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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Legal or not? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Jeff Alan
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88 Posts

Profile of Jeff Alan

I see lots of discussions at the Café about using royalty-free music in your show. I have never thought about this before. I do not use royalty-free music. I use lots of music, if I own the CD can I not use it in my show? I always thought that as long as you weren't using it on TV or radio you could do what you want with it. Is that true? Maybe not?

Aim high and you won't get your shoes wet.
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St. Louis, MO
58 Posts

Profile of edfliss
Read the fine print on your CDs. They are not licensed for public performance. I am not a copyright lawyer and there are some gray areas involved. There is also the matter of what you can get away with versus what is legal and ethical.

Are you playing a show where people buy tickets? What is your venue? Some venues have umbrella licenses (any business that routinely plays copyrighted music probably has such a license--does a DJ play there--does he have his own license or does the venue). It there is no license and someone is selling tickets there is probably a copyright violation.

Are you performing in a public place. Even if the event is free, if total strangers can walk up and be part of the audience, it is probably a copyright violation.

The gray area is in private parties. Are you performing in someone's living room in front of invited guests? Ask your lawyer!

There is so much good royatly free music out there. Be creative and be original. You can always be on the right side of the law and your own conscience if you use royalty free music.

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Inner circle
Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
2642 Posts

Profile of p.b.jones
Most of the time the premises has a licence, pretty much if they have a juke box they have a licence so you will be OK, village/church halls here in the Uk normaly have licences too. at home parties I would not worry personaly I mean if I had music playing on my stero at home I would not switch it off (except maybe out of manors) if other people came int the house
Donald Dunphy
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Inner circle
Victoria, BC, Canada
7456 Posts

Profile of Donald Dunphy
Here are a couple of relevant threads on other forums about the use of, and licensing fees for, regular music and royalty-free music:

KidAbra Forum thread, "What YOU need to ......d music.

Dean's List thread, "motivational songs......o start.

I recommend doing your homework before you get into trouble.

- Donald.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
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St. Louis, MO
58 Posts

Profile of edfliss
Thanks for the link to the KidAbra Forum. It is a clear explanation of what I was trying to say.

I firmly believe that we should all use royalty free music unless we have thoroughly checked the legality (that is venue licenses) of using copyrighted recordings.

The KidAbra posting mentions the Happy Birthday song. It will still be under copyright 70 years after its last collaborator dies. Music and performances that you find on 78 RPM records may still be under copyright!

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Eternal Order
High Desert
12035 Posts

Profile of Decomposed
Thanks Donald,

Dittos...I have read the thread and many others on this subject. Arthur Stead being a composer has some excellent info on this subject.

I was concerned about using a few songs at school shows but not any more. My concern would be performing at open air events. Still, I have emailed for permission from Germany (import). If I get laughed at so be it.

Everything falls on the establishment who hires you.
Best to check at any business you work at first.
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