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The scope of musical works

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:21 pm
by Halie0201
What is the scope of musical works? Can the sound of drums with rhythm be protected by copyright as musical works or other kinds of works? I ask this because the sound of drums has no tunes like the music played by piano. For the sound of drums, it consists of beats with rhythm.

Just like this: sound of jazz drum without music: https://youtu.be/5F0_xro5mFk?t=319
Or the drumbeat in this video (not including the music): https://youtu.be/vhy5IL9jQNI?t=56
Can this be protected by copyright? If I play the jazz drum to make the same sound, and use the drumbeat in my music, is it a copyright infringement?

Re: The scope of musical works

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:42 pm
by AndyJ
Hi Halie,

Yes, the music made by drums (and indeed all percussion instruments) is protected by copyright, provided that the music has been recorded in some way, either in audible form or by some sort of musical notation. Indeed a number of copyright infringement cases have been about drum parts that have been sampled and included in another song.

Re: The scope of musical works

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:38 am
by Halie0201
Would you please provide some cases as references? Thank you!

Re: The scope of musical works

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:07 am
by AndyJ
Hi Halie,

I don't have a lot of time to dig out all the references to answer your question more fully right now, but I will try and return to it this weekend if you want more. But just for now take a look at these three cases: TufAmerica v Beastie Boys (see para 35 onwards), New Old Music v Gottwald, and Kraftwerk v Setlur (pdfs).