It is a very pertinent question in the current context that is it legal to remix music or a song?
If you are making mash-up for your personal playlist, then your remix song could be costlier for you if a copyright holder sues you for infringement. Remix songs are simply mixture and not the original work.
We can say legal issues pertinent to mixers are that these come under the category of derivative work which means that these are derived from others artist work. And we all must be aware that all music has copyright protection which prevents the others from using it in any manner without permission of the owner.
Before reaching to any concluding remark, lets first analyse legal position:
Section 13 of the Copyright Act, 1957 states that copyright exists in music or songs and Section 14 grants rights to the author and states that copyright is an exclusive right by virtue of which owner of work is authorised to:
- reproduce work in any form,
- issue copy of the work;
- perform the work in public;
- make any films;
- sound recording in the work;
- translation of that work.
Now, check out what amounts to infringement?
Section 51 simply states that if any person without obtaining a license from the owner or the registrar of the copyright does any of the things which violate the right conferred on the owner then it shall be considered as the infringement.
On the other hand, section 52 lists out those actions which are not construed as infringement, if:
- Sound recording have been done with license or obtaining the consent of the owner;
- the person making sound recording has given a notice of his intention and provided the copies and has paid the prescribed fees to the owner of the exclusive rights.
- Sound recording has been made after the expiration of 2 calendar year after the end of the year in which first sound recording was made;
From the above position of law, it is clear that but for the provisions of section 52(1) (j) as stated above, the making of remix songs would amount to an illegal act.
Therefore, a person has to take precautions to remixing any songs:
- Dont make any alterations without the previous consent of the owner;
- Adaptation which is not necessary to remix the songs;
Once the person has taken all these precautions and satisfied aforesaid conditions of the section then his remix song shall not amount to Copyright infringement.