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> Legal Or Not?
JusClownin
post Fri 31 Mar 2006, 22:28
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Hi guys. Wasn't sure if this was the best forum for this, but here goes.

As a hobby, a friend and I record vocals on random instrumentals of recordings that we usually find on CD singles at the record store or on the net.

They are pretty humorous and have little or nothing to do with the artist who created the instrumental. We want to create site where we can share our renditions with the public for free. We both have full time careers and have absolutely no interest in selling these songs, not that anyone would buy them, or making profit off the site. It would be fully funded by out of our own pocket and we wouldn't have any advertisers. Just a personal site.

Does anyone know if we'd run into any legal problems by doing this? Like I said, it's just a hobby. Basically, we're just two old friends from high school that get together maybe 3 times a year, drink and have some fun jamming on these recordings. They are by far from "great" quality, but they're actually not so bad, for what it's worth.

Anyway, any input or advice would be great. I just fear having some big-wig artist or label sue us for something so trivial.
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kaboombahchuck
post Sat 1 Apr 2006, 01:48
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Sound to me like you would run into copyright infringement issues...
You may want to look into licencing (sp) to keep from being sued.


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JusClownin
post Sat 1 Apr 2006, 02:56
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Yeah, maybe it's pointless. I'm just wondering if it'd really be against the law to do that if you do not profit off it. Do cover bands pay when they sing copyrighted material at local bars?

We have fun, would really like to put our stuff on a site to share, but it's definitely not worth getting sued over or paying for rights to the instrumentals.

Anybody else have any knowledge on the issue?
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lepetitmartien
post Sat 1 Apr 2006, 03:53
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The question is "does it goes under the "fair use" tolerance or not"…

I'm not sure they would bother really for a little "fan" site, but if it gains audience, the money sound will make the lawyers jump in. sad.gif


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straydog
post Sat 1 Apr 2006, 11:09
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Well I was in a cover band playing in a local bar and we had no problem whatsoever until we had the bright idea of going on a tour around Greek universities - one of the composers found out (before we had actually begun) and asked us to buy copyrighted sheet music (200 euros a song)if we were to play his songs... and we weren't getting any money for the concerts.

Since you're using material as is, there is a high chance lawyers will find a way to get you, if, as lepetitmartien said, you ever gain audience... unless, of course, you are so lucky to deal with composers that support free music distribution -but that's rare....

Anyway, perhaps (haven't checked) you can find more legal info here:

Creative Commons

But I don't think you should worry much... lawyers are usually after big fish and big profit, if they get annoyed by you, they would most likely just ask you to remove the material from your site.

Just forget about them and keep on having a good time with your friends... huh.gif
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Mac Daddy
post Sat 1 Apr 2006, 16:41
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You can't just take peoples music! Stupidity ain't no excuse. "Would you mind if I use your company Forms? Don't worry, I'll take your name off!"

This is the most dumb question I've seen/heard in a long, long time. Where are you from Hong-Kong? Russia? New York? Really pisses me off 'Big Time'. Thief. Cheat. Criminal. Action requires a serious ass whoopin', then legal.
Duh!!!!
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prrcomm
post Sat 1 Apr 2006, 16:48
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Doesn't matter money or no. I own 30 copyrights with a small publishing concern. Legally, just the fact that you "copied" the songs without permission...technically. Practically, you can still get away with it, just don't go putting them on a website.
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lepetitmartien
post Sat 1 Apr 2006, 18:53
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This kind of problems are ALWAYS better solved before occurring btw… wink.gif


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abcdaniel
post Sun 2 Apr 2006, 03:33
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Uh, hmm, wtf? Music is about expression, wether it is joy, sadness, anger, love or whatever. You should never let law take that away from you! Everything that is put out in the public domain is rightfully ours to use. If you don't like it, then don't put your music out to the public! It doesn't matter if it is "illegal" or not, it is our goddamn moral obligation to keep transforming music into something that makes our lives more beautiful.

Fuck the law. Make music that makes your life better.

On a side note i sampled Sonic Youth for one of my tracks, i met them and asked them if it was ok. They told me that unless I sold a heap of records it was ok. If I made a lot of money, it would be trouble. That is the truth for most cases, but it is still complete bullshit.
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JusClownin
post Sun 2 Apr 2006, 06:22
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Mac Daddy, whoa, sounds like the anti-depressants aren't working, lol. Don't worry, not trying to start a flame war with this topic.

Seriously, the majority of the instrumentals we've used come from CD singles that have been purchased, not saying that gives me the "right" to re-record and publish the new material, but at the very least, someone is getting money off of it...too bad it's not the artist, uh, but that's a different topic...lol.

And abcdaniel, right on man. Look, bottom line is, we've got over 200 singles recorded. Like I said it's a hobby. And for any other hobbyist I totally recommend recording your performances, because there's only one thing funner than recording and that's listening to what you did, for years and years to come. We've been doing this for about 5 years now, and I THANK GOD everyday that I can put my headphones on and listen to the stuff we did.

It sounds like trouble would be right around the corner if we created the site, especially during times like these. It doesn't matter, a bummer yeah, but it won't stop us from doing what we do and continuing on. It's just too bad that like-minded individuals won't get to share in our fun.

Thanks for all the advice. If anyone knows anything more, please chime in.

Power to the People!
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