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Is it free to use classical music midi for commercial use in games?
Started by corona.game1 Mar 12 2011 10:11 PM

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#1

corona.game1

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Thanks for reading.

Is it free to use midi of classical music for commercial use in games?

I think it's not free to use the recordings from commercial CDs because the publishers would have the copyright. However, if I use midi of classical music and convert it to mp3, do I have to pay license fee for the melody?

Thanks.
uid: 12769 topic_id: 7796 reply_id: 307796


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#2

MarkHenryC

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Well Classical is just a genre, so the copyright issue is a little more complicated than that.

You'll need to check specifically for open source classical music. Sites like this one may help.
uid: 3953 topic_id: 7796 reply_id: 27715


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#3

craig.namba

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Copyright laws governing compositions differs between countries. In the US compositions published in or before 1922 are considered public domain; this doesn't mean much if the composition is of foreign origin. For an example, google for the copyright lawsuit involving the 2008 animated movie "Sita Sings The Blues".

To be completely sure you're legal, your only choice (besides composing and performing your own tune) is to buy some royalty-free music; decent quality stuff can be had for one-time fees of around $100-$200.
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#4

corona.game1

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Thanks for your reply.

This site looks very useful. I will use the music from it. Thanks.
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#5

corona.game1

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Thanks for your reply.

There seems to be a lot of classical music composed before 1922. Thanks for your info.

Could you suggest me your favorite marketplace where I can buy music from? Thanks.
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#6

jhocking

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There seems to be a lot of classical music composed before 1922

Well sure they were composed before 1922, but obviously the audio files weren't made before then. So the composition is public domain, but the specific recording (or I should say "recording," since it's MIDI) is not public domain.
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#7

corona.game1

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Thanks very much.

Can I say that all MIDI files of classical music composed before 1922 can be freely used?
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#8

jhocking

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I guess you missed the last three words of my post. Mind you, I doubt people will care if you use their MIDI of a public domain composition, but that's up to them.
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#9

is2dark4_mitnick

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Hello!
Same problem here. I taked two classical music(mozart - molto alla turca and the second one is Canon in D major by Pachelbel but reinterpreted by JerryC in Cannon Rock ) and modified them alot to sound a little bit diferent.
So..the question is..I have the right to put that modified tracks in my game...or..some one will gona` sue me?
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#10

J. A. Whye

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Not a lawyer, and often law and what's reasonable have nothing to do with each other, but...

...if you're taking a composition that's in the public domain and putting it to MIDI, I don't think you can copyright that because you're not creating anything, you're recording facts. And facts can't be copyrighted. (The "facts" I'm talking about are that a certain note is represented by a certain piece of MIDI data -- that wouldn't change no matter who was setting that note to MIDI.)

But someone who "reinterprets" a piece of classical music now probably has a copyright on that interpretation (such as Canon Rock) and setting it to MIDI or anything else could be problematic.

MIDI versions of public domain compositions = probably okay.

MIDI versions of copyrighted compositions = probably not okay.

Like I said at the beginning, not a lawyer, but I'd (personally) bet I'm right on this.

Jay
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