multiple titles for the same piece of music? not kosher?

A controversy has erupted about whether or not multiple titles for ther same piece of music is fraud or not.  Opinion is divided.

Here’s a comment:


There is a relatively new “sound matching” technology that actually allows one to search via sound, rather than title or other written criteria. It’s currently used more for sounds than songs, but the inroads being made to root out songs with more accuracy is quite impressive.

As this technology becomes more refined and more implemented (which I’ve no doubt it will, once it raises its accuracy percentages), it could certainly root out the compositions with multiple titles, and a lot of the issues you raise will likely be brought to the forefront.

As to whether the libraries are even registering their titles with the copyright office? … Good point, and one that composers should really think about and do themselves to protect their compositions — even if you put together several compilations with 20 works each to save $$. If done within five years of the actual creation date, it’s best, but even well after-the-fact is better than nothing.

A search of copyrights attached to Associated Production Music brings up various titles and compilations from 1998 through 2007, but definitely doesn’t scratch the surface of the titles they claim to own. A spot check of other library names shows what appears to be a fraction of what each claims as theirs as well.

I’m inclined to believe that due to the costs involved, many are eschewing formal copyright registration for a lot of their work and registering the works with the various PROs as a substitute instead of a companion. I don’t libraries believe they will ever be challenged because they view composers as desperate to get their music out there regardless of how they’re screwed. Yeah, and the major labels thought they’d own everything forever and no one would be able to make or sell a record without them…

And you’re right: derivative copyrights don’t even remotely apply, since no revisions to the underlying work itself are being made. There have to be “substantial” changes to the original work to qualify as a derivative work.

> Subject: RE: — The Big Picture

> Date: Wednesday, August 6, 2008, 3:42 PM


> …* In the case of limited duration licenses, it would seem that if a workable cross-reference were ever created for music (listing the original composition and the various libraries that retitle and license it), or even in the case of new licenses, a music user could then pit one retitling library against another to drive down the price.




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