Copyright question

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by cornyandy, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. cornyandy

    cornyandy Member

    Hi all,

    I've just read the advice note on the homepage, very useful and informative. I have often done bits for small ensembles (onyl carols and hymns)

    I've now got a couple of arrangement ideas buzzing through my head and want to make sure I'm not going to come a cropper, where can I look to see if I need any permission for a couple of folk songs? (one 1600's and one late 1700's) There have been versions done over the years but I will be working from a tune line remmebered by ear only. Any advice would be welcome

    Many thanks in advance

  2. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

  3. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    If in doubt, join PRS and check the MCPS database - or ring them and ask if it's a public domain work. Simples.
  4. cornyandy

    cornyandy Member

    Thanks Guys
  5. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    Surely the tunes, If written in the 16/1700's are out of copyright. A particular printrun might not be; neither might a specific arrangement. But if the tune is uniquely arranged then sureky that is Ok?
  6. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Not sure that's watertight, Pete, as when Vaughan Williams 'collected' folk songs for some of his work, he was assigned copyright. Where's Dave Payn when you need him???
  7. cornyandy

    cornyandy Member

    Yeah I do know the Vaughan Williams situation a bit having been in a production of Hugh the Drover a few years ago. We were not even allowed to video it for our own use (ie for the opera company archive, normally copies would distributed at cost or thereabouts to cast only of other productions) The Vaughn WIlliams Society are not very open about who gets permission to do things (my opinion only).

    Many thanks for the responses guys I will be looking into the tunes carfully before I even think of going public.

  8. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    One more thing to consider is that if it's a previously unknown work that is discovered at a later date (say someone turned up a new beethoven symphony tomorrow) even though it's more than 70 years from the death of the composer, I believe the work itself is deemed to be on copyright for 70 years after the date of discovery.... which means just basing things on the date of a composer's death is not necessarily bulletproof.

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