Copyright definitions

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Queeg2000, May 14, 2018.

  1. Queeg2000

    Queeg2000 Active Member

    A thread recently which covered parts being moved around to different players touched upon this practice being a breach of copyright.

    I've been pondering over this since, and while I accept that this could be interpreted as altering the copyright piece, I am sceptical about the definition of altering in this context.

    For example, taking the literal definition of altering, playing a wrong note would constitute a breach of copyright. To take the concept a step further, if the piece in question were a test piece, then unless all the bands played exactly the same, all but one, and possibly none have played it exactly as intended, and as such have breached the copyright on the piece in question.

    However, my understanding of this term is to stop people changing the key and claiming the piece as their own work.

    I would be interested to know if any bands have ever been charged of copyright theft for changing a part, and if so, just how much, or little was changed.

    If any band were to be in breach of copyright laws I would have thought it would be those that have videos online of them playing copyright tunes. I'm pretty sure recording of these parts whether that be a photocopy, or an audio recording would be far more enforceable, yet judging by the number of these videos around, seems to go unnoticed.
  2. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

    Between the Moon and Mexico
    Good question!

    To take your last point first, both YouTube and Soundcloud state in their terms (which nobody reads, of course) that they do not allow posting of videos/recordings of copyright works without the copyright holder's permission.
    This is completely ignored of course. I was astounded that performances from this year's Euros were posted on Soundcloud so soon as World of Brass released them.........

    With regard to swapping of parts, having a solo cornet play a repiano part does not breach any sort of copyright, so far as I understand. But the 1988 Act includes 'Moral Rights' which are attributed to the composer. So if swapping parts
    is radical enough to be regarded as a new ARRANGEMENT (eg giving an Eb Bass part to Euphs, or Horn parts to Trombones - movable feast, of course) then a composer might claim it contravenes his/her Paternal Moral Right, ie his/her right to have the piece presented as he/she intended.

    I doubt this sort of 'breach' would ever be challenged in copyright law, although I have challenged a US arranger who arranged a brass band piece of mine for 10-piece brass without asking. But the Paternal Right does allow, for example, a composer to demand that a really dire performance which is posted online be taken down.
    pedaller, Slider1 and midlandman like this.
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