Live Recordings - Copyright and Ownership

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Re: Live Recordings - Copyright and Ownership

Post by shufflebeat »

As a regular listener to and creator of "Trad/arr" music I've always taken the "arr" part to mean musical arrangement and everything I've learned about copyright law (as little as was relevant to me) bears out the idea that a piece of traditional (out of copyright, for the purposes of this discussion) music comes back under the remit of copyright in a commercial sense once it has been musically "arranged" for performance. I've never heard of anyone going to court to protect their unique arrangement of a traditional tune but I suppose that would be theoretically possible.

Careers have built and successfully maintained on this understanding.

Where this overlaps with the concept of the "arranger" being the one who organises the practicalities of a recording session, including contracts and remuneration I suspect is causing some confusion here. I seem to remember this is a term originating in jazz, country and orchestral music where a regular stable of "studio musicians" might be the norm more than pop/rock where other contractual models take precedence.
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Re: Live Recordings - Copyright and Ownership

Post by Drew Stephenson »

Legally totally different meanings of 'arranger'.
An arrangement of a traditional piece is subject to copyright as soon as it is fixed, however there is nothing stopping someone else making another arrangement from the same piece. I'm sure there is case law out there about the degree of similarity, the proximity and the application of simultaneous creation but I have no idea what the standards are. Messy and silly I suspect.
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