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Trad songs and copyright issues

20 Feb 04 - 05:04 PM (#1120036)
Subject: Trad songs and copyright issues
From: andi

Hi All!

Odd sort of question here....what are the copyright issues with using Trad lyrics?
Here's the back ground: I have a cd here by the GovernmentRams from NFLD and there is a song that's called "Parting Glass" and I want to use one of the lines in the refrain in a needlework piece I am designing.
Now I have tried repeatedly, over the course of two years to get ahold of this band, it management or a represtitive from the record company to gain permission to no avail, I get absolutely no replies.
A friend of mine says that Trad songs are "public Domain" and I should feel free to use the line.
ANy ideas, either on how to get permission to use the line or if it is true that Trad songs are "Public Domain"


20 Feb 04 - 05:30 PM (#1120048)
Subject: RE: Trad songs and copyright issues
From: Uncle_DaveO

Andi:

The GovernmentRams, whoever they are do not own The Parting Glass. At best they own a copyright on their arrangement and/or any changes they made in the text from the traditional text. You are not interested, as I gather, in the music, but just the words, right?

Go to the DT, HERE. If the words you want to use are in the version in the DT, you can use them with impunity.

Dave Oesterreich


20 Feb 04 - 05:35 PM (#1120052)
Subject: RE: Trad songs and copyright issues
From: Blackcatter

Parting Glass is definately in the public domain - the words and the basic tune, that is.

Feel free to use it. If you have questions about other songs, Mudcat is a great place to ask. There are many professional musicians here who regularly deal with copyright issues.


21 Feb 04 - 12:23 AM (#1120221)
Subject: RE: Trad songs and copyright issues
From: andi

THank you both! :)


12 Sep 20 - 08:41 AM (#4071613)
Subject: RE: Trad songs and copyright issues
From: GUEST,Luciano

Hello everyone, I know that the topic has already been covered here but I need a confirmation from you because I can't find anything on the web to be sure I'm not doing anything wrong.

i'm working on a movie soundtrack and i'll have to do a new arrangement of "the parting glass" for the final scene and i need to figure out if i should ask permission to use it.

I repeat, the new arrangement will be original and re-performed, obviously the words are those of the traditional song.

I add that I would like to deposit the entire soundtrack with a copyright management company.

I hope I was clear and that someone can help me understand how to deal with the music and lyrics of a traditional song within a movie.

Thank you

Luciano


12 Sep 20 - 08:53 AM (#4071617)
Subject: RE: Trad songs and copyright issues
From: Steve Gardham

As a 19th century song, easily proven, it is definitely in the realms of public domain and that is where we want it to stay. Please be very clear when you offer it to the copyright management company that the song is public domain and that you are only attempting to copyright that particular arrangement.


12 Sep 20 - 08:53 AM (#4071618)
Subject: RE: Trad songs and copyright issues
From: GUEST,Rossey

Just go through the MCPS/PRS if you are in the UK.. You don't need permission for that one, but you need to protect the re-arrangement, by registering the title and the recording, which will have its own copyright and broadcasting right. If other songs aren't traditional that's a different issue. There are many publishing rights agents that can represent you worldwide and can deal with the agencies. Whoever is doing the re-arrangement will have rights to the work. Particularly if they are already a member of the PRS. Under membership rules a minimum writer's share is due when they register the work.   Whoever is the arranger, or their publishing rep. needs to register the work..and then there are cue sheets to fill in for films etc.


14 Sep 20 - 02:00 PM (#4071858)
Subject: RE: Trad songs and copyright issues
From: GUEST

Thank you so much for your help and clarifications :)

You were very kind and professional.

Luciano


14 Sep 20 - 03:33 PM (#4071864)
Subject: RE: Trad songs and copyright issues
From: Nigel Parsons

It's too easy to oversimplify the situation:
Not all 19th century songs are "definitely in the public domain".
Although that may be the case in USA, in UK it is quite possible for a song to have been written in the 19th century by someone who lived beyond 1950. That song would not yet be public domain (author's death + 70 years)


14 Sep 20 - 04:45 PM (#4071874)
Subject: RE: Trad songs and copyright issues
From: Tattie Bogle

A bit older than 19th century, if you believe the following:

The earliest known printed version was as a broadside in the 1770s and it first appeared in book form in Scots Songs by Herd. An early version is sometimes attributed to Sir Alex Boswell. The text is doubtless older than its 1770 appearance in broadside, as it was recorded in the Skene Manuscript, a collection of Scottish airs written at various dates between 1615 and 1635. It was known at least as early as 1605, when a portion of the first stanza was written in a farewell letter, as a poem now known as "Armstrong's Goodnight", by one of the Border Reivers executed that year for the murder in 1600 of Sir John Carmichael, Warden of the Scottish West March.


15 Sep 20 - 06:26 AM (#4071920)
Subject: RE: Trad songs and copyright issues
From: Susan of DT

Back in 2004, Uncle DaveO said:

Go to the DT, HERE. If the words you want to use are in the version in the DT, you can use them with impunity.

This is NOT true. While most songs in the DT are traditional, many are more recent and under copyright.


15 Sep 20 - 09:07 AM (#4071943)
Subject: RE: Trad songs and copyright issues
From: Steve Gardham

Yes, Ebsworth in the Roxburghe Ballads Vol 8, p313, takes it back to c1600 and I have a copy of a broadside c1650.