2 Original Arrangements Flagged for Copyright Infringement

• Nov 24, 2015 - 22:09

Some user, no idea who it is, has flagged my 2 original arrangements a few weeks ago, "He's a Pirate" and the "Doctor Who Theme". Neither have I truly claimed to be completely mine, though the arrangements of the pieces are completely mine. The first one to be flagged was He's a Pirate, apparently by someone claiming to be from Walt Disney, though I doubt that since my Doctor Who theme was taken down only 1 hour from He's a Pirate from apparently the Universal Music Publishing Group, though I doubt either of them have actually been done by those companies, but rather by one user likely trying to get rid of my most popular pieces. I've already put in a report of abuse after I've been notified of the supposed infringement, though I've not received any sort of reply.

It is very frustrating to have my own hard work be wasted because of a jealous and malicious user attempting such things. Thank you.


The problem is, even if you put your own work into arranging and transcribing it, somebody else composed the original, and somebody else has paid for the right to publish and distribute it. (Assuming that I understood "original arrangements" correctly.) Frustrating or not, their claim is legitimate. To avoid that scenario in the future, you could either compose music that's entirely your own, or create original arrangements of public domain works. Copyrighted material is, well, copyrighted.

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

However, it is unlikely that Walt Disney would take down my arrangement, then the Universal Music Publishing Group with my other arrangement in exactly 46 minutes (from what the emails state). True that it is copyrighted, but it just seems very unlikely that those 2 groups would do that in under an hour at the same time. I still suspect a malicious user doing it, but as you said, copyright is copyright, and I respect that.

The thing that publishers have a huge issue with is if you were to sell it and make money. However, you should talk to a lawyer to know how the company/copyright office does notifications for copyright infringments. That way, you could know if it was a scam or for real.

In reply to by Elwin

I've not attempted to sell it or even claim it is an original composition, but rather my own arrangement of the song, which is technically mine, minus the name and the origin and such (which is what an arrangement is). I find it suspicious to have 2 songs copyright-flagged in under 1 hour by 2 companies that do not have anything to do with each other. Though, copyright is copyright, I'll speak with the companies and perhaps a lawyer about this issue.

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

I see... Even then, why would mine, out of so many other arrangements and perhaps even exact copies of the original music be left available online on other sites? Whatever the reason may be, I'll just remove the 2 arrangements to avoid a legal battle with the original composers of the original pieces...

I uploaded a reharmonized arrangement of Funny Valentine and it has been flagged too. I notice that there are two other arrangements on the site. Any thoughts on why me and not the others?

In reply to by stewartb132

Because you are now on the radar of UMP, the biggest music publishing group in the world, and they will keep an eye on your MuseScore.com account to see whether you are posting more work which infringes their copyright.

If you persist, they are likely to prosecute.

If you want to keep your arrangements on MuseScore.com flag them as private.

Leaving them open amounts to publication in the eyes of the lawyers.

I still have doubts about the legitimacy of the claims. I created my arrangements for the enjoyment of others, not for any possible profit. I still find it odd how 2 companies on the opposite sides of the Atlantic both flagged 2 of my arrangements one hour apart from each other. Neither companies are affiliated (or ever were) with the pieces nor each other. It just doesn't add up right.

In reply to by Techiastronamo

Fair use - a legitmate concept in the US but not all countries - does not cover full scale arrangements. There are specific guidelines that have to do with things like how large a portion of the copyrighted material was used, etc. "Parody" is something different still with its own requirements for consideration.

Basically, posting your arrangement of a copyrighted work is an infringement, profit or not.

In reply to by Techiastronamo

It's an extremely complex topic, and as I said, it varies between countries. The main idea is to allow you to use a brief section of a copyrighted work for specific purpsoes - like to quote a passage in a review of a workd, or to use a passage as an example in an educational work (a couple of measures to demonstrate how different songs treat a certain chord, for example). it's definitely not* intended to say, "you can do anything you want as long as you don't make money from it". For more detailed information, you'd really need to consult respected legal advice - a lawyer, maybe a web site run by a respected legal source that is kept up to date with constantly changing law. I would say, you need to do that for ypour particular country, but you also have to keep in mind that even if something constitutes fair use in one country. it might not in another.

In reply to by Techiastronamo

Let me explain it to you this way. My knowledge of this has changed since I last posted. It technically is infringement if you arrange it. However, you technically make yourself more vulnerable when you decide to sell it. The penalty is more intense than if they catch you just arranging it to give away. *Companies do search for people who do this. They however are unable to find everybody. They basically are playing hide and seek. It is tough if you are found.

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