Copyright Infringement?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Waste, Oct 27, 2001.

  1. Waste


    Sep 16, 2001
    Atlanta, GA
    Okay guys, I need a little help. My band has been ripped off. A month ago, we fired our vocalist and have been auditioning others since. Well, for the audition, we've released one of our songs without vox so that peeps can download it and work on it before they come in. A character of several aliases took the song put his vox over it, sped up the same tune that we recorded and posted it as his own on his IUMA page and elsewhere as well. Point of the story, do you think we have a legal action to pursue or should we just let this guy just go on?
    You can find the song under the sounds on our page titled Song One at: and his version called "Burn"at

    thanks for your help fellow bassists!
  2. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    When you say "we've released one of our songs without vox so that peeps can download it and work on it before they come in," what exactly do you mean?

    If what you're saying is true, then the guy's actions amount to the creation of a "derivative work", which infringes your copyright. On the other hand, if you've *told* people that they can download it and add vox to it, you may have given them an implied license to do so, in which case you won't have much of a case. (Under that scenario, the vox-adder would be considered a co-author, and would have the same rights in the vox+backing as you do.)

    Do you know this guy? How do you know he stole your song in particular or merely came up with something similar? One of the things you have to show to win a copyright infringement action is that the person had access to your material. If the songs are more or less identical, that's sufficient to infer access; the less similar the songs, the greater the burden on you to demonstrate that the guy actually stole *your* stuff rather than independently create something that sounds like your stuff.

    If this guy's some poor schmuck who doesn't make any money, why bother, though? Bankrupt yourself with legal fees to bankrupt him? Damages from copyright infringement usually are based on royalties, and royalty structures for internet distributed stuff is still a total mess. My conclusion: probably not worth the effort. You could try to scare him by writing him a letter, though.
  3. Waste


    Sep 16, 2001
    Atlanta, GA
    well, I'm sorry guys, I posted this a little too late for anyone to know what the hell I'm talking about! The guy finally pulled the song off and instead of our copyrighted music with his vox over it, there's some devilish voice in place of the MP3

    to Christopher:
    What we did as opposed to having some auditioner coming in unprepared for our material, we posted a song without voice on our site so that people could download it and work on it at home before they came in to audition. Then when they arrive, we play it live and they have several opportunities to sing the material they have prepared for us to judge the compatability with our music. We never said anyone could download it and add voice to it. We said that they could download it to work with.
    Thanks for your help man! I was kind of clueless about this but I knew that we had been done wrong, and with your help I"m a little more clear on the situation, again, thanx
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I think this topic might elicit more responses in "Miscellaneous." Yes, it is about a recording...somehwat...but, more to the point, it is about a possible illegal use of the recording.
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Just kind of wondering...did your band anticipate having dozens of singers audition for your band, thus needed to save valuable time? What I wonder is, why did you want prospective singers to prepare your specific song ahead of time which meant running the risk of having a ripoff occur?

    If it turns out that only a few singers were going to audition, why not just let them sing some songs, for you at the audition, submit material they have recorded with other bands or teach them your song at the audition?

    For one thing, the song on your web site might not be their most comfortable key.

    Anyway, I know each band has its own way of doing things which works for them. Having original music stolen is a risk, however. Putting a song on your web site, anybody in the whole entire world can grab, modify or use however they so desire is a real risk. (Just saying.)
  6. Waste


    Sep 16, 2001
    Atlanta, GA
    When holding auditions, we expected anything...a few tryouts or dozens, whatever. We felt that if a new guy actually came in to the band, that was one of the songs that he/she wasn't going to have to work with, so it was our way of giving a bit of insight and what they were to expect. In theory, if the person DL-ed the MP3 and didn't like our music from there, then we've already saved a bit of our and their time, with an audition.
    Oldstead, you were absolutely right that we ran the risk, it's just that I can't help being upset. As a musician, when we spend months writing and preparing a song to our specs and how we love it only to have someone come by and just speed up the tempo with a computer and called theirs, I can't help but be annoyed ya know? But on a brighter note, we ran the risk and in the long run, won in this case. Now we just have to look for others! lol
    Please no more replies on this topic under this category, as Oldstead pointed out, this should be under MISC. and not Recording since the topic has strayed. Thanks to everyone again!