Say, I record a live mix I am doing at home for practice, using tracks which I have purchased. I would like to share this mix legally on the Internet. What are the copyright issues involved and how can I share the mix legally?

  • If you are mixing tracks that someone else recorded than you need the owner's permission to broadcast it, otherwise you are out right stealing material that does not belong to you.
    – filzilla
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 20:15
  • Yeah exactly - but isn't there a standard system in place for that or something like that? I mean if I am mixing 20-30 tracks of 20-30 artists that's a lot of people to ask for permission not to mention a lot of time? (What if they are big artists? - e.g. won't be expecting a response at all or maybe I should be talking to their labels or?) Should I be contacting their labels instead. What do amateurs do? (apart from publishing ilegaly)
    – Ivan Zlatev
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 20:28
  • That's cool that you want to do this the right way. I have only needed to ask permission once so far and that was for a non-commercial video release for some excellent recordings of engines. I got their permission by explaining my project in detail and showing them the final result. Normally all my stuff is 100% original so I don't have much experience in getting permission, specifically for the big names. I suggest you explore limited licensing as well when you negotiate. The key work is negotiate.
    – filzilla
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 20:50
  • People do this on soundcloud all the time, I don't think its an issue. (also check out mixcloud mixcloud.com/about)
    – Magrangs
    Commented Oct 16, 2012 at 7:57
  • @Magrangs, check out this Soundcloud page, and this related article.
    – JoshP
    Commented Oct 16, 2012 at 17:30

2 Answers 2


The first thing to say here is, I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. Second thing to say... you should talk to a lawyer to answer questions about your particular situation definitively.

Having said that, I found a nice article about the various issues related to DJing, etc. I believe the bit below should be applicable to you, though I'd recommend reading the whole thing. Very interesting...

There is, however, a doctrine of copyright law called Fair Use that creates a limited exception to this rule. Fair Use is a defense to copyright infringement designed to encourage innovation, parody, and other beneficial results. The applicability of Fair Use to a given case is analyzed through four questions, which I’ve contextualized below. Here are the questions as they would relate to an unofficial remix:

  • What was the purpose of the remix? If it can be viewed as a progression or commentary on the original, you’re better off than if it simply tries to “cash-in” on a tune that someone else wrote.
  • What was the availability of the original song, and had it been released yet? It’s tougher to claim Fair Use if your remix is based on an advance or an unreleased track, because copyright law strives to protect the decision-making process of the original author as he decides whether or not to make his work public.
  • How much of the original song did you use in your remix? Looping just two bars of bass from the original with a host of new stems is much more likely be viewed as Fair Use than playing a song start-to-finish and adding a few vocals.
  • Has your remix diminished the value of the original song to the copyright holder? This isn’t confined to the idea that people might prefer the remix to the original when buying a record (since everyone’s doing so much of that lately); it’s relevant to licensing opportunities in film, television and commercials as well.

For each individual music piece you would have to determine what the license you obtained it from was, whether or not that license allows for derivative works from it and if not you need to get permission from the person or corporation that owns the rights to the work:

a) Is it licensed under Creative Commons? ( http://creativecommons.org/ ). If so does the chosen Creative Commons license allow adaptations? Or does it forbid it (Attribution-NoDerivs).

b) Is it in the public domain? Are you sure it is in the public domain? (Copyright laws changed recently, the musical piece might be public domain but the CD recording of a particular orchastra performing it might not be, etc.)

c) If it is not public domain or under Creative Commons who owns the publishing rights? Have you gotten their permission to use the material?

If you purchased all of the music then what I would do is contact the publisher of each piece of music for with a description of how you intend to use it and get written permission from them that it is alright to use it before posting it publicly online. If you are going to be making money off of selling the music or are going to be exposed to a large audience then you should probably consider getting a lawyer involved just to be safe.

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