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Piano As Art – The Art of Transforming Pianos

Broken strings and missing keys have made an appearance on the art scene as part of the Piano As Art Exhibition. A collaboration of two talented artists, Penny Putnam and Shauna Holiman, the exhibition features art created from bits and pieces of pianos that were too old for use or were in total disrepair. Read more >>

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maplecleff1215
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« on: August 07, 2017, 07:53:32 PM »

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Bob
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2017, 11:22:08 PM »

I remember something about the creator having rights to the first public performance but broadcasting on the internet probably counts for that.  After that anyone can perform it but they have to pay royalties to the creator.  I thought it was interesting no one could perform it until the creator did the first performance, and also that the creator couldn't prevent anyone else from performing it after that first performance.

I think that's true.  It's been a while since I thought about copyright.  And I'm coming from a US perspective, if that matters.

If you're not selling any recordings, no royalties to worry about.  No money taken away from the creator.  I think most of the time people who made something are thrilled someone's actually performing it.  If you were able to contact the creator, you could ask.  If they said yes, it's ok, great, no worries.  But if they said no, I think you could still perform it any way. 

I think that first performance is their chance to make money off it.  If it was a pop song, it's easier to understand possibly. 

I was going to mention the original work since it's a transcription.... Carol of the Bells would public domain I'm pretty sure.  Hmm... 1914? 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carol_of_the_Bells
You could check I suppose or argue that your work is based off the original carol and not HIS specific carol.  I'm guessing it's public domain though.

But then you add who arranged that piece from the original composer... TSO, Trans Siberian Orchestra?  A current group?  So the TSP made an arrangement (derivative work) off the original work.  If the original work is public domain, the original creator angle is out, but the TSO then has their own claim on their original arrangement of it.  So the TSO might hold some copyright on that arrangement.  Then this youtube guy transcribed it... That's probably orchestra to piano so there's some creative input on the youtube guy's end there.  But from the performance standpoint, the TSO has already performed it.  The youtube guy already performed it.  There could be a glitch with the youtube guy though -- Did he get permission from the TSP to make a transcription?  That's a derivative work on their arrangement.  The TSP may have their own piano transcription available and for sale, and this youtube guy just gave away his transcription for free.  He just took money away from the TSO piano transcription sale.  And... Maybe there's no TSP piano transcription right now, but what if they decided to make one?  This guy deprives them of income before they even create the transcription.  People MAY have purchased the TSO-created transcription but this guy removed all their customers by giving away a transcription of his own.  That angle could get interesting.  It's possible he got the TSO's permission to make a transcription but it's doubtful.  But that sounds like an issue between the TSP and the youtube guy.

Your asking about performance rights.  If you're not selling any recordings, there's no money you're depriving someone of.  Make millions of dollars from your recording and then see who sues you (right or wrong) saying you stole some of their income.  Then a judge decides what's actually right.


And then to add reality.  The youtube guy probably isn't available (not that that matters for whether something is legal or not).  But he won't know you did the performance.  The TSP won't know or probably care.  You may even generate some sales for them so if they're "right" they wouldn't say anything for appearances and because you just made someone go out and buy a TSO recording that wouldn't have happened otherwise.  Probably no original content creator to worry about.  No one in the audience is going to turn you in or spend the effort to investigate it.  No one will care whether it's a legal performance or not is the bottom line.

If you were selling the recording, that's probably a different story.  You'd probably be stuck if that youtube guy didn't get the TSO's permission to transcribe their arrangement (assuming the original is public domain).  If you made money off it, it would get into a weird situation where the youtube guy might have to admit he didn't get permission to transcribe the TSO arrangement which would get interesting.  Then again, with a dose of reality, you're probably not going to make millions, the youtube guy and TSO would never know.  You make your small profit (or lack of for the investment you would put into producing a recording).  Same thing, they never know, and how much would you really make off a recording?  $100?  $200?

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Bob
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2017, 11:26:58 PM »

Duh on me... If wikipedia is accurate here...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carol_of_the_Bells
"Wilhousky's lyrics are copyrighted, although the original musical composition is not."

Lyrics always make it more interesting.
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maplecleff1215
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2017, 12:08:49 AM »

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dogperson
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2017, 05:50:56 AM »

 I am far from any sort of expert on performance rights But I do not understand this response given at all. A simple Internet search shows that a copyright holder is entitled to performance fees of any work, and I know that many YouTube postings have been removed as a violation of copyright when they were personally performed  and then upload it to YouTube  

All I'm suggesting is that if you have concerns about what you're doing is legal, that you pursue real advice rather than just an Internet forum.

Since you are performing as part of music instruction, you might start with the sponsor of the event,
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ronde_des_sylphes
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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2017, 10:35:31 AM »



All I'm suggesting is that if you have concerns about what you're doing is legal, that you pursue real advice rather than just an Internet forum.

Since you are performing as part of music instruction, you might start with the sponsor of the event.

Completely agreed. Whoever is running the event should also be administering performance rights fees (where applicable). Law will vary from country to country, but the UK position is that if the organisers are profiting in any way (and that includes the free recital but refreshments being paid for scenario), then fees may be due to the relevant performing rights body. (If the scores are in the public domain, no fees are due.) I don't know if the arranger making the score freely available means re-use in this way is fair enough. Like the previous poster, I'm not a legal expert, but what I've said summarises my performing experience in this area.
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