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graphic4444 says

Hi -

I remember getting a takedown notice from youtube for using a christmas audio I bought here in a video I made; there was another thread about it earlier.

Quick ot question: does anyone know whether it’s legal/ok to post youtube videos that have classic/well known song ‘covers’ in them; say me playing “jingle bells” or some top 40 song, on keyboard/guitar? I don’t want to run afoul of copyright issues. For example can I post a video of me playing a well-known rock and roll song, on guitar? Or is that a no-no since it’s a copyrighted song, even though it’s me playing it?

I see lots of videos of guys playing instruments of famous songs, but that doesn’t make it legal. Just wanted to check. I’ll check w/atty as well; but any ideas? (I realize no answers here are legal/official, just wanted to ask your thoughts)... thanks.

-k

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TortoiseTree says

If you’re not making money from it then it’s absolutely legal. For example, if you have one of those “partnership program” accounts where you earn per click then it’s a big no-no. But if you’re just doing it for fun then uploading a video of you doing it then it’s 100% legal. I mean that’s freedom of speech for goodness sake.

As for Christmas songs it depends. If it’s a song in the public domain like “Jingle Bells” and “Oh, Christmas Tree” then that too is absolutely ok as the original composers’ families no longer have stake on the royalties as the works have entered the public domain.

If youtube is giving you problems on either situation I mentioned (either you’re not doing it for money or the song is public domain) I’d kick up a fuss as that goes against your rights!

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Art-of-Sound says
does anyone know whether it’s legal/ok to post youtube videos that have classic/well known song ‘covers’ in them; say me playing “jingle bells”
It is legal to cover works that are in the public domain.
  • Everything published in the United States before 1923 is in the public domain.
  • Works published 1923-1963 in the United States whose copyright was not renewed are in the public domain.
  • Foreign works published 1909-1923 with copyright notices are in the public domain.

There’s still “third party content match” can occure, but all you have to do to remove it is submitting a dispute form. For example, I uploaded my version of “Maple Leaf” ragtime, that was matched as the historical recording managed by MGM or something. Also my “Dance of The Sugarplum Fairy” was matched to The London Orchestra. So anyway, you should chose the last option in the list :

can I post a video of me playing a well-known rock and roll song, on guitar

According to the copyright law you need to have a permission from the copyright holder, or if you intend to use it commercially, or your cover sings sells more than 2000 exemplars, you have to purchase a mechanical license for paying royalties. But, if the cover song you play is just for fun then nobody will waste his time on enforcing the law, so go ahead. If your cover is very close to the original, then it’ll get content matched and ads will be displayed nest to your video, but that’s all.

If you’re not making money from it then it’s absolutely legal. If you’re just doing it for fun then uploading a video of you doing it then it’s 100% legal. I mean that’s freedom of speech for goodness sake.

No, it is not legal and has nothing to do with the freedom of speech. You can say all you want about any song – that’s freedom of speech, but still the copy right holder decides where and how his intellectual property can be used, regardless of commercial/ non-commercial use.

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SonicCube says

Hello Ken

Most have been said allready. Another way it could happen is, that the original copyright holder will agree with YT, that you can use the material, but will have some advertising banner overlays for this video in the future (as you see on many others out there). This happened to me in a video, where i used content from the Star Wars Trilogy.

Have a great day.

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