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freakomatic
01-25-2001, 04:09 PM
Does anyone know (or know where I can find) solid info on the use of other people's music for a web site? Someone told me that it's okay to use anything under 30 seconds without permission. I've also heard that it's okay to use music as long as it's distorted/altered to the point that it's at least 40% different (however you judge that ...).
But these could both be rumours, and I'd rather not take the chance and get sued.

Also - is there a distinction based on whether or not you're getting paid? E.g., might it be okay to pilfer music for a background loop on your own site, but illegal to use someone else's music on a site you're doing for a client (and thus getting paid for)?

jrswebdesign
01-25-2001, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by freakomatic
Does anyone know (or know where I can find) solid info on the use of other people's music for a web site? Someone told me that it's okay to use anything under 30 seconds without permission.
Nope! 0.5 seconds of a song can still end up with you in court.

I've also heard that it's okay to use music as long as it's distorted/altered to the point that it's at least 40% different (however you judge that ...).
Although altering it will make it harder for people to notice you've sampled it, its still illegal. Aslong as the artist can prove you have sampled him, no matter how different it is, (s)he can sue you.

But these could both be rumours, and I'd rather not take the chance and get sued.
Definatly rumours!


Also - is there a distinction based on whether or not you're getting paid? E.g., might it be okay to pilfer music for a background loop on your own site, but illegal to use someone else's music on a site you're doing for a client (and thus getting paid for)?
Nope, its all illegal unless you have the original artists permission, or a licence from one of the regulatory boards.

Bottom line is make sure its cleared - cos you can get your ass majorly sued if you don't!

Hope that clears things up,

robertpenner
01-25-2001, 08:47 PM
jrswebdesign,

Could you point us to an online reference for these issues? I was talking with someone the other day about Amazon's audio clips for each album. We wondered if they were allowed to do under 30 seconds, or if they had permission from every artist, or they paid royalties on every clip.

Thoughts?

jrswebdesign
01-26-2001, 02:26 PM
I'm not sure of any specific resources, its just stuff I've picked up from reading music magazines such as future music.
I think amazon are allowed because the clips lead to sales of the cd, whereas music on a site is for the sites gain only... not sure though! Sorry.

mg33
01-26-2001, 06:11 PM
I've heard 8 seconds max on using samples- not sure if that's true or not, it was merely a class called Mass Media and Communication Law & Ethics in college...

Also, I guruantee you that Amazon.com has an agreement with the record labels to use the short samples.

the "30 seconds" length is probably just an arbitray number in terms of how long they want the sample to be.

mg33

freakomatic
01-26-2001, 06:29 PM
THANKYOU!!!

Still have a question, tho:
Do you need to get permission from the original artist, or from whatever label put out the CD?

Also - what regulatory boards? I'm a total newbie with these things.

Kraken
01-27-2001, 02:29 AM
if the artist is unsigned (i.e. has no recording contract), you can contact them and ask for permission to use part or all of their song/lyrics.

If, however, you want to sample something from an artist who IS signed...be prepared to deal with the record company and pay big bucks.

So that 30 sec. Korn loop is going to cost you some bank.

cheers,
Kraken

jrswebdesign
01-27-2001, 07:27 AM
Originally posted by mg33
I've heard 8 seconds max on using samples- not sure if that's true or not, it was merely a class called Mass Media and Communication Law & Ethics in college...
mg33

It could be 0.01 seconds, if they can prove its there sample, they can get you to pay out! So get things cleared, its not worth the risk!

jaredigital
01-27-2001, 07:12 PM
Hello? does anyone remember vanilla ice? he changed one note from david bowie and queen's 'under pressure' riff and still had to pay royalties. my advice is don't play with fire. make your own music.

http://www.fruityloops.com

Eddie Hillegers
01-27-2001, 07:50 PM
http://www.buma.nl/uk/

check this out it's all about music on the internet.

i spoke to them and if i wanted 5 minutes of music on my
company site it would cost me $35,- a month.

but there are exeptions like nonprofitable websites.

cheers eddie

djchele
01-27-2001, 11:28 PM
http://www.mp3.com/djchele you can use any of my songs or samples in your sites if you like.

Also try http://www.soundloops.org Peace

freakomatic
02-01-2001, 10:27 PM
SuperGreg Fanclub!!!

Hahahaha, I never expected to see that up on a Flash board ... :)

Did you see his new site?

Tippa
02-02-2001, 10:36 AM
I have heard anything from 3-8 seconds are alright to use.. not sure here though.. But I think 0.1 seconds is stretching it a bit... then a simple string loop could be the same as everything else?!
Dj's sample stuff all the time, and I think they have to keep it under 3 seconds not to get in trouble.. One of the most used drumbeats is a beat by James Brown, and I don't think he has recieved any royalties at all...

ramad
02-03-2001, 04:12 PM
Do these rules also apply when you are doing a "parody" of the song ( like Regurge on shcokwave.com)?
do you have to get written permission from the Original artists, or is it ok if you only mention that in the credits?

JabezStone
02-05-2001, 11:09 AM
I think what many people are referenceing, in regard to a certain number of seconds being acceptable is what is referred to as the "Fair Use" policy. However, don't be fooled by this clause.

It states that "Fair Use" is established by statute and interpreted by the court which permits portions of copyrighted works to be legally reproduced for purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, classroom teaching, scholarship, and research. Various interest groups involved have agreed upon guidelines which constitute the minimum and not the maximum standards of educational fair use. NOTE! this is for EDUCATIONAL purposes!

As far as doing a parody on a length of music, you are permitted as long as it is for educational, non-sale purposes.

The length of the music sampling under the Fair Use policy is arbitrary, but generally 30 seconds. This can be more or less, defaulting to what you and the courts might define to be "fair Use".

In general, ANY copyrighted clip of music... whether you mnow it is or not... falls under the music copyright guidelines, and are the right and ownership of the creator.

Check out this website for US details on the subject... http://www.mpa.org/

Regards,
Jabez

phacker
10-31-2001, 02:27 PM
I think this topic needs far more consideration here at Flashkit. This is just one of many sites that I found when researching the Fair Usage Statute as regards parody. And it doesn't simply apply to educational use.

http://www.utsystem.edu/ogc/intellectualproperty/copypol2.htm#test

I am an animator not a musician and much of what I have designed is based on a musical work which was previously published. I am really hoping that they fall within the scope of Fair Use.

I looked into licensing and the usage of any copyrighted work would result in the purchase of a minimum of three licenses. Public performance license (For displaying on the web.), a Reproduction license (Just to upload the clip to a server.), and a Synchronization license (For synchronizing multimedia to a recording.). The Synchronization License tends to be the most expense.

After the Supreme Court ruling in the "Pretty Woman" case, Fair Use seems more reasonable than it was in the past. Perhaps some Flashkit visiting attorneys could comment on this.

Civil suits can result in much more than just the removal of the offending material, the plaintiff can be held for all legal and court costs. There is the case of the Midi arranger who is virtually set for life, after suing site owners who inadvertently used his arrangements. This was a little guy who found a smart lawyer and made a fortune at the expense of a lot of personal site owners.

The fact that Flash makes it so easy to enhance animations with music, really aggravates the situation. The only saving grace with Flash is that if embeds the sound details in the swf, so doing a global search on the web is not as easy for the music producers. This topic really needs a lot more discussion on this board.

dsmmg
11-01-2001, 11:21 PM
check this out:

http://www.ascap.com/weblicense/webintro.html

This is who you will have to license the music from.

Period.

Unless the artist is pretty small, they are who you need to talk to. ASCAP is the assocation that handles music licesning fees for the vast majority of artists, and have several different contracts that you can agree to purchase.

The only other comapny of any consiquence to look at is a company called BMI (Broadcast Music Inc); they were created in the 40's to compete with ASCAP. You'll have to read the contract, but I think if you lic. w/ one you are covered on both. The cool thing about ASCAP is the digital stuff is right there and easy to use.

As for the time thing, and the fair use thing:

If you are making money off of it, you are not with in the fair use guidelines. If it is a commercial site, whether you are selling the actual music or even just widgets, and you have .00000000000001 second of one of their songs, technically you are in violation. Of course it's not feasable for them to figure that one out, but as little as .1 is, and they will.

These guys are huge and have been around for almost a hundred years now. Their revenues are in the billions; they spend VERY large amounts of money looking for, finding, and sueing people that do not lic. the music in their site, store, resturant, bar, cd, commercials, radio stations, TV stations, or any other medium you can think of.

To put it in perspective: they have a division that does nothing but read 1000s (yes THOUSANDS) of newspapers and magazines a day looking for ads for bars advertising 'live' music. If that bar has not bought a lic., they send them a letter telling them of possible violations (B4 anything has even happened: One riff from a cover is a violation, by the way...) and OFFERS them a chance to correct their oversite. If they do not, they send a person to the bar that night 'undercover' who will count the songs or parts that are "stolen" and then sue the bar owner.

Everyday, every city.

When you think about it, that kind of makes the internet look small... and the chances of them finding you are great. I wouldn't risk it to be honest with you.

Just a little helpfull (I hope advice). It's not a terribly difficult thing to obtain, in in contrast to the alternative (Lawers, court costs, fines, AND the cost of the lic...) it's pretty cheap. Check it out

Cheers...

PS: This is only for published commercial songs: things like the sound loops here at FK and so on are an entirely different story. Those you would go through the creater, although theoreticly, they could have an agreement with ASCAP and then you could go through them. I'm talking about songs on the radio though, folks. Just wanted to make that clear...

dsmmg
11-01-2001, 11:36 PM
about the article in the previous post: This is really misleading... especailly in the concept of the parody.

(http://www.utsystem.edu/ogc/intellectualproperty/copypol2.htm#test : This one in case its confusing what I mean)

But more inportant: It is flat out wrong in several others, which makes me even more skeptical of the other portions...

Rather than go through the article, and because I don't want to make any legal suggestions of fact, I would highly suggest that people read some stuff off of the net about this stuff. The people who write the stuff on the internet tend, just by thier out looks on the wolrd, to look at this kind of stuff a little different than lawyers and judges do. Not a bad thing in many cases, in fact thats what makes them different and creative, but from a legal sence, no the best idea...

Check out the digital melenium copyright act of 2000 (??I think its called...not sure???)for more info, alot of the laws quoted in anything more than 2 years ago, and a large amount of stuff today from those who don't know the laws all changed recently, are incorrect and quote law that doesn't exist any longer. Check it out...

Cheers...

PS AGIAN: By the way, the purpose of copyright law in its inception was to help promote the arts and sciences by protecting an author until he could make a reasonable living. Would you believe that the new laws extend the protection offered by a copyright to almost a hundred years, and its all for a mouse and a dead guy: Disny's rights were coming up on micky so they lobied for the extension. Now, as far as I know, Walt Disney's been dead a long time. How are we helping him make a 'reasonable living' by extending the rights?? The Gershwin family too... Just kind of ironic if you ask me.

And if there is ever a question, see a copyright lawyer.

phacker
11-02-2001, 09:17 AM
People need to understand that by obtaining a license from ASCAP or BMI, you are not totally covered unless you are a radio station. If you upload any of the covered material(even once--as you would need to in order to include it in a site), you need a reproduction license from the Harry Fox agency, and if you are including it with any visual material, you also need a synchronization license.

As far as parody--it is a risky venture, but the only possible loophole for the little guy. This site goes into a little more discussion on Fair Use as it relates to parody. It should be pointed out that parody is not an internationally accepted defense.

http://www.cll.com/articles/article.cfm?articleid=25

aa
11-02-2001, 01:26 PM
i think you need to consider what you want the music for? is it increasing sales? IS it being resold in some way? does it in any way translate to monetary or other gains for you?

if it doesn't, i wouldn't be too worried about it. these big fancy labels -- most of them don't have time and don't care about some nobody that samples a few seconds of some track for personal reasons. now if you made a site and looped Orbital and got thousands for doing the site, maybe you'd have a problem -- IF they bothered to take legal action.

a "cease and desist" action might be the worst that happens to you. you're not going to get sued for millions of dollars for some tiny infraction that no one gains from. if that were the case, they might as well shut down every club from amsterdam to tokyo for playing electronic music that draws more patrons.

gecko2
11-05-2001, 11:28 AM
You can sample whatever you want, if you get caught you will get a rather nice bill/fine/lawsuit coming your way.

If you want to sample a tune for a loop do it well so that it too hard to tell what tune it is from that way nobody will know where it's come from and it will be deemed original.

Don't do a hash of a sample which is instantly recognisable. Or try using two loops or tunes and play with the sound levels.