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Postby Minotaur » March 25th, 2010, 8:48 am

Wouldn't it be delicious irony if the artists turned around and filed class-action lawsuits against the MPA, NMPA and music publishers for selling transcriptions of the artists' music, or at least asking for exorbitant fees and royalties? Maybe I'm too naive to know how this all works, but I think that would be grand. :twisted:
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Postby rparker » March 25th, 2010, 8:54 am

Yeah, but the publishers already pay out royalties to artists for these books. GN'er Notes Norton had a pretty good detailed description of how it all works. Sometime in the last 6 months.
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Postby Minotaur » March 25th, 2010, 10:08 am

Hmm... I think I remember that. :|
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Postby cnev » March 25th, 2010, 10:15 am

and I'd bet the artist get the smallest piece of the pie anyway. That's my problem with all this. It's another vehicle to put more money in some useless lawyers hands.

Those are the ones making the money. I don't think the artists are sitting around waiting for the big royalty checks to come in beacuse some kids are buying a Hal Leonard tab book with their song in it.

That's not where the bands are making there money and why I never felt guilty about downloading tab of any kind and never will.

And I would never ever buy a tab book for the sole purpose of wanting to do the right thing I'll do it and I have done it if it's the only way to get it but I haven't bought any of those in a few years now.
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Postby rhgordon » March 26th, 2010, 5:55 am

Guitar Noise wrote:Guitar Noise isn't really a guitar tab site. I think a lot of visitors are here for what we have other than tab. But I guess we'll see.

Thanks for the comments.

I agree, GN is NOT about the tabs, but the teaching that goes along with them. Tabs by themselves are not helpful, but in the same token, your teachings without the tabs are diminished. Is there a way to add links to external sites that might have the tabs? This way your teaching methods can continue to be enriched. I am sure the GN community can help generate a list of good links for each of your lessons.
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Postby Minotaur » March 26th, 2010, 8:55 am

I had a bit of an epiphany in this matter, which I'm ashamed to admit may be somewhat self-serving. It doesn't apply to the GN site or lessons because they have standard notation, but rather to the "junk tabs" and chord sheets on the interwebz.

In one of my fake books, as well as a sheet I bought and downloaded from a publisher, is Bill Withers' Ain't no Sunshine, which I'm working on. It's standard notation. I can read, but very slowly. Especially the bass staff (it's just 2 steps lower than the treble staff, neat trick, huh?). More than 2 or 3 ledger lines above the treble staff and I need a lifeguard.

But the point is that I think this problem we're experiencing with the MPA and NMPA is going to force a lot of people, like me, who got lazy about reading musical notation and relied too much on tabs (they have their place, e.g. a quick chord visual), to buckle down and get to it. That, I do not think is a bad thing.

Btw, Justin Sandercoe has a message on his site that he removed his tabs under threat of legal action also. I thought his site was domiciled in Australia or England; SaskStrum also removed his Eagles' tabs due to copyright issue, and I believe he is in Canada (the Sask- part gives that away). So it looks like no one anywhere is safe. At least not in any of the former Crown Colonies.
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Postby John Sargent » March 27th, 2010, 6:58 pm

It's disappointing that the lawyers have thrown up this road block. The larcenous side of me wants to justify skirting the system. I understand that the folks that run this site want to take the high road.
The creative way in which the founders have presented this site leads me to believe that they will find a way to succeed without acting in an illegal manner.
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Postby godonstilts » April 2nd, 2010, 7:58 am

Well I've just spent the last hour looking at various copyright laws on the internet, and I am confused a lot...

So I have a couple of questions:

1a) What would you need to do to obtain legal permission to print tabs of songs? i.e. pay a royalty, a licence fee, etc ?
1b) Not that I suggest you should, but out of curiousity what would such costs of 1a be ?

2) Although you are providing the tab/education of various songs, which are copyrighted. Are you not providing your own original material by providing a new and origianl composition of the song? (e.g. REM - Losing my religion, is NOT played the way you have arranged it) As you are acknowledging the author, it is not plagierism either?!

I think it stinks that you are being targeted, but sadly there are some fat cats who don't care about music, more about the money they can make.
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Postby kent_eh » April 2nd, 2010, 4:42 pm

godonstilts wrote:Well I've just spent the last hour looking at various copyright laws on the internet, and I am confused a lot...

So I have a couple of questions:

1a) What would you need to do to obtain legal permission to print tabs of songs? i.e. pay a royalty, a licence fee, etc ?
1b) Not that I suggest you should, but out of curiousity what would such costs of 1a be ?

2) Although you are providing the tab/education of various songs, which are copyrighted. Are you not providing your own original material by providing a new and origianl composition of the song? (e.g. REM - Losing my religion, is NOT played the way you have arranged it) As you are acknowledging the author, it is not plagierism either?!

I think it stinks that you are being targeted, but sadly there are some fat cats who don't care about music, more about the money they can make.


The problem with your reasonable points is that the "other side" disagrees, and the only way to prove whose side the law is on is to pay for a lawyer (who specializes in this sort of law) and spend some time in a court.
And that takes quite a bit of money.
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Postby NoteBoat » April 2nd, 2010, 6:33 pm

1a. You need to get permission from the copyright holder.

In recorded music, once something has been released, anyone can cover it - even without permission - by paying a "statuatory royalty". But there's no such equivalent for published music - one person or company controls the rights.

1b. It depends. Since there's no fixed rate, the rights holder will quote you a price. You can counteroffer. Everything is negotiable. If a song was a hit, it's more valuable (and they know it). The older something is, the less valuable (with some exceptions)

2. It won't work. When you take a copyrighted piece and base another work on it, your creation is considered a "derived" work. And if a work is "derived", the original creator - that is, not you - is entitled to income. To give you an example, if a school band hires me to arrange a piece of music, I can get an arranging fee - but they'll have to pay royalties to the original author, even though my arrangement is "mine".
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Postby kent_eh » April 11th, 2010, 6:57 am

I've been thinking a bit more about ways to stay leagal, but still help people learn to play the guitar.

Would it be possible to have those who are
a) inclined to teach
b) capable of teaching

do lessons based on the sort of music that David asked about in this thread

I realize that some of those songs probably became the basis of one of David's recent books, but I bet there are a lot more songs in that thread than there was room for in 2 books.

Sorry, Mr Lawyer, I'm not teaching a song from the '70s. I'm teaching a 200 year old folk song that happened to have also been covered in the '70s.
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Postby boynamedsuse » April 11th, 2010, 8:21 am

rhgordon wrote:
Guitar Noise wrote:Guitar Noise isn't really a guitar tab site. I think a lot of visitors are here for what we have other than tab. But I guess we'll see.

Thanks for the comments.

I agree, GN is NOT about the tabs, but the teaching that goes along with them. Tabs by themselves are not helpful, but in the same token, your teachings without the tabs are diminished. Is there a way to add links to external sites that might have the tabs? This way your teaching methods can continue to be enriched. I am sure the GN community can help generate a list of good links for each of your lessons.

I agree completely.

I was going to stay out of this thread, since it is really a legal problem as kent_eh stated, but I really miss the tabs in David Hodge's lessons. I don't agree that the short riffs and patterns he offered in his lessons can be considered "copies" of songs in the first place. As an example, if someone copied a couple paragraphs out of a book to demonstrate a writing style to a class on composition, it would make no sense to claim that that the teacher is reproducing the book or violating its copyright.
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Postby kent_eh » April 11th, 2010, 10:12 am

boynamedsuse wrote:As an example, if someone copied a couple paragraphs out of a book to demonstrate a writing style to a class on composition, it would make no sense to claim that that the teacher is reproducing the book or violating its copyright.


I'm sure most people would agree, but once again, someone would have to pay for a lawyer to defend this position in court.
And you don't want a cheap/barely competent lawyer, because if you fail in your attempt then it creates a precedent that will further diminish the concept of "fair use".
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Postby dhodge » April 12th, 2010, 11:02 am

kent_eh wrote:I've been thinking a bit more about ways to stay leagal, but still help people learn to play the guitar.

Would it be possible to have those who are
a) inclined to teach
b) capable of teaching

do lessons based on the sort of music that David asked about in this thread


Just finishing writing one that will be online this week on Where Did You Sleep Last Night, featuring Nick Torres singing on the MP3 example. Plus I'm finishing up a new podcast that will demonstrate some fingerstyle techniques that can be used in lots of songs you're already playing. That should be up online sometime next week.

Hope you'll enjoy these just as much as the old lessons (which will hopefully be back relatively soon - we're working on it).

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Postby kent_eh » April 12th, 2010, 8:12 pm

Muchos Gracias Senor David

I kinda figured someone would already be doing that.
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