Originally Posted by Michael Zaneski
Originally Posted by Pat Hardy
Originally Posted by Michael Zaneski
Hi Pat,

I address this about seven posts up on this page, in response to you there as well. I think there are more substantial things to worry about than if the use of a BIAB track ended up in a lawsuit involving an end-user (license owner). I mean, it's been several years and it hasn't happened yet.

As I said, any real lawsuit would have to be one end-user vs. another end-user, and that would be ridiculous, since BIAB users understand that Realtracks are created from the same source performances and would never sue over Realtracks. This doesn't mean that other things like composition or melody would be safe, but that has nothing to do with BIAB.

One can certainly copyright songs that have Realtracks in them. What, do you think the Library of Congress has a BIAB filter that sounds an alarm when they are used? No. It would take a recording artist that felt violated to come forward and sue another recording artist, and then they'd sort it out either in court or out of, but as I said, it probably wouldn't ever happen over Realtracks..


I hear ya, and some very valid points you make, but my situation is a little different than that. I have a few compositions, that I copyrighted as masters ( SR copyrights ) and secured publishing contracts, these publishers are trying to get deals in TV and film licensing them. Thing is, I haven't disclosed that some of the recordings employ the use of realtracks, which are, if you go by the definition used in Title 17, in the public domain ( given that they are available to anyone who purchases a copy of BIAB ) so I'm wondering if their lawyers knew exactly what "realtracks" were, would I be breaching the "no samples" clause in the contract I signed? I've been afraid to ask ( I needed the contract, but maybe I'm selling myself short down the road, thing is, I can't afford to hire live musicians ). I didnt make that clear in my previous post, but this is the reason I posted what I did.

Here is an example of the kinds of stuff I do with BIAB, it's great for latin and vintage jazz.


Hi Pat,

Show me the part of title 17 that says audio that is available to anyone such as licensed owners of samples or loops is considered in "the public domain" ..? My understanding of sound recording copyright is that there's hardly anything considered public domain by current definition, and BIAB audio performances are twice removed from that definition in that they are owned by PG music and then licensed to BIAB users who then have a right to use "cut-up" versions (as opposed to the original performances that follow an intricate circle of fifths kind of song) of said performances in their works, and publish them, etc.

My guess is (and take this with a grain, please) is that you are fine. It really depends on the Library or Publishers in question, but I imagine the worst that would happen would be they'd stop representing your song. I imagine "their laywers" are worried about any possible lawsuits that might come from (unlicensed) samples being used in a song that they were representing, and there wouldn't be any lawsuits coming at them "from the outside" in regards Realtracks.

Of course, if a song with a Realtrack in it became poplular, the artist that was the original Realtrack performer (that was paid in work-for-hire fashion) might get miffed cuz they won't see any of that money, and then try a "hail mary, full of lawyers" lol--but that's like sour grapes, though perhaps justified, if you look at folks like Paul Simon who paid Los Lobos members and a bunch of New Orleans and African musicians to just come in and "jam some rhythm tracks" for him, and then he pays them outright but then used several of the performances on his Graceland Album. I don't think legally anyone successfully sued Paul Simon in this regard, though bad blood between Simon and Los Lobos remains to this day.

Why not just ask your publisher? Then you'll know for sure. If you are fearing action against you involving money--why would they do that? Where's the financial damage? Worst case--they'd probably thank you for coming forward and say, "sorry, we need to return your songs to you" --iow, if you ask your publisher, that AT LEAST prevents them from selling one of these songs and having it make them money and then they get slapped with a lawsuit..then they might want restitution from you..but I still doubt even that..cuz again..who would be suing--who would be "damaged?"


I called the trumpet player who recorded the trumpet realtracks, and let him hear my song.

That's precisely what his reaction was, 'shouldn't I be compensated?"

I told him that he was already compensated by PGMusic and that they grant a license to let users use the tracks to their heart's content, it so states on their website, and that if he had any issue, he needs to take it up with PGmusic.

I never heard from him again.

As for Title 17, it has a lot of info, and I forgot where I read it, but it specifically says material
that has been recorded or performed before, will not be protected by a new copyright registration.

Realtracks fit that description, and given that they are available to anyone, I don't see how I can copyright them, it would mean that no one else could use the track I copyrighted, and that doesn't make sense.

As such, they must be in the public domain.

Sure, I can copyright the melody and words, but if I do and SR copyright on the physical recording, the registration only applies to stuff I did, not stuff other people did, unless I got a work-for-hire from those people. What lawyers at recording companies worry is people sampling stuff, and if someone sampled the realtracks backing tracks, how could I stop them? The stuff is available to anyone, heck, they could go right to the realtrack recordings and find the licks there. (not that anyone would want to, this is just I'm imagining how a lawyer would look at it).

That's how I understand it. I can't afford a lawyer right now, and I don't want to bring it up to the publisher, not right now anyway. Realtracks are hard to explain. "They've been recorded before?" they ask. "you mean you are not giving us original work" they ask? so I say
" yeah, but the tracks are ....."

sheesh, it's hard to explain. See what i mean?

The only thing about real tracks I imagine that might be copyrightable is the sequencing, but individual licks, since anyone can access them, anyone can use them, and how can they be copyrightable? Plus, the fact that they were "done before"