[Smt-talk] MIDI Files and Copyright

Scott_Atwell at ferris.edu Scott_Atwell at ferris.edu
Mon May 24 11:49:58 PDT 2010

Dear Stefan,

Greetings.  I would say that there is nothing special about the format.
Briefly, if the underlying work is (C) then the MIDI file is (C) as a
derived work.  For example, the melody line to "Yesterday" is (C); if you
add the chords, then even more so.  If it is only a short segment, then
under a 4-factor fair use analysis the use -- creating a MIDI version --
might come out okay.  Distributing/making available just ups the ante/risk
of getting a Cease & Desist letter.

Kind regards,

Scott D. Atwell, Ph.D.
Professor - Reference Librarian and Liaison for
     Art, Music, Philosophy, and Religion
Ferris State University Library for Information, Technology,
     and Education (FLITE)               Tel.: (231) 591-2948
1010 Campus Drive                      Fax.: (231) 591-2662
Big Rapids, MI 49307-2279    Email: atwells at ferris.edu
     URL: http://library.ferris.edu/scott/ockeghem.html

From:	skostka at aol.com
To:	smt-talk at societymusictheory.org
Date:	05/24/2010 01:32 PM
Subject:	[Smt-talk] MIDI Files and Copyright
Sent by:	smt-talk-bounces at societymusictheory.org

I have a lot of MIDI files (actually in .WAV format now) of examples from
my 20th-century book. Most of the music is under copyright. Does anyone on
this list know if it is legal for me to share these files? They are almost
all snippets -- not entire movements.


Stefan Kostka
Professor Emeritus
University of Texas at Austin

skostka at aol.com
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