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DJs frequently remix eachothers work and use as they please. Can I as a programmer do similar - remix a song I like and embed it in a game I create without royalty/copyright issues?

Disclaimer: answers will not be considered legal advice, this is just a hypothetical discussion :)

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What songs? Like the ones made by artists backed by Sony, WMG, etc? If so, no, remixing the song does not make it any more legal. For other songs made by smaller artists, you'll have to ask them. Generally, the answer is no, if you can't say 'I can use this song alone in my game'. (Actually, sometimes licenses are stricter regarding remixes so you don't 'screw up' their song). –  DMan Mar 12 '12 at 1:05
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As DMan says, it really depends on what songs. Specifically, the licenses those songs are under. The general answer is probably "no, you can't". –  thedaian Mar 12 '12 at 1:50
    
Yeah songs in the general case. –  rutherford Mar 12 '12 at 2:26
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I'd recommend seeking out the artist and asking for a license. If you aim towards smaller artists, you may be able to find a situation where you can get a free license from the artist - so you can get music, and they can get publicity (which may be easier the more you acknowledge them within the game). Once again though - be aware that if they didn't write the music that they are performing, you may have to deal with the composer too and separately. –  lochok Mar 12 '12 at 2:38

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

It always depends on the underlying license, so you need to make sure the tune you want to reuse in yours allows that kinda stuffs. For example, some Creative Common licenses allows other composers to reuse them but you always have to mention the original composer obviously somewhere.

So in a nutshell no general answer for that kind of questions. And most of the time DJs always ask the original composers before doing anything, what you're saying is just an urban legend!

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