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  1. #1
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2008 Mope's Avatar
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    Default Soundclicks: Posting covers?

    I have 1 original tune on a Soundclicks page but hesitate to post any non original songs because I don't get how the copyright rules work. How can you tell if a song is public domain? If you're doing a cover song and not selling it or claiming it's yours, do you have to get permission? What about You Tube? That's full of all kinds of covers. Is that any different?

  2. #2
    Bill Mecca's Avatar
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    You always have to get permission. Not selling it etc doesn't mean a thing. Getting that permission involves the Harry Fox Agency usually.

    anything published prior to 1923 is in the Publid Domain.

    Posting covers is all about risk, the risk you will be found out, the risk the copyright owner will believe you are doing damage to his/her/it's property.

    One source I've found for Public Domain information is, surprisingly www.pdinfo.com You can purchase copies of sheet music with the publication date, which is a nice form of "insurance." The site also has some good information on copyright.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Soundclicks: Posting covers?

    Have been looking for a way to record some sample tunes, to post here on the forum for comment. I'm not a real performer, just a late bloomer trying to learn the sax.

    I saw that many folks use the www.soundclick.com site to accomplish this, and see many many of the standards as well as newer tunes on peoples pages there. Those listings only rarely are listed as "cover" category, yet most are not public domain tunes (I looked several up to check this).

    So I read the posting rules, and there is the letter to the publisher, the payment for down loads, but specifically no payment described for streaming delivery. So question #1 is, "If posting a tune and setting it for streaming only, does a person need to go through this whole process?"

    Their site does say you need to do it even if not selling. So I think, what the heck, maybe I just do the letter. So I go to look up a simple tune, Georgia on My Mind, and the BMI search comes up with 5 different writer/composer names under 3 different publishers. Well that is just stupid. I think, certainly all 5 of these folks didn't write this song. So question # 2+ is, "How can this be? Are these slightly different versions of the same song? If I am playing by ear, and my ear ain't that good, how am I suppose to know which version I am botching up?"

    I certainly understand a composer/song writer's desire to protect and benefit from their intellectual property, but my efforts are no more of an intrusion in that regard than me whistling some tune while walking down the street. Further, when I do use sheet music (which is a lot), I have always bought the music from a legitimate source, so I do feel that I am correctly rewarding the owners of that property for their efforts. I would think that alone would cover the not-for-profit insignificant level of recording as a learning experience that I might do, but almost certainly this is not so under the strict letter of the law.

    So last question, "Between the law and the real world, what is accepted action for recording of this type?"

  4. #4
    Forum Contributor 2007 fballatore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soundclicks: Posting covers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mecca View Post
    ...the risk the copyright owner will believe you are doing damage to his/her/it's property.
    Oh man, I can think of about a billion examples of that I've listened to on SoundClick...
    "You can play a shoestring if you're sincere." - John Coltrane

    "If you can't play in time and in tune the rest doesn't matter." - Keith Ridenhour

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Soundclicks: Posting covers?

    Are you charging for the download?

    I'd think that would be the only problem.
    (\__/) Amati ATS-61 Custom Unlacquered key work, Phil Barone Neck
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  6. #6
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soundclicks: Posting covers?

    Quote Originally Posted by littlewailer View Post
    Are you charging for the download?

    I'd think that would be the only problem.
    No, whether you are are charging or not is irrelevant to the copyright law. Copyright means the right to copy, not the right to sell. So uploading a copyright tuene could be a problem.

  7. #7
    Forum Contributor 2009 Gizmo Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soundclicks: Posting covers?

    When you buy the real book, it says all the songs are licensed for use.

    "I'm just a man, trying to find the reasons why he stands." -Raul Midon

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    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soundclicks: Posting covers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmo Hall View Post
    When you buy the real book, it says all the songs are licensed for use.



    By whom? Did Hal Leonard pay for you/us to use them???

    I doubt it somehow.

  9. #9
    Forum Contributor 2009 Gizmo Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soundclicks: Posting covers?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Real Book
    Sixth Edition
    This new edition contains tunes that are re-arranged, re-transcribed and most importantly, licensed, so that you may study and play play these works more accurately and legally. Enjoy!
    It says licensed?
    "I'm just a man, trying to find the reasons why he stands." -Raul Midon

  10. #10
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soundclicks: Posting covers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmo Hall View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by The Real Book
    Sixth Edition
    This new edition contains tunes that are re-arranged, re-transcribed and most importantly, licensed, so that you may study and play play these works more accurately and legally. Enjoy!
    It says licensed?
    ie, they licensed the tunes to put in the book. That doesn't give anyone else a licence to upload them or fileshare them.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Soundclicks: Posting covers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmo Hall View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by The Real Book
    Sixth Edition
    This new edition contains tunes that are re-arranged, re-transcribed and most importantly, licensed, so that you may study and play play these works more accurately and legally. Enjoy!
    It says licensed?
    ie, they licensed the tunes to put in the book. That doesn't give anyone else a licence to upload them or fileshare them.
    That is a good point Pete. By all accounts, most of the covers posted on these web sites are illegal, and there is no doubt that the Internet has changed the way that the music industry works. Unfortunately, the laws and how they are enforced can not possibly keep up with the technology available to practically everyone. If these laws were enforceable, I would think that sites such as soundclick and youtube would virtually disappear overnight. The net has caused a whole slew of interesting problems for legit musicians, and to date, nobody has come up with a real solution to fix the issues.

  12. #12
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soundclicks: Posting covers?

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperAction80 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmo Hall View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by The Real Book
    Sixth Edition
    This new edition contains tunes that are re-arranged, re-transcribed and most importantly, licensed, so that you may study and play play these works more accurately and legally. Enjoy!
    It says licensed?
    ie, they licensed the tunes to put in the book. That doesn't give anyone else a licence to upload them or fileshare them.
    That is a good point Pete. By all accounts, most of the covers posted on these web sites are illegal, and there is no doubt that the Internet has changed the way that the music industry works. Unfortunately, the laws and how they are enforced can not possibly keep up with the technology available to practically everyone. If these laws were enforceable, I would think that sites such as soundclick and youtube would virtually disappear overnight. The net has caused a whole slew of interesting problems for legit musicians, and to date, nobody has come up with a real solution to fix the issues.
    Except that Youtube now does pay for licenses. As a PRS member I reap some of the rewards of that for my work that is on there. And presumably the advertising revenue (more than) compensates them for that.

    Any site can now choose between hosting unlicensed material or get a license.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Soundclicks: Posting covers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    Except that Youtube now does pay for licenses. As a PRS member I reap some of the rewards of that for my work that is on there. And presumably the advertising revenue (more than) compensates them for that.

    Any site can now choose between hosting unlicensed material or get a license.
    Well that was a classy move by Youtube. Given that the website creators have made a ton of money through the site already, it only makes sense that they would do this in order to keep a group of lawyers from shutting them down. Pete, I don't suppose you know where I can read up on this type of web license do you? I'm curious to see exactly how it works.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Soundclicks: Posting covers?

    Well h***.

    Per this discussion, 4 hours from now I pull 3 songs that are likely not legal from my soundclick site. If you have any desire, go to the SOTW Member Recordings & Reviews/Beginner/Intermediate...2009 site here and have a listen. It's a limited time offer.

  15. #15
    Distinguished Member, Forum Contributor 2006 rcwjd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soundclicks: Posting covers?

    Check out my website for my 2 cents on this issue. www.ricardwade.net

  16. #16
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soundclicks: Posting covers?

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperAction80 View Post
    Pete, I don't suppose you know where I can read up on this type of web license do you? I'm curious to see exactly how it works.
    In the U.K. it's MCPS. I have a LOEL (" limited online exploitation licence") for my site and it's about £75 a year to stream 30 sec clips.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Soundclicks: Posting covers?

    So....I go to the HarryFox site. I'm thinking maybe I just do the fully legal thing. Register as a user, look up Georgia on My Mind, yes, they cover that song 100% (if they didn't, you supposedly need to get the other percent parts from whoever has them).

    But it is total infeasable to license for streaming. The reporting requirements for streaming require information out of soundclick that you will not have access to.

    O.K. then, look at the permanent download option. smallest quantity is 25 downloads @ $0.091 each for $2.28 PLUS the Harry Fox fee of $15.00 for a total of $17.28. This to legally license the one song, for a maximum of 25 downloads, for 1 year. Honestly, that is crazy expensive for what most of us posting a tune for friends and critique can spend. If the Harry Fox fee had been something like $1.50 I would just pay it and post the song. Of course, under this scenario it would be a nice feature of the hosting web site to put a lock on the number of downloads that could happen. Not that I think there is a risk that there would be 26 people in the world who really want to download any song of mine, but if they can not legally stream it, since it wouldn't be licensed that way, how many might click to get a listen and then delete.

    Furthermore, this license option is only for the song in substantially its copyrighted form. Change it, mix it blend it to a medley, all require yet a different type of license. This is worse than the tax code. Compliance with the law is much easier when the law is simple and easy to comply with. I venture a guess that 80% + of the songs on soundclick are there without legal licensing. If there was a simple, easy and low cost way to license the huge quantity of illegal distributions, I am sure the net royalties would skyrocket.

    Rant complete.

  18. #18
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soundclicks: Posting covers?

    Yes, but if you are posting it on soundclick, it's not up to you to get the licence. That is only for if you are posting on a your own site.

    I understand what you are saying, I try to do the fully legal thing and I find all kinds of obstacles.

    I once rang up MCPS to ask for a licence to make a compilation CD for my mum. They said I had to contact each publisher and each record company for each song to get permission.

    Another time I rang Sony to ge permission to sell my arrangement of Egyptian Fantasy by Sidney Bechet. They never replied to my calls.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Soundclicks: Posting covers?

    A bit off the topic, but I was just reading the local paper to see what tunes were being played around town this week, and the the one entry said, come on down hear some great original music as well as excellent covers. It made me wonder, and perhaps this is obvious to others, but is the term "cover charge" at a bar with a band stemming from the need for the artists to pay to play the cover songs?

    Up until this moment, I had it in my head that this was for the bar to cover their cost to hire the band, but the connection to "cover songs" just now struck me.

  20. #20
    Distinguished SOTW Member CooolJazzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soundclicks: Posting covers?

    Quote Originally Posted by foresterdjb View Post
    A bit off the topic, but I was just reading the local paper to see what tunes were being played around town this week, and the the one entry said, come on down hear some great original music as well as excellent covers. It made me wonder, and perhaps this is obvious to others, but is the term "cover charge" at a bar with a band stemming from the need for the artists to pay to play the cover songs?

    Up until this moment, I had it in my head that this was for the bar to cover their cost to hire the band, but the connection to "cover songs" just now struck me.
    Bars, clubs, and restaurants pay...(or are supposed to pay)...license fees to ASCAP in order to have music in their establishments. This includes any sort of live or recorded background music like you might hear in a fine dining restaurant. With those fees being paid by the establishments, it's not the performer's responsibility to "pay in order to play". It's already covered.

    While the origin of the term "cover charge" isn't clear...it's certainly a probability that a portion of the cover charge, in addition to paying the performers, could also be used to offset the required license fees.

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