Copyright Query…………

Copyright Query…………

A friend of mine learnt a tune from sheet music published in a book. The book was written by the composer of the tune. He actually published most of his compositions in sheet music form in the book. My friend wants to include the tune on a CD he intends to make soon. The CD is a private job but may be on sale in local shops and maybe get a play on local radio. Anybody hazard a guess as to what be the copyright position on this particular tune…….

Re: Copyright Query…………

Your friend should have a chat with the composer. The composer should know if he/she transferred the copyright. Very often the composer is satisfied with an acknowledgement on the CD sleeve.

Re: Copyright Query…………

… especially the Steve Shaw comment about half-way down

Re: Copyright Query…………

Yep, contact the composer of the tune if they are still alive or relatives if not. For courtesy if nothing else 🙂 Presumably in the traditional idiom, your friend will be playing their own interpretation of the tune.

Posted .

Re: Copyright Query…………

UK - If the composer is PRS/MCPS registered the limited manufacture licence may be the way to go, esp if there are other copyright tunes on the CD, (includes tunes written by people who died up to 70 years ago.)

http://www.prsformusic.com/users/recordedmedia/cdsandvinyl/pages/limited-manufacturelicence.aspx

The downside of this licence is you don’t actually tell PRS/MCPS what material you’ve used, so presumably the money goes in a pot and big selling pop artists get most of it.

(If you have a CD with any other tunes on it by that composer it should tell you if they are PRS/MCPS registered.)

Re: Copyright Query…………

It’s a long time since I made a CD but back in the days you applied to mcps for an AP2 licence. Royalties due were based on the number of CDs being pressed and the "dealer price". mcps would determine which tracks had royalties due and if there were any tracks for which no licence was granted. The royalties were paid upfront, before pressing, and so you still paid royalties on unsold CDs. You are allowed a certain percentage of promotional CDs, on which no royalties are due, but these are supposed to be clearly marked as such.

Re: Copyright Query…………

I think that’s the way it works for larger numbers Donald, last time I looked the limited manufacture licence was limited to 500 copies and an effectively non-commercial production.

Re: Copyright Query…………

The way I remember it from some +10 years ago (in Sweden) - 250 promo CDs as long as you printed at least 500. So, by printing 500 copies, you could save royalty money on 250 of those (which you in turn couldn’t sell). I wouldn’t be too surprised if some bands sold a large part of the supposed promotional CDs, especially a small and unknown band wanting to be "serious" and print CDs by the book, but still making some money from selling the CDs at gigs.

Re: Copyright Query…………

What else will be on the CD? Is it only the one tune that is copyright?
If most of the music is copyright then an MCPS Limited Manufacture license is the cheapest way to go, BUT you wouldn’t be able to sell the CD through local shops or any other third party, you can only sell them directly yourself. It costs about £100 for 500 units, and you can buy multiple licenses to press more if you need to (unless you also need a PPL license, which you don’t if it is your own recordings). If you want to sell through shops and other third parties then you will need an AP2 license, which could be pricey if all the music on the disc is copyright to others - 6.5% of the retail price per disk pressed, which will have to be paid up front.

But if there’s only one copyright track and the rest is your own composition or trad, then the AP2 license works out cheaper than Limited Manufacture and the cost becomes very manageable - if you sell the CDs for £10 and 1/10 of the material is copyright, then a license for 500 disks will cost about £30.

Re: Copyright Query…………

Thanks to everyone for their contributions. Lots of useful stuff there.