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Cover Songs Breaking Copyright?
Mar 28 2004
23:30
quetzalcoatl
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I thought it would be a good idea to discuss this. Users here are doing a lot of covers of popular songs, and I was wondering whether this infringes copyright. We’re not alowed to publish another artist’s song lyrics on a web site without permission, let alone record another artist’s songs and make them available for download .. are we?

Mar 29 2004
00:00
roba
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Mar 21 2004
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Sounds like you have a point.

Mar 29 2004
00:17
quetzalcoatl
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I think you’re spot-on RobA. [color=red:25v62b27][b:25v62b27]Why did you delete your original post?????[/b:25v62b27][/color:25v62b27]

Now let’s look at what it says on the Downloads page:

[i:25v62b27]Our only requirement is that the music must feature vocaloid vocals in some way.[/i:25v62b27]

This is a very limp requirement if you ask me. If a song is in the public domain it’s fine, but not otherwise. It’s been made clear by the Admin that this is not an official Zero-G site, it is totally independent (even though he works for Zero-G), and therefore the downloads here are not strictly speaking in the ‘for profit’ area. However, the fact remains that the showcase is for a product, Vocaloid, it’s not a showcase for artists, but even that line is easily blurred.

I think we should only upload original work that belongs to us.

Mar 29 2004
00:19
roba
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Sorry, Q., I edited my original reply while you were replying to it. Decided that all I had to say could be summarized in that one sentence. :)

What I said was (more or less):

For a commerical purpose, covers would be a no-no. So don’t expect covers from Yamaha, Zero-G, or vendors.

For completely private use – no public display, no funky file sharing, I expect that a cover would be OK, since it has no value.

For this bulletin board, the problem is that the covers can be heard publicly. Also, since prospective users might make a decision based on what they’ve heard, in that sense the covers might serve a commercial purpose. So I’d be inclined to say “no covers here.”

As for the other issue about lyrics: There seem to be a lot of unlicensed sites that show lyrics. Maybe simply posting known lyrics to a known song is OK, because they are generally known anyway. Or maybe the copyright holders have bigger fish to fry. But for something like a book or poem, where the words are marketed as words, it would be a no-no to post them.

Mar 29 2004
00:22
gray
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From what I understand, a midi sequence is an artistic interpretation of a song. And the seqiencer has the right to copyright that sequence. However, if he/she posts that sequence on a site that gives it away, the sequence may be used for personal use. As long as you dont charge for it or charge membership fees at the site, should be no problem. There is a provlem with pirated sequences though. So you still have to be careful. I’m no longer posting backing tracks except my own sequences. The admin has been considering this problem also.

Mar 29 2004
00:28
roba
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Gray raised another issue, about MIDIs. Yes, the MIDI may be a copyrightable interpretation (not always, since some are mechanical transcriptions of the sheet music, or are auto-generated by software).

So if you start with a MIDI of a song, you may run afoul BOTH of the song’s words and music holder, AND of the MIDI holder – and I’ll bet that the MIDI holder is afoul of the W&M holder, too.

Mar 29 2004
00:35
gray
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I dont have that particular problem. I do all my tracks by ear and from memory. Same way I play an instrument. Thank heaven for the piano roll.

Mar 29 2004
00:46
quetzalcoatl
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I wonder if the way around this might be to have it so that only registered members of the forum could actually download the demos (and see the demos page even!)? That would put the whole exercize on more of a private-club footing rather than a public one. I do understand that Zero-G could not take advantage of the showcase to adevrtise Vocaloid’s abilities, but if they have decided it’s not a good idea on the Zero-G site, then the same should apply here, n’est pas?

I was thinking about covering a Kraftwerk track, that’s what got me thinking about this. And I thought, what would Kraftwerk .. and their record company .. and their publishers .. the record stores .. and promoters think about me [u:3d2cmtsm]covering[/u:3d2cmtsm] a Kraftwerk song, putting a bit of Vocaloid in, and making it available to hundreds of people through here? It’s not much different to publishing a song for wide distribution on the Net. In fact it’s the same, but without permission to do so.

Mar 29 2004
00:59
gray
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I’m having to hand pick what songs I use due to Leons short range. Too high and it must be a female vocal. That kinda lets out most Zepplin and a lot of Beatles, Actually, rules out a heck of a lot of songs unless you transpose them. Then the song itself dont sound right. I think most Pink Floyd songs were made for old Leon.

Mar 29 2004
01:43
roba
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Q. has a good idea. Some forums have a space reserved for beta testers. Although that wouldn’t apply here, the idea is to provide a private space, not even accessible by most registered users, where experienced users can do their things.

Besides, if a user posts an awkward file (public domain or not) it reflects badly on the program.

Gray: I have no access to Leon. But the voice reminds me of Jimmy Cliff (reggae).

Mar 29 2004
10:01
robotarchie
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Right you lot – listen up, I’m going to invoke the Sanity Clause (copyright ackknowleged The Marx Brothers). Breathe in….and relaaax. First off – Q! Naughty flying serpent you – you’re on the windup to suggest that this forum is not for artistes and merely a showcase for the vocaloid product. I think we’ll be OK posting cover versions of songs “in public” here myself, but only when some of the blurb accompanying the posts are modified to perhaps more clearly show the original artist’s name and that they are presenting an original arrangement of the (offending) piece. It amuses me to think that anyone could seriously pretend that someone might be trying to pass Lola off as Britney just by covering her songs. :D To quote the great bard Florian Schneider “Even the greatest stars, dislike themselves in the looking glass….” Schauffensterpuppen! Incidentally, Yamaha – as a major player in the whole commercial MIDI Karaoke market that mainly serves their huge “home organ” base can, do and ARE perfectly entitled to make public demonstrations of cover versions of popular tunes of the day. Go into a music shop and press the demo button on one of their PRS range keyboards. The tune is familiar, but the arrangement is original. I’m going to do a few more cover versions and will send them up to the forum soon as. If I’m not allowed to, then I won’t. My loss or yours? I’ll repeat what I’ve said elsewhere – when I’m learning a new musical instrument I don’t start by launching straight into an original piece. Many of the early commercial vocaloid demos from Yamah were cover versions of popular Japanese folk songs. Familiarity may breed contempt, but I find it far easier to practice on or alongside something familiar. If other vocaloid users are sufficiently advanced/confident – AND they think that this forum is the best place to post their original music, then fine – go ahead, guys. You won’t make a bean from it, that’s for sure. Having said all that, I merely note that my cover version of “Rachel’s Song” has already appeared doing the rounds on at least one well known file sharing P2P network. Am I flattered? You betcha…. if it were my own private original unpublished tune up there instead? Hmmmm…..

Mar 29 2004
16:53
quetzalcoatl
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RobotArchie, I disagree with every single word you have written above .. I know, it’s time to end it all, but please do it quietly we have very young viewers watching this show.

Where is the Admin on this?

Mar 29 2004
16:59
robotarchie
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End it all? Que? Lookin’ good, feelin’ fine, me. Do you really disagree with every single word? Flatterer… why stop at single words when you can disagree with the whole thing, eh? Besides, everbody knows that there’s no such thing as the “sanity clause” (Chico Marx- copyright lapsed)

Nanny! Help! Spell it out! Can we continue to post covers up here or not?

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