MuseScore Composers

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Can the "feel" of music gets copyrighted?

I recently listened to a piece of music at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBLPGD8kv8w and captured the feel that "So this is the true final boss, huh? I'll beat you no matter how strong you are with my flaming spirits!". I decided to make an original score and by extension, music from the feel, but I fear that it will violate copyright. Can anyone suggest whether I should continue or not? Thanks in advance!

Comments (4)

Marc Sabatella's picture

Only a song itself is copyrighted, but it then becomes up to a court to deicde, should someone sue, whether another song comes close enough to it to be considered a violation. Typically, it's more about melody than anything else. I mean, realistically, all songs in a given style have the same "feel" in some sense - that's what defines them as being in that style. If no one else could write a reggae piece because that feel was already copyrighted, thee wouldn't be nearly As much music in the world!

So as long as you are careful not to actually copy specific melodic figures, you should be fine. Also, no one can stop you from *writing* anything you want; copyright law is more concerned with what you *do* with it. At the very worst, some day in the future, some lawyer might ask you to take down your score. But only if there person who wrote the original somehow found out about your copyand was bothered by it enough to hire a lawyer and consider the hassle a lawsuit they very likely would lose.

murazrai's picture

Then, what should I do if I upload the score? Should I indicate that this score is inspired by the music as a way to give credits?

Marc Sabatella's picture

That's totally up to you. That would not change anything kegally. Either you are taking too many of the specific melodic ideas or you aren't, but there is no hard and fast rule. It just comes down to whether the composer of the original finds out (mentioning it on the score would increase the likelihood of that), thinks it is a problem, is bothered by it enoigh to hire a lawyer, manages to get the case to court, and then manages to convince the judge that your piece is actually in violation. Chances are next to zero of any of that happening, really, but it all comes down to your own comfort level.

Bran92405's picture

YouTube has some excellent videos discussing "Fair Use" by lawyers familiar with such clauses in the US, and which are similar in most countries.

Check out the first one here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S521VcjhvMA

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