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Copyright Laws

Don PriceDon Price Placerville, CA 95667✭✭ Model John Jorgenson
in Recording Posts: 10
Who can tell me how to find out the copyright status on the following Django tunes, "Daphne" and "Heavy Artillery?" Also, does anyone know the status on "Icelandic Folksong" (A Sprengisandi) by S. Kaldalons? Robin Nolan has it in his Book Series.


  • Russell LetsonRussell Letson Prodigy
    Posts: 208
    The PROs (performing rights organizations) ASCAP and BMI both maintain on-line-accessible databases of works they claim to represent. You have to be careful about titles, though--for example, "Grandfather's Clock" is listed in the ASCAP ACE database as belonging to Zez Confrey, but there is also the 1876 "My Grandfather's Clock" by Henry Clay Work, which is PD. Two entirely different tunes.

    According to the ACE database, Django's compostions are managed by the European PRO SACEM, and they also have a database, though when I put Django's name in, I only got three titles. Maybe I was searching wrong.

    The PRO databases will indicate the publisher, though that won't tell you when a given tune goes PD, which can depend on a number of factors, as Stuart points out.
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,645
    If you're located in the US, the Harry Fox Agency is the clearing house for mechanical licensing (recording copyright clearance). The rule in the US is that a composition becomes public domain 75 years after the death of the last of its authors to die. Since Django died in 1953, you've got a few years to go. It's only 50 years in Canada.

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Anastasio, Godefroy Maruejouls
    Posts: 686
    I wondered if you could pick up the publisher information from a CD that the songs appear on ? Or what about this site
    always learning
  • adrianadrian AmsterdamVirtuoso
    Posts: 458
    Different countries have different rules, and it's a confusing mess. Here's the clearest chart I've found on copyright and public domain in the U.S. as of 2014:
  • swing68swing68 Poznan, Poland✭✭✭ Manouche Modele Orchestre, JWC Catania Swing
    Posts: 117
    All this being so:

    Suppose we do a spot for TV - one is in the works - and we wanted to include, let's say, a 20-second excerpt of 'Tchavolo Swing'. What would the copyright older's expectation be:

    - attribute the song in a subtitle;
    - slip the writer a fiver;
    - ignore, just do it as they'll probably use the improvised part and not the head riff;
    - none of the above?

    Thanks, A
    The war on Am7 and Cmaj7 begins here ...
  • Russell LetsonRussell Letson Prodigy
    Posts: 208
    I would think that clearances and permissions are the TV station's worry--ask the producer or whoever you're working with about it. The station should have the standard PRO blanket licenses. They might ask you to identify the tunes so they can report them, but beyond that it's not your problem.

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