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ethic

Online Tabs and Copyright Infringement.

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ethic    0

So, yeah, the MPA is threatening people who publish tabs on the internet with lawsuits. Yada, yada. But, has this ever actually been ruled as breaking some sort of copyright? Someone should let the MPA take them to court and then defeat them on the grounds that, hey, the only thing that even makes tablature discernable is the fact that these tabs titled and credited to the artist. Then there'd be a ruling in favor of tabbists (I made up that word. It means people that tab out songs) and.. yeah. Sweet.

I mean, you can publish the tablature of any song, but unless you actually credit the artist - it's almost impossible to tell what the song is. So there's a loop hole right there: publish all the tabs, but just don't credit the songs to any specific band.

:)

Grrr. So frustrating. Ultimate-Guitar.com seems to be getting away with it, claiming that they're abiding by all Russian licensing laws or something since there isn't any such thing as International Copyrght law.

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solidwalnut    5

Part of what's getting their dander up is because most tab sites publish the complete lyric with the tab. If it weren't for that, they don't have much legal ground to stand on. It's not the tabs themselves because tab doesn't tell you anything about the copyrightable portion, the music.

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Fingers    0

If the TAB symbols indicate the duration of the notes, then you might easily discern the tune. Tying the TAB symbols together can indicate that the note rings longer, joining two symbols can indicate playing two notes in the time value of one note like two semiquavers etc. I generally get the note durations in Kirks TABs from the symbols he uses.

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jdpaz    0

An artist needs to retain the rights to his creation---just like an inventor to his invention, or a writer to his book. If there is no money to be made in songwriting, artists will quit creating music and become actuaries instead---to the detriment of us all.

Just say "no" to illegal downloads and burning copies for your friends. Support your favorite musicians by legally buying their stuff.

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solidwalnut    5
An artist needs to retain the rights to his creation---just like an inventor to his invention, or a writer to his book. If there is no money to be made in songwriting, artists will quit creating music and become actuaries instead---to the detriment of us all.

Just say "no" to illegal downloads and burning copies for your friends. Support your favorite musicians by legally buying their stuff.

:claping: :claping: :claping:

Or if you must download or burn illegally, send the musicians a check for their work directly.

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An artist needs to retain the rights to his creation---just like an inventor to his invention, or a writer to his book. If there is no money to be made in songwriting, artists will quit creating music and become actuaries instead---to the detriment of us all.

Just say "no" to illegal downloads and burning copies for your friends. Support your favorite musicians by legally buying their stuff.

How does this pertain to TAB again?

Now, I agree. We should all support the artists we like and buy their music, if even only 2-3 songs on iTunes. The sad reality about all the gettup in the music industry about illegally downloading is this: The music industry for years now, has been content on selling an album for $13-18 with only 2-3 good songs on it. Now, with today's technology, consumers don't need to put up with that. I agree that you should support your favorite artists, but you shouldn't have to buy a junk album to get 2-3 songs you like. That is where iTunes comes in, and the music industry wouldn't even allow that for a long time because they saw how bad it was going to effect their profit-margin.

IMO, the industry as a whole DESERVED the illegal downloading spree that happened. I feel bad for the artists, but it was needed to get at least some type of reform into action.

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jdpaz    0

Tablature is a copy of the artist's intellectual property---not unlike making a photocopy of sheet music. It belongs to the artist.

While I agree the music industry was a little slow on the uptake of new technology, it is better now. I don't think we should rationalize the rampant stealing of intellectual property, though. Just imagine if you were the artist being stolen from.

Solid Walnut, the artist and the songwriter are not always the same person. Just cutting a check to the artist may leave out a huge part of the creative process.

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My thoughts.....

If I'm not mistaken, all musicians learned from each other, sheet music, music class, tab, DVD/Video or trial and error on their own. I'm one of the "middle aged" wannabees, and I remember lots and lots of albums/tapes coming with lyric inserts, Jr high music classes using current songs to "idenify" with the students. I think it will always boil down to greed. The internet has scared the industry, not just with theft, but as mentioned...we are no longer forced into buying more than what we want.

Tab {by itself} is nothing more than notes written out for the benefit of progression....you can't actually descibe the music by simply putting numbers on a page. This to me is where the problem lies...is it infringement? I say no, E3, D7, G5 doesn't tell me a thing other than what to play where, now when you add discriptive notations, then I can see that as wrong.

My bottom line is something I keep working at every time I hear music.........EAR-TRAINING....could solve all my problems. JMO.

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fly135    5

I'd have more sympathy for the industry if before the internet came along they made it a standard to publish (and sell) accurate transcriptions of all published songs. It was independent tabbers and the internet that forced publishers to face the music (pun intended). They liked the idea that they could sell what they like, and we would have to live with it. Even if it meant fake books in the wrong key.

So now tabbers who share their work are pirates and deserving of ridicule? Not in my book. I will happily take a tab independently produced by a third party.

With that said I have also bought 3 tab books in the last 2 months, in addition to ones I've bought in the past. But that is only because they are now very good. In the 70's when I tried and failed to learn guitar I bought chord books that are responsible for nothing but wasting my money. Hal Leonard gets a thumbs up for decent tab transcriptions.

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jdpaz    0

X4SD: I think the rules are that chord progressions are not copyrightable. There's probably a real fine line where an independently produced tab with no rhythm indication becomes copyright infringement.

fly135: The copyright owner does not owe us anything. If he determines that it's not commercially viable to produce sheet music, that's his decision to make.

Anybody who's still reading: Intellectual property rights are a hot-button topic for me---it's how I make my living. I hope I'm not coming across as confrontational. :(

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jdpaz, not confrontational to me...I probably should have included a sample in my previous post, not just chords I'm talking about. Heres a tab of one of mine....can you tell how it sounds in relation to my song version by just this alone? and if you play this is that infringement on your part just because I offered the progression of the notes I choose. If you play this without first hearing my version is that also infringement? I too, am not trying to confront.

[ATTACH]5336[/ATTACH]

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Stratrat    0

I've bought a few of those old chord books also, Fly - and they were a complete waste of money. Hardly an accurate transcription to be found in them, they were rough approximations at best.

The internet has literally revolutionized the music industry - or at the very least, is in the process of doing so. Gone are the days of the industry shoving $15-$20 albums down our throats with one or two hits and 14 junk "filler" songs. IMO, that was one of the biggest factors that started the "Napster revolution". People were tired of the industry ripping them off, and P2P "file sharing" replaced the age-old practice of borrowing friends' CDs, albums, cassette tapes, etc. to record the songs you wanted - P2P took it to a whole new, much more accessible and widespread level.

Yes, the industry has finally come around and now we have sites like iTunes, Rhapsody, etc. - but the ONLY reason (IMO) is because their efforts to totally squash the revolution failed - and they definitely tried. I firmly believe that if they'd had their way, we'd still be stuck buying the "one-hit" $15-$20 CDs - much more profit for them that way.

As far as tab goes - if somebody learns a song and plays it in their bedroom or for a few family members at a backyard barbecue, I can't see what the uproar is all about. If you're playing it at a gig, the industry is getting paid because any establishment that allows "cover bands" has to pay fees for the performance of those songs...so they're actually getting paid for those third-party tabs in a roundabout way anyways. I also fail to see much difference between me learning "Sweet Home Alabama" from a tab sheet as opposed to the guitarist in my high school band showing me how to play "Stairway to Heaven" almost thirty years ago, or me sitting and listening to a Scorpions album (which I purchased) and figuring out how to play the rhythm guitar for "Rock You Like A Hurricane"....the end result is that I learned the song from each of those methods.

I make a definite distinction between tab and sheet music. I defy anybody to pick up a tab sheet of a song you've never heard before, and learn how to play it properly. Tab shows nothing more than what frets to play on what strings - without having heard the actual song, you'd be hard-pressed to come up with a reasonable rendition of it merely from the tab. Sheet music, OTOH, is an actual written transcription of the music - if you can read music, you can play the song note for note, rest for rest, without having ever heard it in your life.

If the industry wants to get on board and turn out accurate tab at a reasonable price (along the model of iTunes, et al), I'd have no problem with it and would gladly pay the dollar per song (or whatever)...but if they're just going to use their greedy, heavy-handed tactics to squash tab (like they tried to do to P2P music sharing) without offering an alternative, then they deserve what they'll get. If they don't deem tab as "commercially viable", then they can't claim they're losing money because they refuse to market a product. That's like an inventor coming up with a new invention, copyrighting it but not offering it for sale, then complaining that he's not making any money off his invention.

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fly135    5
fly135: The copyright owner does not owe us anything. If he determines that it's not commercially viable to produce sheet music, that's his decision to make.

That's exactly right. But you can't predict the future and you live with the consequences of your actions. Don't tab your music and someone else will. Control your IP and technology combined with free will comes around to take it away. You can make laws but you can't control everything. You state your position and take your stand, and someone else disagrees. You reap what you sow.

If you make original music and you don't want others to learn it then don't tab it. But in the end you will lose because someone else will and they will give it away. The music industry doesn't sell MP3s of individual songs because they thought it was a good thing for everyone. They did it because they had to choose between selling something they really didn't want to and seeing it given away. Morals aren't cast in stone. People are fickle and really good at rationalizing. It's better to be strategic than stand on principles that others may not share.

Whew... cliche quota reached.

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What I'd like to know is how they are losing money with tab to begin with.. lol.

So because Joe Schmoe can now play Stairway To Heaven, people would rather pay to see him perform it than Zep themselves? HA! That is the most ridiculous thought of all time. Imitation, is at it's heart, the sincerest form of flattery around. Bands and artists should be HONORED that their fans want to know how to play their music, that makes their music immortal. That means that 10-20-30 years down the line someone else will STILL be playing their songs, even if the artist shall fade away.

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solidwalnut    5

If the industry wants to get on board and turn out accurate tab at a reasonable price (along the model of iTunes, et al), I'd have no problem with it and would gladly pay the dollar per song (or whatever)...but if they're just going to use their greedy, heavy-handed tactics to squash tab (like they tried to do to P2P music sharing) without offering an alternative, then they deserve what they'll get. If they don't deem tab as "commercially viable", then they can't claim they're losing money because they refuse to market a product. That's like an inventor coming up with a new invention, copyrighting it but not offering it for sale, then complaining that he's not making any money off his invention.

Strat--

I'm with ya. But here's where the issue is as it is compared to law in an excerpt from the Music Publisher's Association.

Many of those who wrote to us seem to be under the impression that the guitar tabs (or lead sheets or other similar works) posted by individual players are the personal interpretations of the songs by the person who made them and therefore are not subject to copyright. Nothing can be further from the truth. The U.S. Copyright Law specifically provides that the right to make and distribute an arrangement, adaptation, abridgement, or transcription of a copyrighted work such as a song belongs to the copyright owner of that work

View the full article here.

In the case of most of the famous label artists and the songs we all listen to, it is the publisher who owns these exclusive rights and not the artist. If an artists songs remain unsigned to an exclusive publishing contract, then they own those rights (any one who writes a song inherently does so).

I'm with you that if the industry could get together and distribute accurate tab that I'd be willing to pay for them. But the rub is that by law, that doesn't give us the right to download or otherwise distribute innaccurate tab of copyrighted works.

I agree it's a mess. And it's never an issue unless you talk about distributing the work in one form or another. If you learn it, however you learn it, and then you play it, well, you're not distributing it if you're playing for friends and family. I agree that 'they get what they get' because of this sticky point. But the deal is then we need to work to change the law.

Works made for instruction have their own guidelines:

For academic purposes other than performance, multiple copies of excerpts of works may be made, provided that the excerpts do not comprise a part of the whole which would constitute a performable unit such as a section, movement, or aria but in no case more than 10% of the whole work. The number of copies shall not exceed one copy per pupil.

Steve

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jdpaz    0

X4SD: you've illustrated well the fine line with tabs. Your tab example shows no indication of rhythm or even the name of the song so I don't believe it's copyrightable. Some more "informative" tabs (like Kirk's) do have rhythm indication included which makes it essentially standard notation which is copyrightable.

Stratrat: Trust me the "industry" is making as much or more off the iTunes sales as they ever made the old way (no manufacturing or shipping costs). The Simon Cowell's of the world are vilified as being money-grubbing (and I'm sure some are). They are running a big risk---for every Beatles there's a hundred Wings. The artists themselves don't have an unlimited amount of time to make money either.

The "industry" was correct to squash P2P music sharing. It is piracy. I can't believe there's some active conspiracy to squash tabs. If there's sufficient market there, they'll put out the tabs.

Your inventor analogy isn't quite representative of the situation. The inventor is within his rights to not offer his invention for sale, especially if he doesn't think it'll make money. He should be compensated if someone else wants to use his idea.

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fly135    5
What I'd like to know is how they are losing money with tab to begin with.

They are losing money because tabs have value. The point I've been making is that they've been losing money all along because the industry apparently didn't see the value of making accurate tabs. Independent tabbers and the internet changed all that. We as guitarists owe no pity to an industry that didn't recognize us until they realized that they lost control of their IP.

It's a strategic game. Change the image of those who spawned a revolution by creating and sharing transcriptions from dedicated enthusiasts to immoral criminals. Then conform to the demand for transcriptions and make it a business. The industry does deserve to be paid for their IP. It's just that they also have to suffer the consequences of turning their backs to the public until forced to deal with it.

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He should be compensated if someone else wants to use his idea.

That all depends my friend...

If someone comes up with something that is already been made, but only wants to use it for themselves, then no, they shouldn't have to pay the inventor a single penny. If they want to make profit off of their idea, then yes, they should compensate the original inventor.

Artists get paid when their songs are covered for profit, that isn't an issue. Fans of a band should be able to learn their favorite songs to play for fun.

If we aren't allowed to learn our favorite songs, and share our knowledge with others so they too, can learn their favorite songs, then the music industry is useless.

There is no future without a present and past. For people to get better on guitar, or get better at writing, they need to know what's been done, so they can incorporate it into their own artistic growth.

If an artist feels like tossing tab for each song in with the lyrics in their inserts, then no, their songs tabs should NOT be online for free. They made the effort to allow their fans to learn their songs, they should be compensated for it.

But if an artist throws their album out there without any tab, and then they should expect that fans will share on how to play that song.

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solidwalnut    5
...Solid Walnut, the artist and the songwriter are not always the same person. Just cutting a check to the artist may leave out a huge part of the creative process.

I totally understand all of that. My point is that if you're going to cheat, think about sending money to the creator of the work (the recording artist, who is usually the last link in the chain and the one who gets the scraps from his labor). The big artists are going to get their money, no matter what happens. It's the intermediate and lower-level label artists that have to endure the conniving legal-speak of their contracts and get dunned for seemingly short-changed distribution income.

The writers are generally already paid for their work from the publishers through those separate agreements with them. In either case, the writer is rarely short changed from illegal distribution (although I understand your point that they could be ultimately).

Steve

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jdpaz    0

eX63: What if the guy offers it to everyone who has an internet connection for free? Can you see the potential damage to the IP holder?

Suppose (to personalize this) I reinterpreted Plane Talk into another format and offered it for free on my website. Should Kirk have any legal recourse against me? To be consistent you must be okay with that.

Again, I'm not being confrontational. Just airing my view.

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There is a huge difference in the Plane Talk suggestion. Plane Talk isn't a work of art, it is a way of teaching and enlightening. And btw, there are people with similar views who HAVE put lessons similar to that online for free. Of course Kirk goes far more in depth than the free lessons.

A fan learning a song and translating it for others to learn does not take money from the artist. It doesn't cost the artist a penny if someone else learns their song. Now if the business had a way of charging say $.50/tab and then someone else was doing it for free, then yes, you have a point. But you are not losing any money by a fan learning your song and teaching others how to play your song.

Kirk on the other hand would be losing money if someone took his INSTRUCTIONAL program and posted it for free. They then wouldn't have to pay for his dvd.

How does someone learning your song make them not buy yours?

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jdpaz    0

Whether or not the copyright owner is losing real or potential revenue is not even the question. He owns the rights to the piece of art. No one else is allowed to retransmit it in any form (except as noted by SW above).

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