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Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

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Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby kla1 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:50 pm

What If you paid to have your original music copyrighted close to 20 years ago, and the format you used to record your music was cassette, that you then mailed that tape to the us copyright office, and your copyright was approved. You make videos of yourself playing the music you created on youtube many years later, and someone hears your music, then steals your music(learns to play your music, and claims they wrote it.) You take legal action, and they pull your tape out at the dc copyright office, and find your tape has become Deteriorated (that is what tapes do.) from all the time sitting there. If they can not hear your music well enough because of deteriation are you no longer protected? What does everyone who submitted a tape to the copyright office do?
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby James Perrett » Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:57 pm

Properly stored cassettes are unlikely to have deteriorated in 20 years so much that they are unplayable. However, an experienced engineer will check the pressure pad first before playing as sometimes they fall off.

I regularly transfer much older cassettes here and have few problems due to the tape itself. Usually the tapes have been damaged by playing in badly adjusted players or the shells have been damaged (which means that the tape needs to be transferred to a new shell).
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby MOF » Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:32 am

In this scenario you still have a prior record of composing/performing on the Youtube video.
I have cassettes that are forty years old and still play fine. They were stored in cool, dry places.
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby Tim Gillett » Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:44 am

kla1 wrote:What If you paid to have your original music copyrighted ...
Is this just hypothetical or did it actually happen? With copyrighting, normally wouldnt a written score of the piece be lodged along with a recorded performance of it? As MOF suggests, the YT upload is good dated evidence in itself.
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby CS70 » Wed Jul 08, 2020 11:04 am

If you have the YT video, that's pretty good evidence of your copyright, as neither you nor the infringer can alter the video timestamp.

As of the cassette - it's odd that it's deteriorated in 20 years... unless the conditions where it was kept were awful. Not sure if the US copyright office has any specific way to handle perishable specimens of any type (photos are another possible example among many).. but I guess it's just to ask them.
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby kla1 » Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:36 pm

James Perrett wrote:Properly stored cassettes are unlikely to have deteriorated in 20 years so much that they are unplayable. However, an experienced engineer will check the pressure pad first before playing as sometimes they fall off.

I regularly transfer much older cassettes here and have few problems due to the tape itself. Usually the tapes have been damaged by playing in badly adjusted players or the shells have been damaged (which means that the tape needs to be transferred to a new shell).

I do not have the specific tape (it is in it's case stored wherever at the copyright office.) I have tapes that are the same name brand from the same time of my same music, that sound very deteriorated, with the piano sound being the worst. (it is original music, I created using piano, and synth. The music falls into the category of rock, industrial, ambient, etc.) You can still hear the music on the tape, but I do not know about years from now.
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby kla1 » Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:39 pm

Tim Gillett wrote:
kla1 wrote:What If you paid to have your original music copyrighted ...
Is this just hypothetical or did it actually happen? With copyrighting, normally wouldnt a written score of the piece be lodged along with a recorded performance of it? As MOF suggests, the YT upload is good dated evidence in itself.

You can see it really happened by reading my message above. Someone could transcribe my music, but I did not mail sheet music with my tape.
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby kla1 » Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:47 pm

CS70 wrote:If you have the YT video, that's pretty good evidence of your copyright, as neither you nor the infringer can alter the video timestamp.

As of the cassette - it's odd that it's deteriorated in 20 years... unless the conditions where it was kept were awful. Not sure if the US copyright office has any specific way to handle perishable specimens of any type (photos are another possible example among many).. but I guess it's just to ask them.

This response is for you, and mof. Do you think the yt video would help in court if the copyright tape ends up sounding so terrible they can't hear it? I could try to talk to the copyright office again. Last time I called they put me on hold for over an hour, so I hung up.
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby MOF » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:55 pm

Do you think the yt video would help in court if the copyright tape ends up sounding so terrible they can't hear it?
Yes, regarding the Youtube video and I presume that the US copyright office is independent and would arrange for that tape to be restored, if necessary, so that both parties could listen to it and decide if there is a case to be sent to court.
Do you have good quality audio tape copies as well? I presume that the USA has the same logging records of the electricity grid as the UK, these are recoverable by audio forensics to show exactly when that recording was made, unless it was done on a battery powered cassette recorder.
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby CS70 » Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:05 pm

kla1 wrote:
CS70 wrote:If you have the YT video, that's pretty good evidence of your copyright, as neither you nor the infringer can alter the video timestamp.

As of the cassette - it's odd that it's deteriorated in 20 years... unless the conditions where it was kept were awful. Not sure if the US copyright office has any specific way to handle perishable specimens of any type (photos are another possible example among many).. but I guess it's just to ask them.

This response is for you, and mof. Do you think the yt video would help in court if the copyright tape ends up sounding so terrible they can't hear it? I could try to talk to the copyright office again. Last time I called they put me on hold for over an hour, so I hung up.

As much as the music is recognizable, it should. The thing about copyright claims and counterclaims, is that it is a litigation. It's not often that it's a open and closed case (but it could be, in which case you may be offered a settlement). It will be theirs lawyer team to evaluate, and yours to evaluate and give you advice.

To the extent that the music is clearly recognizable, a video stored and timestamped by independent third-party which is not easy to tamper with, is pretty strong evidence - but a case must still be built and litigated.

Your copyright office registration should be sufficient to allow you to file a claim (I guess you're in the US as you talk of a Copyright Office with capitals).

If things are more nuanced (like a progression is similar, or lyrics are of the same tone but not very similar) , you may expect a legal battle to proof or disproof that your video contains the same material.

In any case, the best you can do if you want to pursue the claim (which means, if the "stolen" song is having enough commercial success to claim damages, a cut of the proceedings and a royalty credit such to justify the expenses) is to find and consult a music copyright specialized attorney (or two or three). He would be able to look at the specific case and evidence and give you an opinion better than any forum in the world.
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby James Perrett » Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:08 pm

Are you sure that your cassette player doesn't need new belts? Piano is very affected by wow and flutter so will be the first thing to show up any speed issues. If you are playing them on the same machine that you recorded them on then it will definitely need new belts after 20 years.
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby kla1 » Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:21 am

MOF wrote:
Do you think the yt video would help in court if the copyright tape ends up sounding so terrible they can't hear it?
Yes, regarding the Youtube video and I presume that the US copyright office is independent and would arrange for that tape to be restored, if necessary, so that both parties could listen to it and decide if there is a case to be sent to court.
Do you have good quality audio tape copies as well? I presume that the USA has the same logging records of the electricity grid as the UK, these are recoverable by audio forensics to show exactly when that recording was made, unless it was done on a battery powered cassette recorder.

Yes, I have cassette copies of the copyright tape from almost 20 years ago. I recently digitized the tape, and now have a few cd copies of the tape that is at the copyright office where I live in america. I wish I could mail the cd to the copyright office to replace the tape. Can a tape be so detiorated, that it can not be restored? What do you mean by battery powered cassette recorder canno't tell when it was made?
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby kla1 » Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:25 am

CS70 wrote:
kla1 wrote:
CS70 wrote:If you have the YT video, that's pretty good evidence of your copyright, as neither you nor the infringer can alter the video timestamp.

As of the cassette - it's odd that it's deteriorated in 20 years... unless the conditions where it was kept were awful. Not sure if the US copyright office has any specific way to handle perishable specimens of any type (photos are another possible example among many).. but I guess it's just to ask them.

This response is for you, and mof. Do you think the yt video would help in court if the copyright tape ends up sounding so terrible they can't hear it? I could try to talk to the copyright office again. Last time I called they put me on hold for over an hour, so I hung up.

As much as the music is recognizable, it should. The thing about copyright claims and counterclaims, is that it is a litigation. It's not often that it's a open and closed case (but it could be, in which case you may be offered a settlement). It will be theirs lawyer team to evaluate, and yours to evaluate and give you advice.

To the extent that the music is clearly recognizable, a video stored and timestamped by independent third-party which is not easy to tamper with, is pretty strong evidence - but a case must still be built and litigated.

Your copyright office registration should be sufficient to allow you to file a claim (I guess you're in the US as you talk of a Copyright Office with capitals).

If things are more nuanced (like a progression is similar, or lyrics are of the same tone but not very similar) , you may expect a legal battle to proof or disproof that your video contains the same material.

In any case, the best you can do if you want to pursue the claim (which means, if the "stolen" song is having enough commercial success to claim damages, a cut of the proceedings and a royalty credit such to justify the expenses) is to find and consult a music copyright specialized attorney (or two or three). He would be able to look at the specific case and evidence and give you an opinion better than any forum in the world.

Alot of good info. Thanks
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby kla1 » Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:30 am

James Perrett wrote:Are you sure that your cassette player doesn't need new belts? Piano is very affected by wow and flutter so will be the first thing to show up any speed issues. If you are playing them on the same machine that you recorded them on then it will definitely need new belts after 20 years.

The tape doesn't sound good on a number of tape players I tried. This was a low quality recording to begin with, that has only worsened with age. Do you believe a higher quality tape player, would make the tape sound better?
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby kla1 » Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:44 am

CS70 wrote:
kla1 wrote:
CS70 wrote:If you have the YT video, that's pretty good evidence of your copyright, as neither you nor the infringer can alter the video timestamp.

As of the cassette - it's odd that it's deteriorated in 20 years... unless the conditions where it was kept were awful. Not sure if the US copyright office has any specific way to handle perishable specimens of any type (photos are another possible example among many).. but I guess it's just to ask them.

This response is for you, and mof. Do you think the yt video would help in court if the copyright tape ends up sounding so terrible they can't hear it? I could try to talk to the copyright office again. Last time I called they put me on hold for over an hour, so I hung up.

As much as the music is recognizable, it should. The thing about copyright claims and counterclaims, is that it is a litigation. It's not often that it's a open and closed case (but it could be, in which case you may be offered a settlement). It will be theirs lawyer team to evaluate, and yours to evaluate and give you advice.

To the extent that the music is clearly recognizable, a video stored and timestamped by independent third-party which is not easy to tamper with, is pretty strong evidence - but a case must still be built and litigated.

Your copyright office registration should be sufficient to allow you to file a claim (I guess you're in the US as you talk of a Copyright Office with capitals).

If things are more nuanced (like a progression is similar, or lyrics are of the same tone but not very similar) , you may expect a legal battle to proof or disproof that your video contains the same material.

In any case, the best you can do if you want to pursue the claim (which means, if the "stolen" song is having enough commercial success to claim damages, a cut of the proceedings and a royalty credit such to justify the expenses) is to find and consult a music copyright specialized attorney (or two or three). He would be able to look at the specific case and evidence and give you an opinion better than any forum in the world.

Thanks. Alot of good info. Can I copyright the music from 2001 again, by mailing a better recording of the same music?
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