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   releasing a (music)demo recorded in 1995
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   Author  Topic: releasing a (music)demo recorded in 1995  (Read 978 times)
stg213
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releasing a (music)demo recorded in 1995
« on: Dec 24th, 2006, 11:21am »
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This is a question I had for a very long time.
 
Say, there was a band from a country in Europe who played a non-mainstream underground kind of music in 1995 and recorded a demo. There was no copyright at the time and the band has split up and was never heard from again.  
 
Say an underground American label wanted to press the demo on a CD for 500 to 1000 copies in 2007. What legal rights would the band from Europe have in this situation if they were to find out? Since it's been over ten years would it be possible for the American label to copyright the demo as his own? I don't mean to claim the music was written in USA or change the band name, I mean keep the band name, give them credit that way, but could the American claim as the owner of the demo if they have it copyrighted?
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mactheknife
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Re: releasing a (music)demo recorded in 1995
« Reply #1 on: Dec 24th, 2006, 3:46pm »
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on Dec 24th, 2006, 11:21am, stg213 wrote:
This is a question I had for a very long time.
 
Say, there was a band from a country in Europe who played a non-mainstream underground kind of music in 1995 and recorded a demo. There was no copyright at the time

 
This is probably not accurate.  Very generally, once you record something, there is a copyright, and most countries in europe latched onto this idea before the US did.  So the question is, who is the copyright owner?  Maybe it's the band; maybe it's not.  If anyone reproduces it, the copyright owner can (if s/he/it found out) come after the band member for copyright infringement.
 
Quote:
would it be possible for the American label to copyright the demo as his own? . . . could the American claim as the owner of the demo if they have it copyrighted?

 
Same principle... since the recording has already been "copyrighted" upon being recorded, it's not possible for the American label to "copyright" the demo again.
 
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pg1067
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Re: releasing a (music)demo recorded in 1995
« Reply #2 on: Dec 28th, 2006, 12:44pm »
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on Dec 24th, 2006, 11:21am, stg213 wrote:
There was no copyright at the time

 
That's almost certainly wrong.  In most (if not all) European countries, copyright protection exists from the moment a work is fixed in a tangible medium of expression (as is the case in the U.S.).  In fact, I imagine there were recordings of the song(s) before the demo.
 
on Dec 24th, 2006, 11:21am, stg213 wrote:
Say an underground American label wanted to press the demo on a CD for 500 to 1000 copies in 2007. What legal rights would the band from Europe have in this situation if they were to find out?

 
Assuming the members of the band wrote the song(s), they could sue for copyright infringement.
 
on Dec 24th, 2006, 11:21am, stg213 wrote:
Since it's been over ten years would it be possible for the American label to copyright the demo as his own?

 
Ten years is nothing, and "copyright" is not properly used as a verb.  The copyright is owned by the author(s) (presumably, the band members).  It's POSSIBLE that the song(s) have fallen into the public domain, but if that's the case, then no one owns the copyright(s).  The U.S. label cannot own a copyright in something it did not create or was not assigned to it.
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