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Re: Derivative works for songs



On Fri, 11 May 2007 16:05:34 +0100 Matthew Johnson wrote:

> For the Frets on Fire arcade game which we are packaging I have found
> an original artist willing to licence his works under the MIT licence.

That's great news, indeed!  :)

> Four of the five songs are completely original works; the fifth,
> however, whilst being an original composition is inspired by another
> song. The email I have from the artist is below; I think that probably
> this counts as a derivative work, and hence would need permission from
> the original author, but I am not sure.

Mmmmh, the author says

| The song "Ryu´s theme" is a heavy metal version of the Ryu´s Song in
| the famous videogame Street Fighter 2

I really cannot remember the original Ryu's theme (it's been a looong
time since I last saw Street Fighter 2 in an arcade, and the audio is
usually set pretty low volume in arcades anyway...), hence I'm not
qualified to evaluate by myself.

However, if the author says that it's a metal version of Ryu's theme, I
think he means that the melody is the same, even though the musical
genre is changed.
*If* this is the case, I would call it a "cover" and hence I'm afraid it
qualifies as an adaptation or derivative work of the original
soundtrack, which is copyrighted by CAPCOM (most probably).

> Obviously debian-legal are not lawyers, but I would appreciate your
> opinions. I could just leave it out to be on the safe side, I could
> leave it in, hope that the ftp-masters accept it and hope that nothing
> comes of it or I could try and get an opinion from someone like SPI.

I would leave it out.


There's another issue with the remaining four songs, though.
Is their source available?
I mean: what's the preferred form[1] for making modifications to the
songs?  Is this form available?

I ask it because I'm convinced[2] that DFSG#2 mandates the distribution
of source, even for works whose license does not mandate it.
Moreover, I see that some of the songs have a comment that claims
"Made with Sony ACID Pro 5.0".  Are they made with this proprietary
sequencer[3]?
If this is the case, I'm afraid that those songs Build-Depend on
non-free software...


[1] this is the most widely accepted definition of source code (it's the
    one found in the GNU GPL)
[2] however, surprisingly enough, release managers don't seem to agree
    with me for non-programmatic works...
[3] http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/products/acidfamily.asp


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