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Postby Vic Lewis VL » February 20th, 2010, 5:57 pm

I learned more about guitar in my first six months as a GN member than I'd managed to pick up in the previous thirty years or so of teaching myself - mostly from David's lessons. I'd find something in every lesson that I could use somewhere else. Hell, one of the main tricks I use is moving a chord shape up the fretboard and leaving open strings when I'm writing music, especially for acoustic guitar....like the Am/B/C/D riff in "Riders On The Storm," or the C Chord moved up two frets in "Man On The Moon"....

"Fair use" and "educational" HAVE to come into the equation somewhere....after all, David's lessons aren't just designed to help you play a particular song, they're designed to make you THINK about what you're playing, and why you're playing it.... and DH does it all for free!!! Where does it end? If my mate shows me the riff to "Honky Tonk Women" does he have to pay royalties to the Stones? Will the music police show up in my room next time I play "More Than A Feeling?" If I'm sat in my back yard strumming away on my acoustic, do I have to pay the Performing Rights Society for the privilege of treating my neighbours to a little CCR or Dylan?

I can understand why the lawyers are going after the tab sites - but I can't understand why the idiots are going after sites like this, which is basically just a bunch of cyber-space mates yakking about guitars and music....GN's not about taking money out of the wallets of working musicians, it's all about getting the message across that music should be fun!!!!!

I could say more, but I'll refrain on the grounds that this is a family-friendly forum and my language might get a little spicy.

How's about we organise a benfit concert for GN, and those of us who've written songs donate them for free - and we only play our own songs, and charge the rest of the world to listen? Nah - probably wouldn't work. The lawyers would probably sue us for using the words "and" and "the" on the grounds that they've already been used in certain songs.....either that, or they'd try and copyright the E chord........

:D :D :D

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Postby Guitar Noise » February 20th, 2010, 6:12 pm

The same law firm has been going after tab and lyrics sites since 2006. I guess we're just that far down their list.

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Postby NoteBoat » February 20th, 2010, 8:28 pm

Guitar Noise wrote: sites with videos are okay. Justinguitar.com had to remove the tabs but the videos were left alone. The NMPA and MPA are only concerned with the guitar tabs and lyrics. They can probably see that the video lessons actually help them sell more music.


I'm not sure that's accurate. Choosing to allow video lessons to sell more product might be a sound business decision if all the eggs were in one basket, but they aren't. Because the various rights are divided up between different groups and agencies, no one has the authority or the incentive to make a decision like that.

There are lots of different rights involved in the music business - and the rights the MPA and NMPA control are only for print music; they could care less about video, since they don't have anything at stake. The rights at issue with videos are the performing rights and the mechanical and/or synchronization rights - and the folks who control those have got their own lawyers hard at work.

ASCAP won a royalty judgment from YouTube last year, and I think YouTube may have worked out a royalty deal with BMI in the wake of that. Harry Fox Agency is in the process of suing them over mechanical rights.
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Postby Nuno » February 21st, 2010, 5:51 am

YouTube cancelled the account of MarloweDK last year but they opened it again. He had two types of videos: bass lessons with exercises, licks, etc. and play-along videos. He had to remove the play-along videos.
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Postby TwistedLefty » February 21st, 2010, 5:58 am

i wonder if silent movies (video) of someone playing chords, etc would be grounds for them to threaten legal action?
seems like the beginning of the end to me.
i echo Vics' sentements and agree that this is a load of horse pucky.
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Postby jmb-d » February 21st, 2010, 8:48 am

TwistedLefty wrote:i wonder if silent movies (video) of someone playing chords, etc would be grounds for them to threaten legal action?


If the videos only show the players from BEHIND the guitar neck, maybe it'll be OK. :roll:
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Postby jmb-d » February 21st, 2010, 8:50 am

NoteBoat wrote:I'm not sure that's accurate. Choosing to allow video lessons to sell more product might be a sound business decision if all the eggs were in one basket, but they aren't. Because the various rights are divided up between different groups and agencies, no one has the authority or the incentive to make a decision like that.

There are lots of different rights involved in the music business - and the rights the MPA and NMPA control are only for print music; they could care less about video, since they don't have anything at stake. The rights at issue with videos are the performing rights and the mechanical and/or synchronization rights - and the folks who control those have got their own lawyers hard at work.


We better not advocate learning by ear, as that clearly is taking money out of the hands of the sheet music publishers!
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Postby kingpatzer » February 21st, 2010, 9:48 am

Vic Lewis VL wrote:
"Fair use" and "educational" HAVE to come into the equation somewhere....


Those concepts are generally not well understood. Fair use is the right to post limited extracts of a work for education and analysis. Fair use for educational purposes does not mean one is free to post an entire work in an educational context. If I am making a textbook on the pedagogical methods of teaching music theory, and decide to include, say, a chapter of Noteboat's book within my text as an "example" of how to teach a particular concept. Noteboat would have every right to sue me, and he would win. The same is true of musical creations. Fair use does not and has never excused wholesale reproduction of a work.

What those concepts apply to are limited excerpts used in the context of discussion or analysis related to the extract balanced by the length of the extract. By way of the above example, if I were to quote a few paragraphs from Noteboat's text in the context of discussing their underlying pedagogical philosophy that would likely be acceptable. But quoting even a few paragraphs for the purpose of conveying their content for the same purpose as Noteboat's use (in other words to teach exactly what Noteboat is trying to teach) would not be acceptable. I am not allowed to use his work to teach his lesson.

In the context of musical education it is long been well established that the inclusion of an entire song for which one has no publication rights is not allowed. That is why most music method books use public domain works long out of copyright.
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Postby rparker » February 21st, 2010, 9:58 am

W had a big mess like this to deal with in the wall decoration world. To kids started the business, sold wall decor, slowly grew the business, borrowed enough money to buy a three letter domain from a company and became an overnight e-retail sensation on the rise. I came in and spent 3+ years doing my database thing.

About 2 years into my tenure, the company that sold us the domain name brought action against us because of images one of their divisions had rights too were displayed on our sight. These images were part of an inventory purchased along with the domain name, but had also been cycled through and we were getting them through normal chains of distributors, all who had guarrenteed us legal rights.

btw, the number of these images displayed on our sight was not signigicant. Out of close to 100,000, only a few dozen were identified. I ran the numbers for our side of the due dilligence. Our sales were under $10,000 total, woith add-ons, and that means forever, for these items. We had anual sales from 20M to 45M while I was there. Um, sum-ting-wong!!!!

So, the action being brought on us, by the people we bought the name from, claimed that these images brought traffic to our site and was trying to nail us for a nice 8 digit figure. We were profitable, but not rich. Cash flow not a problem, but we didn't profit anywhere near this ammount. We had to get help. Our president made an awful decision and went the VC route. It covered a settlement, but the VCs disolved us and moved our data and site out to California and Ohio as part of a "merger". Or, what is commonly know as "How to steal an e-retail business." 200+ people out of work, thank you.

Oh, and how many technical people here that did any sort of e-business via internet had to deal with certain scumbags from the mid-west between the late 90s and early 2000s? The sat back, brainstormed ideas, documented them somehow and went after everyone who was anyone for aznything dealing with dynamic data? It helped to get me out of my previous dot-com job and they soaked many people. My wife's company had to work hard to get them of their back, I had to work hard getting data and re-engineering project plans together based on emails to prove that we came up with specidifc idea after specific idea. Ridiculous stuff. Absolutely ridiculous.
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Postby rparker » February 21st, 2010, 11:16 am

I do want to clarify one thing. My examples and stories from my own experiences were not presented to claim what's right or what's wrong so much as to expose just how vulnerable "we" are in the internet world. Sites, individuals, corporations, hazy and shady laws, interpretations, etc. It is also not always a question of who is right and who is wrong. It is often a question of resources. No matter how "right" we might be, we don't have the ability to fight the long legal war. This is how you can be right and still lose, and that was one of the things I was trying to point out.

The internet as a whole is not in a "beginning of the end" situation, but it most certainly is in a state of positioning. More to come for sure.
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Postby chalkoutline » February 21st, 2010, 12:05 pm

What about a site like Ultimate-Guitar.com? That thing is filled with tabs.

Do they know something we don't? Or have the lawyers just not checked them off the list?
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Postby Guitar Noise » February 21st, 2010, 5:24 pm

chalkoutline wrote:What about a site like Ultimate-Guitar.com? That thing is filled with tabs.


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Postby tinsmith » February 21st, 2010, 7:09 pm

So....do we break the law by downloading some bogus tab?
I could see the future when the Napster thing started.
Here it is...been going for a bit but, it's starting again, it's beginning to effect us.
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Postby NoteBoat » February 21st, 2010, 7:55 pm

I think it's going to get worse before it gets better. There's a trade agreement, ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) that's being negotiated by a number of countries behind closed doors. Rumor has it the agreement will include intellectual property as well as products. I've also heard that some of the negotiations going on in the Google Books lawsuit will expand copyright beyond what's normally covered - perhaps making it illegal to even quote a single sentence without permission.
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Postby kingpatzer » February 21st, 2010, 9:41 pm

NoteBoat wrote:I think it's going to get worse before it gets better. There's a trade agreement, ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) that's being negotiated by a number of countries behind closed doors. Rumor has it the agreement will include intellectual property as well as products. I've also heard that some of the negotiations going on in the Google Books lawsuit will expand copyright beyond what's normally covered - perhaps making it illegal to even quote a single sentence without permission.



Yeah, the stuff I'm reading scares the crud out of me as well.

Ultimately though, such restrictions will never be enforceable. But it will make life tough for those trying to take a more balanced approach.
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