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Author Topic: Use of non-public domain music in jewelry  (Read 818 times)


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Use of non-public domain music in jewelry
« on: 11-18-16 at 12:28 pm »

Hi all!
I'm wondering about using non-public domain music in jewelry.  I want to create jewelry in which each bead represents a note in a piece of music.  So, for example: Someone really likes the Beatles song "I Want to Hold your Hand."  So they approach me and ask that I make them a jewelry piece in which the melody to that song is beaded out.  I'm not advertising that particular piece, but someone approaches me wanting it custom made for them.  And there would be nothing else in the product that would be Beatles related.  Does this violate copyright laws, or some other law?

My reasoning for it not is that in engraving, essentially the same process is set up: someone can really like a quote or line from a copyrighted work, and then proceed to engrave it on a coffee mug, or T-Shirt, or plaque, or whatever, for that person.  But obviously I'm not sure if this holds up (otherwise I wouldn't be using this forum.)   

What do you guys think?


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Re: Use of non-public domain music in jewelry
« Reply #1 on: 11-18-16 at 06:41 pm »

It would be dependent on the situation.  For the example you gave of making beaded jewelry based on a melody, the jewelry would most likely be considered "transformative" and so would be a new work.  If something were much closer, like the lyrics to a song being handwritten in calligraphy on parchment, then that would merely be a "derivative work" which would require permission and licensing from the copyright owner.

I think, anyway.  Hopefully someone else will correct me if not.
"The life of a patent solicitor has always been a hard one."  Judge Giles Rich, Application of Ruschig, 379 F.2d 990.

Disclaimer: not only am I not a lawyer, I'm not your lawyer.  Therefore, this does not constitute legal advice.


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