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I have posted several songs on Soundclick. Most have been posted for 6 months with no problem. I have carefully observed all copyright laws. There are a couple of aspects that have not yet been covered here.
One problem is naming a song. I use the HFA web site to check that the "new name" I just gave a new, impromptu composition does not duplicate a name of a song already copyrighted. I got into trouble on this point with a song I named "Now." I finally pulled the song after Soundclick refused to rate it.
I have just encountered another problem related to copyright that you can hear now on my Soundclick site. That is the use of copyrighted material within the Keyboard used as a backup to my horn-playing. I'll discuss more on this aspect in another topic on this thread.
With regard to some things stated above, I would caution you that you cannot rely on what some people say about songs being in Public Domain. Just because a song was first published before 1923 does not mean it was not re-copyrighted after that date. There are many such instances. Also, I have found incorrect listings in the publications of "Public Domain" music. Those publications all say that you use such advice at your own risk.
I have been tempted to go through the process of posting a cover song with permission. The big fear, of course, is if 10,000 people suddenly downloaded the song and I owed the publisher $7500. You say, okay but you can charge a dollar per download. The Soundclick basis for payment on cover songs is "per download". In all the months I have had songs posted, I think there has been only one download. Most people can just listen to the song and capture it on their system without going through a formal download. This might make it possible to post cover songs without much fear of incurring a large obligation.
It depends on the country, but a song doesn't fall into the public domain until a certain number of years after the composer's death. In the US it is 70 years. In Canada it is 50 years.With regard to some things stated above, I would caution you that you cannot rely on what some people say about songs being in Public Domain. Just because a song was first published before 1923 does not mean it was not re-copyrighted after that date. There are many such instances. Also, I have found incorrect listings in the publications of "Public Domain" music. Those publications all say that you use such advice at your own risk.
Hmm, interesting. Good to be aware of this stuff. Think it's likely you'd get into any more trouble than just being asked to remove the copyrighted material though? (outside of a situation where you had made a substantial profit from selling covers of copyrighted songs). I admit to absolute ignorance when it comes to this sort of thing, and this may be naive, but it seems unlikely to me that the consequences would be any more serious than "please remove the song in question or pay for permission to use it".
The problem is that there are those who think all music should be free, or who do not realise the struggle that the creators of some of that music went through, and that their only reward is via royalties.
I see many people quoting "fair use" as a way to just bypass the dues that are owed to the musicians who created some great stuff, and may be living in poverty because they don't get the royalties that they are due.
It's easy to say "yes, but this money is going to publishers and record companies, not the musicians and composers". Well, that may be true in some cases. But regarding composers, by law they must get 50% at least, so that argument doesn't stand up as well as many people think.
Right, of course, I wasn't thinking of it from that point of view.. good point Pete, again. I don't make my living as a composer so I wasn't thinking outside my bubble
also was talking more in terms of putting standards (many composers of which are no longer around) on soundclick, rather than modern stuff... I don't like the idea of cheating living composers out of their royalties, but I also don't really care if it's illegal to put a streaming mp3 of myself playing Stella on a website (which, checking Victor Young's death date, it may not be). Maybe I'm a hypocrite.
Recently I discovered some software I wrote that I sell for £5 a download to a small niche market (and this took me about 150 hours of frustrating work to create) is now being offered on a torrent site. It's not big business, so far I've sold about 19.
The really upsetting thing is all the money from this is going to charity, helping disabled children to play music.
This is the ugly side of copyright theft IMO, the lowest of the low.
This is such an old thread that I hesitate to contribute. It ended before i started publishing on Soundclick! But I have issues with Soundclick, notably the difference between "streaming" and "downloading". When I found Soundclick, I had just aquired several 'RealBooks" so that I could do jobbing as lead horn backed up by various sidemen. I understood that the "house' pays the fees on that stuff. I was verydissappointed to learn that I could not do "covers" without a lot of hassle and some financial jeopardy. (My house is nearly paid off!)
So I bit the bullet and began composing and arranging my own music to post, checking with HFA to make sure the titles were not already copyrighted. That turns out to be a major challenge! I have posted two Public Domain songs, Danny Boy and Poor Butterfly. There has been a learning curve that the few listeners I get have suffered through. Now I am able to turn out some reasonably decent pieces and it has become an enjoyable activity. I use a keyboard for background music. That helps a lot. (I have to be careful not to use canned recordings that come with the keyboard because THEY are copyrighted! So I do my own endings and throw in a few extra drum beats).
I have thought about doing some covers, paying all the fees, etc. But Soundclick says the fees apply only to Downloads. Out of many hundreds of "Listens" over the past 15 months, I have had only a handful of Downloads. But then, being that the Internet is totally unpredictable, on two consecutive days, someone downloaded all 23 songs. Never say never.
I'll just keep hacking away at my original compositions and arrangements. It's fun and it has the advantage of letting you showcase an instrument any way you want to. You are not limited to finding a suitable song that somebody wrote 70 years ago.
Luckily where i live these laws aren't strictly enforced, you can be a cover band and do performances without trouble. The boyfriend of my sister is in a band that makes punk covers from a group that was populair when we were small, as long as they donate all the money of their cd's to charity nobody will sue them.
I have a s Soundclick account, and based on the wording I read there, it is *not* legit for me to post my cover of a copyrighted composition without me separately purchasing a license via Harry Fox or other.
Does anyone know if there is a web site where one can post their performances of covers songs for a fee, where that site will agree to pay some reasonable royalty to the copyright holder of that composition? Perhaps that site might only allow listening to the song, but not downloading it, to reduce the perceived value, and thus reduce the royalty cost?
I guess this would be sort of like a "reverse iTunes". Does anyone know of such a web site?
I have a quite a few standards on Soundclick and didn't really think deeply about laws. I can't imagine anyone getting upset because some shlub has a song one of their relatives wrote or that belongs to their company, on a little music site. I think there is a fine line somewhere and when posting on Soundclick, you don't really cross it.
I don't know of such a site, but here in the UK, the MCPS/PRS can issue a LOEL "limited online exploitation licence which allows you to post copyright tunes on your own site. I got one of these and it's not too expensive IMO. I'm sure it's the kind of thing most countries' royalties organisations will be looking into.Does anyone know if there is a web site where one can post their performances of covers songs for a fee, where that site will agree to pay some reasonable royalty to the copyright holder of that composition? Perhaps that site might only allow listening to the song, but not downloading it, to reduce the perceived value, and thus reduce the royalty cost?
Soundclick is doing CYA, it's all about risk, how much are you willing to take based on how likely you are to get caught? Most of my tunes on SC are original.
Also as I understand it one cannot copyright a song title, but as always I reserve the right to be wrong. ;-)
If it's illegal to post a standard tune on Soundclick without permission, is it illegal for me to play the same tune on my car stereo while in public? I don''t think so. If it is, it's impossible to enforce. How about whistling a tune while walking in public? I know there is a copyright lawyer somewhere in the midst of SOTW. Without knowing the specific laws and loopholes, we can talk about it without conclusion for decades.
That may or may not be true. A title is part of the words, which have a copyright. Of course for a copyright in a title to be enforceable, it would need to be a significant part of the words, e.g. you couldn't have a copyright in I will always Love You or Yesterday but it wouldn't surprise me if you could have a copyright in something a bit longer and a "creative" part of the lyric, e.g. If I Said You Had a Beautitful Body Would You Hold it Against Me.
No, that's a totally different thing. You can also whistle in the street.
But if I make a film, and in that film you walk past the camera whistling, I would need to get a clearance for the tune to be in film.
Let me try an analogy: Before things existed such as iTunes, amazon mp3 downloads, and other fee-based song download sites, the only way you could own a "legit" copy of a song was to buy the entire album. There were many pop songs I liked where I did not want the entire album, and getting just that one song was not worth $10 to me. Making an illegal copy from a friend would not feel right (yes, I admit I have done it). Using iTunes/amazon/etc, I can get that one song - for $1 or $1.30 or whatever it is. That's worth it to me.
For a covers band of weekend warriors, the Harry Fox fees are not worth it (to me) for posting a song. I'm not saying the fees are unfair - they can charge whatever they want to - it's their asset (composition). I'm just saying it's not worth it to me. And as another poster here mentioned, it is not clear if we would get enough info to know how many people listened to a particular song we would post on Soundclick (or wherever). But if someone were to create a "reverse iTunes for covers bands" with a modest fee for streaming only (no downloads), that might be worth it to me. Since one posting of a song could be listened to my multiple people, its value would probably be more than purchasing a single song from iTunes/Amazon. Maybe $3 or $5? I would pay it.
WARNING: Folksy anecdote below.
When things become too contrived and the systems become too complex or "risk adverse" to allow anything to happen, I always think back to what my daddy told me many years ago. He said, "There's no way to legally haul a load of logs down the road. If you want to succeed, you just have to do it and hope for the best".
Logger's #1 Motto: Never stop, never look back.
Buescher 400 Tenor, Pre-War Big-B Aristocrat Tenor, True Tone Alto, Conn New Wonder Bari, Antigua 590 Soprano
The key term you guys are missing is "broadcast". You are forbidden to broadcast a copyrighted song without the author's permission. Whistling and playing a tape, CD or MP3 in your car are not broadcasting. One could possibly say the same about soundclick in that yesterday not one person visited my set of songs!
Making and distributing recordings would also be considered as "broadcasting." But merely playing a recording you made for your own enjoyment is not.
If you post it on soundclick i think it's their responsibility not yours
I really doubt that, unless they are paying a license. They wouldn't put themselves in the firing line for something they can't have the resources to police.
In fact (from Sounclick's terms):
"Copyright and Trademark Infringement Policy and Notification Procedure: SoundClick does not own the musical compositions, sound recordings, art or other written or visual images (collectively, the "Content") posted by third parties to the Website. All Content is posted by an individual, group or company (collectively, the "Artist") who has represented and warranted to SoundClick that, among other things, neither the Content nor the names, trademarks and service marks under which Content is promoted (collectively, the "Name") infringes any third party's copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret or other proprietary rights, rights of publicity or privacy, or moral rights (see the section titled 'Representations and Warranties' of the current SoundClick Music Submission Agreement at http://www.soundclick.com/docs/legal.cfm).
Since SoundClick is not in a position to determine who has the prevailing claim to use any particular Content or Name posted to the Website, its policy on such matters is that they be resolved directly by the parties alleging misuse of their Content and/or Name (the "Complainants") and the Artists. We recommend that Complainants immediately notify Artists about allegations of infringement by going to the Artist's page on the Website, clicking the Contact link and contacting the Artist directly. It has been SoundClick's experience that most Artists are honest and responsible citizens who may not realize they are engaged in infringing activities. Typically, once notified of a claim, Artists voluntarily cease using such infringing Content and/or Name on the Website and elsewhere. "
Ooops, I hope I haven't infringed Soundclick's copyright by posting their terms here. That would be ironic.