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unauthorized youtubes of live performances

Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:06 pm
by littlewing53
USA. band was video recorded (performing covers of blues music from early 1900's) without authorization and videos were posted on youtube. i know that frank peterson successfully had many youtubes of sarah brightman performing covers pulled from youtube. does the band in question have any legal rights to their own live performances, even if they are performing covers?

Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:30 pm
by AndyJ
Hi Linda,
I need to preface this reply by saying I am not as up to date on US Intellectual Property law as I am with UK law, so some of my reply may need verification.
Performers generally own the rights to their performance, although in certain circumstances, such as recording contracts, they may sign away some of these rights to their record company or management. However, they need permission and quite often a licence from both the composer and lyricist of any song they cover, if that work is still in copyright. Copyright in music and lyrics (lyrics are classed as literature) lasts for 70 years from the end of the year in which the author dies (this applies to both the US and UK), so it is quite possible that blues songs from the early part of the twentieth century could still be in copyright.
There is a useful Wikipedia article on performer's rights here: ... Performers. Unlike the music and lyrics, performer's rights only last for 50 years from the first publication (ie making available to the public) of the perfrormance.

Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:02 pm
by littlewing53
thanks, andy!