Thread: song rights
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Old 06-12-2000, 11:36 AM   #9
SingerMD
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SingerMD is an unknown quantity at this point
Join Date: May 2000
Location: South of the Border
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Jude Fox, well letís just say you bring up some Ďvery interestingí points in your above posting.

If you are part of a new drum group (e.g. scout group) I would say itís ill advised to compose your own songs. Stick to the classics youíll do just fine. Just a word of warning you have to know when/where to sing it Ė you donít want to sing a flag song as an intertribal. As for finding out if a song is Ďon the drumí a general rule is if itís on a commercial tape itís normally fair game. As for seeking the right to sing a song from its composer(s) please explain to me how people today are still singing songs that are 100 years old? Their dead youíre alive, you canít now can you? However, if your at a dance and a say Black Stone brings out a new song you have never heard before, I would ask questions about the song (what the words are, who composed it, is it Ďon the drumí etc.).

The copyright comments above are really incorrect, if youíre interested in learning more you can go and read Title 17 US Code. If you pick letís say a song off of one of Black Lodgeís commercial tapes and learn it and sing it correctly there is no copyright violation. However, if you are copying the entire tape for resale in order to make a profit then you can be held legally responsible. Now at a powwow, if you sing a family song with out permission all hell can break loose and it is possible that your drum might be taken and youíre asked to leave. I would suggest that you pay for your mistake, but as for them charging $500.00 legally they can not do that Ė it helps to know the law.
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