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Intellectual property

Bert. 10 Sep 98 - 09:27 AM
Dave T 10 Sep 98 - 07:19 PM
BSeed 10 Sep 98 - 08:02 PM
Chet W. 10 Sep 98 - 08:38 PM
Barry Finn 10 Sep 98 - 11:19 PM
Earl 11 Sep 98 - 05:17 PM
gargoyle 12 Sep 98 - 09:48 PM
BSeed 13 Sep 98 - 07:56 PM
Roger Himler 13 Sep 98 - 08:46 PM
Barry Finn 13 Sep 98 - 11:17 PM
Ewan McV 14 Sep 98 - 03:31 AM
Jerry Friedman 14 Sep 98 - 12:19 PM
Jon W. 14 Sep 98 - 01:20 PM
Bert 14 Sep 98 - 02:33 PM
Henry Miller 14 Sep 98 - 03:04 PM
Ewan McV 14 Sep 98 - 06:13 PM
Dave T 14 Sep 98 - 07:31 PM
Chet W. 14 Sep 98 - 09:00 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 14 Sep 98 - 09:13 PM
dick greenhaus 14 Sep 98 - 10:34 PM
Earl 15 Sep 98 - 11:19 AM
Jerry Friedman 15 Sep 98 - 01:23 PM
Jerry Friedman 15 Sep 98 - 01:41 PM
gargoyle 16 Sep 98 - 12:23 AM
BBJ 16 Sep 98 - 05:00 PM
Chet W. 16 Sep 98 - 08:33 PM
Chet W. 16 Sep 98 - 08:51 PM
Pete M 16 Sep 98 - 09:30 PM
Joe Offer 17 Sep 98 - 01:06 AM
Alan of Australia 17 Sep 98 - 01:53 AM
Chet W. 17 Sep 98 - 07:42 PM
Barry Finn 17 Sep 98 - 08:52 PM
BSeed 17 Sep 98 - 09:13 PM
Bob Schwarer 18 Sep 98 - 08:55 AM
John M 18 Sep 98 - 11:26 AM
BSeed 18 Sep 98 - 03:34 PM
Jenny 18 Sep 98 - 04:18 PM
The Shambles 18 Sep 98 - 07:03 PM
Dave T 18 Sep 98 - 07:11 PM
dick greenhaus 18 Sep 98 - 09:54 PM
Chet W. 18 Sep 98 - 11:37 PM
gargoyle 19 Sep 98 - 02:26 AM
Joe Offer 19 Sep 98 - 02:37 AM
The Shambles 19 Sep 98 - 09:15 AM
John M 19 Sep 98 - 10:24 AM
Chet W. 19 Sep 98 - 05:56 PM
Chet W. 20 Sep 98 - 11:42 AM
Pete M 20 Sep 98 - 04:39 PM
dick greenhaus 20 Sep 98 - 07:49 PM
John M 20 Sep 98 - 11:17 PM
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Subject: Intellectual property
From: Bert.
Date: 10 Sep 98 - 09:27 AM

This is a branch from the "foreman's job" thread.

There have been several discussions on copyright legalities but I think it would be an idea for us Mudcateers to develop our own rules.

Sort of - "We know what the laws are but here is how we want to do it".

Here are my thoughts.

1. I would consider it an honor if you sing one of my songs for any non profit reason.
2. I won't get too upset if you sing one at a bar and get paid a buck or two as long as you are not getting rich at it.
3.Give me credit when introducing the song.
4. If you make a recording (cassette or CD) I won't charge you for the first 500. More than that would be standard royalties.

How about making this, or something like it, the Mudcat code of honor?

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Dave T
Date: 10 Sep 98 - 07:19 PM

Bert,
I like your thinking. Sounds like something we might come up with the day after we get rid of (non-violently of course) all the lawyers. I'd apologize to any "Lawcatters" out there, but it might be construed as an admission of guilt or intent to do something to feel guilty about or ...
Dave


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: BSeed
Date: 10 Sep 98 - 08:02 PM

That's very close to the policy I stated regarding a request to use a song I posted on the thread Movement songs except I said any performance was okay--based on the idea that performances would serve to introduce the song and make it more likely that it earn publication and/or recording royalties.

--seed


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.
Date: 10 Sep 98 - 08:38 PM

As a teacher I know what it feel like to be vilified because of my profession and the responsibility I'm supposed to accept for other peoples' mistakes and the general less than perfect state of the world. If you really want to kill all the lawyers (I'm sure it was a joke), then if you ever get in trouble maybe your mechanic or dentist can get you out of it.

Thin-skinned today for some reason, Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Barry Finn
Date: 10 Sep 98 - 11:19 PM

Recently I had heard that in Ireland there are a bunch (excise men? - plenty of room here for new songs) going round to bars, barber shops pubs, any place of business & charging the owner of the establishment royalties for music played on the radio, jukebox or by session musicians that happen to be playing a tune/song that someone holds a copyright on. Say it ain't so, tell me my legs being pulled. Barry


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Earl
Date: 11 Sep 98 - 05:17 PM

I think Bert has come up with four simple, humble, common sense rules. It's all the protection I'll ever need, sign me up.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: gargoyle
Date: 12 Sep 98 - 09:48 PM

BS

Stop hoping - Go out and sing the song yourself....on street corners if need be. Or, continue writing AND continue singing. You act like that song is some sort of "lottery-ticke" which is going to get lucky some day.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: BSeed
Date: 13 Sep 98 - 07:56 PM

Gargoyle, did the posting you responded to get dropped from the thread or something? I don't see the antecedent. --seed


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Roger Himler
Date: 13 Sep 98 - 08:46 PM

Barry,

I do not know about Ireland, but part of the work of BMI and ASCAP is to go around to businesses that play music and make sure that they contribute to the royalties for them. They can be a very intimidating group and are quick to threaten legal action.

This is precisely the approach they took with OLGA, the on-line guitar archive that once offered lyrics and chords to hundreds of songs.

They have done the same to small venues who are not making money off the music.

The following story may be apochryphal, but I suspect it is not. A local park sponsored concerts on summer evenings. They paid the performers, but did not charge admission. Twenty or thirty people would show up. ASCAP came by and saw the large field where these concerts occurred. They said it could easily hold 400 people and they wanted the park to pay royalties to ASCAP based on that number, not on the 20 or so who really came. They threatened legal action if the park did not comply.

The result? No more concerts in that local park. So, Barry, be aware that the rights of songwriters are being defended, and perhaps much too vigorously.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Barry Finn
Date: 13 Sep 98 - 11:17 PM

What I'd been told was bars that had sessions were being targeted if any tunes were copyrighted or if a pool hall played music over the radio then the pool hall had to shell out money, knee jerk reaction, no more music heard in any place of business, no matter the medium, no matter the busines, no matter if it's public domain. No more music played by live groups, no money or work for recording copyrighting singers/songwriters/musicains, sad state of affairs. Barry


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Ewan McV
Date: 14 Sep 98 - 03:31 AM

Re collection agencies for song performance. The British agency is PRS. The committee is all song publishers and big name writers. It is surprising to report that their distribution policy documents give exhaustive detail on why their payout policies mirror closely the interests of publishers and big name writers. Oh, all right, it's not really surprising at all. They give out a little token money to good causes too, of course, and employ PR people to keep up appearances and defend their approach and values. I get a bob from them now and then, but they signally fail to collect on most of my potential earnings, even by their own rules. I've challenged them in the past - they even appointed a minder to keep me sweet - but life is too short to put all one's energy into trying to beat City Hall. In theory they are on our side if we are songwriters, but in practice only if we have significant recordings etc. Ewan McV


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 14 Sep 98 - 12:19 PM

Bert, I like your policy, but why make it "official" at the Cat? Some people may have different preferences. To simplify things, I just made my own modest lyrics public domain (at least some of them).


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Jon W.
Date: 14 Sep 98 - 01:20 PM

If you post your own lyrics and don't want them to be public domain, just include a short sentence with your copyright notice such as "permission granted for non-commercial, private use" or "permission granted to use, publish, copy, or distribute these lyrics freely, as long as this notice is attached" or something similar, according to what you want to do. Everyone can make up their own rules.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Bert
Date: 14 Sep 98 - 02:33 PM

I was thinking that it might simplify things if people here could say "Mudcat standard permission" or something like that.

I think that most songwriters write songs which they think are (at least) worth the trouble of writing.
Most Mudcat songwriters don't write for profit and I don't think that they mind sharing their songs on a reasonable basis. But, if someone should perchance come along and create a hit out of one of our songs I don't see why they should be allowed to rip off the songwriter.

I don't write my songs with the intention of them being hit songs. I write because I have something to say.

What has often surprised me is that the songs which I consider almost trival seem to be those most appreciated by my listeners. ANY song can become a hit under the right circumstances, it doesn't have to be a GOOD song in order to make money (just listen to the radio)

What I am trying to establish is "What do WE consider to be reasonable when sharing our songs?" We want to share our songs, we want other people (especially Mudcatters)to sing them but we also need some protection for them.

This would of course be an option that the 'poster' could agree to or not as they chose for that particular posting.

What do you think?

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Henry Miller
Date: 14 Sep 98 - 03:04 PM

WAOH! Yes Mudcat needs to say something, but as the notice on the bottom of all lyrics says: "Because of the volunteer nature of The Digital Tradition, it is difficult to ensure proper attribution and copyright information for every song included. Please assume that any song which lists a composer is copyrighted ©."

If mudcat can (slowly) get copywrite information we should post that, ideally with links to the owner. HOWEVER it isn't this easy, there isn't the man hours to search the entire database. (not to mention that as soon as any work is done the lawyers expect us to do it all.)

So if we are creating a standard mudcat system, for submited, nor currently copywrighted music (something a little fairer to authors then the GNU license for software, but lets not get off on that) lets do it. But be careful NOT to even hint that this applies to anything else, even by association.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Ewan McV
Date: 14 Sep 98 - 06:13 PM

Over in the thread called Angus and his kilt there's a statement about 'very very few people having permission' to sing this song. To heck with worrying about collection agencies looking for cash, how do American songwriters stop people singing their songs without permission? Is there an enforcement squad with baseball bats who patrol public performance areas demanding to see your permission slips for every song you sing? Can you sue someone for singing your song in public? I once got a phonecall from Maine seeking permission to record a song of mine, and have heard of remarkable cash demands for such use. But singing the song out loud? What is the situation?


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Dave T
Date: 14 Sep 98 - 07:31 PM

You know, I wasn't going to say much more on this after my first joke about lawyers and Chet's valid admonition. But really, after reading some of the comments here, whatever happened to common sense (an oxymoron?). I, too, have heard of a few "open stages" being threatened with legal action. It's a shame that this sort of nonsense goes on. Ah well, maybe there's a song about it somewhere in there...I still like Bert's "rules".
Dave


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.
Date: 14 Sep 98 - 09:00 PM

I agree with much of the sentiment on both sides of this issue. It just seems to me that some people are trying to have it both ways. Some want copyright protection if their song becomes a moneymaker, but until then, it's free for all. Please check with experts and make a decision and go with it. If you want your song available to all for free, then it's also free to Michael Jackson should he decide to record it. (He could even copyright it for himself if he chooses). Our system is not fair to everyone, but short of establishing a nationwide non-profit (which BMI and ASCAP say they are!) to watch over the rights of intellectual property holders, we can't have it both ways. What you can do, of course, is decline to collect your own royalties, but if you've contracted with BMI to watch out for you, they'll collect theirs. I can only add that in three decades of playing in public, I've never been busted once.

Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 14 Sep 98 - 09:13 PM

Sometimes it is just as well to say "sue and be damned." That is what I would say if I was running one of those festivals. That is generally what newspapers say when they get such threats -- usually daily. I know what I would do if someone came into my barbershop and demanded money for me playing the radio. The gentleman in question would have a quick shave with the clippers.

I am not knowledgable about copyright law, but I thought that in Canada and the US no-one could refuse permission to sing or record a song. Insist on royalties when recorded, yes, but not refuse to allow its use. I thought that was the whole trade-off with the copyright laws.

I also think it can be short-sighted to insist on royalties from live performances, as opposed to recordings. If people get to know and like the song, they might buy the recordings where royalties are payable. A strict attitude reminds me of Hollywood in the fifties, when they saw television as a threat to the movies and wouldn't let them play movies on T.V.

On the other hand, some performers write songs which end up being recorded as "traditional" by others. I have seen "Cape Breton Lullaby", written by by the poet Kenneth Leslie and still in copyright, listed on a CD as traditional even though it first appeared in print and was recorded in the 1960's. (I e-mailed a complaint to the artist, but got no reply.) Fiddler's Green, The Dark Island, and Margaret's Waltz are other tunes often assumed to be by that great and generous composer, Trad Anonymous.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 14 Sep 98 - 10:34 PM

If you write it, copyright it. Probably won't do you any good if Michael Jackson wants to rip it off, bu couldn't hurt. A copyright is only a basis for a claim if a lawsuit ensues.

If you don't want anyone to sing it, don't let anyone hear it. You'll never get royalties, but nobody will rip you off. If you do hope to make money from your efforts, post the song to the DT with copyright notice; maybe someone will find it here and want to record or perform it.

Intellectual property is like fertilizer; it does nobody any good unless it's spread around.

End of lecture.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Earl
Date: 15 Sep 98 - 11:19 AM

The thing to remember is that until money changes hands there is no problem. Of all the songs ever written, a very small percentage have made money. Of those, a very small percentage have had copyright disputes. Unless your goal is to become a professional songwriter just relax and have fun with it.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 15 Sep 98 - 01:23 PM

Ewan--yes, in the U.S. and Canada someone can sue you to prevent you from performing their song. If a court enjoins you not to perform it and you defy the injunction, I wonder whether you could go to jail for contempt of court. At least in principle. (If you have to go to jail, doing so in principle is probably the best.)

Ditto to Tim. However, composers may not be able to stop people from performing their songs if they sign up with ASCAP or BMI. I don't know how that works.

Dick, you own the copyright the minute you write the song. (However, you might find it hard to gain any benefits unless you register the copyright with the government. You might find it hard to collect any royalties if you don't turn over the collection to ASCAP or BMI--and maybe even if you do, I don't know.)

Earl, there are possible problems even if money never changes hands. A copyright allows you to prevent people from performing your work if for some reason you don't want them too; it also allows you to require performers to give you credit, and to prevent them from changing the work.

(I'm not a lawyer. All this is from my understanding of Terry Carroll's Copyright FAQ.)


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 15 Sep 98 - 01:41 PM

AND another thing. Henry, I don't think anyone is suggesting that Bert's rules should apply to the songs in the database. (Some of the songs in the database do have copyright notices.) Those rules are suggested for songs whose authors post them in the forum here or add links to them. (Would there be a "standard Mudcat copyright notice" available from a link on the homepage, so that people who like Bert's rules could post songs and just say, "Standard Mudcat rules apply"?)


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: gargoyle
Date: 16 Sep 98 - 12:23 AM

THANK YOU DICK

You said it much better than I did

The "folk" aspect of music has always had an element of the "out-law" in it.....and generally had a strong "anti-intellectual" contempt. That is part of its attraction. Give credit, where credit is due, and keep the lawyers out of it.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: BBJ
Date: 16 Sep 98 - 05:00 PM

With reference to the "radio in the barbershop" comment, let me relate a first hand experience. The company I worked for back in 1989 had a PA system with speakers throughout the building. A radio provided one of the inputs to the PA amp, and music was heard unless a page from the phone system grabbed control of the speakers. We got hit with a bill from BMI for "rebroadcasting" the music. So we disconnected the radio from the PA. Each office had a radio in it and they were all tuned to the very same station. This was OK, because we were only receiving the station, not "rebroadcasting" the music. I know, I know...just remember we are talking about what is the law here, not what makes sense. Building wiring is "rebroadcasting", but internal wiring inside the radio is not. And watch out if you use a radio station for music on hold. They love to catch you doing that!


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.
Date: 16 Sep 98 - 08:33 PM

gargoyle, hope you never need legal assistance

Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.
Date: 16 Sep 98 - 08:51 PM

Thinking for another minute, I also have to express discomfort with the notion that folk-music is anti-intellectual. Cartoon-like pictures of English professors (not British) with corduroy jackets with leather elbow patches, bow ties, and tweed hats. I acknowledge that such people do exist, on every campus I've seen, but I hope that we're not interchanging the word "intellectual" for "educated" or for those who do serious academic work. This is the kind of trick that George Bush tried on idiots across America when he made fun of Clinton for having been a Rhodes scholar (Yale is not exactly a correspondence course). Clinton turned out to be a disappointment, but it had nothing to do with his education. I hate to see people make fun of those who have educated themselves (I personally washed a lot of dishes to pay for mine, along with every other scrungy job you can think of, and I don't apologize for any of it)at a time when America is developing a level of illiteracy not seen in any developed country in an awfully long time. Don't like people with education?, then avoid them. I also hope that if you ever need an operation you don't have to get it from some kid who learned medicine on his Nintendo set.

Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Pete M
Date: 16 Sep 98 - 09:30 PM

Like Chet I am uncomfortable with the idea that folk music and by implication those interested in it are anti intellectual. I assumed from the context of this thread that what Gargolyle meant to imply was a fine indifference to the laws of copyright and the whole concept of ideas being "property". If this was so then I agree wholeheartedly, if I produce something, whether a song or an improved method of modelling a business process on a computer system, I would like to be given acknowledgement for my efforts, it would not occur to me to try and make money out of it.

If I was wrong, and Chet's interpretation correct, then it is as he said, the process of promoting a climate antipathetic to any learning which cannot be immediately turned into profit is prevalent in New Zealand as in America, and one must assume that it is based on the belief that the production of an illiterate and un questioning population will provide a quiescent market and labour force. The 30 second sound bite and the sitcom have replaced religion as the opiate of the masses.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Sep 98 - 01:06 AM

at a time when America is developing a level of illiteracy not seen in any developed country in an awfully long time
Chet, you certainly know how to turn a phrase. I have two very intelligent sons who are doing their very best to avoit getting an education. They speak in glowing terms of the "dropout movement." It's frightening.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 17 Sep 98 - 01:53 AM

And to those (such as governments and industry) who don't like the cost of education:-

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.
Date: 17 Sep 98 - 07:42 PM

I have taken up a little research project, spawned one day when I was completely unable to communicate the idea of "three quarters of a pound" or even "three fourths of a pound" to the teenage clerk behind the deli counter at the grocery store. Since then, I have tried in every grocery store I've been in to order 3/4 pound of something. I have found that I am successful about half the time, believe it or not. You can get a pound or half a pound, or even a quarter of a pound (I guess because they're familiar with the quarter pounder burger at McDonald's), but 3/4 is completely beyond the comprehension of an amazing number of (mostly) young people. (one result I often get is that they will put whatever it is on the digital scale until it says ".34" - maybe I should ask for 7/5 of a pound to get ".75") I guess partly as a teacher, I am recognizing what I call a new kind of illiteracy emerging. They can read and write, maybe even add and subtract whole numbers, but they know absolutely nothing else. I think back to riding the school bus in rural South Carolina as a child, and there even the apparent dumbest kid (couldn't pass anything in school) could tell you what was wrong with a car just by listening to it. He could take the engine out by hoisting it up on the branch of a tree and fix it perfectly and put it back in, all in an afternoon. That was not illiteracy of the kind we have now. He knew the joy of being good at something, and he used his mind to good effect at it, and I hope he went on to make a good living at it. What I'm seeing now is teenagers who are not good at or interested in being good at anything. The joy of using the mind is gone, probably largely due to television. Everybody has probably heard by now that the average attention span of an American child is about eight minutes, which is the average time between commercials on tv. God help us all.

Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Barry Finn
Date: 17 Sep 98 - 08:52 PM

Chet, I'm in a constant struggle with the school system my son attends. As in many places the schools are hit hard when there's a buget crunch. I attended a meeting 2 nights ago where people were riled that they should bare the $2.97 a week it would cost to build a new school & renovate 2 older schools. The starting line of the speach was "We want everyone to know we're not against kids". You get what you pay for, these kids will be running our country & lives & ruining God knows what. Barry


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: BSeed
Date: 17 Sep 98 - 09:13 PM

I hope I'm not revealing too much about myself when I admit that I'm a fan of The Simpsons. I am and I'm proud--it's one of the few really imaginative shows on the tube (the openings are priceless, from the things Bart is writing on the board at school to what happens when the family sits down together on the sofa). The show of course heaps ridicule on stupidity, cupidity, duplicity, and anything else in sight. When it first came out, kids started showing up in Bart t-shirts--"Underachiever and Proud of It." I'd like to believe that most of them appreciated the irony of it, but after thirty-odd (sometimes very odd) years of teaching, I doubt it. I have my beginning photography students make pinhole cameras from mounting board that's white on one side, black on the other. The cameras are simple boxes that hold one 5x7 sheet of photographic paper. The inner box is 5x7 inches, but the outer box, in order to fit over it, is 5 1/8 x 7 1/8 inches. I was appalled by the number of students who approached me, ruler in hand, and asked me how to identify an eighth of an inch. These are high school students, freshmen through seniors. --seed


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Bob Schwarer
Date: 18 Sep 98 - 08:55 AM


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: John M
Date: 18 Sep 98 - 11:26 AM

I can say first hand that many places that once had " Live Music " no longer do. They would rather not have music than pay the quislings from ASCAP !!!!! They take work away from musicians who are broke to start with, and opportunities away from people who need any break they can get. Thank-you ASCAP !!!! You have ruined many peoples lives, and robbed the rest of us of the pleasure they would have givin us ! I know a whole lot of musicians, and I have never met one who has benefited from this organization, but it has cost them all money, and work ! If you are involved with ASCAP, and things go bad in your life, I hope you don't ever have the nerve to say " What did I ever do to deserve this " " CURSE YOU ALL " John M.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: BSeed
Date: 18 Sep 98 - 03:34 PM

Several years ago, when this copyright crap first hit the national press, it was reported that ASCAP or whoever was trying to stop the girl scouts from singing "This Land Is Your Land" at campfires during summer camp, the idea being, I guess, that since the girls paid for the camp, the campfire was part of a commercial venture (can you imagine Woody's reaction? One verse of that song specifically denounces the idea of private property). The same article indicated that "Happy Birthday" was still under copyright (not copywright--it's the right to copy). Can you imagine the copyright police busting a pizza parlor when the waiters gather and sing for a birthday child? --seed


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Jenny
Date: 18 Sep 98 - 04:18 PM

Chet ... as usual, you have put this thread into words that almost anyone should be able to comprehend. Hope we have an opportunity to talk face-to-face someday. I remember when all the HAPPY BIRTHDAY hoopla came about. Now, if you go to a restaurant for a birthday they restaurant staff some convaluted restaurant version of the song. I'm certain there are children whose parents take them to some kind of restaurant for their birthdays, who only know the restaurant version of HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I always feel sheltered, or perhaps a better word would be "protected," in the Mudcat website and when someone replies to a thread using threatening language, I'm somewhat taken aback. Some would say that's a weakness or my part; I would have to disagree... Jenny


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Sep 98 - 07:03 PM


I need to learn

You teach me how to earn

Try to kill the flame inside

That needs to burn


I need to run

Not to walk in line

Take hold of this rough diamond

And make it shine


Trample all the new growth in the forest

To get some to the top of the tree

You let me wear this badge of failure

When it's you that's failing me


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Dave T
Date: 18 Sep 98 - 07:11 PM

Well this thread certainly wanders doesn't it? That's one of the things I like so much about the Mudcat. Anyway, a few thoughts...
1. Regarding education: Chet, it might be even worse than you point out. Many kids can't read or write very well, can't add or subtract, let alone multiply (except as in be fruitful and ...) and divide. They tend to view time as happening in discrete chunks instead of as a continuous flow because of digital clocks. I sympathize with the majority of teachers out there who want to teach and are constantly saddled with a curriculum formed by the latest fad in education.

2. Regarding ASCAP, BMI, lawyers, etc.: It seems to me that it's a matter of power, control and greed. The very organizations meant to protect the interests and rights of musicians & songwriters have turned. I think Orwell had some comments on this didn't he???

3. About Folk music being anti-intellectual: I think rather that folk music has always been anti-elitist. There does exist an elitist and arrogant "intellectual establishment" in our society. Folk music has always and I hope will continue to speak out against these groups.

What's important is to keep our music open for all to enjoy, whether it's listening, singing or playing; regardless of venue; the kitchen table, the campfire, open stage or even the shower.

There... now I feel better. Well folks.. I'm off to an open stage.

Take care, Dave T


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Sep 98 - 09:54 PM

I wouldn't be too sure of Woody's reaction to people singing his songs. They're all copyrighted, and it's NOT easy to get permission to use them. This land may be your land, but these songs, decidedly, ain't.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.
Date: 18 Sep 98 - 11:37 PM

Boy what a conversation; a very nice poem, a curse of biblical proportions (btw, if you stick to public domain, or better yet write your own material, nobody can touch you), some good thoughts...thanks for the compliment... I am comfortable with anti-elitist, which is not even remotely related to anti-intellectual...The public school systems are indeed in worse trouble that any of us know. There's layer upon layer of foolish administration and curriculum creators, and this is supposed to be fixed by parents and communities that can't weigh three fourths of a pound and are suspicious of anyone who has a college degree? I am hopeless for the future of education. If the public doesn't care and show it, then the politicians sure as hell aren't going to care and nothing will ever change. It would have to be rebuilt from the ground up, with the actual educators designing the whold thing. As for BMI and ASCAP, I'd love to find an alternative, but who would be willing to collect for me when my song is used to make money thousands of miles away and give me all of it? I think we're solidly over a barrel here. And if we're really talking about a cashless utopia, then who's being hurt? I'd love to talk face-to-face with all but one of you. And again I say, in thirty years of playing in public, nobody has once asked me to pay royalties, probably because I was not making much to begin with.

It's been a hard week, Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: gargoyle
Date: 19 Sep 98 - 02:26 AM

It was the summer of 1996.
The ASCAP clamped down on much more than "This Land is My Land" it also included "God Bless America" and all 4 million of their other copyrighted songs, yep "Happy Birthday" was in there also. However, camps that were accredited with the American Camping Association (ACA) could purchase unlimited use for the summer season. The fee $257. After all....the camps charged fees...it is only fair that the writer's of "movement songs" and all others should recieve their fair share of their "intellectual property."

God Bless the Lawyers (and doctors too)


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Sep 98 - 02:37 AM

Hi, Gargoyle - at the time, there was quite a discussion on rec.music.folk about the ASCAP assault on summer camp songs. I think that ASCAP settled for as low as a dollar a year for some camps - but maybe that was just the Boy Scout and Girl Scout camps. Whatever the case, I think it ended up with everybody being happy.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Sep 98 - 09:15 AM


Not to pass some test

But to be my best

To be as good as I can be

And not step on the rest


You teach me the how

But not the why

You teach me how to crawl

When I've wings to fly


Trample all the new growth in the forest

To get some to the top of the tree

You let me wear this badge of failure

When it's you that's failing me


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: John M
Date: 19 Sep 98 - 10:24 AM

I agree with Bert's code of honor, except no. 4 should be 1000. When one makes CD's this number is far more cost effective than 500. I have never been asked for royalties in 23 years of playing, but I have been told " Sorry John we love you, but people from some group called ASCAP came by and threatened to sue us if we don't pay them for permission to have live music." I'll pay any entertainer who comes in here and plays for the crowd, but not if I have to pay those skumbags ! So I guess I'll have to stop the Live Music ! " I've never been asked by ASCAP for money, but they have cost me, and many others a bundle. I don't know anyone better off because of them . I think it would be the greatest honor if someone did one of my songs. If they make money off it thats fine too. If by some outlandish chance they make a bundle I have a feeling they just might be willing to share.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.
Date: 19 Sep 98 - 05:56 PM

God bless us every one.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.
Date: 20 Sep 98 - 11:42 AM

The unfortunate thing is that if such a venue does away with live music and starts playing recorded music or the radio, they will still have to buy a license unless all the music is PD or the owner's original property.

Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Pete M
Date: 20 Sep 98 - 04:39 PM

Hi Dick,

can you expand on your comment about Woody's attitude to copyright? Your statement certainly seems at odds with his espoused attitude to the restriction of ordinary people to do as they wish without let or hinderance, including the shared enjoyment of "private" property. Is the problem with his songs a manifestation of his estate, or is there evidence that this was his own wishes?

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Sep 98 - 07:49 PM

Woody, being defunct, has few if any opinions. The "Nearly Complete collection of Woody Guthrie Folk Songs", Ludlow Music, Inc., carries the following notice:

Any arrangement or adaptation of the compositions in this book without the permission opf the copyright owner is an infringement of copyright. Note: Each individual song included in this book carries original copyright notice date and is regiostered in the U.S. Copyright Office, The Library of Congress, D.C. 20540. Therefore, no material may be reproduced in whole or part without infringement.

My experience has been that the hardest people to deal with, at least as far as obtaining permission for non-profit reproduction of songs, are the old leftists. The ttitude, exemplified by Lomax's copyrighting of ALL the material he collected, is This Song is MY Song (even though the tune for that song was lifted from the Carter Family's Rock of Ages.)


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: John M
Date: 20 Sep 98 - 11:17 PM

Oh ! Tiny Tim, Where can I get a life, if any are available ! How is Miss Vicky, by the way ?


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