I've decided to use some music for my game by various mainstream artists such as Kent, Muse, Coldplay, and a few others, obviously meaning I couldn't sell the game for profit. But even without profit, would this get me in any legal trouble (unless I gave full credit to the authors, all rights reserved, etc)? If not, would it be legal to accept donations?
Sorry for this dumb question. Thanks to all who replieth!
I'll bet you they use a system that detects the music. You know how sometimes a little "buy in itunes" thing pops up at the bottom of music videos? I doubt they screen those individually. Things like Shazam detect music!
You have to research to find out under what law the copyrighted content is being covered under. The reason sites like Youtube post such broad restrictions is as a rule of thumb so that they can protect everyone without pulling the magnified glass up on everyone to make sure they're doing what they need to be doing.
There are a variety of levels of copyright protection, if you want to use someone elses material, it's your job to do individual research and content the authors as need be. Guaranteed though, higher up artists like Muse and Coldplay are going to be difficult to make contact with much less let you use their music without some sort of compensation - even if it's not for profit.
You can't reproduce or distribute any copyrighted songs without written permission. No ifs, ands, or buts, you just can't. Accepting donations and using copyrighted music without permission would be a big no-no, too.
There is Fair Use. Look it up on Wikipedia for specifics, but under Fair Use you're basically allowed 10% of the song's length, up to 30 seconds. To get 30 seconds worth of song, it would have to be 5:00 long. (Remember to convert to seconds before figuring out the percentage!)
Very good points, all. I'm still debating whether I should just find a musician to make an OST, take music off of Newgrounds, or just use small sections of copyrighted songs. If I recall, a few Newgrounds members tend to use copyrighted audio in small segments, and haven't really been caught for it. So we'll see; I'll just do my best to stay out of any legal trouble. (Though even small segments of cp'd music could get me in trouble)
Originally Posted by SiLVERFIRE You have to research to find out under what law the copyrighted content is being covered under.
This. Generally, you can assume that it's illegal to use, but they won't bother to sue you if you're not making money
Illegal means they have the rights to sue you whenever, such as if you make them look bad or if they think they can make a profit from it. But lawyers are expensive, so they won't be suing you for fun.
Disclaimer: Any sarcasm in my posts will not be mentioned as that would ruin the purpose. It is assumed that the reader is intelligent enough to tell the difference between what is sarcasm and what is not.
Originally Posted by aphant You can't reproduce or distribute any copyrighted songs without written permission. No ifs, ands, or buts, you just can't. Accepting donations and using copyrighted music without permission would be a big no-no, too.
creative-commons-licensed music is copyrighted yet does not require permission to distribute (and depending on the terms even modify and sell)