are videos copy written and royalties claimed on old music like Beethovens?

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are videos copy written and royalties claimed on old music like Beethovens?

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It’s not the music that is under Copyright in that Case, but that individual performance. you are free to make your very own recording of that music

The music itself is in the public domain, but any media related to that is copyrighted for as long as the jurisdiction determines. So orchestras pay for the sheet music they play from, and the recording they make is usually copyrighted too.

The exception to this is any work recorded by a federal institution in the USA. I once used a recording I had bought of Holst’s Jupiter in a memorial video for my late uncle. YouTube refused to let me upload it (DRM built in, somehow), but I found a public domain recording by the US Navy orchestra.

The rules around using music in video or film are Byzantine. As noted already, in this specific case it’s not the music, it’s the performance that’s copyrighted. But, IIRC, there are also considerations WRT who published the music. So while Beethoven’s music is in the public domain, the sheets it’s printed on that the orchestra is using might not be. I think lyrics can be copyrighted separate from music, and (I think) you need an additional license if you’re broadcasting the music in a commercial setting.

It’s so complicated I’m pretty sure I’m getting some of it wrong.

No, Beethoven is public domain. Copyright is not forever, it expires. How long it takes depends on juristriction.

Videos are multimedia works (motion picture + sound) and have separate copyrights to consider.

The creator of the visual part of the video gets copyright, and thus can claim some royalties for when the video is played for the public, assuming the visuals are sufficiently original.

Music is special in that it has more than one kind of copyright. The two main components of the *composition* (the lead melody, and the lyrics) get one kind of protection, if sufficiently original. The *sound recording* (of a particular performance of that composition) gets another.

For the composition, while it’s covered by copyright, there’s standard royalties you’re required to pay for a public performance or for a “mechanical” reproduction.

A mechanical reproduction of a composition is like when you are publishing sheet music or manufacturing records, tapes, CDs.

A public performance of a composition is things like concerts, radio & TV broadcasts, and online streaming. It doesn’t matter the performance uses a recording or is live. So a theater, bar, restaurant, store, or radio station often has to pay a middleman (but ultimately the sheet music publishers) for offering any music the public can hear. A streaming service like YouTube has to pay the piper every time someone plays a video that has a copyrighted composition performed in it.

Copyright expires eventually. Beethoven’s compositions are in the public domain, so anyone can publish the sheet music, perform the works, broadcast them, record the performances and sell CDs, and charge whatever they want or give it away for free. Beethoven’s estate doesn’t have exclusive rights anymore, so they do not get to sue all those people, demand payment for licenses, or collect royalties from them for every copy or use of the work.

However, copyright has probably *not* expired on most *sound recordings* of an orchestra or pianist performing Beethoven’s work in modern times. So even though the *composition* is public domain, you are not free to copy, sample, broadcast, or repost those particular *recordings* yet; the record company or performer owns the performance copyright, so it is they, not Beethoven’s estate, who can refuse to permit such use entirely, or grant a license when asked (typically they’ll only do that in exchange for money).

There are also some legal limitations on copyright. One is “exhaustion”, which prevents copyright owners from collecting royalties or exercising control over secondhand sales. Another is explicit exceptions granted for libraries, archives, and educational institutions. Another is fair use or fair dealing laws, which are ways of allowing for reasonable amounts of copying & usage to basically be protected speech. A lot of people like to believe fair use covers whatever blatant copying and online posting they do, when in fact it does not.

YouTube’s Content ID system adds another layer of complexity. In that system, essentially the publishers and record companies get to claim whatever they want about the uploaded videos, change their minds at any time, assert ownership over things they don’t own, etc., and there’s little to no accountability whatsoever.

Not sure if this answers your actual questions.