Policy re mp3s when no copyright info is available

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chatterbox42

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I recently created an old-school tape player using jQuery but as yet I haven't uploaded it due to concerns about the mp3s I've chosen. The band in question split acrimoniously in the late 1990s after recording three albums on an independent label. A couple years later I was introduced to the frontman who put me in touch with the band's producer, who in turn sold me all three albums which were otherwise unavailable. The third doesn't seem to be an official release and I can find no evidence that it ever was. (All my Google searches turn up the same erroneous references with no sources, and the Wikipedia page for the lead singer was deleted due to unsourced information.) More importantly, unlike the first two albums which clearly state "All rights reserved © 199x", the third lists no copyright or restrictions. All the usual info is included, but nothing regarding usage rights. I've done multiple web searches and can find no evidence of the label still existing, or anything regarding the copyright status of the third album.

My question is, if no copyright info is given on the actual CD, sold to me by the person responsible for its existence, would I be in violation if I included tracks on my website?

Thanks in advance.

Note: my initial (offline) draft included the relevant names as I was expecting to send this directly to support, but as the forums are searchable and the band's exposure so limited, this page would quickly come up in searches, possibly leading to my personal website. My site is my life - art, writing and design shared with family and friends - and I'd rather not have that. Still, if the info is required I guess I can risk it...
 

descalzo

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My question is, if no copyright info is given on the actual CD, sold to me by the person responsible for its existence, would I be in violation if I included tracks on my website?

Yes, you would be in violation.

1. Even if it does not have an explicit copyright statement on it, it is considered copyrighted

2. The producer probably does not have the right to give you the rights. The music belongs to the band/band members.

3. Even if he did have the rights, do you have a signed waiver from him allowing you to use the music in this way?
 

chatterbox42

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Yes, you would be in violation. 1. Even if it does not have an explicit copyright statement on it, it is considered copyrighted 2. The producer probably does not have the right to give you the rights. The music belongs to the band/band members. 3. Even if he did have the rights, do you have a signed waiver from him allowing you to use the music in this way?
Wait, the music belongs to the band members? In another thread I was reading here it stated that the band doesn't generally own the rights - that's why I didn't just go through them first! (It's always suggested we read previous threads before posting on a topic, right???) If I'd known the thread was in error I could've saved myself a lot of time. This also opens new doors, as I'm close friends with the leader of a long-established band and I used to run his fan site. He expressly gave me permission to include tracks but I didn't because I thought it would be a violation since it's copyrighted to HIM. Gah! Anyway, thanks for the reply. What do I do when I have permission from the band members? Should they contact x10 directly? Will x10 contact me afterwards to confirm usage? Anything else I'd need to know, like how to ensure that once I have permission from the members, x10 doesn't assume it's a violation in the future? Thanks!
 

dadinck30

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Generally, it is the songwriter who owns the copyright. If the band leader wrote the song, then he owns the copyright. Also, you would have to state that the work is copyrighted to that person and used with permission and others may not make copies (or they may depending on the terms.) The only exception is when a song writer works for a company, then he usually signs the copyright over to the company who is paying him.
 

chatterbox42

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Generally, it is the songwriter who owns the copyright. If the band leader wrote the song, then he owns the copyright. Also, you would have to state that the work is copyrighted to that person and used with permission and others may not make copies (or they may depending on the terms.) The only exception is when a song writer works for a company, then he usually signs the copyright over to the company who is paying him.


Ahh, ok, thanks! This was the post from Community Advocate essellar that I was initially going by. I've emphasized the bits I was referring to in my previous comment when I mentioned the producer:

Let's talk about the copyright issue first, shall we? We can't just take your word that you have permission to redistribute material in which the copyright is held by others, and the artist does not have the legal ability to give permission for redistribution in any case (unless that's explicitly spelled out in a contract) -- it's the creator of the recording, not the person who is being recorded, who holds the rights. That may, indeed, be the artist, but it's not always (or even usually) the case. In any event, explicit notice regarding copyright and permissions would have to be present and verifiable before it would be acceptable.


I think this is all a bit too confusing now so I'll skip it and work on something else.


Thanks all the same. Take care!
 
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