Legal action on tablature?

Discussion in 'Lessons & Techniques' started by tullyx, Jul 29, 2006.

  1. tullyx

    tullyx Member

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    I went to a tab site today to find tabs for a song and when it loaded, it told me that...

    How in the world can the MPA file lawsuits against websites that feature content (tablature) that to me, shows a persons display of freedom of speech (through self expression and self definition of a piecce of music through Tablature).

    Though the music is copyrighted, the way one displays the way they play it is their right of speech.  It's a first amendment law.  I can understand if they were selling sheet music, but tab is different.  It's one's personal position on how they would play a piece.

    Anyone have any comments about this and why they are doing it?  Seems that a lot of good tab sites are getting hit with the threat of pending legal action if they do not compromise.

    here's a couple sites for reference:
    http://www.guitartabs.cc/
    http://www.mxtabs.net/index.html
     
  2. madguitarsolo

    madguitarsolo Active Member

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    www.ultimate-guitar.com had a good idea... they moved the servers to russia ;D ;D Now they can't be touched O0
     
  3. Stareater

    Stareater Active Member

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    It's just like anything else; if a bunch of fat cats can't squeeze every nickel out of something, they want to take it away from the public and threaten lawsuits. Next they'll be demanding a fee if you figure a song out by ear, as I'm sure they'll find some BS legalese to claim you've violated some copyright law. Don't you know you're taking fuel out of their limos or private jets when you read a tab? :roll:
     
  4. Six String

    Six String Moderator Staff Member

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    .............. I wonder if they will ever get around to threatening legal action on copywrite infringement for learning to play a song from listening to the CD....................? :roll:
     
  5. SG dan

    SG dan Active Member

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  6. skidshark

    skidshark Active Member

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    that's insane.... >:(

    next "they'll" sue music teachers for using "their" songs to teach with. (isn't it ironic how that now that communism has fallen, they've found new ways of restricting freedoms?
     
  7. 1Way

    1Way Active Member

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    That is nuts, but I'm guessing it's in conjunction with copying published TABs, not published music. I know that in copyrights of translations for example, I think it needs to differ by at least 10% or it violates the copyright. Almost every TAB I've seen is off in significant ways. Functionally it a good guide toward learning a song and is not that accurate to deserve this sort of legal action.

    Oh well, I guess training my ear to learn songs is the best way. Get ya a lick learner to slow down the full speed music and thus focus in tightly on any selection of music. I'd rather have that than TAB if I had to choose.

    6er busts my gut,,, next they'll try to outlaw learning song riffs from CD's...
    ;D ;D ;D
    They might if it's up to the lawers and corperate executives...
    :?
     
  8. alexrules43

    alexrules43 Member

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    [quote author=Stareater link=topic=9603.msg125158#msg125158 date=1154174379]
    Next they'll be demanding a fee if you figure a song out by ear
    [/quote]
    *Breaking News*
    The MPA has decided that playing one note of a copyrighted song will cost 25 cents. Musicians are understandably outraged.
     
  9. Six String

    Six String Moderator Staff Member

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    ....... Update:............ "Copyright infringement determined because radio listener whistles tune!"

    details at 6:00.......................... :roll:
     
  10. tullyx

    tullyx Member

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    Yeah, I learn most everything I know from listening to cd's, records, and the radio.  I just found it quite repulsive that they would be doing that.  It's almost a breech of our first amendment rights.  I mean, I could understand if these sites were SELLING tabs, but these are free and no profit is made from them.  Also, A tab is ones representation of a song, it's usually not 100% correct anyways.  I'm just getting sick of hearing about lawsuits being filed for ridiculous reasons.

    Like the Michael Jordan case a week or so ago.  That made me sick.  Some guy was suing Jordan, Nike, and some other company for $460 million dollars EACH as I heard.  You know why he was suing?  Because he claimed that since he looked sorta like Jordan, his life was in ruins because people wouldn't leave him alone about looking Like him.  He was 12 inches shorter than Jordan for goodness sakes!!!!  RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(

    What is the world coming to?
     
  11. 1Way

    1Way Active Member

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    If the malcontent wins, Michael Jordan should counter sue because the whining short version guy resembles him too much and is lowering his persona and marketability!!! Ten bucks says he shows up in court and press conference with copycat cloths and hair cut, etc.

    I'm just glad that so far places like YouTube and Yahoo and Google videos tend to let musicians post covers of well known songs. I posted several highlight videos of the movie Crossroads without any editing, but it's something like six five minuet clips, and as such should not represent copyright infringement of a movie length video.

    Which brings up an interesting issue. If you play in a band for money and you play covers, which 95% of small venue bands do, at what point do you need to pay royalties to the song originators? I'd assume there would have to be a significant amount of profit involved, otherwise if it was illegal to do covers while profiting only small amounts, then suddenly every small time band would be put out of business.

    Also, at what point does a band need to start paying taxes on their earnings? Most weekend warriors I've heard of barely make money as it is. They almost universally say that they are certainly not in it for the money.
     
  12. TNT

    TNT Active Member

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    1Way I would say that a band would have to start paying taxes on their earnings when club owners start claiming bands on their taxes. Which is about the time when hell freezes over.

    I think that bands who have been in the trenches themselves realize that their songs are being covered realize that it's free publicity for them. It's like pay for play like on the radio but it's free. I think that bands can't do anything about their songs being performed by other people as long as it's not being recorded and sold.
     
  13. 1Way

    1Way Active Member

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    Thanks TNT, this is interesting stuff. Since I've never worked as a musician, this is all foreign to me. Seems like a lot of upstarting bands need to press CD's and sell whatever they can, but I have my doubts that they always do their own material, or else they pay royalties for cover songs.

    I imagine that effectively, you have to cross a certain threshold of noticeable profitability in order to attract enough attention to warrant royalty collections. And like you said, bands probably just consider it free advertising when their songs are covered. In the blues, it seems like even the touring concert bands do various cover songs, but I have my doubts that they pay royalties for each performance. Or maybe they mostly concentrate on doing songs from people who have died, like Hendrix or SRV or Robert Johnson for example.
    :dontknow:
     
  14. skidshark

    skidshark Active Member

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    after they die the money goes to their estates, which are 10 times more hard-nosed cause making free money from someone elses work is their stock in trade! :coolsmiley:
     
  15. 1Way

    1Way Active Member

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    Shoot! That figures. I guess I'll have to keep my profit margins low and try to not sell much until I write my own material...  ;D

    Or hope they like the free advertising part of the deal... Not likely with my playing "abilities", errr, is that disabilities...  :o
    :p
     
  16. walter19882003

    walter19882003 Member

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    [quote author=madguitarsolo link=topic=9603.msg125155#msg125155 date=1154173984]
    www.ultimate-guitar.com had a good idea... they moved the servers to russia ;D ;D Now they can't be touched O0
    [/quote]
    that is a good idea, move all the servers to russia or germany, cant touch ya there

    in germany you cant put anything onto a website, like mp3s or tabs say. aslong as your not making money their government cant touch ya :roll:

    bloody germans, they got reight idea
     
  17. Shaulin

    Shaulin Member

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    The Israeli music association wanted once to send people out on the streets
    and to charge royalties from anyone who's playing his car stereo too loud. :idiot: :uglystupid2: :rofl:
     
  18. kaka

    kaka Member

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    in that case i think licklibrary is doing a good job. posting video lessons. lol

    why does the govt or anyother wanna sue the ones who make tabs man? i mean if i tab out megadeth's holy war, and give it out to the world, its megadeth whos gettin promoted. what the bloody biscuits?!!
     
  19. TNT

    TNT Active Member

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    Judging from how accurate most tabs are, I don't think that anyone could get sued. Actually I think that they flub the transcriptions on purpose for just that reason. Even the lyrics can be wrong or a verse out of order...I think that they do that on purpose. :?
     
  20. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    not much to add on tabs but as for playing covers in clubs, etc... the fact you get paid by the club for playing does mean technically I think you would be required to pay royalties for the covers you play. Now how many clubs and bands really do that is probably a small portion. I have heard of a few bands that have gone after other bands and clubs playing their covers. Led Zep and V halen are two that come to mind.

    I second what the previous poster said about youtube though. I think it is a fantastic resource and the artists should just let it go as long as the clips are not full length and as long as they are not in some way putting down the band. Just free advertizing if you ask me. Heck, my boys rock band does some covers. One of the bands they love to do is Cream and I can't imagine Eric Clapton or Jack Bruce possibly saying a group of teenagers doing that in the band room would somehow hurt the band. Long live youtube and cover songs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=On3nK91YUqU
     

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