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Justadad
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I hope you will not mind too much a question borne of ignorance from an organ scholar's dad.

 

A few months ago I put links on another board (ABRSM) to some video clips of my son playing Britten's Jubilate in C and Campbell's Oh Be Joyful in a service at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace. I filmed it with the gracious permission of Her Majesty The Queen, and just thought other young organists might be interested to see it.

 

It was pointed out to me, quickly, by another contributor that I was in breech of copyright as neither composer had been dead for 70 years, and shortly thereafter the Moderators removed the thread.

 

I have just spent a delightful hour or so listening to downloads from the website of a contributor here whose link is in his signature, and whose site lists several live recording of various cathedral choirs he has accompanied playing, inter alia, Howells.

 

So I'm confused.

 

If I were to post, with his consent, a video clip of my son playing A Wills, from music which he has bought, would I be in breech of copyright law? If The clip was the Howells Collegium Regale Mag & Nunc canticles (with that wonderful, caged-tiger Gloria) would I need permission of the DoM and all the Gentlemen and Boys (notwithstanding the fact that ot would be polite to ask)?

 

Best wishes

 

barry

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A few months ago I put links on another board (ABRSM) to some video clips of my son playing Britten's Jubilate in C and Campbell's Oh Be Joyful in a service at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace. I filmed it with the gracious permission of Her Majesty The Queen, and just thought other young organists might be interested to see it.

 

If I were to post, with his consent, a video clip of my son playing A Wills, from music which he has bought, would I be in breech of copyright law? If The clip was the Howells Collegium Regale Mag & Nunc canticles (with that wonderful, caged-tiger Gloria) would I need permission of the DoM and all the Gentlemen and Boys (notwithstanding the fact that ot would be polite to ask)?

 

It's a grey area. Don't take this the wrong way but I think to start with you'd find not many other young organists would be particularly interested! Sorry if that sounds harsh, but everyone pursues their own game to a very great extent and it's really only the spectacularly bad performances that get people talking... We here all know you son is going to New College and we all know that you have to be something pretty special to achieve that. I only say this to you because the consequences of being caught out are potentially expensive and damaging to reputations, and I don't see that you've got anything to gain from doing so.

 

Most printed music contains a rubric to the effect that public performance or broadcasting is subject to additional fees. In other words, you have to pay lots and lots to perform it in public (outside of public worship), and even more to broadcast or record/distribute it.

 

If the video clip contains choirboys you enter a whole new realm of child protection, written parental permission for images to be distributed on the internet etc etc etc. Various of our abbey photos have had to be posted online with black patches over faces where this permission has not been forthcoming. The penalties around for anyone posting images of minors on the web without their parent's permission are so severe and bizarre that I'm going to have to go and make more coffee now.

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I hope you will not mind too much a question borne of ignorance from an organ scholar's dad.

 

A few months ago I put links on another board (ABRSM) to some video clips of my son playing Britten's Jubilate in C and Campbell's Oh Be Joyful in a service at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace. I filmed it with the gracious permission of Her Majesty The Queen, and just thought other young organists might be interested to see it.

 

It was pointed out to me, quickly, by another contributor that I was in breech of copyright as neither composer had been dead for 70 years, and shortly thereafter the Moderators removed the thread.

 

I have just spent a delightful hour or so listening to downloads from the website of a contributor here whose link is in his signature, and whose site lists several live recording of various cathedral choirs he has accompanied playing, inter alia, Howells.

 

So I'm confused.

 

If I were to post, with his consent, a video clip of my son playing A Wills, from music which he has bought, would I be in breech of copyright law? If The clip was the Howells Collegium Regale Mag & Nunc canticles (with that wonderful, caged-tiger Gloria) would I need permission of the DoM and all the Gentlemen and Boys (notwithstanding the fact that ot would be polite to ask)?

 

Best wishes

 

barry

 

David Coram is quite correct. Aside from the matter of breach of copyright, it is not just your son's permission which you would require. It is against the law to publish photographs, still images or video footage of minors without written permission from the parents or legal guardians - in the case of each and every child.

 

Furthermore, in the instance of the chapels royal, I am fairly certain that one would also need the permission of H. M. The Queen (in order to publish the recording in any form)*, since the chapel, the choir and the music performed therein falls under her purveiw.

 

Unfortunately, what another contributor may or may not have done is not a reliable touch-stone.

 

* You stated only that you had received permission to make the film.

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Thank you both.

 

L was the only person visible in the clips, and I had proper permission to make and use the clip non-commercially.

 

Yes, I've had the advice about not putting vid-clips of L on-line on the grounds that all people will do is tear him to shreds, and I'm sure it's solid, if sad. I have no intention of posting anything else. The clips I refer to were made when he was 14/15. He was just an enthusiastic amateur who wasn't expected to become an object of professional scrutiny. The ABRSM board has several young organists, one of whom had asked a specific question about moving between manuals, and there's that bit in the Campbell before "blow up the trumpet" ... anyway, enough justification of something that wasn't what I wanted to find out about.

 

Let's forget L. Suppose someone filmed or recorded any organist here playing, with their choir, music written by a composer who was not out of copyright. Suppose everyone in the choir and their church authorities were happy for the organist to put the clip on their website and make it freely available. Does the fact that the composer hasn't been dead for 70 years make it a copyright infringement?

 

Best wishes

 

barry

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Thank you both.

 

L was the only person visible in the clips, and I had proper permission to make and use the clip non-commercially.

 

Yes, I've had the advice about not putting vid-clips of L on-line on the grounds that all people will do is tear him to shreds, and I'm sure it's solid, if sad. I have no intention of posting anything else. The clips I refer to were made when he was 14/15. He was just an enthusiastic amateur who wasn't expected to become an object of professional scrutiny. The ABRSM board has several young organists, one of whom had asked a specific question about moving between manuals, and there's that bit in the Campbell before "blow up the trumpet" ... anyway, enough justification of something that wasn't what I wanted to find out about.

 

Let's forget L. Suppose someone filmed or recorded any organist here playing, with their choir, music written by a composer who was not out of copyright. Suppose everyone in the choir and their church authorities were happy for the organist to put the clip on their website and make it freely available. Does the fact that the composer hasn't been dead for 70 years make it a copyright infringement?

 

Best wishes

 

barry

 

In such cases, application for permission should be made to the holders of any copyright. At the least, it will probably be necessary to pay fees to the PRS. Having said that, there are probably thousands of wedding videos available (which have been viewed publicly) - I do not know of any prosecutions in such cases. Does anyone else have further information, please?

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Thanks Mr B

 

I called the MCPS-PRS Alliance On Line Licensing helpline (020 7306 4991) and tried them out with the wedding video scenario. They said ... (All the following assumes that all performers have agreed to be filmed and published and that the only issue is some of the music not being out of copyright.)

 

If it's posted on You Tube (or similar) then You Tube are responsible for the licensing, not me. They are in discussions with You Tube on this very issue as we speak.

 

If I posted it on my site I would need a license and I'd probably have to get it pre-approved.

 

Therefore the clips I posted previously may contain music which is not out of copyright but it's You Tube's problem, and as far as the MCPS-PRS is concerned neither I nor any message board which carried a link to the clips is doing anything wrong.

 

Best wishes

 

barry

 

 

 

 

The relevant PRS link is here....
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I don't know. It may do. I've not actually used them. That video of the cellist having a fit of the vapours was pulled because of copyright, or so they said. I don't know whether they cancelled the poster's account.

 

I've seen several clips on You Tube of various organists demonstrating Cavaille Coll organs, playing music that is not out of copyright and they were all still there last time I looked.

 

I guess the reality is that the volume of copyright infringement via the internet is so vast and the legal frontiers so flimsy that it's simply impossible to regulate on a contributor basis. It makes sense for the powers that be to seek licenses from You Tube and their ilk, whom they consider to be the 'makers'.

 

So, surprising as it seems given what appeared to be the prevailing wisdom, it's OK to put vid clips of copyright material on You Tube as far as the MCPS-PRS Alliance is concerned, but it's not OK for You Tube to carry it yet, and they're trying to sort out a blanket license that makes it OK. One may indeed be infringing You Tube's terms of service but what are their sanctions other than deleting the audio or video clip? Even if they cancelled the account people would just create a new one.

 

What does seem to be clear, however, is that MP3s of ones Cathedral Choir performing Howells' Collegium Regale morning canticles hosted on the organist's own website is a big fat no-no, no matter how many of the people involved have agreed to it unless one obtained a pre-agreed license from MCPS-PRS.

 

Another interesting point on copyright. The whole Bach canon is available online for free as is Buxtehude, and as is the Clerambault piece in the ARCO syllabus. I wrote to the RCO asking if it was OK to use the online copy as the music is out of copyright, or was there a problem with edition copyright, or would it be lawful but frowned upon. This is their reply (which I found very useful but also quite surprising).

 

I don't foresee a problem in terms of copyright. I don't know about the quality of the editing though, and how this edition compares with printed editions recommended for the examination. I would go ahead, but try to make a comparison with other sources before confirming this as your source for the exam.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Andrew McCrea

Director of Academic Development

 

Checking the editing is obviously good advice but I had previously thought, wrongly, that downloaded scores were simply not acceptable.

 

One lives. One learns.

 

Best wishes

 

barry

 

Interesting stuff Barry.

 

I assume though that YouTube has "terms of service" which one would agree to before signing up and uploading any video. Does this not explicitly prohibit a user from uploading clips that contains copyrighted material?

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Checking the editing is obviously good advice but I had previously thought, wrongly, that downloaded scores were simply not acceptable.

 

Doesn’t that depend or the site that the music was downloaded from?

 

Choral Public Domain Library

 

This site for example, allows you to download and print at will. Having looked at a few pieces, some of the editing is suspect and a few pieces have been transposed into different keys.

 

:blink:

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Doesn’t that depend or the site that the music was downloaded from?

 

Choral Public Domain Library

 

This site for example, allows you to download and print at will. Having looked at a few pieces, some of the editing is suspect and a few pieces have been transposed into different keys.

From what I have seen the majority of the editing on CPDL is quite dreadful. One of the better examples appears to have been copied directly from a copyright edition (there are numerous tell-tale signs). As I understand it making small changes to someone's copyright does not get you off the hook if it can still be proved that that is where you copied it from.

 

As for the online copies of the complete Bach organ works, this is the original Bachgesellschaft edition which I'm pretty certain is long out of copyright (wasn't it 19th-century?) But I am sure I have seen the organ stuff on the site in question (i.e Bach, Buxtehude, Handel organ concertos, Pachelbel, Froberger) on a commercially sold CD, so if that is where the online files came from I presume there is still a breach of that copyright.

 

However, I am no legal eagle, so I disclaim all responsibility for any inconvenience or loss caused to anyone taking the above information seriously.

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From what I have seen the majority of the editing on CPDL is quite dreadful. One of the better examples appears to have been copied directly from a copyright edition (there are numerous tell-tale signs). As I understand it making small changes to someone's copyright does not get you off the hook if it can still be proved that that is where you copied it from.

 

As for the online copies of the complete Bach organ works, this is the original Bachgesellschaft edition which I'm pretty certain is long out of copyright (wasn't it 19th-century?) But I am sure I have seen the organ stuff on the site in question (i.e Bach, Buxtehude, Handel organ concertos, Pachelbel, Froberger) on a commercially sold CD, so if that is where the online files came from I presume there is still a breach of that copyright.

 

However, I am no legal eagle, so I disclaim all responsibility for any inconvenience or loss caused to anyone taking the above information seriously.

 

Yes, some of the editing is not perfect. However, it's still a bloody good resource for a lot of Renaissance music that won't cost you anything. I've provided the bulk of the music for 5 years worth of concerts from CPDL... All at no cost, except printing. Yes, there are mistakes/typos, but that's easily rectified.

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