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Music Copyright Concerns


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I'm worried about the music we've chosen for E's first competition.

I just read the rules for an upcoming festival.  There, it states:

"Music must be a legitimate copy – if you copy music from YouTube or illegally download it will not work on theatre system due to copyright software."

We have three numbers.  Two of the songs are from cd's/downloads I've purchased.  The third is a YouTube download because it's an old song and not available on download (that I can find).  All three songs have been cut by a sound engineer friend to make them the right length.

I'm very concerned about this copyright software.  I've written to both the organisers of the festival, and also to my sound engineer friend, but haven't heard back yet.  I'm stressing out that the songs will be considered illegal and I don't want any drama for my daughter's first competition.  Would the sound engineers' files be considered legal downloads? (i.e., are they considered a "new work" or can the software tell that changes have been made?) 

Am panicking now. :(

Can anyone advise me?
Thank you :)

*I posted part of this in another question but really need some advice and didn't think anyone saw it

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I don't know how any software could tell if a commercially-available song has come from a CD or has been converted into an mp3 from YouTube. I guess if it's an original composition that has been uploaded to YouTube by the artist, and if that is the only source of the music, then it would be safe to assume that the music had been downloaded if you used it ..... but I don't know how any software would know that. Perhaps there is a way ..... I don't have the technical experience to offer any informed advice, but it does sound like an empty threat to me.


Having said that, it's prob worthwhile looking at articles like this one that I found - http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2016/10/10/youtube-to-mp3-sites-illegal/

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Thanks, Glissade x

I've found another version of the song on a paid download site, but it's not the same timing (same singers, different arrangement).  The timing is significantly different enough that the number might have to be rechoreographed :(    (it's for a tap number, and our version is quite fast)

My sound engineer friend also said he thought it was an empty threat... how can some sound tech working that day police hundreds of songs for a competition?  

I did email the organisers but haven't heard anything back.  I might push a bit harder later this week.


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Your sound engineer is correct. There is no current software that can tell the difference between a standard MP3 and illegally downloaded. There are DRM file formats that prevent file sharing, but nothing that works the other way. I suspect that they are trying to absolve themselves of any copyright issues that may arise from the performing of illegally downloaded music.

They are actually getting themselves into a real nest of vipers here. Many dance performers might edit together music as a medley, which is technically copying and editing without the permission of the performer. I'm not a lawyer either, but if you look here:


And enforce their regulation to the letter of the law, we wouldn't do anything and the music industry would quickly die out. 


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Thank you so much, Richie. You have been very reassuring.

I'm still going to try to find a download that I can pay for, but I'm just so nervous about stepping in the wrong here.  I'm not out to stiff the performers/writers, but it's just trying not to step in a legal wrangle, either.


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