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#574995 - 01/08/20 04:57 PM [Songwriting] A question about lyrics and copyrights
Registered: 09/02/18
Posts: 980
Loc: Denmark
Will Josef Offline
Expert

Registered: 09/02/18
Posts: 980
Loc: Denmark
I really would like to make a song out of a poem from Charles Baudelaire. That is not a problem because his works is PD, but what if I want to make an English version? Do I need to find a translation that is at least 95 years old as well?

I guess translations are copyrighted, but I am not sure?

Thanks in advance for any help.
Will

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#575012 - 01/08/20 06:21 PM [Songwriting] Re: A question about lyrics and copyrights [Re: Will Josef]
Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 16366
Loc: Australia
Noel96 Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 16366
Loc: Australia
Hi Will,

Here's my take on it (please keep in mind that I'm not a copyright lawyer)...

If the translation is a line-by-line translation that simply interprets what's written, you probably have some copyright freedom. After all, it would be easy enough to get hold of someone who speaks French and ask them to do a line by line translation. Google could even do this for you.

If the translation is a re-creation of the poem with it's rhyme scheme and meter preserved but just written in another language, then the translator has gone to a great deal of trouble and there would be copyright on this.

Regards,
Noel


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#575079 - 01/09/20 06:14 AM [Songwriting] Re: A question about lyrics and copyrights [Re: Will Josef]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 6861
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 6861
The original work is what gets copyrighted. So to translate it into a different language is not a problem.

There might be a grey area as Noel suggests, however, if you don't use the translated version, and alter it to fit the groove of the song you are writing, you should be well within the safe area. Most poems do not translate to song lyrics directly. Most require some sort of adaption to make it work as a song and if you are coming from another language.... absolutely.

Why not consider the original language and then your version of the translated into English version? There are a number of songs that come to mind that have both languages in them. Even doing the same verse in the original and English....

This>>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu9MoFrwqgg However, the Spanish singing is NOT what they are showing on the screen. Not even close. If they were trying to translate it, they failed big time. But the point it the 2 languages used together.


Edited by Guitarhacker (01/09/20 06:15 AM)
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#575186 - 01/09/20 03:05 PM [Songwriting] Re: A question about lyrics and copyrights [Re: Will Josef]
Registered: 09/02/18
Posts: 980
Loc: Denmark
Will Josef Offline
Expert

Registered: 09/02/18
Posts: 980
Loc: Denmark
Hi Herb and Noel,

Thanks for the answers and the good example from YT, Herb.

I think I will make a "free" translation and interpretation myself... I know some French... and have word books and Google that can help me with the rest. Because the translation I had in mind is clearly a re-imagined version of the poem.

Thanks a lot for helping me out!
Will


Edited by Will Josef (01/09/20 03:06 PM)

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#575221 - 01/09/20 06:03 PM [Songwriting] Re: A question about lyrics and copyrights [Re: Will Josef]
Registered: 10/09/16
Posts: 902
Loc: Central Ohio
edshaw Online   content
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Registered: 10/09/16
Posts: 902
Loc: Central Ohio
Google translator is a great idea. Is it possible for the ordinary citizen to obtain copies of all known translations? It is possible someone has already done a line for line and claimed it.
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#575538 - 01/11/20 12:44 PM [Songwriting] Re: A question about lyrics and copyrights [Re: Will Josef]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3398
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3398
Loc: Sacramento, California
Translations are copyrighted, as they are more than mechanical transliterations from one language's word to another language's word. This generally holds true for any sort of literary work.
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#576106 - 01/14/20 02:51 PM [Songwriting] Re: A question about lyrics and copyrights [Re: Will Josef]
Registered: 04/01/07
Posts: 308
funkycornwall Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 04/01/07
Posts: 308
Surely you could then make your own translation and then you’d have that copyright? You would just need to make it did-fervent from others. This is a very interesting question and I am only guessing.

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PG Music News
Band-in-a-Box® for Mac Patch Updates Ready! (2019 & 2020)

We've JUST released FREE Updates for existing Band-in-a-Box® for Mac 2019 and 2020 program users!

Band-in-a-Box® 2020 Update - Build 407
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What do these include?

Summary of changes for Band-in-a-Box® 2020 Update - Build 407: (get it here)
Fixed: RealDrums Quick List was empty if launched from main toolbar.
Improved: Bootup time is faster.
Fixed: It is not possible to type ^ (caret symbol for pushes) in chordsheet if using an Italian keyboard layout.
Fixed: Opening songs from older versions might misinterpret song title as ?.
Fixed: Buttons in Custom toolbar are not draggable.
Fixed: The time signature button on the main toolbar did not do anything.
Fixed: A maximum of 1990 MIDI events are loaded from a song file into the Melody or Soloist track.
Fixed: RealDrums Quick List menu item did not do anything.
Fixed: Find a Sub for RealDrums menu item did not do anything.
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Fixed: Song title will be changed to ? when re-saving if it previously contained international characters like é or ©.

DAW Plugin 2.5.18
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Fixed: Undo removes all chords after opening a song
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Fixed: Removed alert menu when sync playing tracks that are not up-to-date (generated).
Fixed: Cancelling generate made song lose "dirty" state
Fixed: All selected tracks should drag from the plugin
Fixed: Shortcut file feature not working always working. Support was also added for pgshortc.txt files
Fixed: Double clicking grey area in chord sheet started playback
Fixed: Bar highlighting skipped last chorus when the start bar is greater than 1
Fixed: Right-click on bar should first launch popup menu
Fixed: Double clicking anywhere on a track should open its picker
Added: About to File Menu
Added: "year" to plugin name
Fixed: remove sync tempo button if already synced
Fixed: improve 2 finger scroll (too fast)

Summary of changes for Band-in-a-Box® 2019 Update - Build 323: (get it here)
Fixed: Bootup time is faster.
Fixed: It is not possible to type ^ (caret symbol for pushes) in chordsheet if using an Italian keyboard layout.
Fixed: Opening songs from older versions might misinterpret song title as ?.
Fixed: The time signature button on the main toolbar did not do anything.
Fixed: A maximum of 1990 MIDI events are loaded from a song file into the Melody or Soloist track.
Fixed: Various problems with localized versions.

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Updated Song Titles Browser in Band-in-a-Box® 2020!

If you're looking for a Band-in-a-Box® Style in the feel of a familiar/popular song title, then the Song Titles Browser option in the Band-in-a-Box® StylePicker is the perfect feature for you!

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SongPicker Enhancements in Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Mac!

The Band-in-a-Box® SongPicker has been enhanced with our newest 2020 version!

The SongPicker now builds faster for large song lists (>30K and up to 60,000 songs). The [Song] button (or the [Open] button) now has 3 additional menu items to launch the SongPicker.

- Open SongPicker in Current Folder: This opens the SongPicker in the current folder of the last loaded song.
- Open SongPicker in Home Folder: This opens the SongPicker in the home folder, which is Applications/Band-in-a-Box/MySongs or as set in the SongPicker.
- Open SongPicker in Favorite Folder: This launches the Favorite Folder dialog which allows you to choose any previously used folder where a song was loaded from, and then open the SongPicker in that folder.

In the SongPicker, there is a new “Open in Home” option. If this is enabled, the SongPicker will always open in the home folder instead of the current folder when you press the default [Song] button to open the SongPicker.

Searching for songs matching a chord progression or melody has been enhanced. There are three new checkboxes: "Key must match exactly," "Chord Extension must match exactly", and "Time Signature must match."

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