[cc-licenses] Is a cover of a song a derivative work?
hancock at anansispaceworks.com
Thu Aug 2 17:39:44 EDT 2007
Gregory Maxwell wrote:
> I suppose someone could make a highly styled argument that a midi
> transcription of a work was permitted under ND, but a basic cover is
> far outside of "modifications as are technically necessary".
> It might also be possible that an unusual cover may be permissible as
> a parody under "fair use" or might be sufficiently distinct to avoid
> encumbrance by the licensing of the CC licensed work, but a typical
> cover is not a parody nor is it sufficiently distinct to avoid the
> copyright related limits of the original work.
Isn't it the case that a "cover" is simply another performance of the
underlying music+lyrics of the work? IOW, it's legally a derivative of
the original work from which the recording was made, not the recording
I understood that recordings have a different standing under the law
than does sheet music (which is why there's a (P) mark in addition to
the (C) mark, etc.).
So, isn't it the case that a cover is really a sibling work to the
original recording rather than a child work?
Which would mean that it is the license of the original music and lyrics
that determines whether or not you are free to make another recording
Now, of course, this raises the question of what happens when the only
way to get the original music and lyrics is to "reverse-engineer" (make
a transcript from) a recording. Does that the music and lyrics a
derivative of the recording? Or is there an implied release of the music
and lyrics under the same license as the recording?
I've always been a little fuzzy on this point -- clarification from
someone who understands it would be interesting.
Terry Hancock (hancock at AnansiSpaceworks.com)
Anansi Spaceworks http://www.AnansiSpaceworks.com
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