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Substitute Higgins
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 6:16 pm   Post subject: More of that copyright thing... Reply with quote

Hi!

Love your site - thank you very much for it, it has been useful a few times!

I have a kind of a dilemma I thought you might be able to help me to solve.

I am an amateur theatre director-actor and composer from Finland. I'm currently rehearsing the role of Henry Higgins in a local production of My Fair Lady.

Our theatre has naturally purchased the rights from our local agent/distributor to perform the play and the music.

Since we are a small theatre with a minuscule budget (no money for a live band), the songs will be performed in singback - that is, only the singing is live. Our musical director originally planned only to play the piano into the background music tape from the official sheets we got. As I felt that it would greatly damage the splendour of the score, I suggested that we might at least TRY to use "a bigger orchestra" - meaning mainly synthesizers, of course. icon_smile.gif If we are lucky we might be able to get a couple of amateur musicians to play certain parts of the music onto the tape. To add that important feel of real, you know. icon_smile.gif

We have no sheets for the larger orchestration - and I think it isn't even accessible for an amateur theatre in Finland. Plus it would be a colossal job to any one man to play the music into the computer, even if one had the sheets.

So, after this - er - lenghty introduction, my question is:

Is there a specific copyright for the sequenced music you offer here for a non-profit use? In other words, are we illegitimate to use your MIDI files in producing the background tape, even though we have bought the rights for the play and its music?

Is the music in your MIDI files accurate copy of the original arrangements, or is it "an interpretation" of some kind, and thus under a different copyright? Or is there a copyright for the sequencing work itself, regardless of who has or has not the rights for performing the original music?

As far as I understand, we have rights to the original orchestrations - does that automatically mean we can use these files here for commercial purpose?

If not, what kind of a process would it be to get those rights? Or is your role one of bystander's concerning questions like this?

Thanks in advance for any kind of answer! icon_smile.gif
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Joined: 04 Jul 2002
Posts: 698
Location: HamieLand

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 7:54 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I am no mean a lawyer but I will answer you to the best of my knowledge.

Quote:
Is there a specific copyright for the sequenced music you offer here for a non-profit use? In other words, are we illegitimate to use your MIDI files in producing the background tape, even though we have bought the rights for the play and its music?


The MIDI here is submitted by our users, including the sequencers who provided the file. You can't just play the MIDI found on this site for commerical purposes (this includes public performance), unless you have the proper permissions, from the sequencer AND the agent who is responsibile for collecting royalty for performance.

Quote:
Is the music in your MIDI files accurate copy of the original arrangements, or is it "an interpretation" of some kind, and thus under a different copyright?

The copyrights of all variations of a song belong to the orginal composer (and to the person who made the variation if s/he has the proper permission from the original composer.) I do not know if the MIDI our users submitted is the original arrangement or not.

Quote:
Or is there a copyright for the sequencing work itself, regardless of who has or has not the rights for performing the original music?

Yes. Once a work is created, it's automatically copyrighted. Regardless of the form of work. Therefore, a MIDI could be copyrighted by 2 or more person/agent.

Quote:
As far as I understand, we have rights to the original orchestrations - does that automatically mean we can use these files here for commercial purpose?

No, not for commercial purpose. You have the rights to perform the music live but you cannot use a pre-made MIDI to perform the music publicly without permission.

Quote:
If not, what kind of a process would it be to get those rights? Or is your role one of bystander's concerning questions like this?

If you want to perform a MIDI commercially, you must either contact the sequencer of the MIDI for permission, or purchase the MIDI from an authorized agent who sell them for commercial purpose.
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Alfred Christon
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2005 2:56 am   Post subject: Reply with quote

All right. Thank you very much for a quick answer! Cleared up a lot of things.

We shall see what we'll do... icon_smile.gif
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