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Codex legal eagles, Van Buren needs you!

Vaarna_Aarne

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MCA Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
So the purpose of this topic is to let Codexers WHO ARE QUALIFIED to provide legal assistence to do just that. We're going to have to take care of this stuff too due to working with the Fallout IP, and when it comes to stuff like finding out free songs, various contracts we have to do, and all that jazz.

So, the first question to Codex Van Buren Legal Defense Squadron:


Legal status and the steps to possibly using this lovely and extremely fitting on multiple levels song as the main theme for Van Buren:

 

Trephs

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Jan 9, 2014
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The song is pretty good and quite fitting, appreciate your choice, however rights-keepers guys may bitch about the song once VB is released. Not sure if they'll track it's used in your project if everybody is silent about it.
 

SCO

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Just provide a way for the game to call a song generically. Then 'suggest' a playlist for the users to download/rip.
 

Severian Silk

Guest
I suggest the game be renamed to "Van Buren Saga". That will solve all our problems.
 

hiver

Guest
You aint never going to get any damn rights for any actual song of that kind. What are you? all on lighter gas? glue?

youdbe lucky if you can find anything good enough for free or maybe get some amateur "composer" to do some ambient tracks for you.

you have other things to worry about (namely what to do with the main plot, the story of the game, the characters and the way it all resolves, just to mention a few minor things...), then some megalomanic notions of using professional copyrighted songs.
ffs... Interplay and original fallout team couldnt get some, and they could pay for it.
 

Baron Dupek

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Testing your luck ain't? Well, you did good with Beth and switching engine but you should stay away from music rightholder mobs or what they called. And focus on the mod.

I know you want to make it faithful to original but seriously - in this matter you shouldn't.

Or just find some amateur who make it.
 

Vaarna_Aarne

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Testing your luck ain't? Well, you did good with Beth and switching engine but you should stay away from music rightholder mobs or what they called. And focus on the mod.

I know you want to make it faithful to original but seriously - in this matter you shouldn't.

Or just find some amateur who make it.
Question was regarding more about what it'd entail and so on. Basically pure luck testing to see what (possible) legal professionals have to say about what'd entail. It's not a priority thing. Maybe in the future we might have actual Serious Questions in this thread.

EDIT: And as an update for this, YES WE CAN

hexer said:
GREAT NEWS!

We'll Meet Again by the Ink Spots is in Public Domain

https://archive.org/details/InkSpotsCollection51-60

And other songs there are also available, we should dig and see if there's anything else worth using.
 
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Vaarna_Aarne

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It not only fits in with the overall story elements, it's also fitting given how Van Buren was originally canned by Interplay.
 

J1M

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For other media: you could always say that your project is intended for use in countries that do not recognize Mickey Mouse copyright laws.

If someone on the internet pirates the work you did for the people of Chad, there's nothing you can do! :lol:
 

Jaesun

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THAT is actually a very fitting song for this project. We finally get to meet Fallout, again. Instead of the shitty action game that was made. :salute:
 

LundB

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EDIT: And as an update for this, YES WE CAN

hexer said:
GREAT NEWS!

We'll Meet Again by the Ink Spots is in Public Domain

https://archive.org/details/InkSpotsCollection51-60

And other songs there are also available, we should dig and see if there's anything else worth using.

The fact that it's up there and being downloaded pretty much means nobody gives a shit, so you're probably safe. However, and I really hate to rain on your parade, it is NOT in fact legally in the public domain, at least not in the US (where it was recorded and copyrighted). Whoever uploaded that to archive.org was sadly incorrect (I'm reasonably sure I know what had them confused, and I'll get into it later in the post).

Obviously, copyright law is a clusterfuck with differences between various nations. For example, in the UK a sound recording made in 1941 (like this one) would have entered the public domain on Jan. 1st, 1992, since at that point copyright on sound recordings in the UK lasted 50 years (as of this November, it changed to 70 years, but was not retroactive for recordings already in the public domain).

In the US however, the law is different (and pretty much fucks anyone but the rights-holders). I'm gonna spoilertag, since otherwise this might get a bit tl;dr and there's no real need for most people to read it, but the mod team certainly should before deciding how to proceed:
What a lot of people don't get is that sound recordings are treated differently from most other kinds of IP, including published music (the music itself, not a recording). Most other stuff is protected for either ninety-five years from publication or 70 years after the death of the author (Exception: If said thing was published prior to 1923, it's already public domain). Recordings, like the Ink Spots' rendition of that song, are different however.

The reason for this can be found in the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, § 301(c):
With respect to sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972, any rights or remedies under the common law or statutes of any State shall not be annulled or limited by this title until February 15, 2067. The preemptive provisions of subsection (a) shall apply to any such rights and remedies pertaining to any cause of action arising from undertakings commenced on and after February 15, 2067. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 303, no sound recording fixed before February 15, 1972, shall be subject to copyright under this title before, on, or after February 15, 2067.
This means that the law covers only recordings made after February 15, 1972, and all those made prior to that date would remain under state
law. Before the 1976 Act, sound recordings were not covered by federal law, so this passage was intended to create a smoother transition from state coverage to federal coverage, avoiding any recordings inadvertently falling into the public domain. What this means is that under current law, all pre-02/15/1972 sound recordings will remain under state or common law until 2067, at which point they will be made public domain under the rules of federal law. I suspect the reason the guy uploaded it on archive.org as 'public domain' was because he read that pre-1972 recordings are not covered by federal copyright law, and did not realise that this is not the same as not being covered by any copyright law, and that the preexisting non-federal copyrights are still very much active.

It might seem safe, but people CAN get fucked hard over violations. See: The 2005 Capitol v. Naxos case, where Naxos, a distributor of 1930s classical recordings, was up against the apparent US rights-holder of some of said recordings. The judges ruled against Naxos, and declared that as the state had no explicit laws dealing with sound recording copyright, they were governed by common law. End result? The rights-holders hold the rights forever (in reality, until said common law ruling is superseded by federal law in 2067). Investigations into the laws of a number of states have found that in most, recordings are covered by common law as they were in New York, under permanent control of the rights-holders. There might be a few states where it's legal, but all it takes is one download in a state where it's illegal to be actionable.

Basically what this means is that under US copyright law, there are VERY few sound recordings that are actually in the public domain. They consist mainly of recordings released by the rights-holders themselves, recordings made by the US government (arguably, since the US gov can't hold copyrights), and various oddities anyone without real familiarity with copyright law would have trouble recognizing. Much of the stuff people incorrectly think is in the public domain is because of misinterpretation of the law, and even if they escape the notice of the rights-holders, what they are doing is in fact illegal.

For a pretty easy to understand guide to all this sound recording public domain stuff, see this list.

So basically yeah, if you use it you PROBABLY won't be noticed or faced with legal action, since they most likely won't care too much if it isn't a commercial product. However if legal action is taken you should know that it will not go in your favour, as the material is in fact still copyrighted, not public domain, and distributing it with your mod would be illegal.

Like I said, I'm sorry about raining on the parade, but you asked for information about the actual law (instead of vague internet optimism and assumptions based on poor understanding of a copyright law wikipedia entry or the assurances of some archive.org moron), so that's what you're getting.
 
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Repressed Homosexual
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I miss the trend of heartfelt songs and gentlemen negroes, but I don't miss the trend of repeating the same lyrics twice, in song form and in conversation form, though.
 

LundB

Mistakes were made.
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LundB will you be our court jew?
No, since I'm not a lawyer, just someone who's become reasonably familiar with IP law in a few countries due to work. Maybe hire Metro instead? He's a proper lawyer, I hear he got some company out of trouble for toxins in baby formula, or dumping waste in a small town's drinking water, or some other shady shit I forget the details of.
 

omnimercurial

Novice
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Feb 2, 2014
Messages
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I really like this version! :)

Can't stand the Vera Lynn version. Far too shrill and piercing.
 

The_scorpion

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Messages
1,056
stay away from US Law. Keep your files in Servers outside the US and comparabale retard jurisdictions. Distribute through Europe only. Of course not easy with the Internet being controlled by the kaw. Use choice of law and venue that make sense. There's still risks of Retard jurisdictions' courts claiming jurisdiction on any infringements, because of the nature of IP Law, however if the Team and the files are located outside the Retard jurisdictions and it's a non-Commercial Project, any lawsuit would be rather stupid from a rational Point of view. i don't advise to pirate stuff, of course. Rightholders might agree for you to use Contents for small jewgolds or even free if your Project is a small and non-Commercial one anyway.

The most likely event is that nobody bothers.
 

Jick Magger

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PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Bubbles In Memoria
Just out of curiosity, are you planning to use this song during

The 'nuked' ending, in favour of what they originally intended to use (I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire)?
 

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