My Haunted House submission, used without permission.

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UncleBibby
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My Haunted House submission, used without permission.

Post by UncleBibby » Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:53 pm

Okay, so, some girl blogger who gets very little views and attention (as far as I can tell) just used my Haunted Courtyard song, which I submitted to the Haunted House compilation, in one of her videologs (vlogs) and I do not have any memory of getting a single message from her about it.

I didn't even know she had done it until I was checking my tumblr feed today, and found that some random girl had reblogged my latest song. I checked her blog, and there it was, on the front page, a youtube vlog with my Haunted Courtyard song playing in the background. What should I do?

Is there any chance that this is a violation of my creative commons thingy?
Or is this nothing to be upset about?

I can post the video here if you need me too, but I felt I better not until someone requests it.

UPDATE: I did some research and I'm starting to think that things in the Creative Commons can be used without permission. Is that true? If so, does that mean that there is no issue here?
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Re: My Haunted House submission, used without permission.

Post by AudioArtist » Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:38 pm

If I remember correctly, some variations of the creative commons licsences do allow sharing and 2nd,3rd party use. All of which REQUIRE attribution. Meaning that the user MUST designate or acknowledge that YOU are the copyright holder and or composer/artist.
Some CC liscences do not allow any commercial or otherwise monetary gain use. The most restrictive is, I believe the third option, non-commercial, non-derivative, attribution, share alike.
That means your tune cannot be used for any commercial or other monetary gain use, cannot be sampled or recreated, and can only be shared in it's original form with acknowledgement that YOU are the composer/owner of the material.

Unfortunately, at least in the US, these CC liscences hold very little value in terms of recompense or protection from potential thieves. The end all beat all protection is in actually copyrighting the material through the copyright office which costs money.
If nothing else, I would contact the person and ask that they give you credit where it is due or cease to use your material for their own use. For you folks in Canada and elsewhere, I would definitely suggest looking into what your nation specific copyright laws are and take steps to protect yourself and your material.
I hope this helps.
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Re: My Haunted House submission, used without permission.

Post by UncleBibby » Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:25 pm

Maybe I didn't explain this properly, but she DID attribute the song to me in the description of her video. She just didn't ask me if she could use it or even TELL me that she HAD used it.

To repeat myself: She did acknowledge and designate me as the copyright holder and/or composer, she just didn't let me know that she was using my song.
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Re: My Haunted House submission, used without permission.

Post by QauNuckShin » Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:38 pm

AudioArtist wrote:Unfortunately, at least in the US, these CC liscences hold very little value in terms of recompense or protection from potential thieves. The end all beat all protection is in actually copyrighting the material through the copyright office which costs money.
You're way off.

By the Berne Convention (signed by multiple countries in 1886, ratified in the US in 1988 - 102 years later :lol:), you have an automatic copyright on everything you create. No need to put a ©, or write "copyright" or anything like that. So, by default, no one is allowed to use your creations for anything without your permission (with the exception of "fair use").

Licenses, like Creative Commons for music/video/images and the GPL or BSD licenses for code, grant that permission with a couple of conditions, depending on the exact nature of the license. Licenses are concessions you make in your copyright - licenses are subtractive.

In the case of Creative Commons, you actually create your own custom license, deciding:
  • Commercial use allowed/not allowed
  • Modifications of the work allowed/not allowed/only allowed if the new work is also shared under the same CC license
These are conditions you can put on the license - and the consumers of your work must comply in order to get the permission to use it.

Of course, every CC license gives everyone permission to take part of the work, i.e. listen to the track in this case. They all also allow sharing your work to others, but demand attribution.

And, naturally, as the owner of the work, you can agree to other usage terms with certain individuals or companies.


Okay, so that was the general case. Let's discuss Bibby's situation.

According to the bandcamp page, the track is licensed under a CC BY 3.0. This is the most permissive of the CC licenses - only demanding attribution in exchange for the permission to use the work freely. It may be modified (without any demands on Share-Alike) and used commercially. One thing it does, demand, though, is attribution. If you're not credited for the work, the user is violating the terms of the license - which means she doesn't have permission to use it, which in turn means she's infringing on your copyright.

It's pretty sad, really. Here we are, making music and releasing it for everyone to enjoy and reuse as they like. All we ask is a little credit where it's due. You'd think it wouldn't be this hard. :roll:

I'd like to point out that you can't actually stop her from using the track - your license allows it, if she credits you. As of right now, though, she is infringing on your copyright.

Here's what you should do:
Contact the blogger. Tell her that using your track is fine, but that you'd appreciate attribution - your name, the track name and a link to the bandcamp page in the video's description as well as in the blog. Don't be confrontational or abusive, don't yell "copyright infringement!" - in fact, don't mention copyright at all in your first message.

Hopefully, this is an honest mistake (she didn't know any better), and she'll fix it. If she doesn't, you can tell her it's copyright infringement and that you may assert your rights to the extent the law allows. If the video is on YouTube, you could file a copyright claim there. But, like I said, not until she refuses to fix it herself.


...and while I was writing this post, Bibby posted this:
She did acknowledge and designate me as the copyright holder and/or composer, she just didn't let me know that she was using my song.
Oh. Well, then.. No, there's nothing to say she has to do that. Since you've released your track under CC-BY, she can use it without telling you. She's done nothing wrong here - she's in full compliance with your license.
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Re: My Haunted House submission, used without permission.

Post by QauNuckShin » Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:43 pm

UncleBibby wrote:Or is this nothing to be upset about?
With your clarifaction above: It's nothing to be upset about. She followed the conditions of your license. And hey, she likes your music enough to use it for her vlog! Success!

Sure, it's nice if people tell you they're using your stuff.. but imagine if they were forced to. First of all, it may be hard to find a good way to contact you. Also, if your stuff became too popular, your inbox would be flooded.

God knows I'm totally disinterested in all of the videos using my tracks on youtube:


("all of the" = "both of the" :lol:)
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Re: My Haunted House submission, used without permission.

Post by UncleBibby » Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:58 pm

QauNuckShin wrote:With your clarifaction above: It's nothing to be upset about. She followed the conditions of your license. And hey, she likes your music enough to use it for her vlog! Success!
Yeah? Okay, fair enough.
QauNuckShin wrote:Licenses are concessions you make in your copyright - licenses are subtractive.
So basically, licenses allow people to do things with your stuff that they couldn't do otherwise?

HOLY CRAP, does this mean that using Creative Commons is actually a bad idea if I want to keep my material under my control?

That is so not at ALL what I thought creative commons was.
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Re: My Haunted House submission, used without permission.

Post by QauNuckShin » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:20 pm

UncleBibby wrote:Yeah? Okay, fair enough.
Yeah.
UncleBibby wrote:So basically, licenses allow people to do things with your stuff that they couldn't do otherwise?
:shock:
YES!
Dictionary wrote:License
Noun:
A permit from an authority to own or use something, do a particular thing, or carry on a trade (esp. in alcoholic beverages).
:lol:

Okay, so I'm of the opinion that current copyright laws are pretty ridiculous. It's not at all suited for all the remixing, sampling and covers that are done nowadays. Not to mention the ridiculous copyright terms (and their seemingly perpetual extensions). The Creative Commons counteract those problems in some ways - making sure that my music is available for incorporation into a common culture rather than being locked down and shut off from being spread and enjoyed.

But if you feel differently... Well, first of all I think you should think it through again. But no, in that case, you shouldn't use Creative Commons. Especially not the most permissive version.

I'm surprised you guys don't know this stuff better. This is important stuff for artists.

I've been releasing my tracks under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0. That means that as long as I'm credited, you may listen to it and distribute it, and you can make modifications as long as the results are released under the same terms - but you can't use the work for commercial purposes. It's a bit more restrictive than the CC-BY license you appear to have chosen.

Finally, I'd like to make a note. I'm sorry to say you may not be very enthusiastic about it.
You can not revoke the license for stuff you've already released under it:
Creative Commons License wrote:Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, Licensor hereby grants You a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual (for the duration of the applicable copyright) license to exercise the rights in the Work as stated below:
The reason for this is pretty obvious: If someone is using your track under this license, they shouldn't be liable if you suddenly change your mind. Also, since the license permits distributing the work (with the license), you can't even be sure that your change of licenses would reach the user.
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Re: My Haunted House submission, used without permission.

Post by DS-10 Dominator » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:34 am

UncleBibby wrote: Or is this nothing to be upset about?
Why should it be?
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Re: My Haunted House submission, used without permission.

Post by DS-10 Dominator » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:50 am

QauNuckShin wrote: I've been releasing my tracks under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0. That means that as long as I'm credited, you may listen to it and distribute it, and you can make modifications as long as the results are released under the same terms - but you can't use the work for commercial purposes. It's a bit more restrictive than the CC-BY license you appear to have chosen.
Getting the Haunted Mansion music out there was the most important factor for me in the choosing the license. No licensing situation is ever perfect, but I think we may be happy with every listen we get, and it was all about fun, creativity and sharing.

CC-BY:
+ Best license to get your music being widespread
- Music can be put in a context you might not agree with, like videos with different political views or whatever
- Music might be used in a commercial context: in TV ads, or even pressed on CD or vinyl without any royalties for the artist. BUT it might not have ever been used in the ads if it wasn't licensed this way, so if exposure is the most important factor, go for CC-BY I'd say.

I think it's interesting to combine these kind of 'promo' CC-BY releases, with copyrighted or otherwise CC licensed releases.
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Re: My Haunted House submission, used without permission.

Post by xGx » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:56 am

Creative commons means that if you actually specify who made the original etc then its fine. She posted in the description that its your song therefore that is fine and nothing to worry about, you should post a comment saying how you appreciate that your music is being used the you should be happy about the extra exposure :)

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Re: My Haunted House submission, used without permission.

Post by Syscrusher » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:11 am

In Canada there is - and many other other countries have a similar group - an organization called SOCAN. What they do is track plays of songs on radio/tv ( not sure about Internet). SOCaN takes a certain percentage of all record sales - whatever the format - as well as blank cds and dvds and - archaically- cassettes, and puts it into a pool. When you register a song with SOCAN it goes on their radar and if your song is used you get payed from that pool. In this case, as QuaNuckShin says, the license is definitely subtractive- you already have rights to compensation for usage which you are relinquishing with certain Creative Commons liscences for, hopefully, well thought out reasons.

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Re: My Haunted House submission, used without permission.

Post by QauNuckShin » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:16 am

Syscrusher wrote:as QuaNuckShin says
QauNuckShin. :roll:
Syscrusher wrote:In Canada there is - and many other other countries have a similar group - an organization called SOCAN.
Yes, the Swedish instance is called STIM. I think these organizations cooperate internationally - so you only need to register with "your" organization.

Funny thing - and this is for Sweden/STIM, I don't know how it works in other countries - you actually have the right to compensation anyway. It's just that you don't have the right to collect it; only STIM can collect it. Signing up with STIM is actually also a license: You're giving them the right to "sell" plays of your song. This license is incompatible with CC-BY, since CC-BY allows free use. Any non-commercial ("NC") CC license is fine, though, since the STIM license in that case grants the commercial use that your CC-NC license doesn't allow.
DS-10 Dominator wrote:No licensing situation is ever perfect, but I think we may be happy with every listen we get, and it was all about fun, creativity and sharing.

CC-BY:
+ Best license to get your music being widespread
- Music can be put in a context you might not agree with, like videos with different political views or whatever
- Music might be used in a commercial context: in TV ads, or even pressed on CD or vinyl without any royalties for the artist. BUT it might not have ever been used in the ads if it wasn't licensed this way, so if exposure is the most important factor, go for CC-BY I'd say.
That's true - copyright in general needs to be a compromise between the requirements of different groups. I'd argue that current copyright law is not a good compromise, so CC licenses try to fix this for individual songs.

Like I said above, I use CC BY-NC-SA:
+ Attribution always required (just as any other CC license)
- Music can be put in a context you might not agree with (just as any other CC license)
+ Music can't be used commercially (unless they have another agreement with you)
- ...which means that you may lose the potential uses in, say, a commercial. If you care about that.
+ Modifications made to the track must be shared under the same conditions as the original - ensuring that those, too, are part of the common culture.
- ...which might make some control freaks hesitant to modify your track.

I don't think these extra restrictions would have a large impact on how widespread a track gets, so that's what I use and recommend. And it's not just me. Every track on 8bc is CC BY-NC-SA, for example (which you agree to when you upload your track).
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Re: My Haunted House submission, used without permission.

Post by Decktonic » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:38 pm

Well, I guess you learned a valuable lesson. When you make an original song, you automatically have a license: "all rights reserved." Creative Commons allows you to provide a less restrictive license, which allows people to use your music in ways that they wouldn't be able to otherwise, with provisions that you set forth in advance (like, attribution or non-commercial). The whole point is so that people don't have to contact you and get agreements drawn up each time they want to use your song. Obviously, if someone want to use your song in a way that isn't covered by the CC license you've used, then they still have to contact you about that, and get a unique agreement put together for it.

I think you should see this as a positive thing. People are using your music in non-commercial ways, and they are promoting you in the process. I wish more people would use my music on Youtube. You should make this latest video your official "music video."

Also this:



is great.
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Re: My Haunted House submission, used without permission.

Post by DS-10 Dominator » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:51 pm

cute!

Image
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Re: My Haunted House submission, used without permission.

Post by UncleBibby » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:49 pm

Decktonic wrote:Also this:
You guys weren't supposed to see that!

...

Okay, it is pretty cool, isn't it?

...

Don't spread it around, okay?
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Re: My Haunted House submission, used without permission.

Post by Tommy Creep » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:18 pm

You should see it as a good thing, she obviously thought your song was the best on the compilation!

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Re: My Haunted House submission, used without permission.

Post by AudioArtist » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:53 am

QauNuckShin wrote:
AudioArtist wrote:Unfortunately, at least in the US, these CC liscences hold very little value in terms of recompense or protection from potential thieves. The end all beat all protection is in actually copyrighting the material through the copyright office which costs money.
You're way off.

By the Berne Convention (signed by multiple countries in 1886, ratified in the US in 1988 - 102 years later :lol:), you have an automatic copyright on everything you create. No need to put a ©, or write "copyright" or anything like that. So, by default, no one is allowed to use your creations for anything without your permission (with the exception of "fair use").
QauNuckShin wrote:
I've got a ton of respect for you QauNuckShin, but I know my US copyright law, So I must respectfully counter... ;)
You are correct in some aspects, but I think you may be missing some finer points of US copyright law. I'll go ahead and say that our laws generally protect the person with the most money, so if I've got the money and the legal representation necessary I could easily steal someone's material. (I'm not a fan of our US Copyright laws) What you are talking about are the TRUE, LEGAL,"In a Perfect World" copyright rules, well, rules are easily broken if you slap em' with a stack of 100$ bills.

In the US, at the moment a melody is mated to lyrics it is copyrighted. The instant a poem is actually typed or handwritten, it is copyrighted. However, several cases of copyright infringement have come up and been decided in favor of the thief in the US over the past twenty years or so. This is rare.
It has been a common belief in the US that the "Poor Man's Copyright" will protect you, (the "PMC" is equivalent to CC Licsences in the US). It doesn't.
The final courtroom accepted solution is having your material copyrighted through the copyright office, much like obtaining a patent. This also can be deceptive, if you take your sweet time obtaining an official copyright and some other person obtains one with your material, before you do (it doesn't have to be in recorded format), then you are screwed because they will have an official US Gov. certified paper stating that they are the owner.
Honest? Fair? Absolutely not, but that is the nature of our copyright law.
In the US money talk and BS walks. Take a moment to look up average hourly rates for US entertainment lawyers who specialize in copyright law.
Is it likely that someone will steal your material? No.
Is it worth the money to make sure you protect yourself? Yes.

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Re: My Haunted House submission, used without permission.

Post by DS-10 Dominator » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:39 pm

AudioArtist wrote:In the US, at the moment a melody is mated to lyrics it is copyrighted. The instant a poem is actually typed or handwritten, it is copyrighted.
"In all countries where the Berne Convention standards apply, copyright is automatic, and need not be obtained through official registration with any government office. Once an idea has been reduced to tangible form, for example by securing it in a fixed medium (such as a drawing, sheet music, photograph, a videotape, or a computer file), the copyright holder is entitled to enforce his or her exclusive rights.[7]" wikipedia copyright

I think the point with lyrics is that you have to write them down to be copyrighted, it's not the case that you need to have lyrics to copyright a melody of course, it just needs to be tangible (recorded).

It has been a common belief in the US that the "Poor Man's Copyright" will protect you, (the "PMC" is equivalent to CC Licsences in the US). It doesn't.
The final courtroom accepted solution is having your material copyrighted through the copyright office, much like obtaining a patent. This also can be deceptive, if you take your sweet time obtaining an official copyright and some other person obtains one with your material, before you do (it doesn't have to be in recorded format), then you are screwed because they will have an official US Gov. certified paper stating that they are the owner.
Honest? Fair? Absolutely not, but that is the nature of our copyright law.
The problem is of course that it's hard to prove who created something first. In The Netherlands people recommend you send yourself a signed and time stamped letter with your material in it, and keep it stored unopened, as proof.

Edit: ah right, now I read:

""Poor man's copyright"
A widely circulated strategy to avoid the cost of copyright registration is referred to as the "poor man's copyright." It proposes that the creator send the work to himself in a sealed envelope by registered mail, using the postmark to establish the date. This technique has not been recognized in any published opinions of the United States courts. The United States Copyright Office makes clear that the technique is no substitute for actual registration.[22] The United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office discusses the technique but does not recommend its use.[23]" - wikip copyright
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Re: My Haunted House submission, used without permission.

Post by Syscrusher » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:16 pm

It is my understanding that a melody can be copyrighted (lyrics or not) but a chord progression cannot.

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Re: My Haunted House submission, used without permission.

Post by DS-10 Dominator » Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:22 pm

Syscrusher wrote:It is my understanding that a melody can be copyrighted (lyrics or not) but a chord progression cannot.
Do you think it's fair or unfair that the drummer of The Winstons receives no royalties over all the Amen Brother drumbreak-loops? It's not a melody, but obviously it's something unique... just like an original melody.



There are even some Amen chops in M01 :).

I think what matters is the derivative work. Obviously a drum n bass track is different than the original soul track. Can two songs with the same melody be different enough....? In the Middle Ages it was a common composition practice to take monophonic music, play it twice as slow and add new voices (polyphony) on top of that. I guess that's a more interesting technique than copy pasting :)

The discussing is shifting from copyright to plagiarism ;)
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