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Zach Goodwin2

Stuff Made Before 1920 Is Now Royalty Free

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Well according to the rule of copyright licensing, anything made 100 years and before is in the public domain... So I suppose the stuff made in 1920 and before could now be royalty free. That's quite a lot, and there may be some interesting stories that some of you all could use as writing for your films.

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Is that in the US? As far as I know copyright is valid until 70 years after the artists death in the country I live (at least for music compositions)... I have no idea how copyrights are handled internationally. 

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30 minutes ago, Michi said:

Is that in the US? As far as I know copyright is valid until 70 years after the artists death in the country I live (at least for music compositions)... I have no idea how copyrights are handled internationally. 

The motion picture work is triple copyrighted (screenwriter, director and music composer) so counts 70 years after the death of the last one. Obviously this rule varies from one jurisdiction to another, depending on the convention to tie.

- E.

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Be aware that the rules are different for different countries.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries'_copyright_lengths#Copyright_durations_by_country

In the US, for anything made before 1978, it is 95 years (so anything 1925 and older is now public domain) but for post 1978 it is now the life of any of the authors plus 70 years.

That 1978 split throws up some interesting anomalies when you look at the music of John Lennon for example and his two number one records "Imagine" and "Woman".

"Imagine" was 1971 so is pre the change so has the 95 years protection and won't expire until 2066.

"Woman" was 1980 so is post the change so now only has 30 years left as Lennon was killed the same year and expires in 2050, which is sixteen years prior to a song that came nine years earlier.

In the UK, which doesn't have the same 1978 split but does have the "70 years after the last author dies" rule, there is an even bigger anomaly with Lennon due to his work in The Beatles.

If you look at a John Lennon solo track like "Working Class Hero", then due to his death in 1980 that only has another 30 years to run, whereas something he wrote for The Beatles with Paul McCartney a few months earlier like "Let It Be" , still has 70 years plus however long McCartney lives for. 

So the solo track expires in 2050 whereas the co-written one is going to be at least 2090.

For years, McCartney has been trying to get Yoko Ono to do a deal where they would change the joint Lennon&McCartney credit to whichever of the two of them actually wrote the song. I'm presuming this is because many of The Beatles' songs that McCartney wrote such as "Let It Be" and "Yesterday" are covered far more frequently than Lennon ones such as "Strawberry Fields" or "I Am The Walrus" so he wants what he sees as a fairer slice of the cake. 

Yoko has always resisted this, I'm guessing not only because it would be a sizeable and immediate financial hit but also because the joint authorship with one surviving writer in the partnership will alive will keep The Beatles royalties coming in for the Lennon family for far longer.

As @Emanuel says those rules for films (in the UK at least) meaning that the clock doesn't start ticking until the Writer, Director and Soundtrack Composer have all died will keep a lot of films covered for quite some time.

If you look at "Driving Miss Daisy", the Best Picture winner at the 1990 Oscars, as an example, the Writer, Director and Soundtrack Composer are all still alive so that is now guaranteed to have a minimum 100 year run.

The 1980 winner "Kramer vs Kramer", still has all three alive as well so that is going to be a minimum of 110 years.

 

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No idea how royalties or copyright works. Seems to me youtube has to be getting away with murder with the amount of people doing "covers" and the music sometimes associated with some videos. Technically is that not an infringement ? While in principle i agree with the concept of artists getting their due. I mostly buy cd's so you cant really not pay royalties but i suspect the royalties may be a bit steep if i wanted to use a song in some sort of video, which would probably stifle things somewhat.

Getting back on topic i think i could do something creative with the 1812 overture or ride of the valkeries but classical gas is still copyrighted as well as everything from the 1080's. You know by the end of the 80's all the best notes had been used up. Stuff that came after that might have had a beat or bass but i'm not sure you could call it music. ?

sadly its all academic, well all be long dead before its free to use creatively?

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It's SCARY that Corporates and Not Authors, have been pushing Copyrights to a Century and beyond. Copyright should only exist for a few years (10-20) post the authors death. After that its just corporate terrorism.

Also it's scary how corporates and the big artists caught for copyright theft aren't punished more severely.

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2 hours ago, leslie said:

i think i could do something creative with the 1812 overture or ride of the valkeries

Just need to hire an Orchestra to play it for you since performances and recordings are copyrighted too. That's the most frustrating thing for me: the search for royalty free classical music most of the time ends at a recording from some college orchestra that barely hits the notes...

@BTM_Pix  Thanks for the great write-up! 

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7 hours ago, leslie said:

No idea how royalties or copyright works. Seems to me youtube has to be getting away with murder with the amount of people doing "covers" and the music sometimes associated with some videos. Technically is that not an infringement ? While in principle i agree with the concept of artists getting their due. I mostly buy cd's so you cant really not pay royalties but i suspect the royalties may be a bit steep if i wanted to use a song in some sort of video, which would probably stifle things somewhat.

Getting back on topic i think i could do something creative with the 1812 overture or ride of the valkeries but classical gas is still copyrighted as well as everything from the 1080's. You know by the end of the 80's all the best notes had been used up. Stuff that came after that might have had a beat or bass but i'm not sure you could call it music. ?

sadly its all academic, well all be long dead before its free to use creatively?

If YT detects that you've used someone elses music then it applies the relevant rule from its database.  Most songs get your video demonetised (which means the ad royalties go to the copyright holder of the music instead of you) but some songs are blacklisted and so your video is just blocked and no-one can view it.  

YT has a search engine here to inspect what the rules are: https://www.youtube.com/music_policies?ar=2&nv=1

TBH it's actually pretty draconian considering that you might plan, write, cast, shoot, edit, grade and publish a 90-minute video but if you include something like 10s of someone elses music then they get the entire ad revenue and you get nothing, but then again on the other hand YT gives you about 0.3c per view, so you're basically not making much money anyway, which is why every video is now sponsored.

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8 hours ago, leslie said:

Getting back on topic i think i could do something creative with the 1812 overture or ride of the valkeries but classical gas is still copyrighted

 

The script itself is royalty free, but the recording/execution/performance is copyrighted. Usually lyric operas are royalty free for the script since most of them were composed before 1950, but the theatres organizing the performance own the copyright of the performance: if the theatre record it and make a CD, they own the recording. If no one is recording the performance, you still cannot go there and record/broadcast it yourself off the records since the execution is still protected, even if it is in a public area. The same goes for concerts and orchestras. At least this is how it works in my country, Italy.

But you are always free to play the music yourself and record it, so you own your copyright ?

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On 1/3/2020 at 8:37 AM, BTM_Pix said:

The 1980 winner "Kramer vs Kramer", still has all three alive as well so that is going to be a minimum of 110 years.

 


Your entire post shows utterly utterly and completely fcvked up copyright laws are across the world!

And the USA has a large amount of that blame! Forcing their stance onto other countries. 

And Mickey Mouse constantly being extended (2024 will be a year to watch!). 

 


https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/01/a-whole-years-worth-of-works-just-fell-into-the-public-domain/

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10 minutes ago, IronFilm said:


Your entire post shows utterly utterly and completely fcvked up copyright laws are across the world!
 

I expect every screenwriter to give a co-writing credit to their youngest child to ensure the family get the maximum run out of it!

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On 1/3/2020 at 11:52 AM, leslie said:

No idea how royalties or copyright works. Seems to me youtube has to be getting away with murder with the amount of people doing "covers" and the music sometimes associated with some videos. Technically is that not an infringement ? While in principle i agree with the concept of artists getting their due. I mostly buy cd's so you cant really not pay royalties but i suspect the royalties may be a bit steep if i wanted to use a song in some sort of video, which would probably stifle things somewhat.

Getting back on topic i think i could do something creative with the 1812 overture or ride of the valkeries but classical gas is still copyrighted as well as everything from the 1080's. You know by the end of the 80's all the best notes had been used up. Stuff that came after that might have had a beat or the bass earbuds but i'm not sure you could call it music. ?

sadly its all academic, well all be long dead before its free to use creatively?

How many watts of sound output may the earbud exude?

 

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