This guy is doing wonderful work

muk

Senior Member

Very much agree with the critical voices in this thread. I'd advise to never pay to submit music. If you do your due diligence you will find that submitting music to libraries is free. And this includes all the great libraries from boutique to top tier. So watch his free videos if the info helps you, but do not pay to submit music.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
Can you post a TLDW summary?
Summary: Don’t use melodic loops, chord progressions, or anything that is recognizable because even if it is cleared by the loop provider if someone else uses that loop in a song you might be sued for copyright infringement and the lawsuit can be damaging to your reputation and your pocketbook even if the suit is wholly without merit.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
yes - but if you record your own original audio over a loop your 100% fine.
correct?
No, you are not fine even if you've done everything legally and correctly. That's the point. You will almost certainly win the lawsuit, but in the meantime you've been sued (and have to lawyer up), your lucrative placement has been pulled due to the cease and desist order, your client has decided you are more trouble than you are worth, etc., etc. As algorithmic crawling for copyright violations continues, we'll likely see more of this sort of thing as well. And it will almost certainly get much worse before it gets better.
 

Phil81

Active Member
I wonder whether selling loops can backfire on an entire industry, especially now that Netflix and Discovery are trying their best to change the way composers are paid.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
I wonder whether selling loops can backfire on an entire industry, especially now that Netflix and Discovery are trying their best to change the way composers are paid.
Maybe. I suppose the companies that sell royalty free loops could add to their EULA that users can't use any content from the loop library as a basis for a copyright claim against another user of the loop library. I don't know if you could make that have enough teeth to stop these kinds of lawsuits, though (and for all I know it may well be part of these EULAs already, as I haven't used loops enough to have gone through the fine details of the EULAs). Also I fear the copyright bots are going to become an increasing menace as they seize on bits of already licensed audio (not just royalty-free loops but even sample libraries) as the basis for infringement claims.
 
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Spectator

Member
apple loops? where do you begin with this in library music - many composers have used them library tracks I hear it all the time....
 

Mike Fox

Button Masher
Has this anything to do with this?

Wow. Just wow.

Just goes to show how potentially screwed musicians are when it comes to copyright. What an absolute mess.

I probably missed something, but how were those two guys certain that some of the melodies they "copyrighted" on that device weren't already copyrighted?
 
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Spectator

Member
Sorry - I don't get it and neither will thousands of composers, hundreds of publishers and users of the music...
A company sells royalty free audio loops to be used for commercial usage (film, tv, library, pop) and sometime they are individual loops, sometimes construction packs or sometimes "one shots". A composer/producer buys them, agrees to the terms and then uses them (with original audio - beats - guitars - midi) in their track which is then used on TV. That is 100% legal. It's written in the Terms & Agreements. The only people making money from this are lawyers doing "fishing expeditions". But it's a non stater and waste of time for everyone involved. I really hope publishers, labels get really up to date with this tell lawyers and legal types to read the small print and find something else to do...
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
I probably missed something, but how were those two guys certain that some of the melodies they "copyrighted" on that device weren't already copyrighted?
They didn't "copyright" them as far as I understood, but instead released them into the public domain. I think legally speaking that more or less should mean that that the stuff that is mapped out by this and hasn't been copyrighted yet, can not be copyrighted anymore. The way I understand it they just think the current situation and the surrounding laws are super fucked and there needs to be some discussion happening to clear this up and reduce the anxiety of looming legal threats for musicians (which I think is a good thing). I think it would make a lot more sense to essentially make melodies etc. uncopyrightable and instead make the "recording" or "production" of a song the thing that gets copyrighted. It would of course create a weird market for "offbrand music", but good melodies are mathematically finite. Even if there are a lot, sooner or later that space is just a legal nightmare where you will never be able to say you're "safe" because you might have by accident come too close to something else. And with AI based composing starting to be a thing, I'd rather see the concept of melody copyrights annihilated alltogether, compared to one company essentially auto-registering everything that isn't copyrighted yet and monopolizing such an integral "musical resource". I'd rather see some anarchy and creative chaos there than a creative dystopia where copyright gets abused to hell and back orders of magnitude more than it already is. But of course that's easy for me to say as I don't work in music, so I understand if this rubs some people with extensive library catalogues the wrong way.
Just my 2 cents.
 

Mike Fox

Button Masher
They didn't "copyright" them as far as I understood, but instead released them into the public domain. I think legally speaking that more or less should mean that that the stuff that is mapped out by this and hasn't been copyrighted yet, can not be copyrighted anymore. The way I understand it they just think the current situation and the surrounding laws are super fucked and there needs to be some discussion happening to clear this up and reduce the anxiety of looming legal threats for musicians (which I think is a good thing). I think it would make a lot more sense to essentially make melodies etc. uncopyrightable and instead make the "recording" or "production" of a song the thing that gets copyrighted. It would of course create a weird market for "offbrand music", but good melodies are mathematically finite. Even if there are a lot, sooner or later that space is just a legal nightmare where you will never be able to say you're "safe" because you might have by accident come too close to something else. And with AI based composing starting to be a thing, I'd rather see the concept of melody copyrights annihilated alltogether, compared to one company essentially auto-registering everything that isn't copyrighted yet and monopolizing such an integral "musical resource". I'd rather see some anarchy and creative chaos there than a creative dystopia where copyright gets abused to hell and back orders of magnitude more than it already is. But of course that's easy for me to say as I don't work in music, so I understand if this rubs some people with extensive library catalogues the wrong way.
Just my 2 cents.
Except they would have to have known that whatever was mapped out was indeed not copyrighted at the time in order to release it into the public domain. What was their process for that? Again, i feel like I'm missing something.

I'm personally a bit torn as to whether or a not a melody should be copyrighted. You have geniuses like John Williams who have crafted some of the most distinctive and memorable melodies of all time, and the idea of some punk coming a long to make a crappy EDM version of Star Wars and making thousands of dollars off it kinda sickens me.

At the same time, it's actually kinda cool to see what some musicians do with other musician's music. I love covers, but the original artists are usually credited.

I dunno. The whole music copyright thing hurts my brain.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
Sorry - I don't get it and neither will thousands of composers, hundreds of publishers and users of the music...
A company sells royalty free audio loops to be used for commercial usage (film, tv, library, pop) and sometime they are individual loops, sometimes construction packs or sometimes "one shots". A composer/producer buys them, agrees to the terms and then uses them (with original audio - beats - guitars - midi) in their track which is then used on TV. That is 100% legal. It's written in the Terms & Agreements. The only people making money from this are lawyers doing "fishing expeditions". But it's a non stater and waste of time for everyone involved. I really hope publishers, labels get really up to date with this tell lawyers and legal types to read the small print and find something else to do...
Yes, it is completely legal to use the loops. The loops are sold precisely for this purpose. But the point of the video was that doesn't help you when the lawyers come calling, they send the cease and desist letter, and your piece gets pulled because of it, or you lose the revenues, and you have to get a lawyer, etc. So he was saying if you use loops, you should do it in a way that minimizes the risk of being sued.
 

Mike Fox

Button Masher
Yes, it is completely legal to use the loops. The loops are sold precisely for this purpose. But the point of the video was that doesn't help you when the lawyers come calling, they send the cease and desist letter, and your piece gets pulled because of it, or you lose the revenues, and you have to get a lawyer, etc. So he was saying if you use loops, you should do it in a way that minimizes the risk of being sued.
Gotta love the legal system.
 

GtrString

Senior Member
Well, but the laws that apply are the laws in the country you reside in. Fortunately we dont all live in the wild west.
 
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Spectator

Member
Yes, it is completely legal to use the loops. The loops are sold precisely for this purpose. But the point of the video was that doesn't help you when the lawyers come calling, they send the cease and desist letter, and your piece gets pulled because of it, or you lose the revenues, and you have to get a lawyer, etc. So he was saying if you use loops, you should do it in a way that minimizes the risk of being sued.
this is truly disgusting (not your comment - but the situation) and I know MANY people who will just send the T&C's the lawyers and not reply to further emails.....simple.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
this is truly disgusting (not your comment - but the situation) and I know MANY people who will just send the T&C's the lawyers and not reply to further emails.....simple.
Except if the notice is sent to your publisher or client, then it's out of your hands and yet you may end up holding the bag if the client decides your piece is too risky. That's the situation outlined in the video above. He was just saying this is what you need to do if you don't want to end up in this situation.
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
Except they would have to have known that whatever was mapped out was indeed not copyrighted at the time in order to release it into the public domain. What was their process for that? Again, i feel like I'm missing something.
Afaik there is no way right now to find out if a melody is copyrighted or not. At least I wouldn't know how, let alone how to automate the process for billions of melodies. It's imho one of the problems about the whole concept of copyrighting melodies. And realistically there already are tons of parallel creations in the wild that would clash with each other if there was such a system to automatically find them. It's a hard problem to solve.

I'm personally a bit torn as to whether or a not a melody should be copyrighted. You have geniuses like John Williams who have crafted some of the most distinctive and memorable melodies of all time, and the idea of some punk coming a long to make a crappy EDM version of Star Wars and making thousands of dollars off it kinda sickens me.
Doesn't that happen already in one form or another? Covers and parodies? Remixes? There for sure are crappy EDM versions of Star Wars on youtube, with millions of views.

At the same time, it's actually kinda cool to see what some musicians do with other musician's music. I love covers, but the original artists are usually credited.
Sherlock Holmes is absolutely thriving in the public domain. Imho Star Wars would have been better off there as well in terms of what gets made with it.

I dunno. The whole music copyright thing hurts my brain.
Same, copyright and laws in general :-/.
I'd love to be able to just freely create and not worry about things like that. Just before I saw this thread about issues with loops I thought "Cool, finally a good opportunity to use all these loops that I have for once"...

The truely fucked up thing is that nowadays you have to worry about releasing something publicly without registering it first, because someone else might register it as their creation in their name.