Can copyright protection extend to a bass line?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Music Attorney, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. Music Attorney

    Music Attorney

    Feb 22, 2004
    We can finally have that question answered, if someone will just attend the event in Nashville below.

    "Harrington will discuss current problems that stem from not understanding copyright and copyright protection, as well as important business issues in publishing. Using numerous audio and visual examples he will answer questions including:

    Can copyright protection extend to a bass line? A chord progression?"

    Of course, my comment up top was in jest since 9 lawyers can sit on the Supreme Court and look at all the same information and come to very different conclusions about the law. However, it would be interesting to get this guy's take on the question if someone goes and can report back. And it probably is important that someone from the bass community attend to force the question to be addressed. I've been sent notifications for many, many panels over the years with "agenda items" and I can't think of one that actually discussed all of the items listed. Obviously, there are individual issues listed on the event notification at AIMP's website that, by themselves, could be discussed for the entire time. Therefore, we need someone to be in attendance to focus the discussion ;-)

    Just FYI.
  2. eyeballkid


    Jul 19, 2009
    ask vanilla ice.
  3. :D
  4. I’m going to say yes and use the old Folgers Coffee House audio theme written and played by a drummer as an example.
  5. Music Attorney

    Music Attorney

    Feb 22, 2004
    If you're referring to the Samples he used, then it's apples-oranges.

    The discussion that I'm referring to is the one in some threads here (and elsewhere) regarding bass players who feel their bass line contribution to the musical composition (i.e., as opposed to the recording) should entitle them to a percentage of the musical composition.

    Sampling an existing master recording is just basic black-letter law that people who use samples (like Ice) have learned about the hard way.

  6. eyeballkid


    Jul 19, 2009
    are you trying to say Ice didn't play that himself?! be careful! he might sue ya for slander.
  7. powmetalbassist

    powmetalbassist Supporting Member

    I'm sure Ice is trolling Talkbass just waiting to sue us all.
  8. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I remember seeing some interview or something somewhere senor vanilla was trying to sort of "scat-speak" that bassline and point out some difference. :D

    BTW, if you legally could not have any 2 basslines that were the same, there would be no such thing as Country, Blues, 50's/early '60's Bubblegum, or Rap/Techno.

    Too bad about the Rap/Techno.....
  9. 3star2nr


    Jun 2, 2013
    If it becomes possible to copyright chord progressions music as we know it is done.

    If some one copyrights 1-4-5 no one will be able to play a blues song ever again.

    Music has changed as artists you won't make money through song and record sales the only way to make money is through touring.

    Re ord labels are the only ones who benefit from copyright laws. It makes it bad for everyone else

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