Copyright infringement? You decide.

I am learning (and in two cases relearning) arias for my new voice teacher right now. One of the techniques I picked up at Saltnote Stageworks is YouTubing songs I am learning to hear other’s interpretations and stagings for character ideas. However there is another kind of video on YouTube I have run across at least a dozen times now and was having fun thinking about. It is a video where someone (probably with way to much time on their hands) has put a video of images of a given score scrolling across the page while the music plays. Here is an example of such a video using one of my arias (Che Faro Senza Euridice):

Now, the copyright question is: is this use transformative? As the Stanford Univeristiy Libraries page says:

1. The Transformative Factor: The Purpose and Character of Your Use

In a 1994 case, the Supreme Court emphasized this first factor as being a primary indicator of fair use. At issue is whether the material has been used to help create something new, or merely copied verbatim into another work.

This one of the four questions for determining fair use–which is by definition unauthorized use of a copyrighted piece.

Anyway, there are two potential infringements in this video: the almost certainly unauthorized use of Marilyn Horne‘s voice/the orchestra’s instruments on the background recording and the images of the score itself which I recognize from my own copies.

Is the work civileso put into creating images and making them scroll in perfect time to the music (assuming s/he didn’t use a program which does it automatically?) enough to make this use transformative?

You decide.

Inspirational Quote:

I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work… I want to achieve it through not dying.
Woody Allen

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