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Ukuleleblues
12-15-2011, 12:54 AM
I got flagged on Utube for Santa Clause is coming to town and ran across this: 10 Xmas songs you thought were public domain but aren't (http://www.rightsworkshop.com/10-christmas-songs-you-thought-were-public-domain-but-arent/)

Trinimon
12-15-2011, 01:39 AM
Yikes! Who knew?! Well now I know. Thanks for the heads up.

Ukulele JJ
12-15-2011, 02:14 AM
Yup. Pretty much all of the "modern" songs are still under copyright. There was a vast explosion of Christmas songwriting in the 30's-50's, and nearly all of the secular (and some not-so-secular) popular Christmas songs come from there. (Here's a recent xkcd comic about that phenomenon (http://xkcd.com/988/), in fact.)

To really be safe, I'd go with what I consider to be carols rather than songs (a tenuous distinction, I know.) But I mean the really old (100 years+) stuff like "Good King Wenceslas", "Silent Night", "What Child Is This?", etc. The stuff that sounds like an old medieval lute player might have done it at one point. :-)

JJ

kissing
12-15-2011, 02:15 AM
"Happy Birthday to you" is also copyrighted.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Birthday_to_You#Copyright_status


In 1935, "Happy Birthday to You" was copyrighted as a work for hire by Preston Ware Orem for the Summy Company...

...

In March 2004, Warner Music Group was sold to a group of investors led by Edgar Bronfman Jr. The company continues to insist that one cannot sing the "Happy Birthday to You" lyrics for profit without paying royalties: in 2008, Warner collected about $5000 per day ($2 million per year) in royalties for the song. This includes use in film, television, radio, anywhere open to the public, or even among a group where a substantial number of those in attendance are not family or friends of whoever is performing the song. For this reason, most restaurants or other public party venues will not allow their employees to perform the song in public, instead opting for other original songs or cheers in honor of the birthday celebrant.

...

In the EU and other countries in which copyright lasts for the life of the author(s) plus 70 years, the copyright will expire after December 31, 2016, as Patty Hill died in 1946 while in the United States, the song is currently set to pass in to the public domain in 2030.


You have to sing it as "Good morning to all" for it to be public domain, lol

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3d/GoodMorningToAll.svg

uke4ia
12-15-2011, 07:19 AM
I got flagged on Utube for Santa Clause is coming to town and ran across this: 10 Xmas songs you thought were public domain but aren't (http://www.rightsworkshop.com/10-christmas-songs-you-thought-were-public-domain-but-arent/)

I learned that one a couple years ago when I wrote some alternate lyrics for Santa Claus is Coming to Town. (Santa Claus Is Stealing Your Car.) Another fine Coots-Gillespie song. The length of copyright in the U.S. keeps getting extended, largely because Disney does a ton of lobbying to keep the copyright on the first Mickey Mouse cartoons from expiring.

PoiDog
12-15-2011, 07:41 AM
You know, nothing really speaks to the spirit and goodwill of the holidays like the recording inudstry muscling some poor schlub over a dinky little youtube video performance of an ukulele version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

Am I the only one who thinks the level of punitive aggression of the RIAA and other media agencies is completely insane?

JT_Ukes
12-15-2011, 08:03 AM
You know, nothing really speaks to the spirit and goodwill of the holidays like the recording inudstry muscling some poor schlub over a dinky little youtube video performance of an ukulele version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

Am I the only one who thinks the level of punitive aggression of the RIAA and other media agencies is completely insane?


Bah Humbug.

Shazzbot
12-15-2011, 09:32 AM
Sheesh!
Good thing I only play in my home office with the door closed.
Or am I still breaking the law?

Jason Paul
12-15-2011, 10:00 AM
Love the note on Good-Morning to All - "To be sung standing" :)

I was about to sing it, but was all sitting down and stuff. Lucky I saw that note - who knows what could have happened.

Unfortunately I'm too busy to stand right now.

Jason

PoiDog
12-15-2011, 10:04 AM
Sheesh!
Good thing I only play in my home office with the door closed.
Or am I still breaking the law?

Yes you are. And the RIAA goons will leave no door un-broken and no happy little uker un-prosecuted in their quest to uphold their copyright!

Skottoman
12-15-2011, 11:15 AM
So instead of "Santa Claus is coming to town", play "Here comes Santa Claus".

No flags on this yet.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bU-8gK1g98

Shazzbot
12-15-2011, 11:34 AM
So I should write my own carols, sue everybody in sight and become rich, Rich, RICH!!!
(insert evil laugh)

Shastastan
12-15-2011, 01:57 PM
The word "sucks" comes to mind!

kaizersoza
12-15-2011, 02:24 PM
been practising that song for 2 weeks, now i'm not goin to play it so there!!!!!!

PoiDog
12-15-2011, 02:57 PM
The ten songs listed did not just pop up from now where, someone did some work to create them. The people who did the work or their heirs deserve a part of the returns on any money that is made out of the tunes. YouTube type applications sells advertising, so every time you post something, someone you have no commercial link with makes some money, a lot of money if you jag a viral hit. Copyright is about making sure the person who did the creative work shares in the profits, sure there are some extreme cases which make you wonder, but next time you post a YouTube video and play it back, check out the advertising on the screen and ask yourself who is getting the cash for selling that advertising space? If you posted something a few years ago, go and look and see how many hits it has had and ask yourself how much cash has been made from the advertising space over several years? In 20 years your video may still be there, earning someone some cash, will it be you?

By extension, then, youtube ought to be paying the royalties on the songs, correct? After all, they're monetizing their members' videos and making cash off that. It seems that common sense dictates that the person making the money ought to be on the hook for paying royalties. Of course, common sense is often completely separate from the law.

Ukulele JJ
12-15-2011, 02:59 PM
The length of copyright in the U.S. keeps getting extended, largely because Disney does a ton of lobbying to keep the copyright on the first Mickey Mouse cartoons from expiring.

Which is especially ironic, considering how much of Disney's mid-century success was due to public domain intellectual property (Snow White, Pinocchio, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, etc...)

JJ

PoiDog
12-15-2011, 03:41 PM
Which is especially ironic, considering how much of Disney's mid-century success was due to public domain intellectual property (Snow White, Pinocchio, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, etc...)

JJ

Or, just blatant theft from Ub Iwerks.