Music Guidelines January 13, 2007 6:49 PM   Subscribe

It says in bold that Mefi Music is a place for users to upload their own songs. I'm guessing that means original songs written by the user are being encouraged in order to avoid copyright infringement...? What about songs that aren't copywritten or are in the public domain, though? Are musicians welcome to post cover versions of old songs if royalty issues aren't a concern? Curious.
posted by miss lynnster to MetaFilter Music at 6:49 PM (36 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

In the past I've been ok with it, and there are a few covers, though I (and the people singing them) could be in legal hot water someday if the collecting societies wanted royalties.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:07 PM on January 13, 2007


Oh, ok. I'm into old classic jazz, that's why I asked. Thanks. ;)
posted by miss lynnster at 7:16 PM on January 13, 2007


Check them out, I think Astro Zombie's might be the most interesting songs related to your question.
posted by micayetoca at 7:26 PM on January 13, 2007


Now, while we are at it, do you mind if I use this thread to ask how many people visit Metafilter Music regularly? Not asking for statistics, just responses from people.
posted by micayetoca at 7:32 PM on January 13, 2007


I think it's pretty light on traffic, but I have a list of new features to add there that could make it a much more fun daily destination.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:48 PM on January 13, 2007


Oh, really? I'd love to hear about that.
posted by micayetoca at 7:51 PM on January 13, 2007


Me too!
posted by miss lynnster at 8:03 PM on January 13, 2007


a) Upload a new song, get a free ham!
b) Every twelfth visitor wins a smock
c) Wednesday: Sing along with Dick Cheney
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:03 PM on January 13, 2007 [3 favorites]


So long as the original song is published, you can cover it and do what you want with your mechanical recording of your version. so long as you correctly attribute the original writer, in case of songwriting royalties being due, such as from airplay.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:04 PM on January 13, 2007


c) Wednesday: Sing along with Dick Cheney

I've already dueted with Bush. Does that count?
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:06 PM on January 13, 2007


Well, that's true but it's also not true. When a musician records a song on a CD that is going to be sold to the general public, we are to pay licensing fees for each song through Harry Fox or ASCAP, depending on who owns the rights. My dealings with Harry Fox have been really confusing & frustrating, though. They made my pretty little head hurt...
posted by miss lynnster at 9:14 PM on January 13, 2007


"I've already dueted with Bush. Does that count?"

No, that holds no danger of being shot in the face.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:58 PM on January 13, 2007


I have a list of new features to add there that could make it a much more fun daily destination.

*quivers*
posted by cortex at 11:41 PM on January 13, 2007


I check it several times a day and listen to pretty much everything. So there.

And miss lynnster, I would love to hear your songs. I wouldn't worry about the copyright issues on here. For example, if cortex can have a crazy eclectic group of (great) covers of Elliot Smith songs (...and never let us know what happened with them) then old jazz classics should be a cakewalk.
posted by chococat at 12:05 AM on January 14, 2007


I listen to just about everything on MeFi Music too, and have downloaded an absurd amount of them. I completely <3 it and await my free smock.
posted by rhapsodie at 12:19 AM on January 14, 2007


I'd doubt that anyone from the performance rights societies will come knocking at your door for posting a cover tune to MeFi. The song is not being sold, you're deriving no income from it.

But in reference to "old jazz classics" you should be aware that the jazz standards you're covering are almost certainly still under copyright. Again, though, I don't reckon you'll be hearing from any lawyers on account of throwing some tunes up on MeFi. And indeed, I'm hoping you and other musicians among us will start posting lots more to MeFi Music. For whatever reason (inertia, I suppose), I didn't post any of my stuff until just a few days ago, but from here on out I intend to keep putting material there. Seems like a good resource, and if folks here really start checking it out (and I too am really curious about any new plans Matt has in mind!) I think it could be really great thing.

So everybody, head on over to MeFi Music, for all your sonic needs! Open all day, every day! Support the members of your community by lending an ear, and maybe even a comment!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:40 AM on January 14, 2007


Another question. In some other thread related to Metafilter Music some people mentioned they didn't comment on the songs because they felt it "awkward" to express an opinion on other's artistic works - or something to that effect.

Do many of you feel this way? If not, what keeps you from posting comments on the song? -other than not liking the song in particular.
posted by micayetoca at 7:05 AM on January 14, 2007


The thing that keeps me from commenting daily on Music is the time requirement implicit in honest discussion. Moreso in practice than on the blue, even, Music is about the links—starting a conversation independent of at least one listen to the thread's song seems inappropriate. So I tend only to comment when I have time to sit and listen and think to tracks, which is despairingly less and less these days from from the workplace.

I have no personal reservations about commenting on someone else's composition or recording, though I'll tend to be nice about it.
posted by cortex at 8:00 AM on January 14, 2007


Well, this is simple. You're familiar with Harry Fox, right? So, you look up how much royalties you owe them based on sales, and then you figure out how much your sales will be, and then you arrange for the amount of sales with them, and then you send them a check in the mail for the royalties.

So, in this case, you'll be making $0.00 from posting it to Music. So, take that and multiply it by the royalty rate, which, let's say, is %5. %5 x $0.00 = $0.00. So you write a check for $0.00, put it in an envelope, and mail it to Harry Fox.

Or not.

You're fine, believe me. Free-of-charge performances aren't covered under copyright; internet uploading for free counts as such.

So: please upload stuff to Music. Please. We need more jazz, and nice vocal stuff in general. Please.
posted by koeselitz at 9:28 AM on January 14, 2007


Ok. Jazz song officially uploaded. Voila.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:22 AM on January 14, 2007


NOW GO LISTEN TO IT!! ;)
posted by miss lynnster at 10:23 AM on January 14, 2007


MeFiMusic is great, I've listened to & enjoyed a lot - seeing a familiar name under a title goes a long way in breaking down the barrier of 'this normally isn't my sort of thing'.
So, thank you for the music, and please keep it coming!

Question: Has anyone over at MeCha broadcast a chunk of MeMu tunes? Are the tags generally well put together, performers amenable to it, etc?

Because if so, I'd love to play some tracks over at *blatant plug* radio free #mofirc.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:41 AM on January 14, 2007


When a musician records a song on a CD that is going to be sold to the general public, we are to pay licensing fees for each song through Harry Fox or ASCAP, depending on who owns the rights.

The requirement for securing a mechanical license doesn't kick in until you reach 1,500 copies, iirc.
posted by obloquy at 11:35 AM on January 14, 2007


Ok. Jazz song officially uploaded. Voila.
NOW GO LISTEN TO IT!! ;)
posted by miss lynnster



I was gonna say "hey, you can't boss people around like that in here" but with that voice, girl, you can do just about anything you please.
posted by micayetoca at 11:53 AM on January 14, 2007


Geez, I went to eat sumthin', came back and no one has come here. Slow day, aye?

Hey, Alvy Impersand, if by "performers amenable to it" you mean if it bothers us that you (or anyone else) broadcasts our songs, the answer for my own songs is "god, no, please do, I'd be honored, very kind of you."
posted by micayetoca at 12:27 PM on January 14, 2007


All my junk is from public domain sources. That's right, I'm singing over songs recorded in 1913. What of it?
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:53 PM on January 14, 2007


I'm singing over songs recorded in 1913. What of it?

I'll tell you what of it, AZ: We're gonna send a whole division of Keystone Kops (along with a battery of Keystone Kopyright Lawyers) to chase you through the streets, nab you (after a series of hilarious, bumbling antics) and throw you into the Kopyright Hoosegow. So start working on your pratfalls.

BTW, where's ol' rum-soaked, foul-mouthed Sailor Martin been lately? Out at sea?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:30 PM on January 14, 2007


The thing that keeps me from commenting daily on Music is the time requirement implicit in honest discussion.

For me it's still that damn "can't listen to songs while reading another tab" thing. Keeps me from really taking advantage of the goodness there.
posted by mediareport at 10:54 PM on January 14, 2007


I do have to agree, it would be cool if you could listen to the songs without having to open another window to surf metafilter simultaneously... I think that's why I haven't really started listening to them until recently.
posted by miss lynnster at 2:04 AM on January 15, 2007


For me it's still that damn "can't listen to songs while reading another tab" thing.

it would be cool if you could listen to the songs without having to open another window


Is this possible, Matt?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:03 AM on January 15, 2007


Not anything I control. Certain versions of flash with certain browsers on certain platforms don't let sound on another tab play. It works fine for me on my mac in safari and firefox. The only thing I could think of as a workaround is a pop up window player you could keep songs playing in as long as you kept it open, but I'm not sure if people with the tab problem would be able to listen to it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:00 AM on January 15, 2007


I suspect the popup thing would work well. When I'm using firefox and I want to get my Music on while multitasking, I'll actually crack a new FF instance open and jam it in the upper left corner of my screen and keep the player unobscured. That's essentially a popup window the hard way, after all.
posted by cortex at 7:09 AM on January 15, 2007


Hmmm, strange. It does seem to work differently for everyone. The "other window" solution doesn't work for me, but I actually don't have the "other tab" problem all the time, just sometimes.

You know what's stranger? sometimes the thing will work in the background as long as nothing "comes between" me and the player. I mean, if i have a messenger window open it will work fine, as long as that other window doesn't block the flash player from view. Very strange indeed.
posted by micayetoca at 7:46 AM on January 15, 2007


Certain versions of flash with certain browsers on certain platforms don't let sound on another tab play.

But...

...it only happens to me here.
posted by mediareport at 11:17 PM on January 15, 2007


I suspect it could be fairly rewritten as this: certain browsers on certain platforms don't let a specific, common, but not universal method for handling background sound buffering/playback operate correctly when on another tab or otherwise obscuring the flash player in question as well as any other flash instance employing a similar loop, depending, kinda.
posted by cortex at 1:47 AM on January 16, 2007


*sob* if only it weren't so damn intermittent!
posted by mediareport at 6:05 AM on January 16, 2007


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