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  1. #1
    Thomas Hay's Avatar
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    Default Arrangements of Copyrighted Music

    Hypothetically speaking, if I wanted to do an arrangement of a copyrighted song, how would I go about getting it published? Would there be some kind of fee, and royalties that would have to be paid to the copyright owner?
    Sax/clarinet/piano player, and composer/arranger/transcriber.
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  2. #2
    Forum Contributor 2008 stefank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arrangements of Copyrighted Music

    This is going to vary a little from country to country (all intellectual property laws are not uniform) but broadly speaking you can expect to:

    a) need the permission of the copyright owner to make the arrangement,

    and

    b) pay a share of royalties earned by your arrangement to the copyright owner.

    There may be circumstances or contexts where things are different. For example, the educational system I work for here in Australia has a licensing arrangement with APRA/AMCOS that allows free access (performance, arranging etc) to works controlled by publishers they represent (which is just about everybody) within the school system - not outside it. So a student or staff member may arrange and perform a copyright work within the educational institution without infringing any laws. They may not take that arrangement "outside" without negotiating with the publisher.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Arrangements of Copyrighted Music

    An extension:

    What if the work is not sold for profit? (As in, free)

    or... if the only cost incurred is to cover photocopying/printing expenses, with a profit margin of zero?
    Jupiter 869SG Artist Series Alto Sax
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  4. #4
    Forum Contributor 2008 stefank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arrangements of Copyrighted Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Kareeser View Post
    An extension:

    What if the work is not sold for profit? (As in, free)

    or... if the only cost incurred is to cover photocopying/printing expenses, with a profit margin of zero?
    No difference.

    You are still using someone else's intellectual property without permission, and possibly depriving them of income by reducing sales of legitimate versions of the work.

    Essentially you would be giving away something that is not your property.

  5. #5
    The most prolific Distinguished SOTW poster, Forum Contributor 2014 gary's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arrangements of Copyrighted Music

    I've never gotten pre-approval from a copyright holder for anything I've arranged. If a publisher likes what you've written, he'll make all the necessary legal arrangements.

    Normally it would be to your benefit to make sure the publisher has the permission before you write the arrangement, but this is more a practical than legal matter, in the sense that you don't want to spend time writing it only to have the permission denied from the copyright holder.

    Regarding payment, I get money up front from the publisher and after that the money comes from an agency like GEMA in Germany, ASCAP etc. elsewhere. Once it's published it is the property of the publisher not you, so any subsequent fees are paid by them to whomever.
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  6. #6
    Forum Contributor 2008 stefank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arrangements of Copyrighted Music

    To follow on from Gary (and I own two Moeck recorders), you're very unlikely to get sued unless you make a lot of money. If you do, watch out - you're worth pursuing.

  7. #7
    The most prolific Distinguished SOTW poster, Forum Contributor 2014 gary's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arrangements of Copyrighted Music

    Quote Originally Posted by stefank View Post
    To follow on from Gary (and I own two Moeck recorders), you're very unlikely to get sued unless you make a lot of money.
    ...a problem I haven't been having lately.

    Stefan - I've also got one of their Rottenburgh Barock-Tranversflutes. Try one if you get the chance. Sweet!
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  8. #8
    Distinguished SOTW Member Carl H.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Arrangements of Copyrighted Music

    Quote Originally Posted by gary View Post
    ...a problem I haven't been having lately.
    You mean the patent on the beer pump isn't paying off big time?
    So far, this is the oldest I've been.

  9. #9
    The most prolific Distinguished SOTW poster, Forum Contributor 2014 gary's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arrangements of Copyrighted Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl H. View Post
    You mean the patent on the beer pump isn't paying off big time?
    Something to do with the ratio of dumping more money into drinking what comes out of it than how much money it brings in.

    ____________________________________________________
    You can't blow it if you haven't lived it.

    TK Melody UL soprano
    Selmer S80 Serie II alto
    Julius Keilwerth SX90R tenor


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