Monday, October 13, 2014

INFO: Mashups Copyright Basics

Often I see people posting questions regarding copyright issues on forums such as acapellas4u, and while being no expert in these matters I can at least share my own experiences and knowledge of copyright issues affecting mashups. Please be aware though that this is not legal advice and I have no legal qualifications, what is written below is how I currently understand various copyright issues and this may be wrong so be sure to look into these matters yourself if they do affect you.

1. Is downloading an acapella or instrumental legal?
Downloading an acapella, instrumental, or original version of a track for free is almost certainly going to be in breach of an artist/label/publisher's copyright. However the likelihood of you being prosecuted for such activity is currently very low and I suspect pretty close to zero. As I understand it actually sharing/uploading the files is far more likely to get you in  legal trouble than downloading them will.

2. I bought a track off Beatport / iTunes (or any other store). Does this mean I can sell copies of a mashup or remix I made of the track?
In most circumstances no. Buying a copy of a track for your own use from a service such as iTunes does not give you the right to distribute the track yourself to other people. If you wanted to sell copies of a mashup or a remix of someone else's track that you made, then you would first have to get permission from the copyright holder of the music you were using and then pay them the necessary amount to be able to use their track. However remixes of tracks purchased through Beatport can themselves be sold on the Beatport website, check for more details.

3. Can I post a mashup or remix on YouTube?
Yes you can. YouTube automatically scans uploaded videos for copyrighted material. If YouTube decides that a video contains copyrighted material then any royalties that video generates will be paid to the copyright holder of the copyrighted material that is used. YouTube may block your video in certain countries as rules regarding copyright in certain countries are stricter than in others. YouTube may also block videos containing copyrighted material on mobile devices and other platforms which do not generate advertising income. And sometimes YouTube will simply completely block your video if it contains copyrighted material.

4. Can I share a mashup or remix on other internet sites?
It depends. Some sites currently don't scan for copyrighted material (eg dropbox) and some do (eg daily motion). Whether a site which scans for copyrighted material blocks your mashup or remix will vary from site to site. A site which doesn't scan for copyrighted material will obviously allow you to share a mashup or remix but beware that you will probably be in breach of copyright if you share a mashup or remix this way.

5. Can I host a mashup or remix on my own website?
Doing this would most likely infringe upon the artist or label's copyright and could get you in trouble. I have seen people mention producers being sued or fined for hosting mashups on their own site and as such I personally don't host any mashup downloads on my blog. Many other people of course do host mashup and remix downloads (eg mp3 files) on their own sites without incident.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

LISTEN: Beastie Boys vs Andrew W.K. - Body Movin' Party - Mashup by Niall Spence

Hi everyone! Time for a new mashup:

Beastie Boys vs Andrew W.K. - Body Movin' Party

Any dedicated mashup fans out there may have noticed that my last mashup also featured 'Long Live The Party' by Andrew W.K. This time though I've mixed it with another Beastie Boys track as the quality of the acapella used in the first mashup wasn't great.

This mashup was created using the acapella version of 'Body Movin' by the Beastie Boys and an instrumental version of 'Long Live The Party' by Andrew W.K.

Thanks to dickalan at for sharing the original instrumental Andrew W.K. track with the world.

If you would like to hear my other mashups simply click here. And to be the first to hear about my new mashups and music, you can follow me on Twitter (@NiallSpence) or hit like on my facebook page:

Thanks for listening and party hard!