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Kirk Lorange

The Copyright quagmire ... update

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Hi, all. I thought you'd be interested in some correspondence I've had with Warner Chappell Publishing. I asked about using 30 seconds worth of "Summertime" for one of my lessons. Here's what the "Licensing Co-ordinator" wrote:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Kirk,

Following is a ballpark estimation for the use of the above work on your website, based on the below terms:

*******SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY AND APPROVAL**********

Website: www.guitarforbeginners.com Guitar Lesson Website

Duration: Up to and including 30 seconds

Medium:

1. Internet use - click to play instructional video / Streaming only

2. Downloadable instructional video RRP A$5.00 per download

Term: 12 months plus 12 month rollover Option

Territory: Limited to www.guitarforbeginners.com

Conditions:

Non-exclusive / All arrangements must be approved by Warner/Chappell Music Australia Pty Ltd

Ballpark estimation:

1. A$1,500.00 per 30" or part there-of for our 100% share

2. A$0.50c per digital download per 1,000 downloads for our 100% share (must be paid in advance)

Please note the above is an estimation only and is subject to availability and approval by the original owners of the work.

Please advise in writing if you would like to proceed further with this enquiry & please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any queries.

Kind regards, Meredith

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That's Aussie dollars, which are about 82 cents to the US dollar these days.

So, from what I can gather, they want me to pay per year, up front, $2,000 to be able to use a streaming version online and to use in a downloadable lesson @ $5 per download. I assume if it's a $10 lesson, it would be double. So there you go. I sell a couple of downloadable lessons of any one tune per week, so you can see what we're up against here: pure greed. Naturally, I had to tell them I'd pass on their 'offer'. When I asked them to outline the guidelines they use to determine if a piece of music infringes or not (like how many notes in succession, phrasing, which version they used for comparison, etc.), they told me they don't have time and to contact APRA (Australian Performing Rights Association) ... who are the ones who told me to contact the publishers about that sort of thing.

This is the kind of thing that's been going on for years now.

!

:brickwall::brickwall::brickwall::brickwall:

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That's a disgrace Kirk, from a financial point of view it's obviously a Non - Starter, the only way you could make this viable would be to set your price per lesson at a height that would kill demand so you're in a Catch 22 situation, another thing this greedy attitude does is destroy creativity, you are trying to share your knowledge with others so that they can become better guitarists but you can't aid their progress because you would face financial consequences, Music shouldn't be about this it's about freedom of expression any hindrance to this has a negative impact on all of us.

I don't know who monitors the pricing structure but there really should be a regulator to set tariffs as the publishers appear to be able to just name their price. It must drive you nuts.

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cheeeeze....and yet the industry scratches their heads and wonders why people try to find ways around their ridiculously greedy tactics. C'mon, even a moron could figure this one out.....make your pricing structure reasonable and affordable and you wouldn't have as many people trying to circumvent the system.

Kudos to you for trying to do the right thing, Kirk. I would've told them to shove it too, and probably wouldn't have been near as tactful about it. So now instead of getting at least something, they get a big, fat nothing and everybody loses. Very savvy business model on their part.

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And of course since no one wants to "let out" the information of how much is to much, they wait in the shadows to pounce on you if you infringe on the non-existant standard.

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Their greed is motivated by the knowledge that in the age of the internet they simply cannot control the market for ever. They will eventually go out backwards and they know it. Good riddance!

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Kirk, if I've done my math right, Gershwin died more than 70 years ago (he died July 11, 1937). That means that they no longer have a copyright on his music in most countries. I think you host your website in the US, where, because of Mickey Mouse and Sonny Bono, copyrights have been given a 20 year extension. So you'll have to wait 'til 2019 or some such date.

If you move your hosting back to Australia, I think you'd be fine (but you'd have to check the specifics of Australian law).

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Kirk, if I've done my math right, Gershwin died more than 70 years ago (he died July 11, 1937). That means that they no longer have a copyright on his music in most countries. I think you host your website in the US, where, because of Mickey Mouse and Sonny Bono, copyrights have been given a 20 year extension. So you'll have to wait 'til 2019 or some such date.

If you move your hosting back to Australia, I think you'd be fine (but you'd have to check the specifics of Australian law).

I know it's not feasible to move your hosting just because of this one issue, however, maybe you could explore having this one lesson hosted somewhere different from the states.

I can understand and agree with the intent of copyright law to protect people's creative or intellectual property. But when the original author has been pushing up daisys for 70 years, you gotta wonder who is being protected by this law...

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Hi Kirk:

First of all let me thank you for a great effort. With or without the alledged copyrighted material yours is still the greatest guitar learning site on the internet.

Just to mention one thing I have noticed about some sites that I am assuming are in the USA is they put music on the internet in the form of lyrics and tabs-musical notation, and in some cases midi's of the song, and say that it is their interpretation of the song. They put a disclaimer that the music is their interpretation and is for instructional purposes only. Since they are doing it for non-profit, and that may be the catch all for them. I don't know what the law on that is. I don't know if they are being charged a fee or not and possibly have University level support or perhaps make enough from the site from other products that they sell.

Did I hear someone say your site is based in the USA, because if it is I would be happy to do some reseach into the laws and perhaps find a loophole for you.

I am willing to pay more for lessons not in the public domain, but everyone would have to get on board and I realize that not everyone has the means. Also the number of lessons sold are a problem with keeping that going.

I am a certified Private Investigator (retired) but still have my skills. If you need some research on this matter done in the USA I would be happy to accomodate. Pro Bono:yes:

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Kirk,

I also would like to thank you for your efforts on this matter.

Even if it were doable, a 30 sec. spot in a tune is only a limited start at best. :crying2:

No need to go futher on the subject. But here is a bang of an idea.

I gladly pay for private lessons on specific subjects sent via email to me anyday. Or lay out some specific tunes or take requests.

I don't think any of us would find a better teacher anywhere else.

eddiez

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Bear with me here guys, Eddiez is right members wouldn't find a better teacher, or a better forum, I've just messed about with a calculation which is obviously pie in the sky but if every registered member gave 5 Dollars a year as a subscription that would make a total of $211,125 per Annum (if my maths is right) that would pay for an awful lot of seconds, as I said that figure is a bit pie in the sky and not all Members would want to Donate but it would be interesting to float the idea to actually see how many would be prepared to do this, I'm probably way off the mark with this one but I personally wouldn't object to paying a small fee, the amount of feedback, support and Knowledge we get from this site is almost priceless, I can't speak for the other Members but I don't think they would be averse to the idea, just a thought.

As much as I hate giving those freeloaders cash, if it helps the site I'm willing to make the sacrifice.

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...I gladly pay for private lessons on specific subjects sent via email to me anyday. Or lay out some specific tunes or take requests.

I don't think any of us would find a better teacher anywhere else.

eddiez

Eddie, this is a great idea...

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...When I asked them to outline the guidelines they use to determine if a piece of music infringes or not (like how many notes in succession, phrasing, which version they used for comparison, etc.), they told me they don't have time and to contact APRA (Australian Performing Rights Association) ... who are the ones who told me to contact the publishers about that sort of thing.

This is the kind of thing that's been going on for years now.

!

:brickwall::brickwall::brickwall::brickwall:

This is the kind of gray area in the laws where money speaks the loudest. In a nutshell, Warner/Chappell is willing to 'grant' you immunity from the laws if you pay them off. W/C, as the holder of rights, has the right to sue you. No one else does (unless they're suing on their behalf!)

W/C doesn't know the law, they only know what they're allowed to get away with. And just because they have the right to sue, claiming 'infringement' doesn't mean that they would. It depends on how much blood they figure they can squeeze from you! Would they have the power to shut GfB&B down? Maybe. Would they? Doubtful. No offense, but you're a small fish that they'd probably throw back!

Would they take your money up front? Yep. And their market-will-bear pricing is totally shameful. GfB&B could pay the same money for blanket licensing.

Steve

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Nice thought but, the reality is that very few of the total membership donate. Your figures would work in a perfect world.

Yes very true allthumbs, I was thinking of a subscription from the forum, but this would be voluntary and if only a few members donate already it is probably just wishful thinking, a perfect world would be great but probably incredibly boring.

I was a bit slow on the uptake with Eddiez idea sorry had a bit of a long day but the Penny just dropped and I know what he means now, it is a brilliant and completely viable solution to the problem:clap:

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Hi Kirk:

First of all let me thank you for a great effort. With or without the alledged copyrighted material yours is still the greatest guitar learning site on the internet.

Just to mention one thing I have noticed about some sites that I am assuming are in the USA is they put music on the internet in the form of lyrics and tabs-musical notation, and in some cases midi's of the song, and say that it is their interpretation of the song. They put a disclaimer that the music is their interpretation and is for instructional purposes only. Since they are doing it for non-profit, and that may be the catch all for them. I don't know what the law on that is. I don't know if they are being charged a fee or not and possibly have University level support or perhaps make enough from the site from other products that they sell.

Did I hear someone say your site is based in the USA, because if it is I would be happy to do some reseach into the laws and perhaps find a loophole for you.

I am willing to pay more for lessons not in the public domain, but everyone would have to get on board and I realize that not everyone has the means. Also the number of lessons sold are a problem with keeping that going.

I am a certified Private Investigator (retired) but still have my skills. If you need some research on this matter done in the USA I would be happy to accomodate. Pro Bono:yes:

These other sites that claim 'instructional purposes only' vary in what they show. Just claiming 'instructional purposes only' doesn't exempt them from their infringing ways. Tab, lyrics and midi performances that are claimed to only be their 'interpretation' are clearly against copyright law (I don't care whether or not they're blood suckers--they have the law behind them). These sites are on borrowed time, imho.

Yes, not-for-profit is one way in which they'll look when deciding what to do about an infringing site. If the site is clearly making money from the works, you betcha. They smell blood in the water.

The MPA, Music Publisher's Association, has a guideline when posting items for instructional purposes:

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.

And this is what the concerned sites reference when they're doing it right (opinion).

Since there's so much gray area regarding this and the digital download age, the sites that have been shut down are a) because of the money they generate and B) because of their blatant disregard for copyright laws. When a site follows the laws and the guidelines, they aren't touched (opinion), even when they're making money.

The MPA is a great place to start your research. There's a ton of great info and links. Another great place to get in touch with the laws in today's digital age is the Future of Music Coalition. These people are going to bat for the small guy.

Steve

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The US law is pretty ludicrous. In Australia, Charlie Parker and Django Reinhardt are in the public domain, and Buddy Holly will be soon. Meanwhile, back in the US, what we have is "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" and "Alexander's Ragtime Band."

Hosting outside the US wouldn't be too helpful, as people who downloaded songs into the US would be breaking copyright law. When I've looked to download stuff from the '30s and '40s and wound up at an Australian site, there was always a big warning page I'd arrive at, saying that I should NOT get the stuff if I was in the US...

There is some hope, though. A year from next Jan. 1st, for example, all of Robert Johnson's songs become US public domain. We're just 20 years behind the times. :mad:

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Personally, I think it's time to cut an album of homegrown music!

Sell It!

Cheers, :beer:

Jay

I'm hip to that. I'd be interested in that project. It'd be a great way to raise money for the site. Deciding how it gets financed, that's the tough part!

Steve

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Steve,

Thanks,

Yes its a great idea. Look, I getting pretty tired of this whole copywrite thing.

Now I realize that this is a free site and encourages donations to help support its being here in the first place. But lurking behind the sceans is that peverbial devil called cost of operation.

Kirk has done all he can to make this possible to this point.

He currently offers free lessons here for everyone and only ask's for payment if you would like to download all the extras.

Ok, many tunes are public domain thats great. But, we all know that we hunger for those special "cover tunes" we just have to master.

So, I say screw the industry and make a custom file for me, the whole tune, all its color and glory related to guitar. Be my teacher,

or we can all learn in our own time, eventually.

This whole thing is about "copywrite material" is'nt it ?

How bad do you want it and what is it worth ?

My point is, want to learn whats presented here now and be happy

or do you want more ? More goes to the teacher ! Not the money hungry people pulling the strings.

eddiez

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Steve,

Thanks,

Yes its a great idea. Look, I getting pretty tired of this whole copywrite thing.

Now I realize that this is a free site and encourages donations to help support its being here in the first place. But lurking behind the sceans is that peverbial devil called cost of operation.

Kirk has done all he can to make this possible to this point.

He currently offers free lessons here for everyone and only ask's for payment if you would like to download all the extras.

Ok, many tunes are public domain thats great. But, we all know that we hunger for those special "cover tunes" we just have to master.

So, I say screw the industry and make a custom file for me, the whole tune, all its color and glory related to guitar. Be my teacher,

or we can all learn in our own time, eventually.

This whole thing is about "copywrite material" is'nt it ?

How bad do you want it and what is it worth ?

My point is, want to learn whats presented here now and be happy

or do you want more ? More goes to the teacher ! Not the money hungry people pulling the strings.

eddiez

I agree with you a thousand percent. Kirk and Clancy have to do what's right for their site, though. This main idea could work...food for thought. I guess I have to chuckle a bit, though: 'be my teacher or we can all learn in our own time, eventually' because that's what many of us have done!! But ahhhh, we need to now take advantage of the 'net, for sure!

Steve

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I'm hip to that. I'd be interested in that project. It'd be a great way to raise money for the site. Deciding how it gets financed, that's the tough part!

Steve

OK Steve, so what does it take to pull one off ?

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I agree with you all, but in the real world, (it's unfortunate in this case), you either sell your product at a fair and competitive price, or you sit on your product until it rots, and go out of business cuz you're overpriced. I wonder if this internet thing is still so new, that this copyright thing needs years to play out to see the true value of playing a few bars of someone else's tune..........don't know, just my thoughts.

hb

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Does this mean, if one puts his stuff out there, it remains unprotected and everybody's on the same merry go round ?

Or can CD's and material be protected by kind of what itunes does and limit its copy capablities without the big dogs getting involved.

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Does this mean, if one puts his stuff out there, it remains unprotected and everybody's on the same merry go round ?

Or can CD's and material be protected by kind of what itunes does and limit its copy capablities without the big dogs getting involved.

Actually, the moment you conceive an independent and unique idea, it has your copyright on it. If you do not do the "paperwork" to confirm your copyright and someone absconds with your idea, then it is your liability to prove, in fact, that it was your original idea. Good luck.

DRM's ..... ack.... that is the current bane and contested rights management that will require years to sort out. And a Standard needs to be set. Not willy-nilly packages of back-door rootkits, spyware and stealware such a Sony continues to do.

Yes. You do not own your computer.

**

LC

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Well,

I know there are folks here who could do a fund raising project and get it copy protected. And plenty of talent to do an entire production.

Les,

I like the part about the computer. The only thing that belongs to us is what we eat, and when were done all the rest goes elsewhere.

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Hosting outside the US wouldn't be too helpful, as people who downloaded songs into the US would be breaking copyright law. When I've looked to download stuff from the '30s and '40s and wound up at an Australian site, there was always a big warning page I'd arrive at, saying that I should NOT get the stuff if I was in the US...

I believe Gershwin is in that list now as of July 11th, at least for all countries other than the US. A warning to US citizens that downloading breaks "their" copyright laws would put the onus on the individual rather than GfB&B. If the individual chooses civil disobedience and downloads anyway, all the better ;). And citizens of other countries would not be affected by laws that don't pertain to them.

But all of that presupposes that the host server is not on American soil.

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