Getting permission to use copyright material is a tricky subject. On the stuff that Slice normally covers he uses the original song recording for the backing track. This use of the original without consent of the copyright owner is not right. We are very aware of this. So let me set this as the starting point of this post. nobody has the right to take the creation and work, form another artist and make it part of his own, this has a name “stealing”. However drastically this may seem there are considerations to the hole subject and this is going to be my desertion and opinion on this matter. Please disagree with me publicly or in private because I have grate interest in knowing the widest possible range of opinions.

Ok well stealing is a big word but I personally feel there are many considerations that change the term. Not that they justify anything or stand up as en excuse. But they do open the door to different scenarios where we need to consider things in a different manner. Allow me to elaborate on these scenarios or considerations as I see them.

The first consideration is how is the material going to be treated. I call it material because I don’t want to limit it to music, I think this applies for all different forms of art and intellectual property. So for the sake of generalizing I will use the term material. The treatment referring to how a specific material is integrated in to the new project. how it is manipulated (not destroyed that is a different subject all together) manipulation means that someone uses this material and add it to some other material normally of his own. there are several ways it can be manipulated.

  1. Taking an exact replica and using it in another discipline (music used as background to a video edit or a film scene used to animate some music piece) in this case there is no creative or expressive action done on the original source and it appears un change. The intention behind this is normally to enhance the creative material in the new discipline.
  2. Morphing in any way the original in its own discipline (I use discipline as to refer to the form of art, Music, Video, Painting, Theatre etc.), here the new material will appear modified in diverse severities depending on the work done with it. A DJ a Cover of any kind, an edit.

In any of these scenarios the well doing or not is irrelevant. What I mean is that regardless if you keep the original as it was, or if you morph it. Doesn’t affect the fact that you may or may not be entitle of using the material.           

Another conditional factor is how is it going to be used, must I say published or distributed. There is a big difference here. If it is Private, meaning that the use will be within the domain of your private life, Home etc.. I see no legal issue unless your distribution is intended to have third parties have access to a material without a legal purchase. Using music for background to home made video of you recent holidays I think is not the case of a copyright violation. making copies of a movie and passing them around is. If the content of the new material where to be made public. the story changes. Providing public access to private content without a consent is what we are talking about here. Regardless if it is free or for a charge.

In such a case of making it public, we need to consider how is this done. Is it for economical profit reasons. In witch case there is no question. The usurpation is fragrant and completely illegal. Specially if the new material is enhanced by the original. However I can see several types of non profit approaches that have a wider view.

  1. The new material is in a different discipline, and the original is for covering a discipline that the new author doesn’t cover. Here it will depend to my view in how much the use or abuse is made of this material. In this situation the author uses the original to provide a desired effect on the new material.
  2. If the new material is in the same discipline, we really need to look at what the new material is intended for. knowing that it is not for profit sakes we have to think that there are 2 possible reasons. First being a way of expression of a partial part of the original material, someone singing or playing the guitar (not all the discipline is covered). The reasons here have to be intended to my view, as to expose the new artist work without detriment to the original. Secondly as a tribute to the original, a public announcement of respect for the author. People emulate there heroes or artist to witch they look up to. Most times I feel it is a mix of both that has no compromise on either, just honest love to the art and artist.

It is clear that the new material is intended to tell us that this is my view and my way of worshiping this piece.

Amateur vs.Professional, I personally think that there is a great difference here. The after is a person that lives form his discipline regardless if it is the same as the original materials, even if done on a non profit basis. The promotional consequences are evident, and must be taken as an indirect benefit. The former may be seeking visibility but is in no way a direct promotional tool and has a lesser impact. also there will be no competing in the first case, while in the second it is at most unclear.  

Finally the scholar world. It is not strange for teachers of one or another discipline use original material in their classes I think that this is a fair use as long as they are not online or recorded classes. If a teacher give a class with the help of an original piece to help explain a specific technique I can’t see the problem here.

I think that we must seek to obtain the permission under any circumstance, and that there is a gap where people want to prove their love to an art or artist and express them self without harming any one. And there is the right of an artist to protect his work and creation in the way he deems necessary. I honestly don’t think that these interests conflict in any way.  And looking at the YouTube I see may covers made with passion and respect. They seek expose the original artist and provide a vehicle to expression of the covering artist. I am pretty sure that many of the covered artists are happy and proud of most of these covers. It can’t hurt an ego if there are 300 covers of your song.

One thing to take in account is that getting the permission is a long and difficult task and that is why most YouTube materials don’t have them, including Slice. If you want your channel to have traffic, you need to be regular at getting new content up. Having every body clear the IP issue with the appropriate owners can become a major problem for the IP holder since I guess that they could get drowned in requests real fast.  

Slice is requesting the appropriate IP permissions for the STW project, and we will be reviewing the rest of covers he has put up. he is a non profit amateur that does this because he like music and hopes hit covers demonstrate his respect to the original author and artist. We hope not to have to remove any of the covers he has on his channel, and he will publish more, requesting afterwards the © permissions. 

Follow Slice on YouTube at http://youtube.com/user/inside71slice

Please leave a comment.

Thanks for reading.

Ian

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Comments
  1. Interesting post. I agree with your views for the most part. However it is a sad fact that it is close to impossibility for people not to take their cue from the musicians they look up to the point of taking their work and revising them for their own use. I’d like to believe that they don’t intend to “steal”. But then it is not to say that their action is justified. Maybe they can fool the audience into thinking that they are geniuses behind the work, but conscience is a terrible enemy, you know.

    • Jamboo says:

      Thanks, I agree with you, progress is not possible without learning and learning is done by repetition, every artist has his influences. I admit that the best judge in this is ones conscience. If you are clean at hart with what you are doing & are clear about you circumstances. why not. the point is that fore some, it is not easy to express their art and art is made for sharing it is a generous gift from an artist to the world. I hope not to piss anybody off and I am sure this touches many sensitivities. I fail to see the harm, and I can’t see clearly the commercial risk in this.

      I am totally against fraud and will fight it in any way possible. My conscience is clean and I sleep at night.
      Ian

  2. Jamboo says:

    It seems that luck comes our way we have received approval for 3 of the songs. that was very fast. (Y)

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