[d at DCC] Copyright on movies (was Re: Fair use question)
bob at rsmits.ca
Mon Aug 14 09:53:02 EDT 2006
On Sunday 13 August 2006 07:36, Russell McOrmond wrote:
> Robert Smits wrote:
> > It appears to me to be clear, but I'm no lawyer, either. If you look at
> > the act, section 17 appears to say that once they authorize the
> > incorporation of the music, they can no longer exercise copyright in
> > relation to that performance (the one that's incorporated).
> Remember that there is more than one "they" that you have to be
> concerned with:
> a) There is the performer (A neighboring rights holder) who has a
> copyright on their performance.
> a) There is then the author of the music (the tune, the lyrics, etc)
> who has a performance right as part of their copyright.
Yes, there are two of them. However, the performer has presumably been
compensated by the movie producer, as has the author or there would have been
lawsuits when the movie first came out.
> It is this second copyright holder that I was concerned with, as I
> believed (and need to check) that the copyright on the performers
> performance would expire at the same time (or before) the expiry of the
But if the copyright holders of the music (both performer and author) were
compensated at the time the movie was created, and the movie copyright has
expired, surely all that implies is that playing the movie has fallen into
the public domain.
You have raised interesting questions, though, and I'm sure could profitably
employ copyright lawyers for a decade or two.
And, of course, what about recordings of the movie soundtrack - when does that
copyright expire? I'd argue that it was from the end of the term of copyright
of the movie (which was the first fixation of this particular performance
unless, of course the music wasn't performed live for the movie).
All good examples of the lack of clarity in the present act.
> If you scan the Canadian act you will see many different places where
> copyright term is discussed, with a lot of different and confusing
> But remember: The Canadian government believes that "clarifying and
> simplifying the Act" is the lowest possible priority for amendments to
> the Copyright act.
> P.S. I mention this often as I believe we should later start a petition
> and letter writing campaign to promote the idea that this should be the
> first priority, and a required test for any other changes to the act.
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