19 votes
Accepted

Why exactly did the jury find copyright infringement in the case of Blurred Lines?

The jury bought into the Gaye's attorney's arguments that they should consider a "constellation" of features when comparing the two songs. This legal standard will likely be challenged on appeal ...
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  • 1,626
8 votes

How did Gilbert and Sullivan protect their operas from pirates?

In the begining of 19th century US law (copyright act of 1790) protected only American authors.(1) There were no international copyright agreements between the US and other countries, making it nearly ...
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  • 1,712
7 votes
Accepted

Do you need original artist's consent to cover their songs live?

No. The royalty rules are different based on the medium (live or recorded), but you never need an artist's permission to cover a song. In regards to live performance, specifically, the venue is ...
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7 votes
Accepted

What is the source of this clause, often used to mark the completion of something?

There's a Wikipedia page on this riff which is called "Shave and a Haircut". One of the earliest uses was in a 1899 song by Charles Hale: "At a Darktown Cakewalk", although it was used in other songs ...
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  • 6,807
6 votes
Accepted

Lead artist and featured artist of a song - how are they determined?

When supportive artists are invited to work on an album they are featured on the record. It is more like a description of what happened rather than a status. The lead artist is the one responsible for ...
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  • 266
6 votes
Accepted

How are band names protected?

Legally, band names are pretty much like... brand names (no pun intended). First of all a technicality, names are not copyrighted, they are trademarked and can also be registered. Legal details of ...
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  • 1,712
6 votes

When music goes "out of print", do the writers/performers still hold their copyright?

In most of the world, the default length of copyright is the life of the author plus either 50 or 70 years. Wikipedia article So, even though a particular recording is 'out of print' it doesn't mean ...
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  • 3,126
5 votes
Accepted

When music goes "out of print", do the writers/performers still hold their copyright?

To answer the rest of the question. Recordings go "out of print" when the company that is printing the recording decides that sales do not justify printing any additional copies and the company's ...
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  • 626
5 votes

How are band names protected?

This is pretty anecdotal & I have no hard references for some of the examples, however... Usually the first one to get a recognisable hit can force or even just persuade any others to change ...
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  • 7,068
5 votes
Accepted

Are all ORIGINAL VERSION classical sheet music in the public domain?

Laws vary from country to country in details (e.g. number of years a copyright is valid, the ways it can eventually be prolonged, weather the author is till alive or not influences the permanence of ...
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  • 1,712
5 votes
Accepted

Why does Led Zeppelin have such a significant place in the rock'n'roll pantheon?

It's true that Led Zeppelin were notorious music thieves (with "Lemon Song" being a particularly infamous example). Like many other British musicians of the time, they had an unpleasant tendency to ...
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4 votes
Accepted

Are there any laws and punishments to prevent new singers from copying famous singers' voices and tones?

On the site IP Iustitia a lawyer, Jani Ihalainen, discusses this in detail, at least for the USA. TLDR: in the US the courts have held that a voice is not copyrightable, but copying a voice can still ...
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  • 6,807
4 votes

Who owns the rights to unreleased music, if anyone?

The laws are different everywhere. In a lot of countries (including the USA and Germany) the creator owns the copyright to any creative work of art they produce, as soon as they produce it. There is ...
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  • 6,807
3 votes
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What has the RIAA(/MPAA/BSA) done in re the recent surge in music piracy due to coronavirus?

Recent RIAA activity Action based on May 2020 US Copyright Office report Hollywood and tech prep for another round of copyright wars RIAA and other music industry groups, including the Music Artists ...
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  • 3,649
3 votes

Is it implied that a publisher also holds the copyright of a song?

The above means the copyright is held by EMI Blackwood Music and Dam Rich Music. The owner of copyright differs depending on the contract. The copyright holder is not always the same as the ...
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3 votes

How did Gilbert and Sullivan protect their operas from pirates?

The answer is "without much success." They did, however, try a number of things, including premiering Pirates of Penzance in New York, rather than London, refusing to publish a full score of Iolanthe,...
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3 votes

Are there any restrictions for guitar colors?

Manufacturers frequently change their catalogues according to consumer demand. Probably the yellow model did not sell enough to justify keeping it in the catalogue.
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  • 1,712
3 votes
Accepted

Why are specific parts to music not free?

The piece itself may be free, but the specific engraving used for the part may still be under copyright and licensed to (or owned by) a publishing company. More likely, someone had a public-domain ...
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  • 166
2 votes

Permission for remixes?

I am pretty sure this has nothing to do with the recording company as they handle all licensing for their artists song repertoire through a PRO. Usually you obtain what is known as a "use license" ...
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  • 199
2 votes

Who is the real songwriter of a song?

If you’re a musician/publisher and have registered to be a member of PRS for Music (or perhaps another copyright society), you can search their musical works database. You can search for a specific ...
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2 votes

Who is the real songwriter of a song?

The roles are very often not clearly divided within the team, often the lyrics and the music are a collaborative effort. The producer would not usually get a songwriting credit unless they did ...
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  • 6,807
2 votes

Did Charlie Puth lift a vocal run from Justin Timberlake?

There are certain stylistic choices that can start out as personal idiosyncrasies, but become so widely imitated that they end up as genre markers. For modern pop/R&B, one of the most ...
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2 votes

Is there a "four note" rule that defines plagiarism in music?

This started with Yes, we have no bananas, which shares four notes at the same timing with the famous Hallelujah chorus. Even though no sane person would see the two songs as the same, they were able ...
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1 vote

Was this Swedish song from the 1980s-2000s an imitation musically of some 1960s USA song? If so, what was that song's name?

It's definitely George Harrison's style, and very similar to his What is Life:
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1 vote
Accepted

Is there a "four note" rule that defines plagiarism in music?

According to the portion of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead_sheet that cites "Krasilovsky, M. William; Shemel, Sidney; Gross, John M.; Feinstein, Jonathan (2007), This Business of Music (10th ed.), ...
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  • 402
1 vote
Accepted

Are there any restrictions for guitar colors?

There are no restrictions to what colours a manufacturer can and cannot paint. There may be restrictions to what they can call the colours. For example Rickenbacker use the 'glo' suffix with a lot of ...
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  • 279
1 vote

Permission for remixes?

I fully agree with topo's answer, though on many occasions I've known a remix to be done initially without any permission, just to see if the track will gain any traction on the dance floor, as a ...
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  • 7,068

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