Grave Matters

*A follow-up to this post can be found here.*

This morning, John generously pointed out to me that my scores look oddly similar to some that are up for sale on musicnotes.com. Upon further investigation, I found that they are identical – all sixteen of them judging by previews, only that they seemed to have been scanned by another music software.

Now, before anyone rushes to the conclusion and calls out plagiarism, bear in mind that I received a message a couple months ago on YouTube regarding an offer for monetary compensation for using my work. (You can read back on that story here.) At the time, I sent back an e-mail, simply asking the person for the name of his/her company. But since I received no further reply, I proceeded to dismiss it as a scam. It has yet to be verified if the person contacted me on behalf of Musicnotes.com or not.

Right now I’m up to my neck with the matter and I’m trying to sort it all out with generous help from other fellow musicians. Meanwhile, be assured that the project is still going on, but uploads will be put on hold for now. A few things will have to be verified first before I can make further statements and decisions regarding this matter and, possibly, the running of this site.

Lastly, whatever happens, “Test Drive” is still amazingly brilliant.

Cheers,

Alex

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20 thoughts on “Grave Matters

  1. wow, that stinks bro. well the only problem is that they are legit arrangements on musicnotes. it has copyright for DreamWorks and BMG Rights Management. Best of luck to you!

    • Thanks. I’m long aware of the license and copyright. As bad as it seems, it’s actually not the worst case as I imagined. Whatever the outcome, I know still how to get what my work deserves.

  2. I may not be very educated on the matter of copyrights, but I do know that those were your arrangements, and that since there are no official ones out there, then that representative should have been regularly corresponding with you and getting permission!!! Or at least give you the credit and the money!!!!!! 😦 That really sucks.

    • My optimistic mind tells me that the legal terms were bound to turn out this way and some unfortunate miscommunication left me unaware of what’s going on. Even if this is the case I still have some grounds to hold my end of the bargain. At least now I’m comforted that I’m most likely dealing with official people rather than some ruthless plagiarist.

      • Oh yeah, and I just went to MusicNotes, and they can’t even get the tempo right!!! Sheesh.

      • All legalities aside, I’m slightly put off that most of the stuffs went up there before I even had a chance to revise some obvious mistakes which I noticed only later. I was planning to do that at the very end of the project and they could’ve gotten a better deal had they waited a couple more months!

  3. I just finished reading this article http://www.paythepiper.co.uk/copyright.asp and it is indeed complicated (especially the third paragraph). It is not like you publish your scores in a form of book/hardcopy and then sell it in bookstores, but I guess if you could contact Powell or Varese Sarabande directly then you would have upper hand.

    The 8th paragraph is also ambiguous (“Finally, – and this affects……”) The song is indeed belongs to the composer, but I agree with the part that the *arrangement*, or the way notes are played, belongs to you. If in the trial it is then proven that your scores and Powell’s scores are identical that will be too much coincidence I guess… and no I am not hoping this case goes to the court either.

    Me too, i’ve already done several covers for anime songs and game soundtracks here (fortunately most arrangements are not written/I keep them in my head or done on-the-fly); do I have to seek permission from those game companies or animation studios as well? We have seen a vast amount of videos about people playing/covering/arranging music in youtube and as long as proper credits are given to composers etc then it should be fine, just saying.

  4. This is ridiculous. I had some songs I would have liked to play for my family over the fourth of july weekend. Too bad they’re no longer there. Please re post them soon.

    • yeah it does stink. but i downloaded what i wanted before he took em down. what did you want? i have one of the tracks.

      • Actually, it’s fine. I realized that the file got saved to my computer before the link was taken down. Sorry for worrying you, but it would be nice if you could get this whole issue fixed soon.
        Thank you for your time,
        Nicolas

  5. Hi Alex, one month has passed already, how is musicnotes response? Looking good?
    The new blog layout is rather confusing for me, dunno with the others, hehe…

    • Hey Ryan. Yes, there has been a response, but a few details will probably never be clarified. One thing’s for sure though: copyright law sucks for us arrangers. The status quo will still be kept from what I can see. I’ll make a formal post about this soon – still deciding on what to disclose.
      As for layout, do you find the centre column a wee-bit narrow like I do?

      • Did you succeed to obtain a permision either from the publisher or composer?

        Exactly—the centre column is too small 😀

      • Not precisely. The situation was still kind of volatile when I wrote the last comment, but things are starting to look better.
        I just fixed the layout. What do you think?

      • Yep, blog layout is better now 🙂
        Glad to hear good news and this disaster will end soon. I wish you the best to win the case. #prayforalex

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