Posted by nankerphelge on September 27, 1999 at 07:59:59:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: incorrect songwritter listed posted by The Storm on September 26, 1999 at 16:58:22:
Good points -- I have always wondered about the "Taditional Arrangement" thing too (especially with all of the Stones listed)
The problem is, without a search through the Copyright Office registry, it is difficult to know exactly what Johnson "owned." As I have noted before, when you pick up a CD (or tape or vinyl) you actually have more than one copyrightable work in your hands.
There is the sound recording, or the rendition or arrangement of the underlying "musical composition" which is the actual song. Put differently, the musical composition is the notes (and lyrics if any) and the way that song is recorded, provides the sound recording work -- with its own copyright.
So, if the Stones take a song written by Mr. Johnson and record their version of it -- they would have a copyright on that arrangement and would owe RJ a royalty for the use of his musical composition.
If Johnson did not own a copyright on the song -- that is, he didn't write it either, but also only recorded it, then the Stones didn't take anything of his. They might owe someone else a royalty as would RJ (unless the copyright on the original song had expired or otherwise fallen into the public domain).
In addition, as I noted the earlier, prior to changes in the law in 1971, sound recordings prior to that time did not enjoy the federal protections (there were state laws) they have today. That is, piracy of sound recordings was much easier.
The pirate could release a bootleg and pay royalties to just the owner of the musical composition -- the holder of the sound recording right couldn't sue. And if the pirate did not pay the owner of the musical composition copyright, the only compensation the owner could get is back-royalties -- no lost or digorged profits which would take any $$$ incentive out of pirating.
That is no longer the federal law.
So to make a long story short (too late -- shoot for interesting) we really need to know alot more factual information before we can hammer our heros.
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