After reading Goldstien’s chapter, The History of an Idea, and listening to the cover of “Somebody I used to know” I was eager to learn more about music copyrights, especially covers, personal use, and public use.
According to attorney John M. Garon’s website copyright laws give the original artist rights to release to first recording of the song, but after that anyone is free to make their own version. Even though copyright allows musicians to make covers of songs there is still a set rate the artist must pay in order to release their version on CDs, the Internet, or other sources. Under no circumstances are they allowed to be played in movie soundtracks, video games, or other commercial works.
Although covers are not an infringement of copyright law, there are many other common activities that are. Examples of copyright infringement include: downloading copyrighted music for free from a “pirated” website, uploading a youtube home-video that is using a copyrighted song as the background music, or sending a friend a song through an MP3 file. Yes, these infringements might be minor, but they are much more likely to effect everyday people, especially because many individuals aren’t aware of these specific rules.
Average people might never be targeted, caught, or punished for these infringements but high profile abusers such as Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich will get into trouble . From 2009 up to his recent campaigns Gingrich has been walking out to stage playing composer, co-writer, and owner, Frank Sullivan’s Eye of a Tiger. Sullivan and his company Rude Music Inc. filed a law suit against Gingrich to stop him from using their song and award their company with damages for his infringement.
PS. Chapter 13- “Advocate the Use of Serial Comma”