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10 messages

Copyright Question

04 Jan 01 - 05:30 PM (#368623)
Subject: Copyright Question
From: chessell

Hi all! My band is thinking of coming out with a cd. I heard from a friend that if you make less than 20,000 copies of your cd you can record any song you want. Can anyone confirm this fact? Also, I wrote a song which we would like to use but I would like to get it published first. How would I go about doing so? Do I have to find a publisher or something? I heard that you can just mail the song back to yourself then it's copyright control but I don't know if any of that is true or what. So if anyone can help me, please post or email

04 Jan 01 - 06:40 PM (#368680)
Subject: RE: Copyright Question
From: Burke

Copyright laws vary in each country. In general, your friend is wrong. You have to pay performance or copy rights on any song you record.

You own the copyright for you song. The easiest thing to do is probably just to set it using a music printing program & include a copyright notice.

The U.S. Copyright Office is a good place to start for more information.

04 Jan 01 - 06:46 PM (#368687)
Subject: RE: Copyright Question
From: pict

You can't use copyrighted material without remuneration to the copyright holder and that goes for samples too you can't even use one sample from a copyrighted record without getting it cleared first via the copyright holder.

04 Jan 01 - 07:01 PM (#368693)
Subject: RE: Copyright Question
From: Burke

I looked a little more. It turns out that permission to record is a mechanical right. For the US, Harry Fox Angency is the clearinghouse. Here's another URL with information.

Presumably you can also deal directly with the copyright holders.

04 Jan 01 - 07:11 PM (#368706)
Subject: RE: Copyright Question
From: mousethief

What is a "mechanical right"? I've never heard that term.


04 Jan 01 - 07:24 PM (#368713)
Subject: RE: Copyright Question
From: SeanM

As I understand it, "Mechanical Right" is the right to mechanically reproduce (i.e. tape, CD, MP3, tatooed on the back of a shaved possum, whatever) the song. If I dismember correctly, this is also the thing that places that own jukeboxes play.

I could be wrong though... I'm just dismembering what I've read on other copyright posts.


04 Jan 01 - 07:40 PM (#368728)
Subject: RE: Copyright Question
From: Burke

I don't think the back of the shaved possum would be covered by mechanical rights. I think that's just straight copyright & if for educational purposes falls within fair use.

The law doesn't call it mechanical right. But since it does call it "license for making and distributing phonorecords," mechanical seems good enough. Here's the law.

The interesting thing to me is that it's a mandatory license. I looks like that as long as you don't change the words or tune and you pay the fees, you can't be denied permission to record, even if the copyright owner hates the way you do it, or doesn't want someone else recording it.

05 Jan 01 - 08:29 AM (#369012)
Subject: RE: Copyright Question
From: Hamish

I've just applied for copyright in the UK for a promotional CD (i.e. not for re-sale) and it costs 30 quid for up to 500 copies containing up to 15 titles. The body in the UK is the MPCS.

05 Jan 01 - 09:29 AM (#369032)
Subject: RE: Copyright Question

Mailing the lead sheet of your original song to yourself is said to be a poor substitute for registering the copyright with the Library of Congress (assuming U.S. situation). Possibly a better alternative is getting the lead sheet notarized.

05 Jan 01 - 07:04 PM (#369347)
Subject: RE: Copyright Question
From: chessell

Thanks, you guys just saved me a few lawsuits!