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Recording A Cd


notebasher
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I appreciate that this isn't strictly speaking an organ topic, but if anyone can give some guidance I'd be very grateful. At my main church we're recording A CD of the church choir singing popular hymns and songs, for sale to church members and friends in aid of the organ appeal. Maximum quantity 100. We've arranged a CCLI MRL licence, but a question has arisen as to whether a number of home-grown descants and organ last-verse re-harmonisations would be covered. We don't want to infringe copyright, but equally we don't want the music to be too boring either! Any help anyone can offer would be appreciated.

 

Ron

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Hi Ron,

 

I done a similiar thing last year, except the CD was of Organ Music, but I suppose it is all much of a muchness. Like you, 100 copies of this CD were made.

 

Your 'home grown descants and harmonisations' - are these the work of people still associated with the choir? If so, ask them if they are happy with them being used on the CD, and if they are prepared to surrender the copyright, at least for this occasion.

 

For music that is still in copyright (70 years since the composers death) you need an MRPS license. On their website, they do offer discounts for short run church projects like yours. A license cost me about £30, as I had less than 25 minutes (i think) of music in copyright. If you have over 25 minutes, the fee is greater.

 

I think that starts to answer your question but if you have anything more specific then I will try and help

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We did something similar three years ago, though just using the choir. We went through one of the choral specialst CD people (I can name them if you PM me) who take care of all of that sort of thing. We used a mixture of last verse harmonies by me, and the organist we hired for the occasion (a fellow board member), as well as a couple from other sources. I don't think we paid anything extra for the descants etc. Other than the ones by me, the rest were by Francis Jackson (for East Acklam in NEH supplement) and one for CHrist Triumphant in the local RSCM Diocesan Festival booklet.

 

PM me if you'd like a copy of the disc (gratis of course! to a fellow member)

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Hi Ron,

 

I done a similiar thing last year, except the CD was of Organ Music, but I suppose it is all much of a muchness. Like you, 100 copies of this CD were made.

 

Your 'home grown descants and harmonisations' - are these the work of people still associated with the choir? If so, ask them if they are happy with them being used on the CD, and if they are prepared to surrender the copyright, at least for this occasion.

 

For music that is still in copyright (70 years since the composers death) you need an MRPS license. On their website, they do offer discounts for short run church projects like yours. A license cost me about £30, as I had less than 25 minutes (i think) of music in copyright. If you have over 25 minutes, the fee is greater.

 

I think that starts to answer your question but if you have anything more specific then I will try and help

 

Hi David

 

Thanks for this. The descants and alternative harmonies are the work of the DoM and myself, so no copyright issues there. However, would their use constitute messing around with the composer's work so as to affect their copyright, would you say? For example, for one worship song I've transposed and rearranged the harmony totally to make it more suitable for (my) organ accompaniment. Would there be any issues with this would you think?

 

Again, thanks for yours and Guilmant's responses.

 

Ron

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Thanks for this. The descants and alternative harmonies are the work of the DoM and myself, so no copyright issues there. However, would their use constitute messing around with the composer's work so as to affect their copyright, would you say? For example, for one worship song I've transposed and rearranged the harmony totally to make it more suitable for (my) organ accompaniment. Would there be any issues with this would you think?

 

Not much use, but just in case it is interesting, I looked closely at this issue about 10 years ago in Australia, and there have been no mafor change to the legislation or licensing arrangements since that I'm aware of that effects this issue.

 

Permission is needed to arrange another person's work when it is in copyright, hence even writing a descant and performing it raises legal issues. Hence, a last verse reharmonisation of a copyright hymn, even if done at sight, is not legal if the work is under copyright. What does this mean for people who play modern songs that are beyond their ability, hence change the rhythm inadvertently? Does transposing a piece amount to arranging? Playing something on an instrument that is substantially different in pitch to A=440 Hz? The whole thing becomes absurd.

 

This is an area where the legislation and general license we operate under does not reflect the reality of what happens day by day for many people. It does not mean what they do is correct, when it is clearly illegal, it just means that the issues should be examined again.

 

But then, until 2006, anyone using a video recorder to record a TV program was breaching copyright law. Eventually, the legislation was updated to reflect the position to which society long ago had moved on this.

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I appreciate that this isn't strictly speaking an organ topic, but if anyone can give some guidance I'd be very grateful. At my main church we're recording A CD of the church choir singing popular hymns and songs, for sale to church members and friends in aid of the organ appeal. Maximum quantity 100. We've arranged a CCLI MRL licence, but a question has arisen as to whether a number of home-grown descants and organ last-verse re-harmonisations would be covered. We don't want to infringe copyright, but equally we don't want the music to be too boring either! Any help anyone can offer would be appreciated.

 

Ron

 

Hi Ron

 

I would contact MRPS and see what they say - they are helpful with this sort of thing.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Much of what has been discussed here is also to be found in an adjacent topic “Recording a CD”, copyright being the key issue in both threads.

 

I expect I’m the last contributor to have discovered this.

 

I blame the boxing gloves and skis.

 

David Harrison

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Much of what has been discussed here is also to be found in an adjacent topic “Recording a CD”, copyright being the key issue in both threads.

 

I expect I’m the last contributor to have discovered this.

 

I blame the boxing gloves and skis.

 

David Harrison

 

Oops, the adjacent topic is called 'Photocopying for Awkward Page Turns'. They must be big boxing gloves...and you've done well to find somewhere with snow in October, or are you living the high life abroad as a tax exile....

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Many thanks to all who contributed to this discussion. We've had to 'dumb it down' a bit in the end, due to limitations of time, and work on the basis of 'if in doubt, leave it out'. But I've discovered how complicated and confusing copyright law is. If I ever do another recording I'll know to allow much more time for research.

 

Ron

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