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Hello,

I am very much an amateur, both in terms of composing and the business aspect of music.

I had an idea of writing a musical piece based on a slightly obscure theme by a impressionist composer (who died nearly 100 years ago), as an "hommage". Would I need to request legal permission first to use this (very short) theme, even if I am using it for entertainment purposes only (but including public performances), and not for personal financial gain?

I seem to remember that, at least in Germany, something like the first five bars of a musical piece are usually legally regarded as "public domain" or such. Also it is less of an issue, if any use of a quote is transparently declared (so, there is not plagiarism or attempt thereof).

I guess this issue with quotes applies not just to "classical" music but also re-mixes, Hip-hop stuff with sampling and so on.

Thank you for any comments or signposting to other sources for advice.

Tillerich

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As long as you don't make any money off of it you can do anything you want.

I think that the above posts are true, I'm not disagreeing, but copyright law varies from country to country and can be complicated.  As a general rule, if you have a legal question which may be important at some point you should consult a lawyer.

You can also consult relevant websites like this one.

https://www.copyright.gov/

but copyright law varies from country to country

This is a good point as I see you mentioned Germany in your post, but didnt take that as that was where you're living-

Here some information about Germany's  copyright law, if its applicable:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_law_of_Germany

(which may be a little outdated)

https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_urhg/englisch_urhg.html

And again, pls consult a lawyer.

Thanks Bob

https://soundcloud.com/bob-morabito

Hello,

yes, agree. I never assumed that anyone on this form was ordinary.

Back to the question: would it make sense to try to find the executor or agent of the said composer, if possible, and enquire about any rights issues (or views on possible "hommages"). How would I find those, though?

Dave Dexter said:

Tillerich,

There's a wide range of composers, producers and musicians on here. They are not "ordinary" - well, some of them are, but can't be helped - and may well have experience in the situation pertinent to you, just as they might in terms of composing.

Again, the only way to be sure one is getting proper copyright legal advice is from a copyright lawyer.

I or others can direct you to information, but only a copyright lawyer is qualified to give legal advice on this, and to trust just anyones opinion and then later find yourself with legal problems, is something one should definitely avoid, and is just plain foolish.

And can also cost you in many ways.

Thanks Bob

https://soundcloud.com/bob-morabito



Dave Dexter said:

Tillerich,

There's a wide range of composers, producers and musicians on here. They are not "ordinary" - well, some of them are, but can't be helped - and may well have experience in the situation pertinent to you, just as they might in terms of composing.

Try contacting the publisher of the piece youre interested in quoting.

Thanks Bob

https://soundcloud.com/bob-morabito



Tillerich said:

Hello,

yes, agree. I never assumed that anyone on this form was ordinary.

Back to the question: would it make sense to try to find the executor or agent of the said composer, if possible, and enquire about any rights issues (or views on possible "hommages"). How would I find those, though?

Dave Dexter said:

-Deleted

Are you all serious...??!

Just chill, please, it was only an innocent question.

The first answer was most likely correct: if there is no financial gain from it, the composer or estate will hardly be interested in anything.

Hi Tillerich..I couldnt agree more--it was an innocent question and a good one.

The first answer was most likely correct: if there is no financial gain from it, the composer or estate will hardly be interested in anything.

Again, "most likely correct" for myself doesnt cut it when legal matters are involved..guessing on legal matters can be very costly..

better to find out for sure, and good luck with this:)

Thanks Bob

https://soundcloud.com/bob-morabito

Hi Tillerich,

FYI, we don't allow copyrighted music to be posted here. I know you didn't indicate in your OP that you are considering doing so, just a heads up >

Best,

Gav Brown
Site Co-Manager
Composers' Forum

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