Copyright query

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Peter Stedman
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Copyright query

Post by Peter Stedman » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:12 pm

I've been making some short videos of my local churches. I've been careful with choice of music for obvious reasons. A friend has just suggested that I record a church organist playing something? She says that for a hymn etc. perhaps written in the 1700s and played in the church is surely not copyright. Perhaps she has a point! What do other think on this please?

Pete.

Roy1
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Re: Copyright query

Post by Roy1 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:00 am

Hi Peter. Although the composer is no longer copyright, I presume that the organist and the Recording company is still in copyright. Could be wrong of course.

Terry Barton
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Re: Copyright query

Post by Terry Barton » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:06 pm

A service called The U.K. Copyright Service publish a factsheet with answers to frequently-asked questions.

With regards to a hymn written in the eighteenth century being played by an organist at your church.
The author of the hymn holds the copyright to the musical work (sheet music).
A publisher could hold the copyright to the sound recording of the organist playing.

Originally, by The Copyright Act 1911
Term of copyright
The term for which copyright shall subsist shall, except as otherwise expressly provided by this Act, be the life of the author and a period Of fifty years after his death:
The term of copyright was revised by The Copyright Act 1956 and The Copyright Act 1911 was repealed.
The Copyright Act 1956 is available to view online at a website entitled Legislation.gov.uk..

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John Roberts
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Re: Copyright query

Post by John Roberts » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:13 pm

Peter - just do it.

To not be able to wade through a 256 page legalese document full of gobbledegook unintelligible to anyone but highly paid lawyers would be defence enough in most cases. I'm not a lawyer but as a musician of many decades and some experience of copyright issues I believe any traditional hymm of the vintage you mentioned is long out of composer's copyright.

It appears to me you are arranging an organist to play an out-of-copyright piece, therefore as long as you have the organists permission to record and use his interpretation of the piece, you should be covered with publishing and performance issues.

The IAC music licence will cover you for some live screening aspects, but I also doubt the MCPS will be banging your door down if you were to reproduce your film for 'no profit' such as giving copies to churches, friends etc - reasonable expenses covered of course.

Even placing music on YouTube, which might flag up a copyright infringement based on the tune itself is not an issue; they realise policing the internet is almost completely impossible so now simply give the producer the option of either withdrawing the piece or allowing a small advert to appear, which is supposed to generate revenue by people occasionally clicking on it - the profits of which are returned to the various copyright licensing bodies and therefore filtered down to the musicians/performers/publishers themselves. Of course, this almost never happens, but at least you're covered.

In short - no one is going to bat an eyelid, sadly because 99.999% of the time no-one is going to make any money out of it.

Just do it - and sleep soundly at night :-)

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TimStannard
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Re: Copyright query

Post by TimStannard » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:25 pm

John Roberts wrote: It appears to me you are arranging an organist to play an out-of-copyright piece, therefore as long as you have the organists permission to record and use his interpretation of the piece, you should be covered with publishing and performance issues.
No should about it, you are covered.

Organists play at weddings week in, week out. They charge a fee to play and either include or charge an additional fee for the rights to record and use that recording. This is no different.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

Michael Slowe
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Re: Copyright query

Post by Michael Slowe » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:52 pm

Of course you are OK with this, Tim is exactly right. Why on earth did you think otherwise? The music is long out of copyright, you are recording it. Provided the organist is happy you could even sell the film, have it broadcast, do anything you want with it. Presumably, if the film was sold for a great deal of money you could come to an arrangement with the organist, who would be delighted.

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Peter Stedman
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Re: Copyright query

Post by Peter Stedman » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:47 pm

Thanks to all for your input to my query. As originally mentioned, I always try to use copyright free music for my videos that are almost entirely on You Tube. It was my friend who made the original suggestion. However, it's worth keeping in mind if I ever get the chance to meet a musician preparted to play for me.

With my many videos on You Tube, I have occasionally been flagged as having copyright content, but I have done nothing and nothing has been followed up and the music is still there. Backs up what John has well explained.

Cheers. Pete.

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TimStannard
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Re: Copyright query

Post by TimStannard » Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:59 pm

Hi Terry and welcome to our first new contributor in a while.
Terry Barton wrote: The author of the hymn holds the copyright to the musical work (sheet music).
... unless it was written in the employ of someone else (who therefore owns the first copy right by default) or the copyright has been sold on (eg to a publisher) ..
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

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