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Old 07-03-2008, 03:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Legal Questions: Writing Lyrics Over Instrumentals

So as a present to a special someone, I'm writing some lyrics over an instrumental of a popular song, but I was wondering if this is legal? I'm not going to be selling this track even if I do exhibit it publicly on Myspace, Youtube, etc. but will I run into legal issues even if I explicitly say that i do not claim to have created the instrumental myself?
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Old 07-03-2008, 03:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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depends on how uptight the original copyright holders are. i'm pretty certain myspace and youtube count as public broadcasts / performances.

a disclaimer wouldn't clear you of potential legal repercussions, although the worse you'll probably get is a cease and desist letter which is basically just means you have to take it down.
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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depends on how uptight the original copyright holders are. i'm pretty certain myspace and youtube count as public broadcasts / performances.

a disclaimer wouldn't clear you of potential legal repercussions, although the worse you'll probably get is a cease and desist letter which is basically just means you have to take it down.
but there's nothing wrong with recording over something for private use then right?
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Old 07-04-2008, 05:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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what they don't know won't hurt them and shouldn't hurt you hehe
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Old 07-04-2008, 05:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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This is kinda what rap mixtapes are, they'll just take anything they so wish, cut the vocals and rap over it. Of course it's technically illegal, but rarely prosecuted?

Above all though, if you have any semblance of being a sensible person you should NOT be asking sensitive legal questions on an internet music board. Advice: go see a bleedin' lawyer. Pronto.
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Old 07-04-2008, 02:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Actually, this is 100% legal as long as you don't make profit from it.

Edit for clarification: Sampling is legal as long as the original source is creditted and royalties are paid for. If there is zero profit made there is no royalty to pay for.

Last edited by The Unfan; 07-04-2008 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 07-04-2008, 04:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Actually, this is 100% legal as long as you don't make profit from it.

Edit for clarification: Sampling is legal as long as the original source is creditted and royalties are paid for. If there is zero profit made there is no royalty to pay for.
What's your source for that? Surely any profit involved must involve express permission to use it in the first place.
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Old 07-04-2008, 04:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slickhare View Post
So as a present to a special someone, I'm writing some lyrics over an instrumental of a popular song, but I was wondering if this is legal? I'm not going to be selling this track even if I do exhibit it publicly on Myspace, Youtube, etc. but will I run into legal issues even if I explicitly say that i do not claim to have created the instrumental myself?
I doubt they'll even notice nor even care...with respect.
Do it.
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Old 07-05-2008, 12:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Above all though, if you have any semblance of being a sensible person you should NOT be asking sensitive legal questions on an internet music board. Advice: go see a bleedin' lawyer. Pronto.
Well no one's contacted me (mainly because I didn't even do it yet, and it's not up anywhere). So it's not a pressing matter.

Not to mention, I see lot's of small time artists, who I'm pretty sure wouldn't be able to pay for rights to an instrumental, who have mixtapes chock full of freestyles over mainstream beats. But that doesn't make it legal, as it's been clarified here. So I wanted to make sure.*edit* they don't sell the mixtapes though, so i just wanted to make sure.
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