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Where Did The Guitar Tabs Go?

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Postby Staffan » December 14th, 2010, 2:06 am

TRGuitar wrote:I just want to comment on the amazing job you do to make this such a great site! I'm proud to be a member.


I agree 100% - I´ve always been really impressed by this site and all the commited people making it happen!

It sounds like great news if you´re close to striking a deal with the publisher side - I can´t wait! If the tabs come back for free - excellent! If they come back at a price - still very nice; I would gladly pay! :note1: :note2: :note2:
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Postby Nuno » December 14th, 2010, 7:26 am

Guitar Noise wrote:We're in discussions with the publishers. Hopefully we'll be able to make some sort of announcement before the end of the year.

Paul, those are great news!

Thanks for the work, time and efforts you all are investing in order to keep this wonderful site running.
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Postby wtsamatta » December 14th, 2010, 1:35 pm

Whats next, guys in pinstripe suits and tommy guns coming to collect? They are making me so mad, I'm actually going to start rooting for the pirates, and I don't mean the baseball team :roll:
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Postby Jerokhna » December 26th, 2010, 1:43 am

First, I'd like to say your site rocks and I'm just starting to learn guitar and will be visiting quite frequently for metal/rock related lessons.

Legally, the NPMA and MPA cannot block this site and do what they are doing because the content falls under the public domain and copyright is not possible. Lyrics and direct audio are copyrightable, MIDIs and tabs are not because it's not the actual artist's sound being reproduced. If they were to follow through the way they are, they'd have to arrest every small cover band on the planet.

There are many different levels of the protection laws and this type of IP (Intellectual Propert) falls under Public domain and not Copyrighted/Rights Reserved domains due to the audio being mainstream and readily available anywhere 24/7 by way of radio stations. Even IP itself is a category for certain things.

Based on the legal standpoint, NPMA and MPA are trying to take the legal ignorance of individuals to turn a profit and hassle folks in a psuedo-illegal way. For the most part this is market profiteering by the "big dogs" because they see the site as potential future competition for whatever reason. If you needed, I could post a powerpoint orientation video from a company explaining the different levels and what can and can't be done for IP, patent, copyright, rights reserved, etc.

Keep up the way you are and don't let the "man" hold you down.
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Postby Alan Green » December 26th, 2010, 12:44 pm

Jerokhna wrote:
There are many different levels of the protection laws and this type of IP (Intellectual Propert) falls under Public domain and not Copyrighted/Rights Reserved domains due to the audio being mainstream and readily available anywhere 24/7 by way of radio stations. Even IP itself is a category for certain things.



I think you need to be very careful before you state this kind of stuff as a fact. Radio stations pay royalty for every song they play that's still under copyright (in the UK it's 50 years from the date of recording); radio does not equal public domain.
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Postby Jerokhna » December 26th, 2010, 4:32 pm

Alan Green wrote:
Jerokhna wrote:
There are many different levels of the protection laws and this type of IP (Intellectual Propert) falls under Public domain and not Copyrighted/Rights Reserved domains due to the audio being mainstream and readily available anywhere 24/7 by way of radio stations. Even IP itself is a category for certain things.



I think you need to be very careful before you state this kind of stuff as a fact. Radio stations pay royalty for every song they play that's still under copyright (in the UK it's 50 years from the date of recording); radio does not equal public domain.


The actual music is but the melody is not. Simply put, you do not have the same voices as the artist thus it is no longer the same material. Every person in the world is capable of playing the melody if they tried. It's the lyrics and actual vocals that the companies can control.
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Postby NoteBoat » December 26th, 2010, 5:37 pm

Jerokhna, you're misinformed.

Melodies are subject to copyright, just as lyrics are. And you're confusing mechanical rights, which are the rights associated with duplicating a specific recording, with copyright, which is the right to control the distribution of a work in any form, including 'derived' works.
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Postby Staffan » February 16th, 2011, 4:45 am

Man this is turning into a long-haul... hope everything is proceeding nicely in this matter and that the tabs will be back soon - I miss them :(
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Postby dhodge » February 16th, 2011, 6:59 am

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Postby rparker » February 16th, 2011, 10:27 am

Wow, that's a real surprise to me. I had no idea that some of the song writers themselves do not want the songs used in this manner.

I wonder, on a related note: Is some almighty organization that declares a song to be in the public domain? I've seen and forgotten some rules here and there.....
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Postby NoteBoat » February 16th, 2011, 11:43 am

There's no organization - a song becomes public domain when it's no longer protected by copyright.

When that happens depends, because copyright law has been changed frequently, and since 1976 the term of a US copyright is related to the life of the author - so some songs written in 1930 are now public domain, while some written much earlier aren't.

Making things more complicated, despite international copyright treaties, the rules still vary from one country to another. "Happy Birthday" was written by two sisters... one died in 1946, the other in 1980. In the US, the work is protected by copyright for the life of the last author plus 50 years (through 2030); in many other countries, it's the life of the first to go plus 70 years (through 2016).
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Postby rparker » February 16th, 2011, 12:02 pm

Can a song go into public domain and back out again? I'm thinking two things here. The Robert Johnson issue when people claimed to be his relations and his beneficiaries about 40-50 years after he died to collect on royalties, such as perhaps some of his songs were earning in the 70's with folks like the Stones and led Zeppelen.

The other curiosity comes from a couple of Folk song books that I recently purchased. Most have the song writer on the top write of the page and some have who owns the copyright. Interestingly enough, the publisher claims copyright of something on the top left. (Maybe their transcription of the song?) The song I was just working on, "Oh! Susanna", and many, many others had this on there. I know it souds ridiculous to think that I can't sing "Oh! Susanna", legally speaking, to a bunch of elderly folks......but it becomes inceasingly ambiguous as songs I look at are not always from 1873(ish).
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Postby cnev » February 16th, 2011, 12:36 pm

Roy I don't see "why" legally you couldn't sing any of the songs as long as you aren't making a profit or distributing it I can't see how there would be anything wrong, and if there is then there is something seriously wrong with the laws.

Of course I already beleive there is something seriously wrong with the laws.
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Postby NoteBoat » February 16th, 2011, 1:26 pm

Once you're public domain, you stay there. That's part of the reason why there's such a current mish-mash, with some songs written later being royalty free, and earlier tunes still under copyright.

For Robert Johnson, his music was from the early 30s, so the original copyrights would have lasted until the late 1950s. If the copyrights were renewed (the "if" is only because I'm not researching whether or not they were), that would take them to the late 80s... and more importantly, would have put them under copyright when the law was changed in the 1970s - that change was to author's life plus 50 years for the term. Since Johnson died in 1937, his works should now be public domain - I say "should", because there's a chance that some were copyrighted under a corporate ownership (like a publishing company), and that term is now 75 years from the date of creation - so any that are still under copyright should be public domain within the next year or two.

For the fakebooks, here's where it gets interesting - what they're copyrighting is their representation of music that's in public domain. I've written in other threads about the extreme number of typos I'm finding in fake books recently, and I've come to the conclusion it's deliberate - it gives them something to defend. So while O Susanna! is public domain, they could claim copyright to something very similar - and if you re-printed their version, the lawyers will come a calling.
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Postby imalone » February 16th, 2011, 3:20 pm

NoteBoat wrote:For the fakebooks, here's where it gets interesting - what they're copyrighting is their representation of music that's in public domain. I've written in other threads about the extreme number of typos I'm finding in fake books recently, and I've come to the conclusion it's deliberate - it gives them something to defend. So while O Susanna! is public domain, they could claim copyright to something very similar - and if you re-printed their version, the lawyers will come a calling.


Presumably even more complex if you actually play something from them, as who's to judge whether it's your interpretation of a public domain standard or your interpretation of a 'revised' version.

Still, good news that some of the lessons will be back and thanks to the guitarnoise team have been working hard at this. It's a pity about the people who've objected, I wonder whether it's really the song writers or that their management or agents couldn't be bothered dealing with it.
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