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MMD > Archives > February 1996 > 1996.02.22 > 05Prev  Next

Rolls and Copyrights
By John Grant

Steve Harder brings up a n important point:

> Date: Wed, 21 Feb 1996 17:56:44 -0600
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> To:
> From: Steve Harder <>
> Subject: Tonneson Piano Roll cutting ??s
[Partial snip.]

> Could someone also offer comments on what is fair game for source
> material.
> I'm not suggesting I'd go to the effort but what is the legality of
> sitting
> down at a MIDI program and 'step-entering' the contents of a QRS roll?
> --Steve Harder--

While I don't know what steps QRS might take to protect their arrangement of holes in rolls of paper, they (the rolls) qualify as "phonorecords" under the meaning of current copyright law. Certainly the Bolcom compositions I converted to MIDI/piano rolls are under copyright protection and I took the necessary steps to obtain "mechanical" (compulsory) reproduction licenses through the Harry Fox Agency, NYC, before producing or marketing these rolls. Anyone contemplating similar activities would be well advised to do likewise for any music which is not "Public Domain". Otherwise, make sure your pockets are VERY deep!

-John Grant
"If I can't fix it, it ain't broke."
"I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken." -Genius

(Message sent Thu 22 Feb 1996, 21:27:20 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

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