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Topic: Quick question!!!

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  1. #1

    Quick question!!!

    I have been ask to do a song that is close to a well known song (I don't really like theses but got to pay the rent). In the law is there any limits about 'how far' close I can get to the song without getting any legal problem with it?

    Or is it a 2 bar thingy?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Smile Re: Quick question!!!

    The answer is no. There is some practices about this matter, though.

    My advice is that if you think that it is too close, you should not do. If you are not sure, you should not do. If you are confident, ask others and get some opinions. By the way, try to include the producers in the judgement. They might try to hire experts to give some opinions. I know one person who do this thing in LA.

    You should remember that the composer of the original tune can sue you anytime (whether they can win or not is different matter).
    Kentaro Sato (Ken-P)
    Composer/Conductor/Orchestrator
    www.wisemanproject.com

  3. #3
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    Smile Re: Quick question!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Elfen
    I have been ask to do a song that is close to a well known song (I don't really like theses but got to pay the rent). In the law is there any limits about 'how far' close I can get to the song without getting any legal problem with it?

    Or is it a 2 bar thingy?

    Thanks
    Is it the lyrics that are the same and you have to write the music? I have done a few of these, and the best way around it is to figure out what the essential feature is of that song and go from there. Copy the feeling of the song, this way there probably won't be any problems with copyright and you will make your producers happy (not to mention yourself). Also, listen to the Simpsons. Alf Clausen is a master of writing in different styles/feels without using the material (most of the time).

    Good luck,

    Christiaan

  4. #4

    Re: Quick question!!!

    The fact that you see that the song is very similar to another is all the evidence an opposing attorney would need. Stay very far away from this. Besides, why should you help these people steal, even for money? Would you help them rob a bank, even if you needed the money?

  5. #5

    Re: Quick question!!!

    You could always do a few songs and a few variantions of them, and then contact the composer/copyright owner and get them to listen and talk to them about how they see it. After all, the owner of the copyright will most likely be the one who would initiate any legal action anyway, so talking to him/her about it will surely keep you safe and everything fine
    Kid: When I become an adult I wanna be a musician.
    Parent: Son, you cannot become both.

  6. #6
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    Re: Quick question!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomke
    You could always do a few songs and a few variantions of them, and then contact the composer/copyright owner and get them to listen and talk to them about how they see it. After all, the owner of the copyright will most likely be the one who would initiate any legal action anyway, so talking to him/her about it will surely keep you safe and everything fine
    Unfortunately, this is a big no-no in LA. If you contact the copyright owners, you are telling them that you are stealing from them right now. It is better not telling them since your sound-like might not be noticed.

    Unless the producer want to have sync right of the original tune, don't contack the copyright owners or publishers.
    Kentaro Sato (Ken-P)
    Composer/Conductor/Orchestrator
    www.wisemanproject.com

  7. #7

    Re: Quick question!!!

    Thanks, It's the first time somebody ask me to do this. It's the first contract with that person. As I was doing it, I was constantly thinking that ''I'm a creative person, this is not my place!'' But I think I got to prove him that.

    So I strive to come with something original with the same overall tone and sounds.
    Actually I put great care as to not get into too much in the melodic lines.

    If he want closer than this I will tell him that people will notice it too much. And it will take the focus off the subject. If he insist I will put it down.

    And I don't want to rip off stuff from others, as I don't like when I see Danny Elfman ''Edward Scissorhand'' mock-ups in so much ads!

    Thanks all!

  8. #8
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    Re: Quick question!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Elfen
    Thanks, It's the first time somebody ask me to do this. It's the first contract with that person. As I was doing it, I was constantly thinking that ''I'm a creative person, this is not my place!'' But I think I got to prove him that.

    So I strive to come with something original with the same overall tone and sounds.
    Actually I put great care as to not get into too much in the melodic lines.

    If he want closer than this I will tell him that people will notice it too much. And it will take the focus off the subject. If he insist I will put it down.

    And I don't want to rip off stuff from others, as I don't like when I see Danny Elfman ''Edward Scissorhand'' mock-ups in so much ads!

    Thanks all!
    I thought the producers were looking for a parody. Sorry, my advice seems lacking now. I would still say to look for the essential features of the song. How does the song make you feel? Then you can write a song that makes you feel that way without reference to the original. Stay away from surface/style copying whatever you do.

    Good luck

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