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tremorlars

Music in game law

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Hi guys,

 

I`m creating this topic because i need to understand how it work music copyright in game developement.

 

We are an italian team and are developing a `Music game`, but we dont know nothing about that argoment.

 

How it work copyright music in game developing?

Which are the  law about copyrighted music in a game?

What i need to do if i put in copyrighted music?

 

thanks for the attention.

Edited by tremorlars

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Are you talking about popular music, e.g. from the music charts etc, or music you're having made specially for the game?

If you want to use music that is avaliable in shops etc on cds and is commercial in nature, generally it will have to be licensed and you have to follow terms of the license set by the rights holder. This can get complicated and you MUST speak to a lawyer skilled in IP law before you even consider it, and making a free game definitely won't get you around this.

If you're having music created specially for your game then it's all different and you can specify that you own the rights to that music.

Hope this helps!

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Hi guys,

 

I`m creating this topic because i need to understand how it work music copyright in game developement.

 

We are an italian team and are developing a `Music game`, but we dont know nothing about that argoment.

 

How it work copyright music in game developing?

Which are the  law about copyrighted music in a game?

What i need to do if i put in copyrighted music?

 

thanks for the attention.

 

You cannot put a copyrighted music track in your game and publish it without running the risk of being sued. So my advice would be to either: 

 

- use a different track that you can legally use. 

- hire a composer to create a track similar to the one(s) you wanted to use. 

- contact the rights holder of the music track(s) you want to use and see what requirements they have for you to be able to legally use them. 

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(1) We are an Italian team ... How it work copyright music in game developing?

(2) Which are the law about copyrighted music in a game?

(3) What i need to do if i put in copyrighted music?

 

 

1- The law is different in every country.  I don't think any of the regular members on the forum are familiar with Italy's law specifically.  Before you release the game, if you never show it to anyone else, you can generally use your own collections of music to hold the place of the final music. It is only when you start showing people outside your team that you need to really worry about it.

 

2- At the most basic level, copyright law in all nations that matter to game development is that if you did not create it you need permission so you can distribute it or perform it.  Otherwise you have no right to use it.  There are some special rules around music that allow companies to pay a standard rate, but those laws depend on the country you are in.

 

3- You need to either create original music yourself (or hiring people to do it).  Or you need to get permission to use it from whoever owns the rights. Or you need to be prepared for a lawsuit that will probably crush your dreams or destroy your business.

 

 

The costs for music infringement tends to be extremely high. Music is clearly identifiable so infringement is quite likely to be discovered.  You really need a lawyer familiar with copyright law in Italy to advise you on the specifics.

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My understanding of music licensing for games - especially where the music is part of the game - is that you will need to speak to the musician's management, and negotiate an agreement with them. The standard contracts you can buy from performing rights agencies and the like typically do not cover this sort of usage, and even in cases where you can obtain a licence for the composition (e.g. PRS in the UK offer an SG6 licence for using music as a backing track) you need to get a separate licence to use the original recording.

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You need to licence commercial music to use in your game.  It also depends who's music you want to use.  Some artists and publishers just won't work with games others will. Some publishers even sell DVDs of licence music from their back catalog specifically for games.  You pay for the DVD and it includes a licence to use the work.  I worked on a game a few years ago and we licence music from several "Girl Bands" including The Pussycat dolls, Little Mix and The Saturdays and it wasn't actually that expensive.

 

However depending on how much of the song you need to play and how you use it then there is possibly other solutions. Some streaming APIs  allow you to play either full songs or parts of songs (Spotify expressly forbids it for games unfortunately).  You may have to pay for premium access to the API though to use in a commercial game.
Theres also various Web Radio stations that have licence content and allow you to build players that use their streams.
If you are on a mobile device you can use the users saved tracks.

 

 

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You could get around the whole issue by having your game scan the users media libraries and allow them to select songs from their own collection.

This works well on music oriented games such as dance and singing games, and what's more it encourages emergent gameplay as players don't know what songs are a challenge until they try them, and tell their friends to attempt the same song.

Hope this helps!

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You could get around the whole issue by having your game scan the users media libraries and allow them to select songs from their own collection.

This works well on music oriented games such as dance and singing games, and what's more it encourages emergent gameplay as players don't know what songs are a challenge until they try them, and tell their friends to attempt the same song.

Hope this helps!

 

Agreed.  I have seen many games and apps do this.  However actually storing music on your device has kind of fallen out of favour as more and more people use streaming services such as Spotify or Apple Music.

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The law is different in every country.

 

This is true. And I also believe that the country where the music rights holder(s) reside also matter, not just the country where the game is being created and published. But I could be mistaken. 

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