minstrel: Re:Filks, copywrite, etc.

mor-plentyn at juno.com mor-plentyn at juno.com
Sun Mar 12 15:01:25 PST 2000


There was a recent uproar about a girl scout group singin "Happy
Birthday" at one of their functions (yep, that's under copywrite) so, no,
it doesn't matter who's doing the performance, under what circumstances. 
The only reason most performers don't have to go to the trouble of
obtaining permission to perform copywritten material is that the venues
in which they perform have to do that.  The way I understand it, they pay
a yearly fee to one of the "clearing" organizations.  Therefor, the SCA
would be exactly who an irate copywrite holder would target, just like
the Girl Scouts were in the aforementioned example.

Melusine d'Argent
(who is a singer-songwriter in the modern world and has spent much time
researching this issue)

On Sun, 12 Mar 2000 20:03:28 -0600 "Timothy Phillips"
<hrothgar at telepath.com> writes:
> 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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