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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12465
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I want to make sure that I'm not breaking any copyright

Customer Question

Hi there, I want to make sure that I'm not breaking any copyright laws. I'm in a musical theatre act that is using the backing music and melody (but newly written lyrics) of popular musical theatre show tunes to be used in our musical play (which is an original script that we have written). We aren't using excerpts of backing music or melody, we are using whole backing tracks and all the melody and the lyrics don't reference the original material or make a direct social comment. The new lyrics support the storyline of the play (which itself has a strong social comment). Any advice greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 months ago.

Thank you for your question. I am a solicitor interested in intellectual property law. If you are using the whole music even with different lyrics (I hope I have understood you correctly) then that is a blatant breach of copyright if you don’t have permission. The only type of exception here may be a parody sketch or similar which you can learn about here http://www.copyrightuser.org/understand/exceptions/parody-pastiche/ but from what you say that is not the case. You are using someone’s music and therefore have to seek permission to do so to perform it in public. Happy to discuss further. I hope that helps. Please leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.