For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Friday, 6 February 2004

THE MUSIC IS DIVINE, BUT IS IT LEGAL?

The Church has been scandalised by the news on ship-of-fools.com that organists have been sneaking excerpts from television theme tunes and other popular songs into church services. One organist combined "Come Down, O Love Divine" and the theme from TV's Blackadder while another (English) organist played “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” (the English rugby “anthem”) to an Australian congregation after the England team scored a victory over Australia in last year’s Rugby World Cup. Other organists have used the technique to take revenge on practitioners. For example, on played “Roll Out the Barrel” at the funeral of an inveterate drinker.

The IPKat wonders whether the organists have gained permission from the owners of the copyright in the tunes before using them in this fashion. Under s.19 of the CDPA, performance of a musical work in public constitutes infringement and sadly there is no defence (at least under earthly law) for use in the course of divine worship.

Learn to be a church organist here and here
Organs here
Organ grinders here and here

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