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Topic: Posting recorded passages for non-commercial purposes? Legal?

  1. #1

    Posting recorded passages for non-commercial purposes? Legal?

    If I or anyone were, for non-commercial purposes, to post 10 seconds of a song from a commercially released CD, would I be violating copyright law?

    My thought is this: I'd like to post a few seconds from several piano albums and ask the question "Which piano library can best emulate this timbre and how can it be tweaked to do so?"

    More precisely, I want to post about 10 second each of Diana Krall, Joni Mitchell's Blue, and a few other things with good piano sounds, and then see what can be done about achieving their sounds with sample libraries.

    If this is legal, I could imagine us building a database of sorts concerned with how to get the sound of a given album using specific libraries and scripts\effect settings, etc.

    Possible or nyet?

  2. #2

    Re: Posting recorded passages for non-commercial purposes? Legal?

    I don't think it is legal. Sorry.

    All your strings belong to me!

  3. #3

    Re: Posting recorded passages for non-commercial purposes? Legal?

    In "educational" scenarios, this is allowed:

    4.2.3 Music, Lyrics, and Music Video

    Up to 10%, but in no event more than 30 seconds, of the music and lyrics from an individual musical work (or in the aggregate of extracts from an individual work), whether the musical work is embodied in copies, or audio or audiovisual works, may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as a part of a multimedia project created under Section 2. Any alterations to a musical work shall not change the basic melody or the fundamental character of the work.


  4. #4

    Re: Posting recorded passages for non-commercial purposes? Legal?

    I think it's a great idea.!

    The whole point of all this samples stuff, is to try to emulate the real thing!

    I imagine if you posted a few seconds of a CD and created a mockup comparison, this shouldn't be a problem.

    But for the forums to host a collective database of sorts... not sure.

    It certainly sounds interesting though.


  5. #5

    Re: Posting recorded passages for non-commercial purposes? Legal?

    I do believe that it's not illegal, as mentioned earlier.

    a 10%, or up to 5 pages (when in books), or a passage that cannot be used in a copycat manner (or osmeing simmilar can't remember right now the term, but anyways, not a full lovely phrase that one can take and sample away in a hip hop song, for example), is allowed to be used for educational purposes.

    Why not, though, contacting the companies, and the creators of the tracks? BIG chances are that they will say ok. It's like free advertising for them.

    further more amazon, has a right to post 30 secs of every track they have on CD (for most CDs), as preview and it is for commercial purposes...

    Yes after the amazong exmaple, I really doubt there would be an issue...

  6. #6

    Re: Posting recorded passages for non-commercial purposes? Legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by nikolas
    Yes after the amazong example, I really doubt there would be an issue...
    Yeah but the difference is Amazon is using the 30-sec clip to sell THEIR products, not to sell YOUR products. If you also had a link to buy the CD from the clip, perhaps this would be better?

    In any case, I would contact the record companies themselves and propose what you want to do. Just make sure you do SOMETHING that would benfit them as well, like the ability to buy their CD.

    Great idea though! I hope you're able to see it through!

  7. #7

    Re: Posting recorded passages for non-commercial purposes? Legal?

    Does anyone know where I can find a list of e-mail addresses for the record labels?

    I've done an exploratory search for getting permission to use a 15 second bite of Mitchell's Blue: Went to the Reprise Records site, learned there that Reprise is a part of Warner Brothers Records. Went to the Warner Brothers Records site, and there I found no information at all about contacting their corporate offices, except for a list of mailing addresses. Surely there's a way to contact their legal departments by e-mail.

    I'm not sure about how to go about making clear the advantages of granting the permission. Can anyone make suggestions? I'm thinking of something along the lines of:

    "...This site is viewed by both aspiring musicians and experienced professional producers and composers. The intention of using the 20 second samples from the recordings would be educational, presenting the soundbites as examples of excellent recordings of pianos and encouraging a discussion of their strengths in terms of the technical aspects of the recording: the mic placement, the use of effects (reverb, filters, etc), the recording levels, the frequency spectrum of the recording, and other areas. Reprise\Warner Brothers would of course be credited as the source for the recording and thanked for it generosity, as would be the artists and producers, and whomever else should be credited. Any additional legal language you would request would of course be included.

    Please understand that these would not be recordings of the entire song: only brief passages that featured the piano would be used. In other words, I would be posting the passages in the same spirit and with the same intentions as if I were playing them in a music classroom. Neither I nor the administrators nor any other person or corporation would in any way profit financially."

    Any other language I should use? I'm drafting this fast...

  8. #8

    Re: Posting recorded passages for non-commercial purposes? Legal?

    (When I say "Create a database" I mean only that we would over time perhaps gather enough examples that it could become a reference source, something like the forum here has become a kind of database of information about using samples. This is all just a random idea, in other words--I haven't spoken to the administrators about creating a formal database.)

  9. #9

    Re: Posting recorded passages for non-commercial purposes? Legal?

    I believe that what you are proposing would be protected under Fair Use in the US. Fair Use isn't so clear outside of the US, but if you stuck with US copyrighted material, you should be okay.

    One thing to avoid would be to copy the "essence" of the piece (for instance, the main hook). Also, keep the snippets short, as you plan, and use them for comparative purposes. Do not charge for the snippets.

    That said, I'm no lawyer.

    But I would avoid asking the record companies. Their position is that they own everything, period. They won't give you an unbiased reading of fair use. They will give you the company position, which is that copyright is infinite. As you can see from the following link, it is not.


    Probably the most important aspect is if it is worth it for them to go after you. Are you hurting their bottom line? Are you wealthy? Does this set a new, fundamental precedent that would eat away at their rights? If not, you have less to worry about from a practical sense.

    Again, I'm no lawyer. This isn't a professional legal opinion.

  10. #10

    Re: Posting recorded passages for non-commercial purposes? Legal?

    Sending to the legal department is a waste of time. They will say no. Their job is to protect their client, not sell CDs. So the easiest thing for them to do is to say no.

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