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  #1  
Old Sep 3, 2011, 08:16 PM
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Default Use of other music in video games

Some video games use music that's already written by someone else usually by doing a rendition. How does this work? Do they have to pay royalties or do they just need to give credit? Can anyone do that?
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Old Sep 3, 2011, 08:41 PM
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I really doubt Manabu Namiki gave Underground Resistance money. I think the Japanese can rip off anything (like Earthbound music) and it's not a problem.
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Old Sep 4, 2011, 03:55 AM
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If there's an active copyright on the music, then legally the game developer must pay a license fee to the license holder to use the music. Not that this always happens.

However, if the copyright has expired and the work has passed into the public domain, it can be used without paying any royalties to anyone since there's no one to pay royalties to. In this case, the work can be adapted, remixed, or altered in any way without any legal repercussions whatsoever. For example, various renditions of the compositions of Mozart find their way into video games every now and then.

However, as public domain works go, actual live recordings may be protected under copyright and licensing fees would apply.
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Old Sep 4, 2011, 05:57 AM
jdkluv jdkluv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vert1 View Post
I really doubt Manabu Namiki gave Underground Resistance money.
Nor Falcom, probably.
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Old Sep 4, 2011, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jormungand View Post
However, if the copyright has expired and the work has passed into the public domain, it can be used without paying any royalties to anyone since there's no one to pay royalties to. In this case, the work can be adapted, remixed, or altered in any way without any legal repercussions whatsoever. For example, various renditions of the compositions of Mozart find their way into video games every now and then.

However, as public domain works go, actual live recordings may be protected under copyright and licensing fees would apply.
yes sadly there's always a catch! just to expand on that, a song/composition can be long out of copyright and free to use, but the recording of it is subject to its own separate (but similar) restrictions. thus in order to not pay anything, both the intellectual property copyright and recording copyright would have to have expired. lots of old NES, SNES, mega drive etc. games had it easy because classical songs could be recreated as chiptunes without infringing on any copyright... indeed, i've seen that quite often. it's not so easy to do that now; you'd have to use either a really old recording that was out of copyright, or recreate the song, probably not as a chiptune either that or just pay the copyright fees to use a recording, which i assume is what most sane companies do in that situation.

there's a bit of spiel on it here -- http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/copy/c-d...recordings.htm -- basically it's a minefield.
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Old Sep 10, 2011, 03:55 PM
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Played Catherine yet? Great soundtrack comprised of mostly familiar classical pieces.
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Old Sep 10, 2011, 03:58 PM
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http://vgmdb.net/album/4631
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