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The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga

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GeorgeH 04 Jul 01 - 12:42 PM
Ralphie 04 Jul 01 - 12:48 PM
GeorgeH 04 Jul 01 - 01:00 PM
GUEST 04 Jul 01 - 01:15 PM
GUEST 04 Jul 01 - 01:23 PM
Les from Hull 04 Jul 01 - 01:25 PM
GUEST 04 Jul 01 - 01:26 PM
GUEST 04 Jul 01 - 01:38 PM
GeorgeH 04 Jul 01 - 02:22 PM
GUEST 04 Jul 01 - 02:54 PM
GUEST,Max in Louth 04 Jul 01 - 03:15 PM
GUEST,Alec/Ramsey/I.O.M. 04 Jul 01 - 03:21 PM
GUEST 04 Jul 01 - 03:28 PM
marty D 04 Jul 01 - 05:15 PM
GUEST 04 Jul 01 - 06:41 PM
GUEST 04 Jul 01 - 06:48 PM
Noreen 04 Jul 01 - 08:46 PM
Tyke 04 Jul 01 - 11:09 PM
GUEST,Max in Louth 05 Jul 01 - 04:12 AM
GeorgeH 05 Jul 01 - 05:27 AM
Eluned 05 Jul 01 - 05:28 AM
GUEST 05 Jul 01 - 09:14 AM
GUEST 05 Jul 01 - 11:22 AM
Ralphie 06 Jul 01 - 03:49 AM
Ralphie 06 Jul 01 - 04:03 AM
GUEST,Max in Louth 06 Jul 01 - 04:05 AM
pavane 06 Jul 01 - 04:06 AM
pavane 06 Jul 01 - 04:08 AM
Ralphie 06 Jul 01 - 04:14 AM
pavane 06 Jul 01 - 04:21 AM
GeorgeH 06 Jul 01 - 07:23 AM
Ralphie 06 Jul 01 - 08:28 AM
Rick Fielding 06 Jul 01 - 02:15 PM
GUEST 06 Jul 01 - 07:21 PM
GUEST,the latter 06 Jul 01 - 07:33 PM
Ralphie 07 Jul 01 - 01:18 AM
GUEST,Max in Louth 07 Jul 01 - 01:21 AM
GUEST,Max in Louth 07 Jul 01 - 01:25 AM
Ralphie 07 Jul 01 - 01:26 AM
Ralphie 07 Jul 01 - 01:29 AM
GUEST,Max 07 Jul 01 - 01:30 AM
Ralphie 07 Jul 01 - 02:00 AM
Nerd 07 Jul 01 - 05:02 AM
Tyke 07 Jul 01 - 08:42 AM
GUEST 07 Jul 01 - 08:55 AM
Rick Fielding 07 Jul 01 - 01:05 PM
The Badger 07 Jul 01 - 09:48 PM
The Badger 07 Jul 01 - 09:52 PM
Nerd 08 Jul 01 - 12:42 AM
GUEST,Max 08 Jul 01 - 03:42 AM
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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GeorgeH
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 12:42 PM

Guest the last . .

I think when you say You'd spend a lot on solicitors you hit a rather large nail very squarely . .

and, as I said in the original article (with a couple of additions in bold, added for clarification:

He (Bulmer) is also known (rightly or wrongly) for being rather litigatious (he can afford to be, unlike most if not all of those with whom he is in dispute)

G.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Ralphie
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 12:48 PM

Tyke...Old Bean ! I must hold my head up and confess that both "In Search of"....and "Unearthed"...consist almost entirely of bootleg recordings.....!! (apart from a couple of tracks re-purchased from the Beeb) Shall we not bother to release them??!!.....Discuss... Oh....you already are ! Love R xx


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GeorgeH
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 01:00 PM

No idea how that message got sent twice . . but as this thread now appears it should have been addressed to "guest the last but one" . .

And sorry, Guest the last, but I don't see any seriously-intended threat in here, but so far as I know registering as a Mudcat member doesn't make any of your details available to anyone . . and, of course, you can always make the thread more intelligible by using some form of identifier along with Guest. But then again much of the rest of your contribution here made only minimal sense , except in the just because I'm paranoid it doesn't mean they're not out to get me sense. However, if you genuinely feel intimidated from presenting your true opinions, under your own (or even an assumed) name, here or elswhere within the folk world then I am very sincerely sorry.

Regards,

George


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 01:15 PM

GeorgeH,

I appreciate your belief that you were "factually" summarising what you have labelled the "Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer Saga" here.

However, I'd like to point out that the source of information to which I have been referring was not your original post to this thread, but the Living Tradition editorial. Which also makes reference to the Dick Gaughan message you attempted to "summarise" here. The Living Tradition editorial states:

"Dick Gaughan made that very point in a newsgroup forum on the internet."

Apparently you are active in that forum as well. However, as I stated earlier, Folk Roots and the UK folk newsgroup are not the only sources of information on this matter.

It may well help lower the levels of animosity in this thread if you would temper your remarks, and your insistence that "facts" which you summarised here are the one, only, true version of events and circumstances surrounding Celtic Music and Dave Bulmer.

The facts you cite have been greatly distorted over the years that this issue has been discussed, both on and off line, and in the UK music press (which last time I checked, included Living Tradition).


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 01:23 PM

GeorgeH,

I appreciate your belief that you were "factually" summarising what you have labelled the "Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer Saga" here.

However, I'd like to point out that the source of information to which I have been referring was not your original post to this thread, but the Living Tradition editorial. Which also makes reference to the Dick Gaughan message you attempted to summarise here. The Living Tradition editorial states:

"Dick Gaughan made that very point in a newsgroup forum on the internet."

Upon reading that Living Tradition editorial on-line, I simply did a Google search with "Dave Bulmer" as key words brings DG's message up.

It may well help lower the levels of animosity in this thread if you would temper your remarks, and your insistence that your "facts" on this matter are more true and reliable than others.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Les from Hull
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 01:25 PM

True, Guest but I don't see any facts coming from anywhere else. If Dave Bulmer has got a case to make, let him make it. Perhaps he thinks that it's none of our business, and he's entitled to think that if he wants, but if that is so it shows rather a cavilier attitude to a group of people whao are (or would be) his customers.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 01:26 PM

Oops!

Apparently GeorgeH, we both need to get back to work, and stop posting duplicate messages!


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 01:38 PM

Les from Hull,

Actually, what you are saying about a paucity of facts beyond those presented here is true.

What is necessary to know the facts is some considerable, tedious research. It may be possible to find out who originally owned masters, contracts, and copyrights (contracts are sold along with product and copyright in these liquidator deals)now presumed to be owned by Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer, et al.

It may be possible to find out if and when anyone ever filed for remedies and/or breaches, that sort of thing.

And someone could actually try to interview Dave Bulmer about it without being antagonistic and hostile.

I think everyone agrees it would be nice to know the truth. But getting at the truth is usually a lot more work than most people are willing to go through to find it.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GeorgeH
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 02:22 PM

Guest,

Elsewhere in this thread I indicated - in general terms - the scope of my enquiries which lead me to attest that the summary I offered is factually accurate.

I am not sure in what sense you feel the LT piece (which, as you acknowledge, is a number of years old) contradicts what I wrote. Certainly I don't see any contradiction between what I wrote and the DG piece you included.

Perhaps that's just me being stupid. Nevertheless, if you'd care to indicate what the accuracies are in my original article we'd be able to make some progress. To date I still don't see that you've brought either any new facts, or any new viewpoint, to this consideration. All you have done is questioned the accuracy of my account, without providing any coherent basis for doing so.

As you say, getting at the truth can be hard work. Accusing others of not presenting the truth is, however, trivially easy, as you/GUEST has indicated.

Of course my account is not the whole truth; that's generally unattainable, and probably personal! More particularly, I chose to omit all those aspects of which I was not entirely certain, and others which I felt were not particularly significant. Plus, of course, information which I am simply not free to publish.

And once again, may I ask what your motives are for suggesting my account is untruthful, when you appear to have no evidence to support that assertion?

Regards

George


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 02:54 PM

Fair enough GeorgeH,

Your opening statement in this thread is as follows:

"Mr Bulmer is clearly an exception to the rule that "no-one ever makes a fortune from Folk Music in the UK".

What evidence have you presented here that Mr. Bulmer is a wealthy man, and that he made a fortune from folk music in the UK?

Sentence #2 of your post says:

"He is also known for being rather litigatious (he can afford to be, unlike most if not all of those with whom he is in dispute). "

What evidence have you presented here that Mr. Bulmer is litigous? What evidence do you offer to support your "fact" that Mr. Bulmer has more money than those parties with whom he is in litigation?

GeorgeH, it seems to me that you are the most guilty sycophant here. You are clearly using the hearsay referred to in the Living Tradition editorial, and claiming that hearsay as fact.

I initially tried to point out, very politely, that the "facts" you were presenting were nothing of the sort--just hearsay and your personal beliefs about a man you clearly have nothing but contempt for, if your remarks about him here are anything to judge by.

The response to my suggestion from both you and Ralphie were both swift, and negative. Methinks you both doth protest too much.

You also claimed, without providing any evidence, that:

"Over the years, he has purchased the rights to an enormous quantity of the "back catalogue" of the British Folk Revival,"

You aren't distinguishing between what he bought and didn't buy, as a liquidator. That is a crucial piece of information. DG has said:

The sum of my knowledge regarding the actual content of the purchase was that it comprised the entire Leader and Trailer catalogues which John Zollman had bought, either directly from Bill or from the company Bill had sold it to. (The latter, I suspect.)

Now, I'm no solicitor, but if I understand the law correctly, Bulmer MAY NOT own rights to the Leader catalogue. If Bill Leader sold the masters, contracts and copyrights to John Zollman or another company previous to him, then those rights may well be no longer in the hands of the entity which owns and possesses the masters.

Capiche? Just because Dave Bulmer has the Leader, et al catalogue masters, doesn't mean he "owns the rights" to recording and performance of them.

It could just be that Dave Bulmer knows these laws better than most musicians, music journalists, and punters who, based upon hearsay (and even what DG is saying is hearsay, I might add), have decided that he has rights and masters he actually doesn't have, and possibly never did.

I could go on like this line by line with your message, but I really don't think any of us needs to go there.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST,Max in Louth
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 03:15 PM

You must try to understand that Bulmer is a maniac collector of "things". If you.ve ever been toi Harrogate to his works , or to any of his other enterprises you will see that they are full of what is only realy described as "junk". He cant resist it. The works are like Steptoes Yard. The point I'm making is that in regard to copyrights, he HAS to own them. Then nobody else can own them. It's like those who buy stolen Old Master paintings - they cant do anything with them , but THEY OWN THEM. Its nearly a sexual gratification thing. Somnebody questioned the sanity of Bulmer - you probably all must realise that he's pretty near the dividing line between genious and insane. He is a manipulator who has an insane wish to "see the big picture" and then acquire it.

Why not pay a visit to North Works in Harrogate and view with wide eyed abandon the piles of redundant machinery, records, books et al.

Regrettably for all of us while he's got the tapes we will never see them (or hear them). They are HIS, all HIS.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST,Alec/Ramsey/I.O.M.
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 03:21 PM

The man's a nutter! Perhaps MAFF could cull him.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 03:28 PM

So much for well reasoned discourse and facts.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: marty D
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 05:15 PM

This has been possibly the most fascinating thread I've seen in Mudcat over the last year and a half. I hope you'll excuse my input here as I'm neither British nor a recording artist (and never likely to be either) but I have some thoughts.

There seems to be a desire on some people's part that an obvious businessman should become part of the 'folk' and 'do the right thing'. How often does that really happen? There have been umpteen cases in America where musicians have had to use incredibly nasty tactics themselves to get a fair shake. Remember John Fogarty's battle with his Record Company? He even slandered the owner in one of his songs "Zantz Can't Dance". People who get into music for profit often play hardball, both owners and artists. Some probably really enjoy it. The higher the stakes, the more fun, because there can be millions at stake.

Obviously that isn't the case here. The issues seem to be "important" traditional music, and perhaps a very few thousand pounds. It sounds like a few of those musicians could REALLY use that money, or at least put their recorded music to good use again, to help them earn a living. My guess is that they earn very little at best.

Have any of the artists 'banded together' so that they COULD hire a lawyer, or is this Bulmer fellow's position simply 'airtight'? If he's on solid ground then the artists are left with very few options OTHER than impassioned discussions like this. When this discussion is over, will any of the artists be better off?

It strikes me as the best alternatives left to the artists might be some form of guerilla tactics. Why not ask (over the net) if any fans have 'clean' copies of the music on record, that they'd be willing to loan in order to make a 'new master'? Sure, the sound quality won't be absolutely first class, but with the equipment available today, it'll be close, and isn't the 'content' the most important thing with this kind of music? Yes, it would be illegal, but perhaps it would encourage this man into some form of dialogue that might produce a resolution BEFORE litigation.

Simply ASKING a businessman to 'have a heart' when that might mean they'll lose money, isn't going to work. Even in folk music.

marty


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 06:41 PM

Dave failed to ever produce a contract which Peter (Bellamy) was prepared to sign. He produced the verbally agreed album and then Peter found that little or no publicity was forthcoming and even had a problem getting the vinyl from Bulmer to sell himself. When he eventually got the records, the sleeves were his but the discs were Kipper Family! and had to be returned. Having said that Dave has released tracks to Neil Wayne for the recent Wake The Vaulted Echoes album for which I am grateful. However Peter coined the expression that CM actually stood for Clandestine Music which is far more appropriate than celit Music and I think should pass into common usage as it is is more appropriate. Jenny Bellamy


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 06:48 PM

MartyD,

I don't know that anything can be done for what has already transpired.

My idea of what is the best case for the future, is to get the UK "Benefit and Burden" laws related to copyrights changed. Until that happens, we risk losing some potentially valuable archive material. While some of the material from the British Folk Revival is certainly of cultural value to the folk community, I don't think that is the main beef people have.

Rather, people are upset about artists losing the rights to their works. As well we should be! It isn't just about the money, as you noted. It also is about control over one's creative works.

As to the "national treasure" argument, I'm not convinced. There is very little of the British Folk Revival that isn't available from a lot of different sources that can be archived. What looks like national treasure, will clearly be seen as national trash by many others. This isn't really something for the folk community to decide on it's own. Nor is it likely to be known what stands the test of time until, well...time passes.

While there aren't millions of copies of folk revival recordings, there certainly are enough to get safety copies into archives, both public and private. Its always best to have masters, of course. But we don't always have that luxury.

There is concern, however, about some older masters which still exist, and the recordings don't. I really have not idea how many are out there, and I'm guessing no one else does either. There are the types of things that miraculously turn up in mint condition from granny's garden shed, etc. And then there is what is rumoured to be in existence in someone or other's private collections or possession.

But again, no one seems to know exactly what Bulmer has, and what might be duplication of material already in other archives. While Dick Gaughan is obviously concerned that the material only be archived in the UK (ie the "national treasure" argument), I for one find that kind of pious nationalism to be self-defeating in instances like this--to me, what matters is what needs preserving get preserved. If America, or Germany, or Pakistan end up being the place the stuff gets safely ensconced in a collection, I don't care who has it, so long as there is reasonable access to the archived material.

Re the idea of artists vs record companies, publishers, and copyright owners. I think artists need to educate themselves about the law. I also think that musicians need to join ranks with other freelancers and organize to get the laws changed. No one is going to do it for us, and I really do believe it's as simple (and difficult) as that. Unless and until that happens, I'm afraid there doesn't seem to be much legal recourse for any of us.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Noreen
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 08:46 PM

GUEST the last- so, in a nutshell, you are saying that you know no more than anyone else about this matter, and while doing so, contrive to be offensive and disparaging about named individuals and whole sections of the community.

Jenny, thank you for your inside information. :0)

Noreen


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Tyke
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 11:09 PM

Re the deterioration of magnetic tape! Yes due to the fact that the earth has a magnetic field and tapes will deteriorate. Even if you put them in grannies shed! The only sound source that is permanent is Chromatic Black and white film sound track. Video taped television programmes will all so deteriorate the only way to preserve these and sound tracks in general is to transfer them on to Chromatic Film. In the case of video this involves bar code to digitally preserve both sound and vision. This is great as it probably means that I will be able to buy Chromatic Black and White 35mm film for my camera for a few more years.

This is likely to be an, expensive, exercise which will benefit future generations. Just re releasing albums will only cause the further deterioration of the magnetic masters if they are still in existence (they may have already been recycled). Could the old equipment that it has been reported here that Dave Bullmer has in his possession be what is needed. Seems to me that for all his alleged faults Dave may have made a major contribution to the preservation of "Folk" music. It follows that if Dave Bullmer has or had been producing copies of these Albums you could now be accusing his company of destroying a unique heritage.

Oh I looked at the web site as suggested! Interesting! I cannot say I was surprised! I seem to remember a joke about God and the Devil having an argument. God threatens to sue the Devil and take him to court and the Devil just laughs. God asks the Devil why he is laughing! The Devil say's and just were are you going to find a solicitor in Heaven!

Just in case you missed my point in my last posting. If you are offered a record deal then you should read the contract and let your solicitor look at it. I would advise you to join the Musicians Union and seek their advice regarding all contracts. As for the individual dealings that artists have had with Celtic Music. I see little point in openly discussing these issues. Dave Bullmer has by his silence taken legal advise or he has the good sense to keep his mouth shut. He is also behaving in a professional manner by not criticising other people publicly. By joining the Musicians Union you would be clubbing together with other artists to take legal advise/action against anyone who was ripping you off. But it is no use joining the MU (or any other Union) after the event. Should there be a case to answer, and win, then I would have thought that the MU would have already acted against Celtic Music.

Oh and for anyone thinking of going into business here is a piece of free advice. Business and Friendship do not mix. I have a feeling that some of the ill feeling against Dave is due to Artists putting there original trust in Dave because they felt that he was a friend. Celtic Music acts as record dealer and distributor not a record company that is there to promote them. I am of the opinion that to boycott of Celtic Music would hurt the artists as much or more than Dave Bullmer. Especially if said artists are already under contract to Celtic Music it maybe quite some time before there contracts run out and they are free to produce their own albums on their own labels again. George Clarke (Tyke)


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST,Max in Louth
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 04:12 AM

The MU are in an invidious position in that Mr Bulmer is also a member! However, they are in three actions against CM at present, and Mr B and his company is, of course, on the MU "Notices". Notices is their polite way of saying "blacklist". Deal with CM/Bulmer therefore, at your peril.

As for Mr B not discussing these matters, he simply couldn't give a damn.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GeorgeH
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 05:27 AM

This has become circular . . I should have taken Ralphie's advice and backed out yesterday . .

Guest/Janet, I already pointed out that I couldn't substantiate the "litigations" claim . . . And I notice you continue to avoid answering questions yourself . . If you seriously want answers to the points you raise then email me.

I believe what I wrote is fair and accurate. I see no evidence to contradict that, merely speculation presented as fact . .

If anyone feels anything I've said to be unfair, untrue, inaccurate or contradicted by anything else offered here and they want a response then please contact me by email. That applies to you, too, Janet.

But let me end on a positive note - Bulmer's release of the Mick Tems originals is a generous act, and we should all unconditionally applaud it as such.

Aside from Mudcat personal messages I can be reached at ghawesatadvaopticaldotcom.

"Over and out"

G.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Eluned
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 05:28 AM

This discussion continues to be fascinating.
The facts that folks have reported on law, the deterioration and preservation of masters ( well, _I_ didn't know that using the masters to make albums added to their decay!), one or two well-considered analysis of Bulmer's personality (I think the description of his compulsive collecting is fascinating, and would explain a lot of his behaviors), the MU, and the actual situation have all been very interesting.
I disagree with GUEST that we are calling jihad, or overly "down on" the man - some folks have strong negative feelings about him, but have for the most part restrained themselves. Many level-headed folks have led the discussion to examining the parts of the issue, so that we know many of the different factors in this situation.
I do agree with GUEST that what constitutes a "National Treasure" is largely a matter of viewpoint; as an academic I instinctively shudder at the thought of such a large loss of recordings, but to some folks this doesn't matter. Hard to understand, but, there it is.
However, I am sure that some of those whose concern is the preservation of history and national identity _would_ care, and those, I believe, are the folks who determine what is a "National Treasure". Is this the case, or am I way off base?
Unfortunately, since they don't know what-all he has, and cannot hear them, and also since he does seem to have ownership, they're not likely to address this issue.

Eluned


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 09:14 AM

As Tyke/George Clarke points out, there are fairly complex issues regarding reproduction from old masters, as well as the viability of releasing audio recordings from those sources.

I'd also agree with him that it is Bulmer who has shown the most integrity by not publicly criticising others, whether for legal self-preservation or otherwise. He has been unfairly villified in some circles (which I originally tried to point out here), and as Pete pointed out in his editorial, the hearsay and half truths being promulgated as "fact" in certain circles seems to have reached epic myth levels in the UK folk community.

There rarely is anything to be gained by airing such personal or professional grievances in public. If there was something to be gained, then parties with personal grievances against Bulmer--or even those who are seeking legal remedies from him--would have won some concessions from Bulmer by now.

Eluned's remarks about the "national treasure" issues are astute. I didn't mean to sound as if I so easily dismiss those who do have an interest in preserving history and national identity. I honestly don't share their conviction.

My preservation concerns run more along the lines of what is of of musical value which transcends cultural boundaries and national borders. Because I don't share the convictions and values of the cultural and national preservationists, I wouldn't be a person who could speak adequately to their concerns.

Most important, I think, is to realize that certain people and institutions look to preserve music for it's cultural/national value, while others will look to preserve it for it's music value to the world community. Those two communities won't always agree what is of value, and what isn't.

British and American folk music traditions are the best, most extensively documented folk music traditions in the world. At some point, I think we need to look at the importance of other music traditions, particularly those which are not well documented or documented at all, especially since the rapid spread of our English speaking cultural homogeneity is one of the main causes of half the world's 6,800 remaining languages now being spoken by fewer than 2,500 people. And nearly all of the music traditions native to those languages will disappear without a trace.

It is estimated that in the 15th century, approximately 15,000 languages were spoken. Since then, it is estimated that 4,000-9,000 languages have been wiped out due to war, genocide, legal and other bans by colonial forces, and assimilation. The 15 most common languages in the world are now spoken by nearly half the planets inhabitants, and the top 100 languages spoken by 90% of the world population. My main source for these statistics, if people are curious about these things, is a fairly new book called "Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World's Languages"--don't have it to hand right now to give the author's name, but as I recall, it is published by Oxford University Press.

That is a lot of folk music rooted in specific languages, which has already disappeared without a trace. Some anthropologists are beginning to view the loss of diverse linguistic knowledge with the loss of biodiversity and habitat. A tremendous amount of localized knowledge, which is so central to survival, is lost when a language dies. So I'm more concerned with preservation of music of value on that level, than I am of getting a few Leader wax cylinders released to what would likely be a very small audience in the UK and US.

Preservation resources being as limited as they are, archivists and collectors are always having to set priorities and make decisions about what they will make available to the public, and what they will leave in a box/storage. Dave Bulmer, by virtue of what he has acquired, is setting those priorities and making those decisions. But if folks would take a deep breath, and try and get a grasp on the bigger picture--ie beyond what I view as a sanctimonious "our culture, our national heritage first" mindset, and spend time, energy, and limited resources preserving music traditions we otherwise will lose, we might make a difference that really matters to future generations.

There are some people who have chosen to publicly take Bulmer to task for what he has chosen to release, and what he has left in a box. There are also some who have suggested we should still be grateful for what Bulmer has done by purchasing some valuable liquidated assets of the British Folk Revival, which otherwise may well have been lost or destroyed. I am squarely in the latter group.

I certainly understand and empathise with Nic Jones' circumstances regarding his back catalogue, and inability to collect royalties, particularly because of his disability. But what happened to Nic has also happened to many musicians who made choices a long time ago to sign on the dotted line, and not make financial and legal plans for securing the rights to their masters and royalty rights. As someone else pointed out, there isn't much in the way of a financial safety net for musicians involved in industrial accidents, making Nic's case even more of a tragedy. The suggestions that musicians get involved with MU, both to protect their rights and avail of the pension, insurance and other benefits, is very sound advice. Nic's case is a classic example of the importance of that to other musicians.

Even if Bulmer hasn't done anything with some materials he has collected, and which there appears to be a commercial market for (ie Nic Jones' and Leaders' back catalogues), as Tyke/George Clarke has pointed out, it might take a considerable amount of money to do so. Bulmer has the right to set his priorities, as both a collector of valuable recordings and archivable materials, and as a businessman. Others have a right to disagree, and jump on the let's publicly bash Bulmer bandwagon.

And Eluned, thanks for pointing out this thread has been of some value. I don't think we'd have gotten there if it had just continued on as another of the many "let's blast Bulmer" threads that keeps appearing with regularity in Internet folk forums. I'd like to say thanks too, to Malcolm Douglas, Tyke/George Clarke, and Jenny Bellamy, for contributing what they know, which has added to our body of knowledge and understanding of these complex, but fascinating issues.

I've enjoyed the time discussing them here as a guest of Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 11:22 AM

Oops! I meant to thank Richard Bridge for his contributions as well. Thanks for the suggestions about the "Benefit and Burden" laws!


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Ralphie
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 03:49 AM

A slight diversion regarding techy stuff and tapes
Good old analogue tape is surprisingly durable, I have some tapes from the mid 50's which still sound fine
The problems arise from other causes. Firstly, the manufacturing quality of the actual tapes sometimes left a lot to be desired, there was one particular brand, that could have doubled as pretty fine sandpaper, thus requiring a change of tape heads every 100 hours or so!
Another type in the 1970's would quite happily shed its oxide all over your carpet, making the resulting playback rather quiet...The only solution to this would be a long-winded process of baking and cooling (don't try this at home people!)
Print-through has been mentioned, normally countered by storing the tape on the spool backwards....All well and good, until a well known Radio station happily played 20 Minutes of a certain Rock Stars latus opus....you guessed it!!....backwards.
It was only when said "RS" phoned in that anybody noticed.
I hope the above has returned this ever-lenghthening thread to some form of normality...My many thanks to all who have contributed. I've certainly learned a lot.
No doubt the whole subject will run and run. Tracklist for "Unearthed" will follow shortly Peace Ralphie


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Ralphie
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 04:03 AM

Oh...and as a PS
Any MC Historians out there know how long the longest thread is/was?
Did anybody make a jumper out of it? Ralphie


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST,Max in Louth
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 04:05 AM

I recognise some of the phrases used in the item timed at 9.14 on 5h July. Be very cautious - you probably realsie who is the author!

Unlike most UK record companies, Bulmer has VERY low overhead and production costs. He could very easily, and far cheapere than more most, produce Compact Discs, AND vinyl. He has CD replication machinery in Harrogate, he has cassette equipment there also, and has a large vinyl record factory in London. He also has label and other printing machines - not forgetting that he has several record mastering (disc cutting) lathes. In short whereas for most it costs pounds, for Bulmer it costs relative pence. Add the virtually free costs of his legal services (from a Mr N Sharpley - also based in Louth although here with a very tarnished image)Bulmer IS a fat cat who'se got the cream at the expense of a music genre he claims to love.

Musicians are generally trusting souls who latch on to people like Bulmer who have the gift of the gab - who say all the right things at the right time. Don't blame them for confusing friendship for business. Time after time musicians have been duped and who bvetter to dupe a musician than another musician particularly when he offer such goodies that Bulmer. It's simple villainy and theft make no mistake and the sooner interested contributors to this thread realise those facts, the sooner people like Bulmer and his "lawyer" are turned out to where they belong.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: pavane
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 04:06 AM

We had problems at one site in the 1970's with computer tapes and 'stiction', in that some brands of tape were incompatible with some tape deck heads. The decks were going backwards and forwards frantically trying to reread blocks of data. (I think the brand name had 'Minnesota' in it somewhere!) Not that the tapes were bad, just not compatible with the particular drives. And they had bought thousands of the things! I don't know if this problem occurs with audio tape.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: pavane
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 04:08 AM

The Law and Morality have rarely been on the same side


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Ralphie
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 04:14 AM

Pav
I've got the multi tracks for my first album, and no machine to play them on....Go to the back, all of you who said good!!
Ralphie


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: pavane
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 04:21 AM

:-(


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GeorgeH
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 07:23 AM

Is that the Crows one?

Anyone want a scanned image of Ralpie the Younger from the cover . . .

Cheers!

G.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Ralphie
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 08:28 AM

Good Grief!


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 02:15 PM

Fascinating thread. There are now two others on the "cat" directly directly influenced by this one, with some personal experiences to go along with the ones here.

"Stiffed" by Record Company

"Sign on the Dotted line, kid"

This one's gettin' hard to load. Anyone want to start part two? (I won't 'cause it's mostly Brit folks discussing this, and they're the ones who know if it's run it's course or not.)

Rick


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 07:21 PM

If I may summarise before this thread closes: 1) Bulmer is within his legal rights to do what he is doing. 2) He may or may not hold recorded "treasures" depending on your view point. 3) Musicians should check legal advise before signing with any recording company. 4) Nic Jones has been financially affected by Dave Bulmer's choice not to re-release old recordings held by himself. 5) Some musicians (though not all) have been satisfied with their treatment by Dave Bulmer (Celtic Music). 6) George Hawes was told to butt out but didn't.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST,the latter
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 07:33 PM

Hey Rick,

I've jumped to a new related thread too, titled:

"Copyright Infringements"

The above GUEST message "thread summary" is not mine.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Ralphie
Date: 07 Jul 01 - 01:18 AM

Good to hear that a couple of sub-threads (?) have started in response to this one.
As I've said previously, I've learnt a lot from all of this, particularly, that people out there really care.!
When a topic (no pun!) like this comes along, tempers are naturally going to become a bit frayed (inc mine...mea culpa)
But I think we managed to keep it just the right side of Mud-slinging, and for that....many thanks to you all...(and I mean ALL!!)
I'm off to the studio today, to master CD1 of Nics new double epic, wish me luck.
It's ironic...all you good people are begging to hear this stuff, and I'm going...."Oh No..not b****y Jones again!
I'll revive the Double CD thread when I have all the relevant details, until then...."If you're ever passing...please do!!"
Cheers Ralphie xx


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST,Max in Louth
Date: 07 Jul 01 - 01:21 AM


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST,Max in Louth
Date: 07 Jul 01 - 01:25 AM

Oops, pressed the wrong key last time hence the empty message above. This is a quick note to Ralphie to remember that whatever he does with the new CD masters, don't be a total wally and sign them with CM! I mention it because in the record business lightning does seem to strike twice!! Remember the old song, The devil Got All the Good Music.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Ralphie
Date: 07 Jul 01 - 01:26 AM

Yes Max?
You wanted something??!! R


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Ralphie
Date: 07 Jul 01 - 01:29 AM

Max...fear not Old Bean!
"Unearthed" will be released Solely by Mollie Music...run By Julia Jones!!
We're not THAT dumb! Regards Ralphie


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST,Max
Date: 07 Jul 01 - 01:30 AM

Nope, only that good sense should prevail, and that Nic has better luck and is dealt a better hand than he has had with Mr Bulmer and his "lawyer".


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Ralphie
Date: 07 Jul 01 - 02:00 AM

Max..He will be.....nobody messes with Mrs Jones!!
(apropos of nothing...why do I think I know who you are??)
R


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Nerd
Date: 07 Jul 01 - 05:02 AM

GUESTS, Tyke et al

To paint DB as a heroic preserver of national heritage, doing his bit by not playing his master tapes (since that would damage them) is ludicrous.

First, if you never play the tape, and leave it on the spool until it crumbles into dust, it has not preserved anything. It is only in playing the tape and re-embodying the music on it, that the preservation attains any purpose.

Second, to release an album to the public, if it was recorded in the 1960s or 1970s and is thus not in truly brittle shape (like cylinders or old 78s) you generally only absolutely NEED to play the tape once in a studio to get a digital dub of it. Then all your work can be done from the dub if necessary. So by playing the master once he could get it to the public AND preserve it in digital form. Not bad for the amount of deterioration one play-through will cause. Indeed, if one play-through does destroy the tape then it might as well BE destroyed, since the music on it was essentially unrecoverable already.

BTW, there is one organization seriously committed to the preservation of a national folk music archive that also runs a record label: smithsonian folkways. And ANY recording in their catalog is available on CD at any time precisely because they've done digital dubs of most of the catalog. That's what a preservationist label would do, not fret over master tapes to the extent of never playing them.

As to the suggestion that DB doesn't REALLY own the rights and so can't release the material; then why wouldn't he just say so? And what about the ones he HAS released?

What about the Good Businessman argument? I can't see how he's making anything off a bunch of tapes in a storehouse. He's not selling vinyl either. Seems buying this catalog was a total loss. And as for the idea that business and friends don't mix, that's a crock, too. Many people don't f*ck their friends over when doing business with them. It's not compulsory, you know!

What about the argument that anyone who's sung a Cyril Tawney song in a singaround and not paid royalties is doing the same thing as Dave Bulmer? Ludicrous. The point is SUPPORT THE ARTISTS. Go to gigs and buy albums. When you can buy the albums from the performers. If you feel worried, ask their permission to sing their songs in singarounds. They will say yes, end of trumped-up moral dilemma.

Now, this does not mean DB is a monster, but some of the noble motives being ascribed to him by GUEST(S) are simply not rational. Clearly he has reasons for not releasing material, and clearly he would rather see poor musicians remain poor than do anything about it. He's selfish, then. As many have said, there's not much we can do about it. Still, my "winning the lottery" dream is to buy the rights from DB and redistribute them to the artists. Not good business, I know. But I'd sure love to hear those albums again.

Steve


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Tyke
Date: 07 Jul 01 - 08:42 AM

winick/Steve, Please read my thread again I know that I'm DYSLEXIC but it seems you have got hold of the wrong end of the stick. However the earth is magnetic and tape will deteriorate regardless of weather you make copies or not is true! I did say that! However this is speculation on how many master tapes are still in existence. I fear that many will have been recycled I'm not just talking Nick Jones here. Put yourself in the place of a record/distribution company. If people think you have valuable master tapes in your possession your company will appear to be worth more. Would you want people to know that you had recycled/recorded over irreplaceable material. You see at the time you did not know that Two Artists mentioned in this thread would not be able to re-record there work due to one tragic accident and one suicide. Your best bet is to keep quite and let other speculate do you not think?

My main point is that you should not confuses business and friendship you should seek legal advise before signing any contract's. Even if the contract is coming from someone who is purporting friendship towards you in this thread. Oh and just in case you or anyone feels insulted at my last remark! The answer is that if they were true friends they would have already insisted that their friend did seek independent legal advise before making any contractual commitment. If you do not you will loose yourself a lots of friends which it is seems obvious that Dave Bullmer & Co have already done.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jul 01 - 08:55 AM

If I understand UK law correctly, once the original copyright is sold to a second party, the second party is not legally required to disclose any information regarding said copyright, for the purpose of collection of royalties, to seek redress, etc.

Which is an abomination, of course, but there you have it.

So, since Bulmer isn't legally required to disclose what he does or doesn't have, any discussion of what actually exists is mere conjecture. No one, including Dick Gaughan, has come forward and said "On June 15, 2001, I was in the presence of Dave Bulmer, and he played Nic Jones' masters which were in "X" condition."

The point is, nobody knows what Bulmer has, and Bulmer ain't talkin'. Hasn't won friends and influential people to his side, but it is the reality of the current situation.

For some reason, after many years of this go-round, some still think that talking about this publicly will change the current reality.

Not everyone agrees with that assessment, or even that repeated attempts to publicly villify and ostracize Bulmer will create an ending which will have justified the means.

To say that those of us in the latter camp love Bulmer, and wish to act as his defenders, is to miss the point entirely.

I'm not talking about Bulmer here. I'm talking about the people who hate Bulmer, and who choose to keep the jihad going to suit their petty vindictive natures.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 Jul 01 - 01:05 PM

....gettin hard to load....wanta hear more.....fadin' fast.... continue it .....here...gasp..gasp...cluck

gasp...expired...gurgle


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: The Badger
Date: 07 Jul 01 - 09:48 PM

It is amazing that the UNKNOWN GUEST persist in the use of JIHAD.

OK - if that is the case let all mudcatters - not including unknown guests of little value - ostracise Bulmer and all his works. If a Jihad is called for by unknown guests then let it be so.

The word should go round - do not buy from, do not play with in a band, do not allow intpo a session a DB.

That would seem to be the logical result from their flim flamming.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: The Badger
Date: 07 Jul 01 - 09:52 PM

PS: if (alledgidly) petty vindictiveness it be , at least I put a name to the originator.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Nerd
Date: 08 Jul 01 - 12:42 AM

Oops. Sorry, Tyke, if I misrepresented your ideas!

I read the paragraph that states:

"Just re releasing albums will only cause the further deterioration of the magnetic masters if they are still in existence (they may have already been recycled). Could the old equipment that it has been reported here that Dave Bullmer has in his possession be what is needed. Seems to me that for all his alleged faults Dave may have made a major contribution to the preservation of "Folk" music. It follows that if Dave Bullmer has or had been producing copies of these Albums you could now be accusing his company of destroying a unique heritage."

I took that to be a defense of Bulmer on the grounds that he was attempting to preserve the music by not playing the tapes. Maybe I was wrong!

My points were first, that you've got to play the tapes at some point or, as you say, the tapes will deteriorate and become unplayable. So in fact by NOT producing any copies of the tapes he has, Bulmer is destroying a unique heritage. Playing them once to get a digital dub off them is therefore far preferable to letting them sit. If he digitally mastered them, or as you suggest, put them on chromatic Black and white film sound track, he might get points as a preservationist. Any evidence whether he's done that?

My second point was, once you have taken the preservationist step of making a digital or film copy, re releasing albums off the digital masters won't hurt the analog master tape any more. So re-releasing albums from fresh digital masters CAN be part of a preservation project, and indeed help to fund that project, as it does at the Smithsonian.

As for my comments on business and friendship, you're right of course. Having clearly defined contracts saves friendships by getting everyone's intentions and expectations in the open. I also took that to be a defense of DB on the grounds that he's free to do what he wants since there are no contracts. Obviously, I was wrong there!

By the way (and this refers to GUEST, not tyke), those who choose to label criticism of Dave Bulmer a Jihad run the risk of offending people who have been real victims of a real Jihad, some of whom I know. It's like bandying about terms like "folk Nazi": it's convenient shorthand, but it's also in rather poor taste.

And, hey, I don't mean that in a vindictive way!

Steve


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST,Max
Date: 08 Jul 01 - 03:42 AM

Bulmer may be (?) a bovine, obnoxious, dangerous, litigeous, insensitive con "artiste" but stupid he is not. His library of copyrights will have been preserved long before now on DAT or even on CDR. As I said in an earlier thread note he is a compulsive collector/hoarder and he gets his rocks off on possession. Remember they're HIS all HIS and you aint gonna see 'em or hear 'em. He, he.


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