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Author Topic: Sheet music and copyright?  (Read 4852 times)

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« on: March 01, 2009, 11:43 »
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Does any one know about music copyright ? 

I made a composite photo of a musical instrument against a grungy background.  This background is a mixture of texture and an old page of sheet music.

I removed all text, so it's just the notes.  The music book I took the page from has a copyright mark dated 1913.  So both the publication and the music must be at least 96 years old.
Shutterstock refused the photo because of copyright reasons - so I expect other agencies to follow.

Did I make a mistake here?    Would mentioning the age of the music help?   


« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2009, 12:12 »
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I would give them the copyright information for the music, it should be old enough.  But that's the obvious one.  Did you check the instrument placement, and can you see any part of the instrument name or crest?

« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2009, 12:25 »
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Good point, but no, there's nothing on the instrument - no name, no signs or anything.


tan510jomast

« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2009, 12:46 »
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anyka, why not use sheet music that are in public domain. there's tons of it, hymns, folksong, traditional music, ... for example, are mostly public domain, either anon or so old that there will be no problem to use them. your public library will be a good place to look for them, or even the church  ;)

« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2009, 12:59 »
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I should've thought of that of course, I just liked the old parchment paper so much.
But hey, here comes photoshop, so I can have both : use the parchment, remove the notes and put traditional music on it instead. 
However, I'm still curious if - legally - I can/could use sheet music published in 1913?

« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2009, 13:58 »
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I think copyright time limit does not count from the date of creation, but from the date of the death of the author, isn't it so?

Regards,
Adelaide

tan510jomast

« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2009, 14:34 »
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i won't rely on dates, as what is considered PD in USA may not be the same in other countries. And we know that not all music comes from USA. Many traditional are from Europe. So best to ensure it is PD by the printed statement rather than the date of the composer 's death or the works.
But once again, you have a lot to choose from, so i would, as you say, replaced the music via Photoshop with one that is PD.  no one would know that you used a grunge background for a gregorian chant, but then again, with the fusion going on in music nowadays, that too would be a cool combination. perfect potential photo for some of the already established string quartets who are playing everything from Schoenberg to Thelonius Monk to Led Zeppelin, no? ;)
« Last Edit: March 01, 2009, 14:35 by tan510jomast »

« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2009, 15:34 »
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Thank God I did not merge the layers! 
You know, a year ago I had a rejected photo of flowers and the Wedding March.  Composer Mendelsohn died in 1847 so the Wedding March can be considered as "safe".  Still Dreamstime refused the photo for copyright.  In this case, I could not have replaced the sheet music by free domain music, since it had to be the wedding march, but this time, I can pick anything.
OK, back to photoshopping  ;)

« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2009, 16:28 »
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I think copyright time limit does not count from the date of creation, but from the date of the death of the author, isn't it so?

Regards,
Adelaide

It used to be from the date of creation (before 1978) and for sheet music published in 1913 I don't know of a country were that sheet music would still be covered by copyright.

tan510jomast

« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2009, 16:56 »
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Thank God I did not merge the layers! 
You know, a year ago I had a rejected photo of flowers and the Wedding March.  Composer Mendelsohn died in 1847 so the Wedding March can be considered as "safe".  Still Dreamstime refused the photo for copyright.  In this case, I could not have replaced the sheet music by free domain music, since it had to be the wedding march, but this time, I can pick anything.
OK, back to photoshopping  ;)

no, i don't think that's correct, that Mendelsohn 's wedding march being safe since he died in 1847. did we forgot about the publisher? sheet music belongs to the publisher.
going back to your image, still simpler to substitute a sheet that specifies PD. who's going to know? only someone who can read music   ;) and based on today's musicians, you can forget at least 90% of them  ;D
« Last Edit: March 01, 2009, 17:28 by tan510jomast »

« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2009, 18:27 »
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sheet music belongs to the publisher.

That's an interesting point.  There are many publishers for the Bible, or for Shakespeare works, etc.  Unless you show the cover or anything that clearly shows its origin, can they really claim anything?  It is not a photograph of the sheet anyway, as far as I understand, the sheet is an element.

If I buy a book of Shakespeare, I can not make xerox copies of it, for sure.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2009, 22:01 »
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As Tan said, use public domain stuff. Alternatively do this.

Use the Photoshop sheet music symbols.

Go to an online sheet music generator and just make some music ... eg, http://www.p22.com/musicfont/

« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2009, 23:09 »
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Go to an online sheet music generator and just make some music ... eg, http://www.p22.com/musicfont/


Wow, that's a cool toy!   ;D

« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2009, 04:32 »
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Anyka,

I don't think others will follow. I just had few photos of flute and sheet of music in my last week's batch. The composition was such that not the whole song on the sheet was visible.

Only SS rejected it for copyright. FT, DT, StockXpert, BS, 123RF all accepted it.

« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2009, 05:09 »
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That's good news.  Fotolia accepted it today too.  The others are slower, so I'll wait and see.
For the ones that have not been submitted yet, I will replace the notes by public domain stuff - once I have a nice "old" sheet with public domain notes I can re-use it all the time!

« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2009, 09:35 »
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With music the "urtext " (original document in the composers hand) may be in public domain .. but there are a great number of items an edition may add that would give the publisher copyright .. especially early music before our modern notational system became fully fleshed out .. modern editions are "fixing this" .. with Baroque music (1600-1750) there are ornaments written in shorthand that some modern editions will write out and accompaniment parts that were quasi improvised that are "realized" in  modern editions ..

« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2009, 18:27 »
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Go to an online sheet music generator and just make some music ... eg, http://www.p22.com/musicfont/

Great Find!


 

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