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 Forum index » Reviews, Editorials and Commentary » Commentary and Editorials
The Great Copyright Debate
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mosc
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Patrick,

I'm not a lawyer, so I can't really discuss legal matters with authority.

I can see situations where playing derived music from another composer could be unwanted by the original creator. Some composers are very picky about how their music is heard. For example, just a few weeks ago I attended a lecture by Milton Babbit. He had a sample of his music played for illustrative purposes. It was something he composed on the RCA Synthesizer at Columbia University in 1956. The music came on and he listened for a moment and asked that it be stopped. "Turn is up, it needs to be louder" he called out. The technician made some adjustments and started the piece again. After a few moments, Babbit stopped it again. He explained it was designed to be played very loudly over an excellent multichannel system. This particular house PA didn't do it justice, so he decided not to play it at all.

Another composer, Ian Boddie, performs his music only after he sets up a special mood with the audience. He considers his music to have a spiritual aspect to it. He might not want his music performed in a way that was not respectfull of that. I don't know; I'm just speculating.

I could see someone with high standards like this not wanting other people to take their music and modify it in any way, and perform it even when given credit. In any case, everyone has different feelings about their music and the reuse of it. I think asking permission is the respectful and courteous thing to do. Probably, it's the right thing to do legally as well.

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Patrick Stacey



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 6:06 am    Post subject: Looking into it Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes, Howard...I'll be looking further into this issue and will post what I find out here...

I think on some level, if someone decides to distribute his/her music publicly, they relinquish certain rights to it at that moment, the listener now owns the CD or file, and can do with it as they wish, listen to it under water, watch it bake in the sun, etc....oh yeah, and someone musical might be inspired enough to borrow certain aspects of that music, whether it be just a phrase that they play on their own instrument, or the actual recording itself...

This thread reminded me of that scene in "Amadeus" where Mozart is playing alongside his rival, exchanging musical ideas...effortlessly, Mozart takes a passage his colleague plays and modifies it through improvisation, instantly making it better...voila!

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Patrick Stacey



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

"In truth, literature, in science and in art, there are, and can be, few, if any things, which in an abstract sense are strictly new and original throughout. Every book in literature, science, and art borrows, and must necessarily borrow, and use much which was well known and used before." -- Supreme Court Justice David Souter
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Indeed, Patrick, and not only will the musically inclined get tendencies to quote; you can wonder wether they will be able to help it. I´ve done pieces where I later realised I had borrowed heavily from a track I was listening to some days before.

I´m not so sure about the "relinquishing rights" phrase you use, I think that implies a too strong element of force. I´d rather look at it from a perspective where we admit that we put out music to influence and affect people and accept the possible side effects of that as a side of a coin that on the whole is desireable.

If you´d get inspirered by a track I did and did your own based on thoughts that generated then I´d be already be happy with a nice email. If you`d like my bassline so much you´d sample 8 bars of it then I would apreceate a few bucks, a liner note and a copy of the record.

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