Tag copyright law

Plagiarism: Must Knows

Plagiarism: are cover and remixes plagiarisms? Do you need a special license to publish your cover?

If a musician wants to publish the work of another in his own interpretation or in edited form, he usually has to acquire the necessary rights first:

Cover version

A cover is a new edition of a piece of music. If lyrics and melody remain the same, musicians have to pay royalties. It does not matter if other instruments are used or if the melody is sung in a different voice pitch than in the original.

Editing

In the case of extensive changes to the melody and/or lyrics of the piece of music and if the original work is still clearly recognizable, the consent of the composer is required and a license agreement must be signed.

Remix

In a remix, the song is remixed or given new instrumentation.  Here, too, the following applies: If the original work is still recognizable, usage rights must be acquired.

Free use

If a piece of music is changed in such a way that it is hardly recognizable, it may be used without the consent of the author. This is called “free use”. In practice, however, there is hardly any free use of musical works.

Are you an artist looking for your professional music-law specialized legal team? 

Fill out our contact form. We will get back to you soon.

    Your Contact Data

    Requested Appointment

    With whom of our attorneys would you like to have your legal consultation ?

    Michael Horak LL.M.Julia ZiegelerAnna Umberg, LL.M., M.A.Andree EckhardtKatharina Gitmann-KopilevichKaroline BehrendJohanna K. Müller-KühneAndreas FriedleinJohn BühlerStefan Karfusehr
     

    I would like to have an appointment between the and the
     

    Type of consultation in personby phone
     

    Please describe the matter you would like to discuss with us.

    Are you already a client of our law firm? yesno

    What are pirate copies?

    Bootlegs, forgeries and pirated copies

    Piracy is the generic term for illegally produced copies.

    Bootlegs are sound carriers with illegal concert recordings (also as video).

    Falsifications are illegally produced sound carriers that look like originals but are not.

    True or False – Music Law

    True or False – Music Law:

    Quick Check on the most Frequent Asked Questions of the internet

    Are self-composed songs automatically protected by copyright?
    German copyright law automatically protects music or sheet music and song lyrics.

    What has copyright to do with music?
    The musical work is protected under copyright law as soon as it is created, i.e. when the song is played for the first time at rehearsals or when the lyrics and melody are written down.

    Has copyright on music a period of expiration?
    Copyright on music lasts for 70 years after the death of the author. After that, the statute of limitations expires and it is considered to be in the public domain.

    Strangers are using a self-composed song without my permission. What shall I do?
    In this case, there may be a copyright infringement. It is possible to take legal action against this. Do not waste time. Contact a lawyer immediately. 

    What about YouTube? Can I download music for free and sell it online? 
    The answer is definitely NO. Illegally downloading music from YouTube and eventually selling it or using it without permission is a crime and it can be punished legally. Anyone who uploads a self-composed song on Youtube is considered to be the author. This means that the copyright law for music applies. In addition, anyone who includes other people’s music in a video may be committing a copyright infringement. Therefore, it should be checked beforehand who the author is and whether permission is necessary. A lawyer could definitely help you clarify every question you have. 

    Copyright infringement only occurs if I commercially exploit the music, right?
    NO, that is not correct. If you use pieces of music protected by copyright law and offer them for free download on your website, this is also an infringement. If unauthorised distribution takes place, it is irrelevant whether it is of a commercial nature or not.

    So, let a legal check your conditions before making the wrong move. Copyright Infringements are

    legally punishable. 

    Is acquisition of rights in good faith under German music law lawful?

    Unlike physical property, intellectual property does not involve the acquisition of rights in good faith (Gutgläubiger Rechteerwerb).

    The consequence of this is that a label/sound recording producer can have the existence of the rights chain secured by the producer with corresponding artist letters (artist insurances).