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Copyrights for Kids
#3033076 03/13/20 01:52 PM
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No, this isn't about teaching kids about copyrights, though I have nothing against the idea. It's about what Craig wrote below and it's something I've been thinking about.

Originally Posted by Anderton
If someone had copyrighted the 12-bar blues, their estate would be filled with trillionaires smile


The Blurred Lines case was brought by the family of Marvin Gaye, Marvin himself has been dead since 1984.

The Stairway/Taurus case was brought by the trustee of Randy California, who has been dead since 1997.

On the one hand, I get that Marvin would have liked that his songs continued to support his kids. I don't know how old they were when he died, but if they were young enough to still be living at home, the support from the royalties would have been welcome. OTOH, they're grown-ass adults now, shouldn't they be making their own living? In any of these cases, I'm NOT talking about whether the later song infringed. That's a different discussion, though I think that building upon the works of others was the original intent in limited copyright and something we've lost with all these copyright extensions thanks to the likes of Disney.

What do you think? Do you think my great song [I don't have one] should support my kids [I don't have any] and their kids for as long as recorded music exists? Or should they get their own damned jobs? grin


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Re: Copyrights for Kids
Joe Muscara #3033114 03/13/20 06:08 PM
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I'm always one to go Devil's Advocate.

A song can be a valuable asset.
We allow inheritance of valuable assets.

Children inherit property, stocks, businesses etc. How is the valuable asset of a song somehow different than the valuable asset of an intangible like a business or tangible like a house?
The money is tangible, if we place a $$$ value on an item or an idea and inheritance laws allow transference, please explain why a song is somehow exempt.

Cheers, Kuru


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Re: Copyrights for Kids
Joe Muscara #3033122 03/13/20 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Muscara


The Blurred Lines case was brought by the family of Marvin Gaye, Marvin himself has been dead since 1984.

The Stairway/Taurus case was brought by the trustee of Randy California, who has been dead since 1997.


Anyone else here remember the sixties? Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag by Country Joe and the Fish, released in 1967, became quite a hit during the Vietnam war. The melody of first line of the chorus: "It's one, two, three, what're we fighting for?" is the same five notes as the refrain from the dixieland classic Muscrat Ramble, by Kid Ory. There was a suit for infringement which was decided in Country Joe's favor. Things get a little muddy because he re-recorded the song in 1999, and in 2001, Ory's daughter (who brought the suit the first time) re-copyrighted Muskrat Ramble, and then said that the new recording of Feel Like I'm Fixing To Die Rag infringed on the new copyright of Muskrat Ramble. The judge ruled that a new recording didn't constitute a new infringement, and that given that this suit was brought more than 30 years after the original Country Joe recording, that was too long to wait to file it.

And as a side note, Country Joe brought the song to Arhoolie Records, which was just starting up at the time, asking if they could make a 45 of the song (I forget what's on the other side). Chris Strachwicz (Mr. Arhoolie), being a smart businessman with no money, offered to put out the record in exchange for the publishing rights to the song. That was the deal, and the royalties financed Arhoolie. Eventually the song ownership was returned to Joe, but back in those days, everyone was happy with the deal.

Re: Copyrights for Kids
Joe Muscara #3033124 03/13/20 07:04 PM
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Those are good points Kuru, and some I have considered, others I had not. So let me play Devil's Advocate back at you.

If my kid inherits my business, he has to keep it running to make money. You might argue that a song would continue to need promotion and/or placement for it to continue to generate income. But the real work was already done, wasn't it? idk

As a musician, I do generally agree with your points. I want music to be valuable and want people to keep paying for it. I don't want it to be worthless because "it's just music." The money from that song has to go somewhere.


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Re: Copyrights for Kids
Joe Muscara #3033136 03/13/20 08:11 PM
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Perhaps the time limit for copyright should be somewhat less to encourage faster turnover...more like patents.

Re: Copyrights for Kids
Joe Muscara #3033138 03/13/20 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Muscara
Those are good points Kuru, and some I have considered, others I had not. So let me play Devil's Advocate back at you.

If my kid inherits my business, he has to keep it running to make money. You might argue that a song would continue to need promotion and/or placement for it to continue to generate income. But the real work was already done, wasn't it? idk

As a musician, I do generally agree with your points. I want music to be valuable and want people to keep paying for it. I don't want it to be worthless because "it's just music." The money from that song has to go somewhere.


Devil's A meet Devil's A!!! :- D

Those are some scenarios but certainly not the only possibilities.
If the kid inherits the business, sells it and invests the money in other areas, it was still a benefit, no?
If the kid inherits the copyright to the song and sells it, it was still a benefit as well. I see no diffference.

If the song is not worth anything now or generating any income then the whole thing is moot.

What of a song that was used for a movie soundtrack, like McCartney's Live and Let Die, if his children inherit this valuable asset and for some unknown reason in the future watching old James Bond movies becomes the latest fad. Suddenly, perhaps briefly, that song has value through an avenue that is difficult to attribute.
Sort of like I die and leave somebody a lottery ticket and it turns out to be a winner - is that wrong?

I know, more scenarios. That is one of my points, we cannot predict the outcomes so it is hard to make any sort of sensible stance based on possibilities.

I still see a song as a asset that can be handed down. Cheers, Kuru


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Re: Copyrights for Kids
Mike Rivers #3033259 03/14/20 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Perhaps the time limit for copyright should be somewhat less to encourage faster turnover...more like patents.

It used to be, right? I don't know the whole history of that, but I'm pretty sure in the 20th century it got extended further and further, largely due to Disney wanting to keep the rights to what Walt created. IIRC, Sonny Bono had something to do with it as well. In a way, I don't mind that if the same company owns and continues to produce product based on the same thing, they should be able to earn from it and protect it. But, my understanding is that they are pretty harsh about it.

Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I still see a song as a asset that can be handed down.

Again, I don't completely disagree. In fact, I think generally songs should be more valuable in our society though they seem to be becoming less valuable. I guess what triggered my thinking about this was the size of the judgements being asked for and handed down in some of these cases. I think, "what are they going to do with all that money?" I wonder if they're really trying to protect the ownership of the song, or if they're trying to make some cash.

Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Anyone else here remember the sixties?
It's sorta nice to say I'm too young to know that one, Mike. smile Thanks for the info, though.


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Re: Copyrights for Kids
Joe Muscara #3033291 03/14/20 04:58 PM
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Something else to consider is the "life insurance" angle - wanting to make sure your kids/wife/whoever is covered. I'm working to shift a lot of my income over to royalties so that even after I'm gone, the people I love will benefit from the work I did while I was alive.


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