Re: "accompaniment" (arranging) a work under copywrite
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Posted by M Arthur Auslander on October 17, 2001 at 23:01:56:
In Reply to: "accompaniment" (arranging) a work under copywrite posted by Don L. Huneycutt on October 17, 2001 at 13:18:57:
: If you take a song that is under copywrite (specifically, one printed in a simple four-part version in a typical hymn book), and write (or improvise) an accompaniment for a soloist departing from the strict four-part writing properly published.....which in any essence constitutes an "arrangement"), is it a violation of copywrite to use this "arrangement" for your own performances of this work. This "arrangement" (could it be considered personal notes as to what to play?) is not for publication, distribution or for profit.
: Comment: The "arrangement" does substantially alter the simple four-part version in the hymn book but most "accompaniments" (it would seem) played anywhere under any circumstances would fit this description.
: What say you?
Dear Mr. Hunycutt,
It is possible that the Hymn in a copyrighted Hymn book is in the public domain. You nonetheless have copyright, rights in what you create, even if it is an infringement. An act of infringement doesn't guarantee that you will be sued. If you are threatened to be sued you can stop. Copyright damages are often up to the judge who my be sympathetic if you have not harmed anyone. Legal costs could be a bigger problem if you are actually sued.
M. Arthur Auslander
Auslander & Thomas-Intellectual Property Law Since 1909
The Intellectual Property Law Server
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