minstrel: Re: <no subject>

Timothy Phillips hrothgar at telepath.com
Sun Mar 12 18:03:28 PST 2000

An anonymous contributor wrote:
> We wouldn't lose a site over plagarism.  It is only
> illegal if you try and reproduce the song or tune for
> money without the composer's (or he who holds the
> rights) consent.  I could sing whatever I wanted to,
> pass it off as my own and all that makes me is
> immoral.  It is, however, perfectly legal.

I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice, but
my understanding is that the copyright includes
the right of public performance.  Period.   Nothing about
"performance for profit."  A few non-profit
performances (such as of church music in church)
are excepted in 17 U.S.C. 110.  But the performance
itself needn't be for money to make the performance
an infringement.  Any event to which there is a
direct or indirect admission charge may very well
require a license.  What if there is no charge to the
event itself, but a great deal of commercial activity is
going on, as at a rennfest ?  I don't know if that
qualifies as exempt.  It might not, and if it is
a doubtful point, I wouldn't be surprised if ASCAP's
lawyers  someday tried to get the courts to draw the
line to ASCAP's benefit.

Tim Phillips
<hrothgar at telepath.com>

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