Legally Arranging

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by HornBlast, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. HornBlast

    HornBlast New Member

    Seeing as there is a great thread running about the arranging of music...

    A plea for assistance...

    I've asked this question on a number of music websites and never had a clear and concise answer! (Perhaps it's how I word the question!) What is the law surrounding the arranging of music?
    1.My band want to play a TV theme/hit song and ask me to arrange it. I do it and they perform it. I don't publish it or get anything for it. Is this within the law?

    2. I do the same as above but the piece I arrange is very old (folk tune or similar)?

    3. I do the same as above but the piece is for my school?

    4. I do the same as above but have such a response from the audience that I want to get it published? (It MIGHT happen!)

    I know this might sound bizarre, but please don't reply if you just have a hint of an answer! I got loads of conflicting answers like that a couple of years ago when I posted this thread on the TES website! Please reply if you really do know your stuff. I do like staying within the law!

  2. HornBlast

    HornBlast New Member

    Just read the tmp factsheet on copyright law. A great resource but is this actually spot on? Re-arranging a test piece could get you sued?????!!! Oh dear!!!
  3. derrenba

    derrenba New Member

    Copyright conveys to the rights holder the EXCLUSIVE right to produce derivative works for the duration of the copyright.

    Arrangements are, by definition, derivative works, so the very ACT of arranging a copyrighted work without permission from the rights holder violates the copyright. Period.

    Performing, publishing, distributing (free copies), and profiting from, an unauthorized arrangement constitute ADDITIONAL violations of the copyright.

    1. No.
    2. Only if it's in the public domain.
    3. No.
    4. No.
  4. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    If you have arrangements which you would like to use legally please PM or email me as I may be able to help.
    I have quick and easy (legal) access to many copyright works.
  5. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    I don't know whether its 'spot on' for sure, but I do know it was written by a couple of well-respected composers and someone who used to work in the copyright office, so my guess its pretty close...

    As for re-arranging test-pieces, well yes you can get sued - just like you can get sued if you re-arrage a pop song or a classical piece that is not in the public domain without the right permissions.