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Online Tabs and Copyright Infringement.

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jdpaz    0

Show me a society that does not protect intellectual property rights and I'll show you a stagnant, uncreative society.

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jdpaz    0

The music industry will do whatever it takes to survive.

Just noticed your "location", eXperiment63...pretty funny.

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Which is exactly why they should offer tabs for a small fee. I would FULLY support that. But I do NOT and WILL NOT support them squashing tab until they have a commercial alternative available. Once they do, I will fully support the stoppage of free tabs of songs they sell tabs for.

I would gladly pay $.50-$1.00 for a 100% accurate tab of the song, rather than going online and freely getting a 'similar' tab.

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solidwalnut    5
Which is exactly why they should offer tabs for a small fee. I would FULLY support that. But I do NOT and WILL NOT support them squashing tab until they have a commercial alternative available. Once they do, I will fully support the stoppage of free tabs of songs they sell tabs for.

I would gladly pay $.50-$1.00 for a 100% accurate tab of the song, rather than going online and freely getting a 'similar' tab.

I would gladly pay for that, too. Your stand (I will NOT...) is understandable. And your call, of course. But the fact is that alternate, rogue (if you will!) tab is against what is in copyright laws. It's not the existence of the tab or the non-revenue generation of the fair uses of it, it's the distribution of it and the actual or potential revenue generation from it. I agree that it's messy, but we live in a free society that is governed by law. Rather than breaking the law, it's good to work to change them if we disagree.

The Future of Music Coalition is one way to get involved or to at least begin to understand the issues.

Steve

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coldethyl    0
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.

I totally agree!:yes:

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CanuckTodd    0

Interesting debate. Nice that you are all sticking to the key points and not wading into too much confrontational name calling and finger wagging.

An itunes for tab? Brilliant idea! I'd buy them for sure if they were easily downloadable and easy to use.

So, where are the entrepreneurs in this forum? Why not create a program / website that can do that as per the iTunes model before Apple or Sony or Virgin do it for you?

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Dewy    0

I would like to comment on the concept of "protecting" copyrights. To start out with, drop the whole Piracy word, because that doesn't apply here. No one is making a profit from free online tabs, so there is no Piracy. By assigning that word you are implying criminal intent to an INFRINGEMENT issue.

No one in the rogue tab industry is out to either, MAKE a profit, or deny the copyright holder the right to control how their product is sold. The industry loves doctoring up the numbers to make it look like they are losing millions every year, when the fact is, they wouldn't have made a penny without offering the product in the first place. So the argument about the inventor not releasing his product then complaining because he's "losing" money is accurate.

Lets acknowledge the basic fact that the current tab sites are fans showing other fans how to reproduce the music. Not Professional Tabbers out to rip off the starving artists.

P2P is a different but similar issue, and certainly for a different forum, as they like to keep it clean here, as was said before, this is a hot button topic for the users here.

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jdpaz    0

Intellectual property rights isn't just about who's making or losing money. Its main thrust is who owns the rights to its distribution.

Suppose you wrote a book. Someone took your book and translated it into Swahili and gave it away to whomever wanted it. You never intended to translate it into Swahili so you're not out any money. BUT IT'S STILL A VIOLATION OF YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS.

It's the same with tabs. The property owner owns the rights to its distribution and any violation of it is piracy.

Trademark law is very similar: does McDonalds lose any money when people use the term McJobs? No, but they have a product and image to protect.

BillyWB: imitation may be the highest form of flattery---but in some cases is against the law.

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twovic    0

Very interesting debate guys!

I have no real knowledge of USA laws, copyright etc. One problem I can see is this.

When a tab is distributed in another country - here in the UK for example, which law should take priority? the one of the country of origin, or the one at the "point of sale"?

For my part, I stand with the tab is another form of writing down the artist's property camp. Just as writing down a paragraph of Shakespeare [for example] in shorthand (even my own made up shorthand) without punctuation would be copying Shakespeare.

I would pay for TAB just as I would pay for score - in fact I often download TAB for scores I have already bought to help me with phrasings etc.

I see TAB alongside not as an alternative to score.

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Stratrat    0

The logical extension of that argument is that anybody who learns a song that was written by another person, regardless of the means by which they learned it (other than by the explicit approval of the entity owning the rights), is committing piracy.

Anybody who shows another person how to play someone else's song they have learned is committing piracy.

Anybody who learns somebody else's song and writes the lyrics down for reference while they're learning it, is committing piracy.

Anybody who sings along to somebody else's song on the radio in their car with a friend present, or with the windows down, where somebody else may hear and learn the lyrics, is committing piracy.

Anybody who goes into a guitar store and plays somebody else's song within earshot of anybody else is committing piracy.

Anybody who loans somebody else one of their CDs to listen to is committing piracy.

Anybody who plays their CDs for a group of friends at a backyard gathering, without obtaining permission and/or paying the appropriate fees to the rights holder, is committing piracy.

Any "cover band" who rehearses in front of others (or where others can hear them) without paying the appropriate fees is committing piracy.

In each of the above examples, intellectual property was "distributed" without the knowledge and/or permission of the rights holder.

This becomes a very slippery slope. I guess it could be argued that playing anybody else's music other than your own, anywhere, for any reason, without their express permission, is piracy. I guess there's always the "fair use" educational exemption - but then again, it's not much fun (or very entertaining) to play 10-second snippets of popular songs.

The bottom line is that it is very much about making or losing money. If there wasn't money involved, the fatcat suits in the music industry wouldn't care one lick about file sharing, tab, or any associated issues. Most of them wouldn't care about music itself if it wasn't making them filthy rich.

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Stratrat    0
...and whistling in public.

Yep. If it's a recognizable derivation of somebody else's work and you whistle more than your "fair use" quota of a bar or two without obtaining permission and/or paying the appropriate fees (notice how that "fees" thing keeps popping up???), then put on your eye patch and say "AAAAHHHHRRRRRR, MATEY!!" - because you're a pirate! :dunno:

I'm pretty sure it's still OK if you just kinda hum the song quietly to yourself, or sing it to yourself in your mind. We do at least have that left (I think.)

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twovic    0

Strictly speaking (in the UK) piracy only happens when there is the copying of material in permanent form (in this case, written, though recorded would fall into this category). The bulk of your examples are cases where the distribution is not in permanent form.

In the UK, most of the examples of "distribution" you have used require a licence for public playing of music, not a copyright permission.

Where there is no charge made, and the gathering is private rather than public (friends in a garden etc), such permission is deeemed to be granted.

The cover band rehearsing would probably be prosecuted for breaking noise violation laws!

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+1 to everything Stratrat just said.

Artists aren't losing out by people learning their songs, they get paid if they are played in public(to make a profit) once learned. This whole argument is ridiculous.

Unless they start releasing 100% accurate tabs for a nominal fee, they can't complain about others trying to teach people how to play their favorite songs.

Legally they can, but the law is just ridiculous. There is NOTHING immoral about learning a damn song!

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twovic    0
+1 to everything Stratrat just said.

Artists aren't losing out by people learning their songs, they get paid if they are played in public(to make a profit) once learned. This whole argument is ridiculous.

Unless they start releasing 100% accurate tabs for a nominal fee, they can't complain about others trying to teach people how to play their favorite songs.

Legally they can, but the law is just ridiculous. There is NOTHING immoral about learning a damn song!

ABSOLUTELY! - it's not the learning of the song that is at issue here (unless I'm totally misunderstanding it) or even perfomring the song once learned, it is the writing down of the song in permanent form.

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Stratrat    0
...Legally they can, but the law is just ridiculous. There is NOTHING immoral about learning a damn song!

I agree. Before I go any further, allow me to go on record as saying that I'm 100% in favor of musicians getting paid for their work. With that said, it's hard to see how the "industry" gets their panties in a wad over a hack like me learning a song and then uploading a poorly-played rendition of it to an educational site such as this one for others to listen to and enjoy, or shudder and offer critiques (as the case may be). I'm making no profit from it, the website is making no profit from it, and the music industry sure as hell isn't losing money - because nobody is going to download my poorly-played cover songs and burn them to a CD rather than buying the songs by the original artists!!! :isaynothing:

Twovic - when "cover bands" play public venues, there are fees paid (there's that "fee" thing again!) to the music industry to allow them to play those songs. Not to "record" them - simply to play them. Usually the venue (bar/club, etc.) pays a yearly licensing fee that allows musicians to come in and play cover songs there. No "permanency" is involved - once the music dissipates in the airwaves, all that's left are the memories in the minds of the people who came to watch/listen.

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twovic    0
Twovic - when "cover bands" play public venues, there are fees paid (there's that "fee" thing again!) to the music industry to allow them to play those songs. Not to "record" them - simply to play them. Usually the venue (bar/club, etc.) pays a yearly licensing fee that allows musicians to come in and play cover songs there. No "permanency" is involved - once the music dissipates in the airwaves, all that's left are the memories in the minds of the people who came to watch/listen.

I thought that was the point I was making!

If i buy a cd of say Jack Johnson, I rip it to my ipod - I even scan the cover so that I can see it as I play my ipod - as I understand it, that is ok - it is for my own personal use. I also sometimes make a cd using itunes of that cd so that I can listen to it in the car (i have no ipod dock in the car) without risking damage or loss to the original. This is sticky ground, but as I am still using it for my own personal use, I would argue that I am staying within the spirit of the law.

What I would not do is

1. Give a copy of the cd to a third person so he doesn't have to buy one for himself. or

2. Borrow someone elses cd to rip / copy for the same reason.

I would download a TAB of music I already have as score, but I would not download the TAB without downloading it as a score as well.

I would willingly pay for TAB just as I pay for score.

I do however think that the original artist is probably not gaining from this - he probably would only make enough for a decent set of strings - it is the Simon Cowells of this world who are probably gaining.

I do not criticise others (sorry if I appeared to do so) for just downloading the TAB - in fact Stratrat, I have a great deal of sympathy with your stance - and can see the value in it - it's just not for me.

If I were to pen a hit single (chance would be a fine thing), I would like to think that I would be rewarded regardless of the method of it's distribution - even if I didn't think about/was aware of the method of distribution used, or in fact if hadn't been invented yet[ex- MP3's].

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Dewy    0

Piracy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Please note... no instances of Tablature or Illicit Cd distribution is mentioned. Why do people insist on spreading the misuse of this association of the word for a murderer with a copyright infringement ?!

Pirates are Despicable, Murdering, Thieves... not people who use technology to sidestep a bottleneck in the industry. Sure, its illegal to distribute copy written material... its a criminal act to do it for your own gain... all as it should be.

But now people are tossing the word pirate around and associating it with anyone who Expresses their version of an Idea. Thats all a song is... an Idea. I can tell you my idea, and you can relate it to many... but it is an intangible thing. You cannot touch it nor dispossess it from one who has received it. You can't take it back or control whom it is shared with.

Thomas Jefferson said "If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation."

Why do songs not apply here? The playing of a song does not lessen the owners right to the commercial use of the song, nor does it limit his "ownership" of the song. Rogue tab does not lessen the owners right to release their own "Official" version of the tab, so why crack down and call them Pirates? Why sue them to have it removed? Why not score your own and package the product so I will buy it? I'm obviously interested if I am visiting a site that produces it.

This is not about the "ownership" of a song, its about Greed. Not proper compensation, or distribution rights. Its about someone in a suit screaming MINE!

When jdpaz says he's an artist... he should know he is speaking to many artists. We're all affected by the digital revolution equal to the amount we are invested into it, or its dinosaur counterpart the current recording industry. Today's artist's are flocking to the digital revolution as a way to shake the bonds of the hit machine that has controlled our access to the world.

Not as a criminal activity.

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jdpaz    0

Also from Wiki article on copyright infringement:

"For electronic and audio-visual media, unauthorized reproduction and distribution is occasionally referred to as piracy or theft. ... Critics of the use of the term "piracy" to describe such practices contend that it unfairly equates copyright infringement with more sinister activity, though courts often hold that under law the two terms are interchangeable.[2]"

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twovic    0

as far as i am aware I've not called anyone a pirate - nor would i do so.

I would argue that a song has far more in common with a book or poem than it does an "idea", and as such can be copied.

I guess the question is -"how far do you have to go before your 'version' of a song is not a version any more, but a different song altogether?" This is grey, and not black and white - it is in the realm of opinion not absolute, so no one is right or wrong.

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twovic    0

I am off now (have 13 teenagers to supervise!) - I have really enjoyed this discussion - many thanks to all.

I work in an area where music is conveyed predominantly through the written (score and TAB) and not cd's or downloads (though there are some). The vast majority of worship songs are conveyed by a band who have learned the song through the score and/or TAB. Many Christian musicians (in the UK at least) would love to make a living from their music - [pay their mortgages and provide for their families, I am not talking about becoming massively rich superstars], But they cannot because royalties from Christian Copyright licences are pitiful.

Any extra they can get [through for example, TAB royalties] is fine by me!

Hope you all have a cracking time!

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