myself getting a reply soon if at all. And now we've arrived at the big, hard question that I've harassed Google with....

 

Does anybody know of a website that legally stores a large supply of video game music that has embeddable features on the individual song so that my linking to the music would be possible? It could be a site like Bandcamp, Youtube, Last.fm. Just any site that you've heard about through the grapevine or anything really.

 

I don't see much hope for this, but I figure it never hurts to ask just in case.

Edited by HahaYouAint
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Copyright law was explicit exemptions for criticism, commentary, and news reporting. Currently blogging is a gray area, with courts sometimes deciding that blogging counts as critical journalism and commentary, other times that it does not.

You may or may not be covered by those exemptions; verify it with a lawyer.
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Copyright law was explicit exemptions for critical use (such as commentary). Currently blogging is a gray area, with courts sometimes deciding that blogging counts as critical journalism, other times that it does not.

You may or may not be covered by those exemptions; verify it with a lawyer.

 

And you don't know of a site that matches what I'm looking for?

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How would embedding Youtube videos constitute copyright infringement? The source is clearly marked, there is a link (if you click on the embedded "youtube" button it brings you to the corresponding youtube page) and you are not the uploader. Legally, I would think that an embedded Youtube video is equivalent to a link to the youtube page containing the video.

 

What I've seen people do is upload only short parts of the music, which would then not be infringement, but promotional in nature (though if a company is out to get you, I don't think this will help).

 

IANAL though. I recommend checking with a lawyer.

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Unfortunately, using an audio track (even if just a small sample of one) for the purpose of critique is a bit of a grey area legally. With most other media it is fine to borrow small bits for the purpose of critique as it is covered by fair use.

 

It is best to ask the copyright holder for permission.

Edited by Ludus
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I'm well aware I need to contact a lawyer in order to get specific details on the situation. I was waiting to do that in case there was a site like the one I'm looking for.

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I'm not aware of any site that does it, and since their purpose would not be for any of the fair use exceptions, it is unlikely that such a site exists.


Again, assuming your blog is for criticism, commentary, or news reporting, you fall under the fair use exemptions in section 107 of copyright law.

Under that exception you are free to record and upload the audio clips yourself.

You will want to verify with your lawyer that your site qualifies for the exemption, but if you do there is nothing stopping you from legally hosting it yourself.
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Does anybody know of a website that legally stores a large supply of video game music that has embeddable features on the individual song so that my linking to the music would be possible?

Youtube. If the content is involved in a copyright dispute, then that argument occurs on youtube, not on the sites that have linked to youtube (embedding is just linking).

The external sites simply end up with dead links.

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I'd say your odds of being sued are somewhere around the odds of you dying in a toaster related incident.

 

Lawsuits are expensive to file. No one is going to bother on some blog with a Google page rank below 7. And that would only be a small risk if you were flagrantly violating copyright (such as if your blog was a game music ripping site). 

 

I can already tell you what a lawyer would tell you - using more than tiny samples is not legal. I can also tell you that basically all types of journalism take "fair use" beyond the legal definition with such regularity that you're a gnat in a locust storm.

 

;tldr Go nuts, you're cool.

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Thank you all for your suggestions and advice. I have already contacted a handful of lawyers about the situation. If I get negative replies then I will simply change the content of my site to mostly promote indie game music and indie games. It's much easier to get in contact with indie game developers and composers. And I really love to talk about them more when I actually think about it. So it won't be the end of the world.

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