posted on #1
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Well...let's open a can of worms today :o

How can people post remakes of tunes already under a copyright licence on Youtube and the like? Heck, how does it work when a professional makes an Album with a song obviously derived from an already published song?
Are royalties paid?...I would assume so on the large professional market, but how does that apply to little folk like me that say just wanna do my own rendition of "Highway Star" for example, and put it on Youtube. I know we frown upon doing Covers here at Wikiloops, and I most respect and appreciate that! We don't need any liable suits do we Dick! get back to how this relates to Wikiloops...

But what is goona stop someone from downloading one of our tracks, adding their own instrument, or slightly modify, (if that) and make it "their own" and post it on one of these sites that actually sell tracks! and make money from our endeavours, guess nothing?

I am also a visual Artist. When I am commissioned to do a portrait, I need a signed consent form, if I use another photographer for the project, I need not only his/her release, but he/she needs a model release etc. etc. etc.

With that said I am only saying that there seems to be different rules for music. Unless you have been dead for 50 years and your music/sheets/lyrics etc. become Public domain there are laws forbidding these acts, and who actually "police" these activities...and did I break any laws by posting this Video?:|

I am reading up on some more [url=]here[/url]

Edited by MusicWorx on January 29 2017 18:32
...thanks for listening, and Happy Jammin!
posted on #2
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I bet,Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Ian Paice & the successors of Jon Lord are glad about this cover as a soundtrack of an official NASCAR promotion video cause their checkout will ring loudly. (of course this is only "money for nothing", cause their times of "chicks for free" are definitely over.)
Life is.
posted on #3
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In the help section you can find an outline of the copyright applicable to tracks posted on Wikiloops.
posted on #4
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Hey Musicworx,
I have re-read your post a couple of times trying to figure out what the exact question(s) are, and I do hope the ideas I'll provide below do in one or the other way answer them, or at least give you some more food for thought on the matter.

First of all, one needs to be aware that (as with any rule or law), there is always a "legal reality" and a "common practise" - think of a highway where people are allowed to drive 45 miles per hour, but the common practise is everyone drives 50.
Just because there is a law, that does not guarantee people actually stick to it.

One of your questions goes into the direction of "who will enforce my rights for me?" - that's what any road-owning state asks itself, too, and the answer is simple:
If you want to see your rights enforced, you need to hire some kind of policeman or set up some costly automated rule-control machine, and this also applies if you want your copyrights protected.

Instead of hiring a policeman, you'd want to hire a team of lawyers, a service offered by musicians representation unions such as the ASCAP in the USA or the GEMA in Germany.
These services will enforce your copyrights for you, and will take a good portion of the revenues to refund their service.
If you also happen to work with some professional label, the label may also set up an enforcement-team to make sure their investments in marketing and production are not endangered by copyright fraud.
The legal teams of major labels are quite efficient at that, but again, that is one of the reasons why any label will also need to take a good chunk of any revenue your creative work creates.

If you choose not to make use of such a service (and there are quite a lot of good reasons not to), you should not be surprised that no one will enforce your rights for you - there are just not that many folks out there who practise law as a hobby and who'd love to get that job at no pay.

So far, so easy, but let's move on to the farly interesting points now:
You are (if I got that right) raising the question of "How come I do get away with breaking laws @ youtube? Why do I not know about anyone who had to pay dramatic fines after uploading stolen material there?" - These are really good questions!
Yet again, we find ourselfs looking at the "common practise" side of things, and we have to conclude that the gap between "legal reality" and "common practise" is getting bigger and bigger as the internet evolves, with big players as YouTube setting the standards of common practise.

If we translate the situation to our highway example, YouTube has established a "common practise" of driving 145 miles per hour on that highway, while at the same time ensuring that no one doing that will have to face harsh consequences. Amazing, right?

Let's try to answer both the "Why??" and the "How??":
Why would YouTube have an interest in ignoring the legal reality and in making sure its users get away with that? Clearly, because they noticed that it can be done, and it results in a much better revenue for them than any other strategy.
They could as well have hired a bunch of people to make sure copyrght infringement is not happening, and could have created some widely known cases of people paying huge fines which would have kept others from risking that.
But obviously they quickly realized that their product is much more attractive to the end user if they do not do that - and even more so if they create a friendly atmosphere of "even if you are a constant law-breaker, we will treat you really nice here and you do not need to be affraid of consequences".

Now, how on earth are they doing that?
While the YouTube user will be easy to please with that friendly service, the rights holders are not likely to think that was funny, so YouTube had to find ways to keep them from biting its users heads off. No surprise, this is done by paying money, and YouTube spent huge amounts of that, settling deals with all of the major labels and most of the artist representation services (the german GEMA was a really tough case to them, they settled last year after endless negotiations).
As good businessmen, YouTube had little pain in reminding the major labels of one important fact:
"If you do not settle with us, we might as well remove any video containing audio by any of the artists you represent. If you think you can still sell music that is not happening on the worlds largest video platform, you may go and try that!", so, no surprise they were able to push these deals thru in the end.
Of course the details of these agreements are not available to the public.

What we can observe as the "common practise" and what can also be found in YouTubes help section can be sumarized like this:
- no youtube user ever pays a monetary fine.
- the worst punishment is getting a video removed, the common case ends in a video being "monetized" by the rights owner, meaning that the label is allowed to place ads on the infringing video and collects revenue from that (this is what will eventually happen with the video you posted).
- the major labels and artist representation services are obviously happy with what they are receiving to keep their feet still.

One very interesting bit of information taken from the wikipedia article on Soundcloud that I'd like to add can be summarized in: "If Soundcloud will not be able to strike deals with all the major labels (to be able to provide a cosy environment like YouTube), its chances to play a role in the future are considered small, several investors have reportedly backed out of negotiation for that reason." - that just as one more example how a once established "common practise" will bounce back and create new realities.

While the genuine idea of copyrights was to give the creative full control of what was allowed to happen with his "intellectual property" after publication, we are witnessing a situation in which the creative is left with a choice of either letting go of any control and be happy with whatever is gained after his representation agents have taken their "fair" share, or not to publish.
Copyright legislation was not yet properly adopted to the digital age, and the big players in the business have created a new system in the meantime.
No matter if we like that or not, I'm affraid that's how it is - hope someone enjoyed the lengthy read :)
posted on #5
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Yes I did enjoy the "lengthy read". It put things into perspective for me...the analogy of posted speed limits on public roads made perfect sense.

"...I learn something new every day...if I could only remember what I learned yesterday.":o
...thanks for listening, and Happy Jammin!
posted on #6
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Sorry, ich muss das jetzt auf deutsch schreiben weil mein englisch einfach zu schlecht ist ;o)
Welche Rolle spielt bei dem ganzen die Wikiloops-Lizenz ?
Gehe ich richtig in der Annahme dass wenn ich jetzt irgendwo im Netz oder sonstwo einen Song (oder dessen Lyrics) den ich hier bei Wikiloops hochgeladen habe finde den Autor des von mir gecoverten Songs theoretisch rechtlich belangen könnte ?
Schließlich könnte ich ja über die Veröffentlichung bei Wikiloops beweisen das ich den Song schon viel früher veröffentlicht habe ?

Davon abgesehen finde ich es gut das hier bei Wikiloops nicht gecovert werden darf ... das würde sicher schnell langweilig werden ... so wie es ist wird die Kreativität gefördert und Wikiloops erhält dadurch ein Alleinstellungsmerkmal das seines gleichen sucht im Netz.
Ehrlcih gesagt würde es mir nicht gefallen mir ständig irgendwelche Coverversionen anzuhören, da kann ich auch zu youtube oder soundcloud gehen, Wikiloops hat einen ganz eigenen Sound ;o)
Friedrich Nietzsche: "Without music, life would be a mistake."
posted on #7
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Above translated from Uloisius post...

"Sorry, I must write this now in German because my English is simply too bad; o)
What is the role of the Wikiloops license?
I'm not really sure if it's a good idea, but I'm not sure if it's true.
Finally, I could be on the publication at Wikiloops prove that I have released the song much earlier?

This is not the case with Wikiloops, which is not to be covered ... it would surely be boring soon ... as it is, the creativity is promoted and Wikiloops gets a unique feature of the same search on the net.
Ehrlcih said I would not like to listen to any cover versions, I can also go to youtube or soundcloud, Wikiloops has its own sound"

MusicWorx says..."I speak over 70 Languages; well, however many there actually is at Google Translate" B)

But some parts still don't seem to translate well...anyone?
Edited by MusicWorx on January 31 2017 15:46
...thanks for listening, and Happy Jammin!
posted on #8
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Nice answer Dick enjoyed the way you explained it. As a D.J. here in the USA I have a LCC license to broadcast and a ASCAP license to play the music I have. Everything cost money although sometime it does not seem fair, it's how the world works. I can't even begin to know the headaches you have running this site and keeping the legal part all in check. But you do it and I thank you for that. Jam on Wikiloops!!!!
posted on #9
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Uloisius has raised another interesting question which seems worth thinking about a little - let me summarize the scenario he has in mind first, and then let's walk thru the steps one might have to deal with in such a case.

Let's assume the following:
Hans Müller, human, citizen of Germany wrote a song called "Whooppedup"
Hans proceeded by uploading text and music to some collaboration website where he holds an account by the name of "HaMu", and granted free non-commercial use by choosing some license.
Some time later, the famous american rock band "The whimpens" releases their new single "Whooppedup" on several digital distribution sites (think iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, whatever), which obviously contains Hans composition and text.

1st: all names are made up, if there is an american band called the whimpens,
then they are not to blame for anything stated here!!
2nd: I am not offering any kind of reliable legal advice here, I'm just thinking out loud

Now Uloisius asks: Can Hans proove the rights are his by referencing the upload to the collaboration site?

That is a tricky question, and Hans will have to face the fact that the lawyers defending "The whimpens" will try all tricks to make his claim look questionable.
They have money to loose over this, so Hans better bring some good proof he's right.

The first step on the way would probably be to contact the distribution services used by "the whimpens" and request removal of the track.
But since Hans is just a nobody and "the whimpens" are backed by some major label, I do have doubts if they would be quick to react.
You can easily have a look at the copyright claim form at youtube and you will notice right away that this is not intended to be used by the normal Hans.

Now, let's assume they do the most obvious thing and ask Hans:
"What do you have to proove you are the author?", and Hans sends them a link to the track he posted to our assumed collaboration site.
If I was a witty lawman, I'd look at that and simply say:
"And now, would you please proove to us that you are the owner of that "HaMu" account and that it was actually you Mr.Müller who uploaded that track?"

Now it's getting complicated.
While Hans is totally sure he is the owner of the "HaMu" account, he suddenly realizes all he has to proove that are a bunch of emails sent to his email account,
and he gets the feeling it might be better to ask that collaboration site for a third party proof that he is the owner of the "HaMu" account.
So he contacts the collaboration sites admin asking:
"Could you please confirm in writing that I, Hans Müller, am the owner of that account?"

Now, let's assume that collaboration site is a friendly one and someone actually reads such requests.
If I would receive such a request, my answer would have to be:
"Dear Hans,
I am very sorry, but we have never seen any proof of your identity, all I can confirm is that the account "HaMu" was registerred from IP adress XY and uses the email adress hansmueller@fu.fu.
I can also confirm that the track in question was uploaded via this account on date Z from IP XY,
but that is all I can do to help you.
Try to either get your internet provider to confirm you were assigned named IP adresses, or your email provider to confirm you are the person owning that email account to get the proof you might need.
Good luck!"

Now, poor Hans has got some extra jobs to get his proofs lined up on paper... it is not impossible, but as you may imagine it is not going to be all easy either.
Now, we said Hans was a german, so he is probably not affraid of paperwork, let's assume he gets all that figured out to see how the story may continue...

If I had to defend "the whimpens", I'd be quite quick to point out one thing which will at least lenghten the process by stating:
"OK, so Mr.Müller obviously uploaded that track and lyrics at the given date.
That does however not proove he actually is the author of the track, maybe he got his hands on the composition in some unknown way, by listening to an illegal bootleg from "the whimpens" audition room... "the whimpens" claim to have been working on the tune weeks before Mr.Müller uploaded that track, while the first recorded version by "the whimpens" is admittedly dated a few weeks later." - hard to say how this would affect any courts decision, right?

Hans really needs to take a major strategic decision now:
Is he going for a nice one-time cash settlement which shall end in "the whimpens" buying the rights?
Or does he want to collect the usual "per play" revenue that is usually collected by the ASCAP/GEMA services for the copyright holders?
Or is the goal to ban the new single from any markets anywhere in the world, and to get a "reparation fine" for the financial loss of not having been able to make billions with the song himself?
How much budget for legal representation does Hans want to spend on all of this? I'd take a carefull guess and say one could probably buy a small families home, or at least a really fine upperclass car for the same money...

As Hans is a normal human sitting in germany, he probably does not want to engage in extremely costly and complicated lawsuits across the atlantic ocean, with as many different legal situations as there are states in which the single was released.
If "the whimpens" are the second hottest selling thing since Michael Jackson, that may be justifyable, if they are anywhere short of that, one has to wonder if the cost of lawsuits will not outweigh the possible gains of winning them.
Again, just because Hans may be right in the legal reality, the common practise of getting ones rights enforced is minifying the chance to actually reach justice.
The best bet to try to get some semi-justice in todays world is to try to raise a major shitstorm against "the whimpens" in the social networks, that would definetly speed up any out-of-court settlement - if the "whimpens" management doesn't decide that "bad press is good press, the more fuss is raised, the better the single sells!", one may have a chance with such a strategy... but Hans would need a huge angry fanbase to get noticed at all.

Once again, welcome to the digital age, and hope you enjoyed the lenghty read :)
I have not invented any of this, but as you may tell, I have given it some thought in the past years.
posted on #10
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Very nice points made in this article.
I'd like to add a couple of my own points.

1.) Don't upload anything to the site you potentially plan to sell and profit from.
I think this site breaks away from all that copyright garbage to just bring musicians together to jam. If you are that worried about your music contributions getting stolen, this is probably not the type of site you should be on doing music.

2.) Alternately if you are that worried about protecting your music that you upload to this site [or otherwise], (at least in America) you can copyright your music with the Library of Congress, for $35 per song, (or better deal) $35 per album (collection of songs). (PS: Actual pricing may change or vary since my last check, so price is not guaranteed accurate.)
posted on #11
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I feel that perhaps the above comment was triggered by my original post...

"But what is goona stop someone from downloading one of our tracks...and post it on one of these sites that actually sell tracks! and make money from our endeavours, guess nothing?"

There is nothing sacred on the internet anyways...Alt/PrntScrn and ClipGrab allows us to download anything!

I have allowed it easy for anyone to right click and "Save as" any of my Artworks online...share it, print it whatever...I am sharing with the world what I have created...besides, it is merely a digital representation of what I created. And with my Music I post online, I still have the original, albeit only a digital collection of Cubase bits and bites of my toils of creativity, I still have the Master compilation on my hard drive, just as the original [url=]Mona Lisa[/url] hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris. And any of my uploads are far from properly sound engineered for publication anyway. I agree too that WikiLoops is a site for sharing,

"...inspiration, collaboration and a little perspiration" I say!

I will look into the Canadian version of what Ricki suggested about registration of our Music for those who intend to "sell" their music. Which brings me to the idea of starting a new thread..."Making Money with our Music" Should we or should we not? Artworks that I started with the intention of generating money from, were tainted from the beginning...force-ably inadequate, contrived and never saw the light of day in the public realm.

I am sure there are full time professional musicians here at Wikiloops that enjoy the anonymity here that allows them to create and have fun without the constraints of fulfilling a contract to produce something marketable. That is the freedom that allows our souls to shine here at Wikiloops!
Edited by MusicWorx on February 01 2017 16:53
...thanks for listening, and Happy Jammin!
posted on #12
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Hi all, I'm trying to ascertain whether one can upload a collaboration / remix to youtube. I just listened to a song played by a musician who credited the track number and the wikiloops website. Is this the requirement? I'd hate to practice hours on my instrument upload my remix and get a knock at the door. Thanks.
posted on #13
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The general guidance on this is to ask the other wikiloops participating on the track musicians for their approval, credit them, and provide a link back to wikiloops.
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