Edited Music

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Given that some comments in a previous post established that buying edited films is still supporting questionable material, can the same thing be said about edited music (or even films) that were downloaded over the Internet? Is it better morally to have downloaded-but-edited music (if one’s jurisdiction considers it legal) than to have purchased-but-edited music?

6 thoughts on “Edited Music

  1. In MY opinion, only if the edited movies/music/material was edited BY THE ORIGINAL OWNER (film producer, music artist etc.) then it is bordering on illegal and therefore STUPID to buy. I do not buy edited material (although there was this company trying to get all of the member of the church to support thier edited versions of mainstream movies up here for a while…I told them to screw off). If it is not suitable to be watched/listened to in unedited form then I don’t wan tit in my house. PLUS, I just think the whole idea is stupid…I understand it may have originated in Utah…shocking.


  2. Kris, I’ve heard this argument before: editing a movie before resale is illegal.

    Please tell me, does it violate copyright law?

    If not, what law does this practice violate?

  3. It probably does violate copyright law. The Copyright Act prohibits creating a derivative work of a copyrighted work, without the permission of the original creator. It’s arguable whether this edited version would be a derivative work, but if it’s considered sufficiently transformed, it is.

    It also violates a principle of “moral rights” that is involved in international copyright law. Under that principle, if I buy your painting, I own it, but I still don’t have the right to deface it and then sell it (or copies of it) as a defaced work. The French were pioneers in adopting that principle, and it’s been codified into international coyright conventions.

  4. (I should clarify my first paragraph: The Copyright Act I’m describing is a United States federal law. I assume, but don’t know, that the laws of our fellow English common-law neighbor to the north resemble it somewhat.)

  5. Yes, I know. There are various organizations in this business. One that I used to live near was called Clean Flicks. They take out the “naughty parts” and rent or sell the movie without them. They have a license to produce copies for a fee, but they don’t have a specific license to produce derivative works. So in the US, at least, they may be violating the original owner’s copyrights by creating derivative works without a license. They may also be violating artists’ “moral rights” by changing the works into something the artist doesn’t want his work to be.

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