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copyright: license needed for uploading my performance?
#2853235 05/28/19 05:22 PM
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Please help me to understand "copyright":

Typical situation:
I am interested in uploading a record of me playing piano, not for commercial interests but just to proudly present to the rest of the world my piano playing. Well, I cannot foresee if this will simply receive the usual encouragements and critics, or if it ridiculously enough will go viral.
But the sheets from which I took the piece say "copyright, all rights reserved"!
In order to give a clear example: I recorded me playing from memory a piece from the living composer Martha Mier, and the sheet from which I learned the piece from is from publisher Alfred Publishing and has been purchased by me at a local store. My status as a musician is "Adult beginner for the rest of my live because nobody (not even me dreaming) perceives that I am an elderly prodigy".

Donnish translation into official language:
I am interested in publishing copyrighted music. I first need a license.

Do exceptional rules apply?
Is my use case covered by some exceptional rule and I can upoad my record without copyright infringements, or am I really requested to first receive from Martha Mier and/or Alfred Publishing a permission to do so?

Re: copyright: license needed for uploading my performance?
Wuffski #2853238 05/28/19 05:26 PM
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Haha, copyright appears to be the hill I’m going to die on.

Strictly speaking, yes you need a “mechanical licence”. In reality, if you are an amateur pianist with no designs on building a professional reputation or depriving professionals of income, then the worst that can happen is you will get a copyright strike on your YouTube account and the publishers may insist on some advertising on the video, or absolute worst case it gets taken down. I wouldn’t worry too much.


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Re: copyright: license needed for uploading my performance?
ShyPianist #2853240 05/28/19 05:31 PM
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PS if you uploaded to something like Soundcloud I have a feeling that’s a little more lenient because it’s audio only. I can’t recall the details though.


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Re: copyright: license needed for uploading my performance?
ShyPianist #2853273 05/28/19 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Haha, copyright appears to be the hill I’m going to die on.

Strictly speaking, yes you need a “mechanical licence”. In reality, if you are an amateur pianist with no designs on building a professional reputation or depriving professionals of income, then the worst that can happen is you will get a copyright strike on your YouTube account and the publishers may insist on some advertising on the video, or absolute worst case it gets taken down. I wouldn’t worry too much.


Correction, “mechanical licence” is for audio. For YouTube it’s a “synchronisation” or “sync” licence. You have to apply months in advance and the copyright holders can charge what they like or ignore you completely. You can draw your own conclusions I’m sure.


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Re: copyright: license needed for uploading my performance?
Wuffski #2853383 05/29/19 01:41 AM
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I've been tagged by the copyright 'bots of youRube several times for apparent violations with Bach I played and then used to accompany some some drone videos I shot. I told youtube that they were my performances and besides that, I asked them, in what professional performance would they hear Coqui frogs peeping in the background? smile They always dropped the matter.

Re: copyright: license needed for uploading my performance?
BigIslandGuy #2853387 05/29/19 01:59 AM
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Originally Posted by BigIslandGuy
I've been tagged by the copyright 'bots of youRube several times for apparent violations with Bach I played and then used to accompany some some drone videos I shot. I told youtube that they were my performances and besides that, I asked them, in what professional performance would they hear Coqui frogs peeping in the background? smile They always dropped the matter.


Aw, I loved the coqui frogs when we stayed. 😊 That’s amazing though in the context of the, erm, robust discussion I was having yesterday over a couple of YouTube GoT covers that were shared and which were blatantly breaching copyright. God knows how those algorithms work (or don’t work).


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Re: copyright: license needed for uploading my performance?
Wuffski #2853390 05/29/19 02:05 AM
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Here’s more than you could ever want to know about sync licences for YouTube https://www.easysonglicensing.com/p...g/what-is-a-synchronization-license.aspx

It sounds so onerous I’d be amazed if anyone ever bothers applying. Copyright law needs to catch up with the real world.

Here’s the equivalent info for mechanical licences: https://www.easysonglicensing.com/p...ensing/what-is-a-mechanical-license.aspx


And to be clear, it was not the sync licence I was worried about in respect of the other case I mentioned, it was the non-existent arranging rights for the works and the sheet music.


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Re: copyright: license needed for uploading my performance?
Wuffski #2853391 05/29/19 02:06 AM
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None of my online videos are for commercial purposes. When I get a warning from YouTube I just ignore it. My last recording of a Handel Sarabande I got a warning that there is a possible violation of a modern piece that sounded like the Handel original. Of course Handel write the Sarabande in the 1700s at least 200 years before the modern piece came out. The original is off copyright but the newer piece is still under copyright. It's a gray area.

I can say for certain everybody who posted their version of the Handel Keyboard Suite #4 in D minor HWV437 - Sarabande including myself would get the exact same warning message from YouTube.

If you're posting the work of a living composer, it's best to get permission from the composer before using his work just in case. Once our music group with 40 musicians played Danzon #2 by the Mexican Arturo Márquez (1994) as an encore piece during a Christmas concert. The audience loved it. The piece was not printed in our program in case we get into trouble. No recording of the piece was posted online.

Re: copyright: license needed for uploading my performance?
thepianoplayer416 #2853392 05/29/19 02:08 AM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
None of my online videos are for commercial purposes.


Doesn’t matter in the world of copyright unfortunately.


Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
If you're posting the work of a living composer, it's best to get permission from the composer before using his work just in case. Once our music group with 40 musicians played Danzon #2 by the Mexican Arturo Márquez (1994) as an encore piece during a Christmas concert. The audience loved it. The piece was not printed in our program in case we get into trouble. No recording of the piece was posted online.


Good advice. How did you find it getting the permission?


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Re: copyright: license needed for uploading my performance?
ShyPianist #2853396 05/29/19 02:45 AM
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Quote
Good advice. How did you find it getting the permission?


Sorry, just realised. Point. Missed. Zoom.


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Re: copyright: license needed for uploading my performance?
Wuffski #2853403 05/29/19 04:26 AM
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So, no exceptional rule applies. I need at least a “mechanical licence”. I will contact Alfred Publishing, asking them right away for the permission to perform all of the pieces from the Alfred books which I own. Hopefully this all comes out to be a simple and fast process, and without extra fees: I would have regrets to have purchased music sheets which I am then not allowed to interprete publicly.

Meanwhile I will celebrate myself by uploading a record of a small piece of Brahms, then.

PS: I now realize why on funerals usually old music is played: recent music might be too cumbersome to organize right in time.

Re: copyright: license needed for uploading my performance?
Wuffski #2853427 05/29/19 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Wuffski
So, no exceptional rule applies. I need at least a “mechanical licence”. I will contact Alfred Publishing, asking them right away for the permission to perform all of the pieces from the Alfred books which I own. Hopefully this all comes out to be a simple and fast process, and without extra fees: I would have regrets to have purchased music sheets which I am then not allowed to interprete publicly.

Meanwhile I will celebrate myself by uploading a record of a small piece of Brahms, then.

PS: I now realize why on funerals usually old music is played: recent music might be too cumbersome to organize right in time.


Not really, as the church or funeral parlour will normally pay annually for performance rights license.

Ian


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Re: copyright: license needed for uploading my performance?
Wuffski #2853515 05/29/19 09:20 AM
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Our music group did perform Danzon #2 by the Mexican Arturo Márquez. This is a popular modern piece performed by a few orchestras including the LA Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel. Our conductor got hold of the score and distributed copies to the musicians. When it comes to getting permission to perform the piece (for non-commercial purpose), either our conductor or someone organizing the repertoire for the group was responsible. My job was to learn my part and play along with the group so I don't know the details.

There are pieces of Pop music like Abba's "Mama Mia" get posted on YouTube as piano solo for non-commercial purpose. I don't think any of the performers asked permission from Benny or Björn before posting their versions online.

Re: copyright: license needed for uploading my performance?
thepianoplayer416 #2853561 05/29/19 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
There are pieces of Pop music like Abba's "Mama Mia" get posted on YouTube as piano solo for non-commercial purpose. I don't think any of the performers asked permission from Benny or Björn before posting their versions online.


My understanding of this is the non-commercial aspect is irrelevant as far as copyright is concerned. Piano covers just as performances don't bother me at all but you're right, there's no way any of them will have jumped through the lengthy hoops to get sync rights. I've uploaded a recording of a recent sheet music arrangement (which DOES have arranging rights) and I haven't tried to apply for sync rights because it is for promoting sales of which they will get 90% of the revenue. I consulted with fellow arrangers before doing so and the general consensus was that as long as you have all the copyright statements there and arranging rights they are unlikely to challenge you.

What does bother me a lot, and this is what I got into a ding dong over yesterday on here, is people who post covers on YouTube and then upload the sheet music of their arrangements (which DON'T have arranging rights) to free file sharing sites.

Last edited by ShyPianist; 05/29/19 11:11 AM.

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Re: copyright: license needed for uploading my performance?
ShyPianist #2853568 05/29/19 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ShyPianist
My understanding of this is the non-commercial aspect is irrelevant as far as copyright is concerned.


That's correct. The theory behind it is that if someone gives away their cover for free, it potentially deprives the original artist of sales.




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Re: copyright: license needed for uploading my performance?
JohnSprung #2853579 05/29/19 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
My understanding of this is the non-commercial aspect is irrelevant as far as copyright is concerned.


That's correct. The theory behind it is that if someone gives away their cover for free, it potentially deprives the original artist of sales.




I feel like there is a LOT of educating to be done, including among the music community, about this. But my experience so far is that very few people actually care as long as it's free.


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Re: copyright: license needed for uploading my performance?
Wuffski #2853718 05/29/19 09:48 PM
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I got an e-mail from YouTube the moment I uploaded 'my very own' performance of Chopin's Scherzo! In fact you can upload your dog playing in the backyard and get a content ID match message for birds chirping in the background. True story!

I can't talk for anybody else, but in my case I've been able to successfully dispute the ones that are truly mine. I do have a number of piano covers of various pop songs that are claimed by the copyright holder. They're claiming the copyright for the song itself of course. I would too!

Re: copyright: license needed for uploading my performance?
Wuffski #2853758 05/30/19 01:26 AM
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Quote
I do have a number of piano covers of various pop songs that are claimed by the copyright holder. They're claiming the copyright for the song itself of course. I would too!


I just had a listen to your Mary Poppins Returns one, very nice. I am pleased to see you’re not trying to flog the sheet music as too many do, without the rights to do so. What happens when the publishers claim copyright?


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Re: copyright: license needed for uploading my performance?
ShyPianist #2853821 05/30/19 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Quote
I do have a number of piano covers of various pop songs that are claimed by the copyright holder. They're claiming the copyright for the song itself of course. I would too!


I just had a listen to your Mary Poppins Returns one, very nice. I am pleased to see you’re not trying to flog the sheet music as too many do, without the rights to do so. What happens when the publishers claim copyright?


Glad you liked, but I never said I don't write my own arrangements of other songs and share them for free. I've done it many times, and will do it again. Anybody can do that as long as they're not sharing the sheet music of the exact same original performance. This is not to be confused with piracy where official sheet music gets posted over the net.Over the years, I've had various companies sharing my own covers on their social media platforms!

What happens when the publishers claim copyright? They're the ones who benefit from it. They are going to get most or ALL the revenue generated from that performance. Some publishers do allow shared revenue. My covers are for advanced pianists and not suitable for the general population. None of my sheet music would be approved by a publisher, if I were hired to arrange for them! They're NOT interested in this type of sheet music because they don't sell at all. Only simplified versions do. I know so as I've worked with publishers for many years.

Example:



My score:
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5b843c9de17ba336693de7ab/t/5c19f4ea2b6a284e2becba8b/1545204970893/You%27re+A+Mean+One%2C+Mr.+Grinch+%28SCORE2%29+-+Full+Score.pdf

This score is totally useless for publishers.


Re: copyright: license needed for uploading my performance?
Leon T #2853826 05/30/19 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Leon T
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Quote
I do have a number of piano covers of various pop songs that are claimed by the copyright holder. They're claiming the copyright for the song itself of course. I would too!


I just had a listen to your Mary Poppins Returns one, very nice. I am pleased to see you’re not trying to flog the sheet music as too many do, without the rights to do so. What happens when the publishers claim copyright?


Glad you liked, but I never said I don't write my own arrangements of other songs and share them for free. I've done it many times, and will do it again. Anybody can do that as long as they're not sharing the sheet music of the exact same original performance. This is not to be confused with piracy where official sheet music gets posted over the net.Over the years, I've had various companies sharing my own covers on their social media platforms!

What happens when the publishers claim copyright? They're the ones who benefit from it. They are going to get most or ALL the revenue generated from that performance. Some publishers do allow shared revenue. My covers are for advanced pianists and not suitable for the general population. None of my sheet music would be approved by a publisher, if I were hired to arrange for them! They're NOT interested in this type of sheet music because they don't sell at all. Only simplified versions do. I know so as I've worked with publishers for many years.

Example:



My score:
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5b843c9de17ba336693de7ab/t/5c19f4ea2b6a284e2becba8b/1545204970893/You%27re+A+Mean+One%2C+Mr.+Grinch+%28SCORE2%29+-+Full+Score.pdf

This score is totally useless for publishers.



Eeek, not true but I'm not getting into that barney again. I totally hear what you're saying about suitability for sale as I'm wrestling with it myself (going the legal route through Sheet Music Plus). Hope you don't get sued!

Last edited by ShyPianist; 05/30/19 09:21 AM.

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