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NickBischoff

The Legaility of using Classical Music in Games

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Hi, I was wondering if or what the legal ramifications are of using old classical music, (bach and music ok that era) are? When does the copyright on music expire? How do I find out what music is freely available and in the public domain? I hope this is the correct board to post this on. -Thanks.

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quote:
Original post by Xai
The current law is life of author plus 50 years ...



Um... I think that's 70 years - they changed the law in 1998 because Disney didn't want Mickey Mouse to fall into the public domain. I might be wrong here though, as they say at slashdot - IANAL

Nick, also note that although the piece of music might be in the public domain (eg Bach, Mozart etc...) - a recorded performance of that music most likely has a copyright. What that means is that you can take the musical score and work up a midi treatment for it and you'll be ok, you can record yourself or a friend (etc) playing it and you'll be ok, but if you rip a recording of the London Symphony or what not, you might find yourself in hot water.

[edited by - lessbread on March 23, 2002 4:12:27 PM]

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I think they changed it to 70 years because the EU changed to 70 years. Why did the EU change to 70 years? Because it was 70 years in Germany.

Anyway, another thing to be aware of is that scores are usually copyrighted as well. So if you go to a music shop, buy the sheet music, and copy it into a midi program, that *might* be a violation... on the other hand if you write it by ear, then you should be okay.

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Thanks for the replies

Yea, I thought as much. It does make sense that the performer would copyright the music. Having no musical talent what-so-ever Ill have to make a plan

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The copyright on the classical music has expired as the composer is so far dead and gone so you can create your own copy of that music and use it.

Modern recordings of a classical performance of the same piece will usualy still be copyright. So they can''t be used.

Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions

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Bringing back this thread...

I want to use classical music in my game (Mozart, Handel, etc.). Where can I download this for free with license to use in my game, which I may release as freeware or GPL anyway?

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I would suggest using google to search for a midi file and hope you find one that hasn''t been copyrighted. A recording of a symphony will be copyrighted, but who knows, the copyright holder might consider letting you use the recording in order to have the music more widely distributed or in exchange for a shout out. Same for the .mid file writer.

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