I'm covering a favourite album in chiptune style, as a for-the-heck-of-it non-commercial project. Am I risking a world of copyright hurt?
I'm a Canadian who's recently taken a fancy to chiptunes, and have been working with some tracker software to teach myself that arcane art and science. As a project, I decided to undertake the chiptuning of a favourite (American, indie-famous) album. I'm doing it all by ear; some renditions are faithful, while others are more heavily reimagined.
This is a both a learning and creative project. Evidently, there's no commercial intent, but I'd want to share the results. I thought, for instance, maybe the folks at MeFi Music - where covers roam the landscape with impunity - might appreciate it.
However, the recent unpleasantness around Kind of Bloop
has given me pause. Recognizing that you are not my lawyers, what are the fair use considerations here? I'm interested in hearing both the American and Canadian perspectives on this.
(A first consideration to start with: The copyright laws here are antiquated, fuzzy, and in flux. American "fair use" equates to "fair dealing" here, and it's mostly established in Supreme Court case law, not in statute. In general, it's weaker than American fair use. However, now that Canada has a stable government, a new copyright act will be on the way soon. While the last iteration was hopped up on DRM no-goodness, it did provide legal protection for "non-commercial user-generated content." Hopefully, its successor will, too.)