MIDI Files legality

Sampler and Sampling discussion (techniques, tips and tricks, etc.)
RyanG
KVRian
1012 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Post Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:19 am

Hey,

I found a midi file of Britney Spears' "Toxic" online, and I was wondering if it is illegal to distribute these. I have no idea if this is an "official" midi - but it's just a straight-up .mid file with no samples or instruments whatsoever. I wouldn't be using melodies or rhythms from this for my own songs, but it's interesting to see how these types of songs are put together.

So is this technically illegal?

Thanks

~Ryan

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BertKoor
KVRAF
11605 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:29 am

RyanG wrote:I found a midi file of Britney Spears' "Toxic" online, and I was wondering if it is illegal to distribute these. [...]

So is this technically illegal?
For you it IS illegal to distribute it. For the original site you got it from: it depends... It can be done totally legal afaik, if they bothered to go that route.
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derival
Banned
32 posts since 22 Sep, 2008

Post Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:59 am

yes its illegal.
Melodies are protected by copyright

Optomadic
KVRAF
6125 posts since 18 Oct, 2007

Post Fri Sep 26, 2008 7:07 am

So make sure you have the rights before you whistle it in front of more than 10 people or a van will pull up and a bunch of guys in masks will wisk you away to an interogation center :P.
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BertKoor
KVRAF
11605 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Fri Sep 26, 2008 7:10 am

derival wrote:Melodies are protected by copyright
Correct. But they may be published in another form, when all parties have agreed upon that. The legality of a midi file is the same as that of any cover version produced as regular audio.

So it's not always illegal. There are many legit midi file shops around. For example: http://www.tmfonline.com and their copyrights info page is http://www.tmfonline.com/eng/Privacy/
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MaliceX
KVRAF
2893 posts since 26 Jul, 2005 from dun unda

Post Fri Sep 26, 2008 7:13 am

The whole issue with derived works and sequences is still a massive gray area. Especially since the majority of these MIDI's are compiled and sold into MIDI Karaoke DVD's in Asian countries with 10000+ songs to choose from...it makes you wonder.

Then again, at the most instances these aren't created by the official producers (with few exceptions but are usually recorded as sequential audio of some type, Guitar Hero?) Then there's the ringtone business, where the mobile companies are making loads from that franchise alone. Heck, some of them are in fact illegal if not are simply selling MIDI's downloaded straight from websites that provide it for free. (In the case of video game music sequences at vgmusic.com, some cases had been reported...)

In short, the market is so big, it's techically illegal since stealing melodies is obviously a big deal with these big money f**ks, yet so many songs use the same damned chord progression if not melody as well anyway? What's the diff?

Also, in most cases when people transcribe music in such a fashion like this, I've even seen people sell unauthorized instrumentals. How come there's no court cases for that?

PS: Remember. Timbaland is a poser as well. Taking a sequence that isn't his and selling it through his own music.

MaxSynths
KVRAF
4592 posts since 2 Nov, 2006

Post Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:57 am

Illegal. Is it legal when you buy MIDI files from authorized sellers.
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Kriminal
Banned
18682 posts since 2 Oct, 2001 from England

Post Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:01 am

MIDI files arent usually by the original author, they are made by someone who just copies what they think is the song, most arent reliable versions.

nunchi
KVRist
35 posts since 24 Sep, 2008

Post Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:52 am

if you buy it in legal store and the copyrigh owner gets his money, its legal

nesvarbu02
KVRist
31 posts since 18 Nov, 2007

Post Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:15 am

no it's not, unless you are using it for non comercial use!

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BertKoor
KVRAF
11605 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:02 am

nesvarbu02 wrote:no it's not, unless you are using it for non comercial use!
But the same applies to any compact disk or mp3 or iTune you buy... It's all stated in the fine print. Lending, hiring, broadcasting, public performance etc etc prohibited.
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MaliceX
KVRAF
2893 posts since 26 Jul, 2005 from dun unda

Post Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:53 am

In Yamaha MySound (www.mysound.jp), a Japanese music distribution site on the vein of Myspace, allows the uploading of cover versions of music whether it be audio or MIDI, and allows for stream playback but will not allow actual file download on the user-end. (Original material I think the user gets to decide, or is allowed otherwise.) The rumor is, Yamaha will pay for royalties for cover version transcriptions uploaded onto their service.

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