My own transcription of Nessun Dorma - Copyright questions

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Boertjie
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My own transcription of Nessun Dorma - Copyright questions

Postby Boertjie » Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:43 pm

Greetings everyone!

I have written a new transcription of Nessun Dorma for solo piano. I intend to sell the sheet music online and post a youtube video of my performace of the piece.

In South Africa (where I live) copyright expires 50 years after author's death, so Turandot is in the public domain here. However, as far as I could ascertain, there are many other countries where Turandot is still copyrighted. So obviously I will have to get Ricordi's permission to sell my transcription's sheet music globally. Regarding this, I have several questions I'm hoping you can help me find answers to... (I understand you are not lawyers, so I will make double sure of anything I learn here)


1) Since Turandot is in PD in South Africa, can I claim full copyright of the transcription? Do I have full ownership of the transcription? Another way of asking this question : What rights and ownership does Ricordi have over my transcription of Nessun Dorma if I created it in a country where Turandot is in PD?


2) Can I legally sell the sheet music in countries where Turandot is in PD?


3) Does anyone know where to contact Ricordi for permission to sell the sheet music globally? It seems they have several websites and I can't determine which is their "main" website. Very confusing.


4) Any other advice?


Thank you in advance

Carolus
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Re: My own transcription of Nessun Dorma - Copyright questio

Postby Carolus » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:31 pm

The copyright would be your own, since the work is free in your country. You would need to obtain a license to sell your arrangement in the USA, where Turandot is protected for a time yet. As for the status of the particular excerpt in other countries, there might be some variation from country to country due to how they treat the application of the words to Puccini's music. One of the librettists died in 1946 (and will thus be free in the 70-pma countries in 2017), while the other lived until 1952. Who, exactly, provided the text for "Nessun dorma"? Also, you you base your own arrangement even in part upon something added by Alfano (died 1954)? It gets complicated because there are more fingers in this pie than Puccini's.

You are perfectly free to sell your arrangement wherever Turandot'' is public domain. The 50-pma countries (most of the world) present no problem, as everyone involved - even Alfano - has been dead over 50 years. Some 70-pma countries might be OK if your work is entirely based on Puccini and they don't count the music as having been influenced by the text.

Boertjie
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Re: My own transcription of Nessun Dorma - Copyright questio

Postby Boertjie » Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:08 pm

Hello Carolus

Thank you for your informative reply! Yes, I suspected things could get pretty complicated because of all the different contributers to Turandot as well as the differences between countries' copyright laws.

I am not sure whether my arrangement includes music written by Alfano. My arrangement is based on a specific version of Nessun Dorma I heard on TV where the piece doesn't end right after the "Vincero!"-part, but continues with a big and grand chorus singing the themes' from Nessun Dorma. Seems I have some detailed research to do as to precisely whose contributions to Turandot my transcription is based on.


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