Intellectual Property Law
Intellectual Property Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer
I'm interested in drilling this down a bit and getting specific about some of them as they all don't seem to meet the criteria at the end of your explanation (we'd "reduce the owner's profits from its creative work." Here's the list of sounds I need:
I'm interested in drilling this down a bit and getting specific about some of them as they all don't seem to meet the criteria at the end of your explanation (we'd "reduce the owner's profits from its creative work." Here's the list of sounds I need: 1. Morse code samples.
A: Assuming you were copying the sound of Samuel Morse's original invention, it would be public domain, because the telegraph was invented before 1923 (the earliest date of a protectable sound under the U.S. Copyright Act). Assuming you are copying a sample of someone else's creation of a sound that mimics that of a Morse code click, then that is the creative work of the creator, and you would need a license. This is no different than recording the improvisations of a troubadour signing on the sidewalk for tips. It's your recording, so it's your copyright of the sound recording. However, if the song being sung is written by someone else, then you are infringing the author's copyright. And, if you use the recording of the troubadour's voice without permission, for profit, then you have made a commercial misappropriation, which is an entirely different legal action.
2. (actual sample) boop boop boop...You're call can not be completed as dialed, please check the number and try your call again. A: An tonal experience of a natural or artificial event, such as the song of a bird, or the closing or opening of an electronic relay, is not a "creative work," because: (1) the Copyright Act extends to "persons," and neither a bird, nor a electronic relay sound is within the scope of that definition; and (2) the act of creation is affirmative. It is the "fixed expression" of an idea. You don't wake up in the morning and find that your pen has leaked on some music paper, and that the leak represents notes which make out a hit song. That leak is not the creative work of anyone (except God, who is also not entitled to protection under the U.S. Copyright Act, because God is a non-human entity). You may decide that the leaked ink makes out an interesting possible melody, and then you transcribe that melody onto another piece of music paper -- and then you have an act of creation subject to copyright protection. So, a busy signal, if it was intentionally created for the its purpose, by a phone company at some past moment (after 1922), and unless it is deemed abandoned into the public domain due to no attempt to ever protect the sound (probably so, but not sure), then it's subject to copyright protection. But, if someone makes a sound recording of a busy signal, then that sound recording is protectable, even if the sound being recorded is not -- no different than were you to record Beethoven's 5th Symphony. The Symphony isn't copyright protected, but your recording of the symphony is protected.
All of your remaining examples fall within the scope of my explanations above.
Hope this helps.
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