Proprietary vibes: a new dawn for copyright trolls?

Right about this point. Yeah. Right about now.

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OMG, so funny. It’s like they flipped a few notes around so the order was a little different.

How long is music copyright? Is it 70 goddamned years after the artist dies?

Someone wrote a song, so his grandkids get to be professional litigants stifling new creations? Sure, that’s super.


But wouldn’t it be something if the music business was nailed by
artists–or their living descendants–using the interpretations of
copyright that the music industry bought to protect its own interests?

This. The petard-hoisting is very interesting. If this is half as horrible as it seems to be, the incentive of the music industry will dramatically change – suddenly, no one can make any money unless copyright is given an overhaul.

“Oh what is that music execs? You’re now forced to admit that the system you helped put in place is fucking awful? Yeah. Lets get the fuck on that then. You douchenozzles.”


I claim B-flat!


That isn’t the same issue at all. That was note-for-note infringement. This finding was entirely different.

You know what? I’m not going to bother explaining it to you. Educate yourself, please.

Oh, it’s been done…
How about copyright infringement of yourself?,_Inc.

. In 1985, John Fogerty published “The Old Man Down the Road”, which he released on Warner Bros. Records. Fantasy sued Fogerty for copyright infringement (Fantasy, Inc. v. Fogerty), claiming that “The Old Man Down the Road” was simply “Run Through the Jungle” with new words. A jury found in favor of Fogerty.

Fogerty both paid and recieved royalties for performance of his own work. For awhile he refused to ‘cover’ Creedence Clearwater Revival songs on principle.

Epilogue: one of the first things the new owners of Fantasy records did was contact and apologize to Fogerty. Fogerty is currently on the label, releasing such tunes as ‘Creedence Song’.


So every bluegrass or country song using a I, IV, V progression is in danger? 12-bar blues? Punk rock? This is absurd.

There is so much hiphop and EDM being created nowadays, all of which relies exclusively on elements and “feel” established decades before. Under this ruling, a thirsty lawyer with massive balls could go to Atlanta right this second and round up every producer and rapper employing a rolling 808 snare and do the exact same thing. Yes, the lyrics might be different, but the “feel” is the same. $$$$

That “feel”, however, is what defines the music, anchoring it in a time and place. “Blurred Lines” was successful because it created a feel of a funky party in Detroit in the 1970s. “Uptown Funk” is the same in that respect, conjuring an era when Parliament/Funkadelic and the like was a musical force. That’s what made those songs work. Marvin Gaye didn’t create that feel. He lived it, and he contributed to it through music. His family can claim no ownership over the “feel” of “Got To Give It Up” any more than the Vivaldi family can over the music of 18th century Italy.

Sonic Youth and Philip Glass are the only musicians not currently being sued!


Wow… someone is unreasonably angry…


Fogerty actually won this one, so he didn’t have to pay, but I don’t think he got any money for his music from fantasy, as I understand it.

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Not to mention everyone using Pachelbel’s Canon…


Between Pachelbel and whoever has the rights to those 4 chords, there’s not much left.


I’ll just leave this here:

Well, ContentID ends up taking down innocuous stuff like birdsong recordings, sferics, and babbling brooks all the time, on behalf of the large labels. They’re sorta already doing your scenario. Just not with 100% efficiency yet.


Doesn’t matter, parody is covered under Fair Use anyway. The point is, Weird Al is polite, but he has a right to lambast copyrighted works via parody with impunity, just like you or I do. Whether or not he asked the correct copyright holder doesn’t bear on his right to use their work for the purposes of parody. The Gaye estate could try to sue him, but that has never succeeded in stopping a parody.


In the US, if the work remains in the possesion of the creator, copyright lasts for Life+70 years.
If the work is sold/transferred, then the term is 90 years from the point of creation.

Either one is unreasonably long. Copyright shouldn’t ever last longer than the life of the creator. Dead people don’t make art. And 90 years is just hoarding. And all of the retroactive extensions of copyright that have been done is literally corporations stealing works from the public domain. They’re robbing us blind of our cultural heritage.


Well, I claim Major and Minor arpeggios. Good luck making music now.


The argument is that long copyright terms allow artists to provide for their family after their death.
That said, most people only get paid for the work they do during their lives, and provide for their family by saving.
As I see it, a copyright term for eg 25 years after creation would allow an artist to make money from their work, and would also provide for their family if they drop dead before the 25 years is up.


My big worry is that if copyright suits for song ‘similarity’ become commonplace, large rightholders will be able to use the threat of litigation to shut down indie music artists who simply can’t afford to appear in court. At the moment a suit would seem too far fetched, but with a few more of these under the belt as precedent…

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