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OK, so... copyrighting, how many of you actually do it before you start sharing songs? And how do

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by FortyEight, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. Biffasmum

    Biffasmum Tele-Meister

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    Hey 48. The best advice I can give for mixing/mastering is to listen critically to other music you like and use that to shape the sound you are aiming to produce. I don't mean copying melodies or ripping off Marvin Gaye, but the overall aural experience.

    Obviously good monitoring and objective listening help. EQ and compression are your friends and not too hard to understand. Track volume levels can go down as well as up. Stereo makes a mix more interesting so be adventurous. Why not hard pan the drums left for a laugh?

    Check the mix in mono occasionally to make sure those expensive effects you've toiled over don't disappear due to phase cancellation.

    Oh, and have fun and post the results here! :)
     
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  2. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Meister

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    I do have some of the stuff panned. I mean like many other people I'm a beatles fan and they did a lot of it. Although on these new ones I've been working on I don't have the drums panned. I tried it and I didnt' like it for these. LOL.

    What's funny is that I'm using a borrowed OLD M-Audio interface and when you only use one mic into one channel it's only on side of a stereo track. You can kind of hear it in the other side a little bit, or my mind thinks it does but there's no signature on the other side so it must not be. If you pan it hard to the opposite side you don't hear it at all. Anyways... But the quality of the interface was so much better than the usb mic I was using. I've not made those tracks mono yet cuz for some reason when I do a mono track in Audacity, it then will only record at the end of the song. It's probably a glitch.
     
  3. mikestearns

    mikestearns Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I booked a band a few years ago that played mostly modern rock covers. They had one or two originals, and during a set break the drummer told me they had more originals, they were just waiting on their copyrights to go through, they didn't want to play them yet in case they get stolen. He had trademarked the name, etc. The band broke up within a year and all that was out the window. In the case of that band - they were playing the bar circuit in south central PA, the likelihood of someone actually stealing their songs is slim to nil. I guess it never hurts to be careful, but to me that just looked like a bunch of money out the window.

    When I was in school for graphic design I had a teacher that told us a couple stories after a student brought up that artists can use logos in works of parody. He said technically that's true, but only if you've got the money to fight it. He told a story about how when he was an illustrator for IBM, he had gone to see a play and in the program they had used some of his illustrations without permission (the illos are technically owned by IBM). He showed his boss and the guy responded we could go after it but its not worth the legal expense. There's another story from years ago where Old Navy wanted to use work from a particular graphic designer (the name is escaping me), but when he gave them his rate, they decided just to steal a bunch of his work and use that. It was tied up in litigation for years and years and the guy almost went broke fighting it, though he did eventually win. His best move in that story was he just made the graphic elements that make up his style free to use on his website, instantly making it passe. He destroyed his own style so Old Navy wouldn't be able to get anything out of it.
     
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  4. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    "An artistic work is automatically "copyrighted" to the artist upon any type of public release. The burden of proof in a challenge to a copyright claim is on the party claiming to protect a copyright from infringement. In other words, there ain't no guaranteed "copyright protection". Historically, artists have utilized Library of Congress by submitting their works and receiving documentation of submission, verifying connection of an artist to a work of art for archival purposes."

    Herein lies the problem. By using it, displaying it, etc .....in theory you are copyrighting it. That's great until someone steals it and has better lawyers than you do. Then it's gone.
    Copyrighting properly is not easy, and not cheap really. Even registration with ASCAP or BMI isn't that easy by the time you get all the details done.

    Example: Recently the popular country group "Lady Antebellum" got rid of the "Antebellum" part and changed it to "Lady A". Guess what? There's a NW Blues singer who has used that name for decades and has proof. She called out the group on their use of the name. They refused to budge, like any decent musician would. Now the high price lawyers are involved. I suspect the group with the $ and the record company lawyers behind them will steal this name.
     
  5. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    There's a good article by Malcolm Gladwell in 2004, called "Something Borrowed", all about intellectual property and when something is stealing or plagiarism vs. when it isn't. He points out that, "In the world of music, copyrighted works fall into two categories-- the recorded performance and the composition underlying that performance." He cites an example where the Beastie Boys used a short sample for "Pass the Mic" where the Beastie Boys got permission (and paid) to use a short sample from jazz flutist James Newton's 1976 recording of "Choir", but were then sued by James Newton for not also getting permission to copy the underlying composition-- whether they also needed that secondary permission to copy the composition as well permission for the digital sample of the performance itself. The court ruled that the composition was just three notes: C, D-flat, C. It's a "turn" or mordent that has been done thousands and thousands of times in a wide variety of music so it doesn't stand up as a copyrightable "composition"-- not for that six seconds. So Newton lost.

    So there are several issues here if you ever want to sue somebody for violating your copyright:
    1) can you prove it was your work? This is probably pretty easy if you post to SoundCloud or something like that.
    2) Did they actually sample your recording without permission? Probably pretty easy to win on that count, unless the purpose of that short sample was for something like a true educational, non-commercial purpose-- such as playing the sample to a music theory class.
    3) If they copied your composition, can you prove that they really copied it? Maybe they independently composed a very similar sounding melody.

    Lyrics are pretty easy to prove since unless your lyrics are extremely derivative it is hard to imagine anyone accidentally composing the exact same sequence of words.

    Chords-- forget it. They are not copyrightable because they are not unique, original compositions.

    Melody-- you got a chance there, but you have to show it was intentionally copied. And if they modify it, even slightly, that makes your case even harder.

    And all of it costs money. If you are pretty sure someone truly stole your music, and they make a lot of money off it, then maybe you can hire a good copyright lawyer on contingency to take your case. They won't touch it if they don't think it stands up and that there's real money to be made. Getting a better documented copyright of both performance and composition through mailing to Library of Congress is probably a minor issue compared to everything else, I would think.
     
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  6. still_fiddlin

    still_fiddlin Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I'm not sure what software you are using to record with, but the problem/solution is that you are starting off with a STEREO track and only feeding a single source, so it's only going to go in L or R, and not both.

    If you have only one mic/input, then you need to create a MONO track and assign your input to that. When you bounce/share your completed mix, that file will be in stereo, though if you don't add other instruments, or at least some reverb, will be the same in both channels, so effectively mono.
     
  7. teletail

    teletail Tele-Afflicted

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    +1

    There's the law, there's what you can prove, and there's what you can afford to litigate.

    Many years ago I was with a band that trademarked(?) our name. A major label came out a couple of years later with a band with the same name. We went to see an attorney who agreed to take our case, but he couldn't get them to respond to his letters (1976). We were within the law, we could prove it, but we couldn't afford to litigate it.

    Some of you may remember Starz, who had to change their name to DC Stars because a major label took the name and they couldn't afford the legal fight to keep it.
     
  8. mikestearns

    mikestearns Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Oh yeah. Around 2002ish there was a hardcore band called American Nightmare who had a real successful run, touring non-stop, a few 7 inches and a full length that were all doing well - you couldn't go to a punk show around then and not see at least 2 or 3 kids in one of their "AN" hoodies, then they got sued by a bar band who claimed they had the name first. They lost and floundered for a while trying to come up with a new name, but eventually by the time they got it together and got a second album out the momentum was gone and the band was done.
     
  9. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

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    I started dreaming of being able to produce my own multitrack songs in 1972, but got kind of tied up playing in bands, raising a family and later working a day job (journalism) to support both efforts. My early retirement in 2006 coincided with the era when digital recording made it possible to actually make records without being either rich or wildly successful.

    By 2007 — 45 years after getting the production bug — I was finally on my way to writing and recording all the songs I'd never had time to finish during my frantic younger days. I did my basic training with the usual train wrecks, then started posting here on the RIP forum. It was actually the equivalent of a college education, getting schooled by guys much more talented and experienced, yet patient enough to give tips and encouragement freely.

    I tried putting out an album of my best stuff on CDBaby in the mid 2010s, but after the mercy buys from my friends and family, I barely covered expenses and never got a second check. I realized that my goal wasn't really selling my music — what I really wanted was for my music to be heard. So I decided to focus on SoundCloud, enabling downloads and thus basically giving my music away.

    Long story short (or is it too late for that? :D), 80-odd posted projects have resulted in more than 30,000 plays, and according to my stats, a lot of the listeners are repeat offenders. So somebody out there is listening, and I'd rather have that than whatever pitiful money might have trickled down from aggressive but time-consuming marketing efforts.

    So, hell, I've just basically flushed the fear of having my stuff stolen ... at least it would stir things up! The other side of that coin is that somebody might hear something they liked and pick it up on the legit. The Soundcloud trip prodded me into registering a publishing company and becoming an ASCAP guy. But big whoop! That gained me nothing. What gained me satisfaction was getting listens from people like you, who are looking outside the mainstream for something not quite as monotonous and boring as most of the radio pop today.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not offering this as career advice; I'm just saying how things shook out for me. Before you worry about hypothetical larceny of your precious babies (and they are your precious babies, make no mistake), decide on your goals and priorities. But at some point, folks, you gotta send those babies off to school! ;):cool:
     
  10. adjason

    adjason Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    every couple of years I'll go to a studio and record songs I wrote-I did the copyright thing with the US copyright office for maybe the first 6 albums. Then I kind of realized- maybe someone stealing my song, making it famous and then me being able to show the original dated lyrics and my recorded version might be a fight that would be fun to have. Its far more likely you will be ignored. I would not overthink it. Keep the lyrics- date them, record it on your phone and I think that's pretty good proof that it is your song in the extremely unlikely event that you would have to fight that in court. I think a good song trumps everything so when I go to the studio I record about 20 songs in a day (the recording guys always look at me like I'm nuts but I generally think the first take is fine), play overdub leads on about half and keep the costs at a couple hundred dollars.
     
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  11. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    My songs are so bad, if people steal them, it's not my problem ...

    Let other's take the blame ...

    Have at it !!!
     
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  12. suthol

    suthol Friend of Leo's

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    Embed your unique ISRC codes in the metadata before you let the soft copies see the light of day.

    They are free, bit hard work and everything is time stamped
     
  13. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    I don't worry about it at all, so if you want to use my tunes, go right ahead.
     
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  14. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Free advertisement is good ....

    Somebody has got to make a few bucks ...

    Not me ...

    I do it for the fun ...

    And chicks dig it ...
     
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  15. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Meister

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    I really appreciate all the feedback.

    I'm pretty much with everyone that is on the side of meh, my songs aren't that good. Like I said the most of the songs I'm writing now are for specific people. They could possibly be liked by a general audience but I'm with you woodman. There would be far more satisfaction in someone actually listening to it than the worry of if someone was going to rip it off. And honestly if someone did like it enough to do it as a cover or play it I would guess that would show it was good.

    I think my biggest concern is it would happen and then my Mother in law would have another reason to think I'm an idiot. LOL. She's never been an easy lady to please. I was never good enough for her baby so.... deep down I'm constantly trying to prove her wrong. LOL. Which is dumb cuz I'll never gain her favor. It's definitely not about the money cuz I have zero expectation of making any money. It's more about the fact that I'd like to get credit for anything I write in some bizarre off chance it got stolen. LOL.

    still fiddlin, I understand what you're saying, but I think you missed the part about Audacity having a glitch. I can't record mono tracks. For some reason when I try to insert a mono track, it will only then record at the END of all the tracks. I think it's a weird glitch. So I just do all stereo tracks. When I'm done putting the tracks down I can change it into a mono track I think, since I'm not recording anything else. But that's a gamble cuz what if I want to add something..... Actually, now that I think about it, it ONLY happens when I try to keep the click track in there. So once the drums are in I did record more on one song but I had to get rid of the click track. Actually technically I had to shrink it down so there was only a tiny bit in the beginning before the song started. Cuz it would start recording at the end of the click track. It's weird.

    Eventually I should probably get a better DAW. But the upside is audacity is simple. And this is my first attempt....
     
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  16. still_fiddlin

    still_fiddlin Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    audprefs.jpg
    On my Mac Mini, the version of Audacity I have allows you to set the default recording in the Preferences (Devices) page/tab. I have to set it to a mono track - the default is stereo.

    P.S. I just checked on an old Win 7 notebook we have and it's the same in that version of Audacity (under the Edit menu).
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
  17. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Meister

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    The only thing is when I can do a stereo track, I don't mind it being one. My drummers tracks are stereo right now....

    But thank you for that tip. That might solve the issue I'm having.
     
  18. nvilletele

    nvilletele Friend of Leo's

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    I’ve started writing songs recently, even recording a few “demos” on my own. I’ve even shared these with a few people. (Very few.)

    I would be more concerned with the sanity and/or taste of anyone seeking to steal any of these or otherwise infringe on my copyrights in any way.

    My self-indulgent lyrics and at-best mediocre melodic and overall musical approaches are not likely to give rise to any concerns of copyright infringement.

    (Though I sometimes wonder if maybe some of the lyrics aren’t really all that bad. I have been told that I was a good writer . . .but that was as a lawyer.)
     
  19. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Meister

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    Well honestly we are are own worst critic. A lot of independent music is every bit as good as what is on the radio and making people rich. I mean of course some of us suck. I may be one of them. Sometimes there's good reasons as to why a band or song is popular. And there is something about people that can play well that compels us to listen at times. But some stuff is like, why is the popular? It's all relative and what someone likes is going to be different for everyone.

    I know the songs I think are great are not what everyone thinks are great. Like lately may favorite beatles song is Savoy Truffle. I mean, it's a weird song but I love it. But what we like changes frequently. I guess it's fluid. LOL. There are few bands that keep a lot of peoples attention for a long period of time.
     
  20. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hardly any bands actually make any money selling songs, anyway. The rise of Spotify, Pandora, etc., means only the huge superstars actually make real money on album sales. Everyone else uses their streaming to gain an audience for live shows, merch, and with the brass ring being if their song gets picked up by a big movie, TV show, or TV commercial, which then pays royalties. So it's highly unlikely that you would even have a case to make. The reason to pursue a case is if someone made a bunch of money off a song that you should then get your fair share of as the composer. But no one's making money off songs anymore, anyway. I suppose in theory if they play your song in their live shows then you are entitled to some reasonable share of the box office receipts. Good luck with that, though....

    The whole concept of intellectual property is interesting. It was never intended to be exclusive or forever. The intent is to reward creators by giving them a monopoly for a period of time, but then it expires. Thus we have patent drugs that eventually become cheaper when there are generic versions. Drug patents are generally 20 years.

    And music eventually goes into the public domain. I think a case could be made that music is protected for way too long and should be released from copyright much sooner than it is. I would say 10 years would be plenty for copyright protection. Right now it lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years, which is ridiculous. Why should the copyright last beyond the life of the author? I guess if they die immediately then their kids would thus still benefit. But another 70 years? Ridiculous, IMO. I would say the copyright should last 10 years. The first 10 years is plenty to make money off album sales, if there are any. And after that anyone can record it or play it live, and the people who make money at that point are the ones that make a great rendition of it.

    I think it's absolutely absurd to have it last as long as the author's life plus 70 years when even life-saving drugs that cost many millions of dollars to develop have their patents expire after 20 years.

    For those of you in cover bands that want to comply with the law but don't want to pay royalties, under the current length of music copyright, here's your potential set list of popular hit music. Good luck with your gigs! Notice that they're all from the early 1900s or even earlier!

    https://www.pdinfo.com/pd-music-genres/pd-popular-songs.php
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
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