This is from Lee, using Jon's account (I can't remember my user info right now).
I don't understand why using the guitar tabs as you do does not come under Fair Use as dictated by U.S. copyright law.
This site's use of guitar tab appears to meet all the qualifications necessary. Especially when only parts of songs are used for teaching. I see the issue if people can easily download entire tab for a song, but otherwise, you should have the law on your side.
Wikipedia is not a bad place to read about this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use
"Fair use is a doctrine in United States copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders, such as for commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching or scholarship. It provides for the legal, non-licensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author's work under a four-factor balancing test. "
"Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 U.S.C. Â§ 106 and 17 U.S.C. Â§ 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:
1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."
I suspect the associations that sent you the letter went after every site possible using such material. They are probably betting most people will comply to avoid being shut down, or that they can sue and the sites will cave.
I'd check with a lawyer who specializes in fair use. Maybe you can get some free help if there is a member here with such knowledge. At least enough to know if you have the right of Fair Use. I believe you do. Maybe EFF?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic ... Foundation
Which I learned about when reading works by Cory Doctorow...
In walking, just walk. In sitting, just sit. Above all, don't wobble.