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 Post subject: Stella and copyright
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 1:37 pm 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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So, all I want is to use Hail, Queen of Heaven, the Ocean Star (which is in the public domain both here and there, so to speak) to the tune of Stella (which is also in the public domain here, being an adaptation of a traditional tune by Hemy, who died in 1888) for congregational singing. But then these harmonies come in and mess things up, especially as some things may be out of copyright in the US and not here. Potentially some of hese publications may also have changed the main tune as well for all I know. :(

Anyhow, here is one example: http://www.hymnary.org/hymn/SGHC1920/page/148

I don't know if it would be permissible to print this for the congregation and use it for public singing. It was published in 1920, but I have no idea who created this harmony or if the person died within the last 70 years. In fact, it doesn't even say if the tune is actually Stella, but it does seem to be.

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 Post subject: Re: Stella and copyright
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 1:40 pm 
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Here is Stella for a different hymn: http://www.hymnary.org/media/fetch/96288 However, in this, while the music is declared to be in the public domain, the harmony was created in 1950, and perhaps the declaration only holds true for US copyright law.

Could I potentially simply jot down the tune line as it seems to be at least reasonable to assume that that is definitely in the public domain everywhere. Our organist is fairly used to working with a single tune line and creating his own harmonies.

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 Post subject: Re: Stella and copyright
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 1:42 pm 
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I honestly don't want to deprive any artists or their descendants of their just pay, but I wish these things were a little easier.

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 Post subject: Re: Stella and copyright
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:16 pm 
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OK, this one has publication date of 1872 on it. Safe enough to use from an ethical point of view?

http://www.hymnary.org/hymn/PSHB1872/100

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 Post subject: Re: Stella and copyright
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:52 pm 
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Adding a harmony to a melody that is in the public domain does not make the melody copyright, if that is what you're asking. The modified song would be copyrighted, but the melody would stay in the public domain.

Also, if something was published in the United States prior to 1923, it is in the public domain in the USA no matter how long the author lived, whether he died 70 years ago or even if he is still living!

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 Post subject: Re: Stella and copyright
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:04 pm 
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But she's in Norway. That said, I wouldn't worry about using something from 1920.

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 Post subject: Re: Stella and copyright
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:25 pm 
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But she's in Norway.


Which means that the copyright laws are much less strict there than they are here. The United States has the strictest copyright laws in the world.

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 Post subject: Re: Stella and copyright
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:29 pm 
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Doom wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
But she's in Norway.


Which means that the copyright laws are much less strict there than they are here. The United States has the strictest copyright laws in the world.


It's 70 years after death in Norway. Except, perhaps, if the duration of copyright is lower in country of origin or something. Though I wonder if one must observe the 50 years minimum of the Berne convention regardless - besides I'm not quite sure on this point in the first place.

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Last edited by Norwegianblue on Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Stella and copyright
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:37 pm 
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Of course, for truly anonymous works it's a little different, but I don't know if the composer of the harmony is truly anonymous or if that particular publication just failed to name him (or else they did so in a list not included, as far as I see, on the site) but he might be identifiable through other means.

What are the odds that the harmoniser from the 1872 publication tarried another 73 years before going to meet his maker....

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Last edited by Norwegianblue on Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Stella and copyright
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:42 pm 
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I found one with a simple melody line and guitar chords that is made available for non-commercial use, but I don't want to be giving anyone the wrong idea by using a version with chords, even if we ourselves have no intention of making use of the chords....

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 Post subject: Re: Stella and copyright
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:50 pm 
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You are worrying more about this than it deserves.

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 Post subject: Re: Stella and copyright
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:07 pm 
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Norwegianblue wrote:
It's 70 years after death in Norway.


In the United States, the 70-year rule only applies to works published after 1978. For works published before 1978, it is 95 years. So, a work published in 1977 will remain under copyright until 2072 even if the author died 5 seconds after it was published.

There are a ton of works that are in the public domain everywhere in the world EXCEPT the United States.

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 Post subject: Re: Stella and copyright
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:32 pm 
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Doom wrote:
In the United States, the 70-year rule only applies to works published after 1978. For works published before 1978, it is 95 years. So, a work published in 1977 will remain under copyright until 2072 even if the author died 5 seconds after it was published.

Not correct.

95 years is the term for corporate copyrights; 70 years after death for individual copyrights.

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 Post subject: Re: Stella and copyright
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 6:42 am 
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And the reason for this is Steamboat Willie.

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 Post subject: Re: Stella and copyright
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:32 am 
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Peregrinator wrote:
Doom wrote:
In the United States, the 70-year rule only applies to works published after 1978. For works published before 1978, it is 95 years. So, a work published in 1977 will remain under copyright until 2072 even if the author died 5 seconds after it was published.

Not correct.

95 years is the term for corporate copyrights; 70 years after death for individual copyrights.


70 years only applies to stuff published after 1978. Before 1978, it is 95 years across the board, period, end of sentence.

Otherwise, why aren' the works of authors like GK Chesterton (died 1936) or Arthur Conan Doyle (died 1930) in the public domain already? Both of these authors still have post 1923 works that are protected by copyright in the United States today.

By a strict 70 year rule, the complete works of Chesterton would have fallen into the public domain in 2006. They didn't. And the works of Arthur Conan Doyle would have fallen into the public domain in 2000, they didn't.

Not one new work has entered the public domain in the United States since 1978, regardless of publication date or the date of the death of its author. And no works are scheduled to enter the public domain until January 1, 2019, assuming Congress doesn't extend the copyright law before then, which they probably will.

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 Post subject: Re: Stella and copyright
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:46 am 
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Chesterton's works and Conan Doyle's works are both in the public domain in the US. Check Project Gutenberg, which is very careful to observe copyrights.

ETA: Not all of Conan Doyle is in the public domain, but some is: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-es ... eal-712135

GKC's works are because his estate deliberately did not renew copyright back when that was a requirement.

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 Post subject: Re: Stella and copyright
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:03 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Chesterton's works and Conan Doyle's works are both in the public domain in the US. Check Project Gutenberg, which is very careful to observe copyrights.

ETA: Not all of Conan Doyle is in the public domain, but some is: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-es ... eal-712135

GKC's works are because his estate deliberately did not renew copyright back when that was a requirement.


I think I've read something about there having been an opportunity to extend it to 95 years before it was changed to a uniform 70 in the US as well. But, from what I remember and understood of what I read, I do not believe this was automatic. I could, of course, be wrong about that.

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 Post subject: Re: Stella and copyright
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:04 am 
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Doom wrote:
70 years only applies to stuff published after 1978. Before 1978, it is 95 years across the board, period, end of sentence.

I apologize - I was wrong and you are correct.

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 Post subject: Re: Stella and copyright
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:06 am 
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It seems from a quick glance at wikipedia at least that works published or registered in the US between 1923 and 1964 and with the copyright not renewed in the 28th year to gain the maximum 95 year protection are in the public domain.


Quote:
For works published or registered before 1978, the maximum copyright duration is 95 years from the date of publication, if copyright was renewed during the 28th year following publication.[33] Copyright renewal has been automatic since the Copyright Renewal Act of 1992.


Quote:
All copyrightable works published in the United States before 1923 are in the public domain;[34] works created before 1978 but not published until recently may be protected until 2047.[35] For works that received their copyright before 1978, a renewal had to be filed in the work's 28th year with the Copyright Office for its term of protection to be extended. The need for renewal was eliminated by the Copyright Renewal Act of 1992, but works that had already entered the public domain by non-renewal did not regain copyright protection. Therefore, works published before 1964 that were not renewed are in the public domain.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright ... efore_1978

And it is indeed the latter part which constitutes the problem for me.:fyi:

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 Post subject: Re: Stella and copyright
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:13 am 
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I tell a lie, or at least only a partial truth. It is that bit and the bit about works published before 1923 automatically being in the public domain in the US when that is not the case here. :fyi:

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