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Intellectual property

Barry Finn 21 Sep 98 - 02:11 PM
Songbob 21 Sep 98 - 02:41 PM
Chet W. 21 Sep 98 - 05:55 PM
Roger Himler 21 Sep 98 - 06:08 PM
Chet W. 21 Sep 98 - 08:22 PM
gargoyle 21 Sep 98 - 10:56 PM
John M 23 Sep 98 - 10:34 AM
Ewan McV 23 Sep 98 - 11:54 AM
Bob Schwarer 23 Sep 98 - 12:21 PM
The Shambles 23 Sep 98 - 01:51 PM
23 Sep 98 - 02:56 PM
23 Sep 98 - 04:09 PM
Bert 23 Sep 98 - 04:21 PM
Chet W. 23 Sep 98 - 08:47 PM
gargoyle 24 Sep 98 - 10:50 PM
BSeed 25 Sep 98 - 03:09 AM
The Shambles 25 Sep 98 - 02:39 PM
John M 25 Sep 98 - 02:41 PM
Chet W. 25 Sep 98 - 03:29 PM
BSeed 25 Sep 98 - 06:12 PM
Allan s. 25 Sep 98 - 06:37 PM
Jerry Friedman 25 Sep 98 - 07:14 PM
Jenny 25 Sep 98 - 10:50 PM
Ewan McV 26 Sep 98 - 05:08 AM
Ewan McV 26 Sep 98 - 05:10 AM
The Shambles 26 Sep 98 - 06:09 AM
The Shambles 26 Sep 98 - 07:10 AM
John M 26 Sep 98 - 10:12 AM
Jerry Friedman 26 Sep 98 - 03:32 PM
BSeed 26 Sep 98 - 04:32 PM
gargoyle 26 Sep 98 - 04:45 PM
gargoyle 26 Sep 98 - 04:54 PM
Chet W. 26 Sep 98 - 11:52 PM
Ewan McV 27 Sep 98 - 06:24 AM
gargoyle 27 Sep 98 - 01:29 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 27 Sep 98 - 04:38 PM
The Shambles 27 Sep 98 - 04:45 PM
Pete M 27 Sep 98 - 04:48 PM
Ewan McV 28 Sep 98 - 05:54 AM
dick greenhaus 28 Sep 98 - 08:56 PM
gargoyle 28 Sep 98 - 11:28 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 29 Sep 98 - 05:29 PM
Barry Finn 29 Sep 98 - 07:27 PM
Bill D 29 Sep 98 - 10:10 PM
Dan Keding 29 Sep 98 - 11:43 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 30 Sep 98 - 02:45 AM
The Shambles 30 Sep 98 - 02:30 PM
Bert 05 Oct 98 - 02:01 PM
gargoyle 05 Oct 98 - 11:09 PM
Bert 06 Oct 98 - 09:02 AM
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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Barry Finn
Date: 21 Sep 98 - 02:11 PM

John M, if Tiny answers from the grave would you let us know.
Dick I don't know about Lomax's copyrights. Are they for his books, collections or the songs themselves. When ever I read an author thanks to the help lent in their endevours (Roger Abrahams, Bruce Jackson & Stan Hugill among the many) it would seem that he was pretty free with more than a helping hand or some bit of advice. Barry


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Songbob
Date: 21 Sep 98 - 02:41 PM

Lots of stuff to talk about here! As a writer, I put copyright notice on everything I print out or post on-line. I don't make a point of saying "use it freely," or "don't touch it!" I just point out that I wrote it. Someone said early in this thread that you HAD to get permission to record someone else's song. Wrong. You need that ONLY for the first recording. After that, it's what is called a "compulsary license," so the owner HAS to allow the recording. Now, if the new performer modifies the work, rewrites part of it, now, THAT's not allowed without permission. So one of the murky areas is that of arrangements. What constitutes "modification?" Lots of work for the lawyers on that.

As for the PROs (Performing Rights Organizations), they do have a tough time, sometimes, telling heavy-handedness from thouroughness. It's part and parcel of the movement toward our litigious society, that rules have to be written (and enforced) in order to preserve the intellectual rights involved. No matter how well-meaning a rule you draft, someone's gonna get caught in the net of that rule, and not necessarily the someone you intended to catch. Live music is threatened by the "safety first" reaction ot ASCAP/BMI enforcement of rules, for eveyone from Carnegie Hall down to the Church Basement Coffee House, Inc. Non-"popular" musics, such as folk, get tripped up because of the participatory nature of the group involved and the open nature of the venues (they don't have "open mic nights" at the Met -- I hope!).

So those of us who create our own music have a problem with recompense from those who then use it. Folk music doesn't get "monitored" by the PROs (they use AM radio play, for example), but our writers get "protected" by the traveling enforcers who ask for payment from the venues (and the barber shops, etc.) without any connection to the (woefully inadequate) payment TO the artists & writers of this kind of music. And the rules, as usual lagging behind reality and intent, don't get changed until enough attention is focused on them. Unfortunately, the only focus of late has been the restaurant and bar lobby's drafting of the "Fairness in Broadcasting" bill (I think that's what it's called) to exempt them from paying for the music they rebroadcast to establish the embience (sp?) they charge the public for.

This post has gotten long, so I'll stop.

Bob Clayton


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.
Date: 21 Sep 98 - 05:55 PM

It seems to have been overlooked, even by those whose lives have been ruined by the copyright laws and their enforcement (however ponderous [excuse me, too haughty] or heavy handed they are), that some people put bread on their own tables from what they earn from their writing. Who has the right to take away their livelihood?

Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Roger Himler
Date: 21 Sep 98 - 06:08 PM

An organization that is addressing this issue is The North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance. There web page is HERE.

If you are a folk performer I would encourage you to become involved in this organization. They have been active in negotiating with ASCAP, etc., both to assist venues and to assist songwriters. Folk performers often do not get the credit they deserve for use of their songs, because these organizations don't monitor the broadcasters most likely to play "folk songs."

They also have been foremost in developing an itinerant musician's local, I believe within the AFL-CIO. It is helpful in developing group medical plans and other benefits for musicians at reasonable rates.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.
Date: 21 Sep 98 - 08:22 PM

There is a very good discussion of copyright/intellectual-property on the Atlantic Monthly page (www.theatlantic.com).

Chet


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: gargoyle
Date: 21 Sep 98 - 10:56 PM

Thank you "Songbob"

Within the context that you note also falls - "parodies" which are protected in the U.S.A. under "freedom of speech." This permits talents such as "Weird Al Yankovik" to produce "hits" which have made it to the "charts." I enjoy some his more than the originals.

Also, within this context fall those players who "play by ear" or use "self transcribed 'fake-books.'" They play for public performance (in small venues) but because it is not "note-for-note....chord-for-chord" it is permissable.... and /tribute/homage/tithes to those who produce "movement songs" is not required. However, "authorities" may ask to view the "fake-book."


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: John M
Date: 23 Sep 98 - 10:34 AM

I have no idea of how many thousands of times I have given artist, and writers names to people who want their product. It has been an honor to help them put bread on their table ! I think they would be happy when someone points people in their direction. What do I know !!!!!


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Ewan McV
Date: 23 Sep 98 - 11:54 AM

While I was off to PEI for a week this thread got embroidered something fierce! Re parodies - I think it is still in the UK the legal situation I ran foul of a few years ago, that you have to get permission from the original lyric maker to use a parody version. Included in this concept of 'parody' is any lyric whatever set to the tune. Then you have to pay all (yes 100%) of the royalties to the original writer. So the parodist gets no royalties if they set words to a copyright tune! None, zilch. Mind you, some people seem to collect, mostly I suspect because copyright holders don't enforce their draconian right. Re Lomax, he and his dad put 'New words and music' plus their own names on Leadbelly's songs, and collect to this day as co-writers, and they considered they were doing Leadbelly a favour. And Lomax was one of the good guys! In general I've found the families of dead writers far keener to get cash than their progenitors ever were.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Bob Schwarer
Date: 23 Sep 98 - 12:21 PM

I guess you could get in deep stuff by singing your kids a lullaby.

Bob S.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Sep 98 - 01:51 PM

Given my views about parodies expressed in earlier thread, I can't help but think that there is some justice in the U.K. rules.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From:
Date: 23 Sep 98 - 02:56 PM

Common sense and the "do unto others" rule should be kept in mind when dealing with anothers intellectual property. Intellectual manifest destiny only harms both the performer and the art form in the long run. What is so hard about getting permission and what is so hard about living with the answer if it is no?? Of course summer camps and the like should be exempt but let's not confuse singing a lullaby to your kids and being a full time performer that is making their living singing someone else's songs.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From:
Date: 23 Sep 98 - 04:09 PM

I don't think anyone is defending someone making a living from another persons work. That's patently wrong. But BMI nitpicking is uncalled for.

Bob S.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Bert
Date: 23 Sep 98 - 04:21 PM

John M.

I chose 500 as an arbitrarily small number, your vote for 1000 is noted.

Re: ASCAP, We had a situation in this area. Barnes and Noble used to allow Singer/Songwriters to performs their own music at mini-concerts in their store. ASCAP threatened them with a lawsuit even though they were performing original material. B & N couldn't afford the hassle so they stopped the concerts.

Re: "trying to have it both ways." Not really, I think that the copyright laws need to be tempered with some common sense (as anonymous said above). I don't see anything wrong with allowing non profit (or very little profit) use of a song whether it's kids 'round a camp fire or a singer struggling to make it, that's not exploitation. But, if someone is making thousands of dollars of from someone else's work then there is no reason that they shouldn't pay standard royalties.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.
Date: 23 Sep 98 - 08:47 PM

If you're "making a living from someone else's songs", then you are by definition using their property for your own profit. I might loan a friend my truck to move to a new house, but if he wanted to use it to make money moving other people's stuff, I think maybe he ought to pay me for it. I don't have to ask for it, but there's nothing wrong if I did. Unfortunately, in most cases, writers have no way of collecting anything without the help of the dreaded BMI or ASCAP. I can't monitor radio stations on the other side of the country to collect my 12cents per play. If somebody has a local hit with my song on the other coast, I would never even know about it if I have to check on it on my own. And I do let friends use my songs for free, but if one of them ever made a LOT of money, I assume they would pay me. It would be easy if Hootie and the Blowfish (my homeboys, by the way) had a top ten hit with my song, I would certainly know about it, but if the most popular lounge singer in Seattle far away used it as his theme song and sold a lot of his cd's largely because of my song, I would like to be paid. As for Barnes and Noble being unable to buy a license so they can have live music, that's ridiculous. The licenses don't cost that much, and B&N is a sufficiently huge business they could buy them if they even vaguely wanted to. If there is an alternative, I say again that I'd love to hear about it.

Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: gargoyle
Date: 24 Sep 98 - 10:50 PM

Cripes Shambles!!!

I honestly thought your little ditty was a very precisely placed slam against the "teaching profession" mentioned above it.

(And a good one too)

It takes on a totaly different meaning when viewed as a slam against parodies.

From "Cornwalis Led a Country Dance" (Pop Goes the Weasle,) to "Acres of Clams" (Rosin the Bow)and its miriad of variations, to the teaming troves of "Bear Went Over the Mountain," and an entire universe of others.....sometimes... I believe... there are more

"parodies"

than there are

"originals."


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: BSeed
Date: 25 Sep 98 - 03:09 AM

Yeah, and I must be one of them. I never was very original. --seed


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Sep 98 - 02:39 PM

The 'ditty' was about education but not a slam against the teaching profession, they are trying to do something I'm just sitting on my bum singing about it. It was for Chet.

The thread I was refering to was not here but in a separate thread which was about parodies. Sorry about the confusion.

I was brought up thinking that in was important to be original or at least to try to be so, don't want to sound too high minded.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: John M
Date: 25 Sep 98 - 02:41 PM

Let me get this straight, If I play a song by Christy Moore, and someone in the audience has never heard of him, asks his name again, song name, CD name, and other info about him. Then they go and buy it, and play it for other people who they feel would like it. Did I rip him off, or should I get a cut ? People pay big bucks advertisement ! I just want to share music ! I think I'll go borrow my neighbors truck, and drive it to Seattle. Duh!!!!!! Just like music !!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.
Date: 25 Sep 98 - 03:29 PM

There's something pathetic going on here, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Good luck to you all.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: BSeed
Date: 25 Sep 98 - 06:12 PM

If you figure it out, Chet, let us all in on it. --seed


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Allan s.
Date: 25 Sep 98 - 06:37 PM

Just had to read this thread. I couldnt figure out what would bring up over 70 replies. If this is what singing has come tpo will the last person to leave the US please turn out the lights. To B. Seed make your pin hole cameras from oat meel boxes only put the pin hole on the curved side and the enlarging paper around the rest of the curve you will get something thatwill blow your mind. wide angle panaramic shot. I also taught photo Allan


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 25 Sep 98 - 07:14 PM

John M., I may be beating a dead horse, but the idea of intellectual-property law is that the person who wrote the song owns it. You may think you're doing Christy Moore a favor, but it's not your decision; it's his.

Maybe you don't like that philosophy, but if not, as Chet asks, what's the alternative? (A sliding scale?)

What if someone in the audience doesn't like your performance (since there's no accounting for taste)? Your advertisement wasn't worth much then.

If you think you should get a cut, nothing prevents you from writing to Christy Moore and asking for it. You could even ask him to reimburse you if BMI or ASCAP manages to collect money from you--as well as asking him for 10% of his royalties from sales in your town, on the theory that your advertising was responsible. See what he says.

I'll bet a nickel the most he'd do is let you perform his songs royalty-free. If he actually wanted you to advertise, I'll bet he'd want to hear a demo instead of letting you decide that you're good advertising. And I suspect (not knowing anything about him) that he might say he makes his living from music and he wants all the money he's entitled to.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Jenny
Date: 25 Sep 98 - 10:50 PM

I reckon we can put this thread right up there with the Dylan/Aids thread. Differences of opinion are what makes the world turn, but vitriolic banter is just that, vitriolic. And if you would like to accuse ME of using haughty language, so be it. It's my manner of speech and I do not lower my standards for anyone. Enough, already. L'Shana Tova and Shalom Jenny


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Ewan McV
Date: 26 Sep 98 - 05:08 AM

I'm startled by the tone of a few recent comments. Some people are feeling uncomfortable, but they respond with general condemnation of others rather than specific useful contributions. Either that or recent visitors are just more noble and high-minded, and therefore more easily disgusted and prone to the curled lip than than the rest of us are.

Anyway, back to the specifics of the real world. One problem of the UK position on parodies I outlined above is that someone can copyright a tune from public domain, then collect on your new words to that tune. An example is The Hokey Cokey - Jimmy Kennedy heard it sung in London by Canadian soldiers, added a rotten verse nobody uses, and retired on the proceeds. He used the traditional lyrics for all but the verse.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Ewan McV
Date: 26 Sep 98 - 05:10 AM

Sorry, I should have added to my above contribution that when I wrote a brand new lyric to the Hokey Cokey tune, using nothing of the original, I was warned I could not record it because of Kennedy's copyright.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Sep 98 - 06:09 AM

Thank you Ewan. I take your point.

And thank you for returning us to the relative calm of construtive debate.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Sep 98 - 07:10 AM

What ever constutive is?


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: John M
Date: 26 Sep 98 - 10:12 AM

Thanks for the help. In the future when people ask for info on songs, I'll tell them it's not my decision. I'm also very sorry that people did not know I was joking about getting a cut, and I did also know that Tiny Tim was dead. As for making a living playing your own songs 1,000,000 to 1. It must be just me, but many times is my life, one artist has linked me to another, was it legal ? I really don't care. As for Christy, I like my odds. All the songwriters I know, including myself are thrilled when others do their songs. To those who disagree, I truly hope you get your wish. As for ASCAP, and their mob tactics, I guess I'll always be disgusted, and a lone pathetic voice. Any Others ?


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 26 Sep 98 - 03:32 PM

Ewan, I'd bet 5p that under British law, if Jimmy Kennedy or whoever "owns the copyright" on "The Hokey Cokey" sues you for using the tune, and you find good evidence that the tune is older than his supposed copyright, you'll win the suit.

Of course, if I lose my bet, my 5p won't pay for your legal expenses.

John M., we seem to be talking at cross purposes. Of course it's your decision whether to give people information about songs. According to the law, it's not your decision whether to perform other people's songs in public. (But it is your decision whether to violate the law.)

I'm sorry I missed your joke. If you don't mind a piece of advice--I've found that on the Internet, you have to tell people you're joking if you want them to know. Or you can just imagine they're laughing :-)

If you're disgusted with ASCAP and BMI, why don't you and Bert and Chet start your own songwriters' association and offer whatever fees and terms you think are fair? That way some Seattleite in the network could e-mail Chet when a lounge singer is making big money off one of Chet's songs, and Chet could ask for a fair share, or sue if he wants. Since you like people to sing your songs for free, I guess you'd gain nothing--except giving people an alternative to organizations you despise.

This organization could also maintain evidence on traditional songs to help out people in Ewan's position.

You'd want to make very sure that, if your organization ever becomes powerful, it won't turn into an evil moneygrubber that shuts down open mikes.

Finally, and for the last time, since you tell me you like your odds with Christy Moore, I believe you. I'm sure you know better than I do. But I see a big difference between liking your odds and finding out for sure. Finding out for sure is what the law says you have to do.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: BSeed
Date: 26 Sep 98 - 04:32 PM

John M, I agree. I'd be ecstatic if anyone played any of my songs, even if I were making money on them. If they recorded or published them, I'd be hoping for royalties, including radio play royalties. Jerry, you have a very sensible idea about a songwriters' association based on the ideas discussed in this thread. Any Mudcateers interested in undertaking such a 'cat spinoff--and with the necessary organizational talents to pull it off? --seed


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: gargoyle
Date: 26 Sep 98 - 04:45 PM

When I first got "netted" in 1988 there was a wonderful, frontier, outlaw mentality that asserted that "ALL INFORMATION SHOULD BE PUBLIC ACCESS."

Gradually, the net has been transformed into a "commercial vehicle;" and with that transformation has come all of the trappings and traps and eventual playing of "taps" to the wilderness mentality. The "net," as I have known it, is being legalized out of existance.

It is personal greed that has poisoned it.

"I want MY cut." "I want MY royalty." "It is MY intellectual property." "If you use it - I want MY cut."

There are very powerful tools available today to assure that someone gets THEIR nickle for THEIR "movment-song." These same tools will assure that ASCAP and all others control the use of "intellectual property."

If the attitude of greed expressed by some within this thread.... is combined with the tool on the attached link "MudCat" will not see the millenium.

Property that is TRULY intellectual must be freely shared with all

Copyright Enforcment Search Engine


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: gargoyle
Date: 26 Sep 98 - 04:54 PM

Stanford Copyright Analysis Mechanism


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.
Date: 26 Sep 98 - 11:52 PM

I am truly sorry that I ever got involved in this thread.

Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Ewan McV
Date: 27 Sep 98 - 06:24 AM

Peace and goodwill seems to be washing over us - how truly nice! Jerry, re Jimmy Kennedy, you are right. The warning re use of the tune was there, but I went ahead and put the song out on a small cassette label of my own. The worry was how to defend myself in court against a wealthy publisher when I have no money! A frequent reason why good (enough in the context) guys lose. Also, no regular record label or publisher would have taken the song on.

Re bully boy tactics from collection agencies, that kind of stuff is bad whoever does it, surely. No argument. In Scotland we were so disgusted with discriminatory actions by the Performing Right Society we formed an action group, met eventually with the big boys, got a bit of movement, then our key activist was appointed a special advisor to them. A victory, or someone bought off? Depends on your viewpoint. Are things much different? No really. Did I expect them to be? Not really. Is that any reason not to have fought the fight? Absolutely not. We at least slowed them down and made them think, even if it was only thinking how to disarm us.

Re ownership of songs, songs I've made get changed and adapted all the time. I'm working in the folk idiom, (with occasional folk idiots) it's part of the deal. I don't own my songs, I create (or recreate) them, then they go out into the world, and sometimes send some money home. That's nice. I was astonished to meet a statement in another thread that "Very few people had permission" to perform a particular song. That's as objectionable to me as ASCAP bullying.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: gargoyle
Date: 27 Sep 98 - 01:29 PM

I am a little amazed. Let me see if I understand this correctly, the Hokey Cokey in the British Isles is the same tune that we in the US refer to as the Hokey Pokey....Jimmy Kennedy added a risque verse and it was a hit....and now no-one-else can use the tune?


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 27 Sep 98 - 04:38 PM

They play the Hokey Pokey at baseball games, if it is the same song of which I am thinking -- put your left foot in, and all that?

I do not find this discussion rude, and am surprised anyone should. If you think this is rude, you want to spend a day at my job.:) This discussion is quite informative. You cannot make provocative statements, sometimes tinged with your own political slant, and expect others not to rise to the challenge. But to be sure the discussion seems reasonable.

Do the copyright people seriously go around annoying Girl Scouts about singalongs? (I don't think Girl Scouts exist any more, BTW, and up here the boys and girls are now just Scouts together.) If so this would be a golden opportunity to write a scathing satirical song or skit.

I don't know why you would blame the lawyers, who are the hired guns. If you are on the other side of the fence you can get them too, and not necessarily for the big money you think. (And in Canada, at least, if you win the losers have to pay your legal costs.) The problem is the law that makes it worthwhile for the hard men to hire the lawyers to annoy the Girl Scouts and the pub owners.

A friend of mine once got into trouble with the copyright Nazis when he sold tee-shirts suggesting that a particular Canadian singer/songwriter should be elected Prime Minister. Far from taking this as a compliment, the man in question had the lawyers on him for infringing his stage name, which he alleged was copyrighted. I told my friend to go to the media and raise a stink to embarass the guy, it being a slow news week, but he decided he'd just stop selling the tee-shirts. Given that the context was political commentary, and that the man has been known these thirty or more years only by this stage name, I doubt if the persecutors had a leg to stand on. But my friend didn't want the hassle.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Sep 98 - 04:45 PM

It's the one about putting your left foot in and shaking it all about doing the Hokey Cokey and that's what it's all about. Profound stuff don't you think?

To reply to the earlier comment about greed. I think that it's not so much that people want to make lot's of money from their work but more that they do not want to see others making lots of money from their work.

It seems to have got to the point where The Artist Formally Known As A Dog (I think that's right), didn't seem to own his own name.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Pete M
Date: 27 Sep 98 - 04:48 PM

Well, this has been a very interesting thread, and has certainly increased my understanding of copyright law with regard to songs, tunes etc. I must admit I have a fundamental problem with the concept of copyright. I agree with the point made above by Gargoyle, and very early on by Dick. Intellectual "property" is an oxymoron whatever the law says. I'm sure it is not universal, but in many of the fields of endeavour that interest me, it is not the progenitor of an idea, concept, etc who gain from its commercial exploitation. The obvious case in point being the "Windows" style computer interface, virtually everyone knows of Mr Gates and his fortune, but I doubt if many know of the development of the concept at PARC by Xerox.

So far as I am concerned, the greatest compliment that can be paid to a song is to have it absorbed into an oral tradition, and I find it incongrous that in a forum populated by folk music afficienados we are debating the merits of copyright. If you are trying to make a living from songwriting, that's different of course, but is it folk? :-)

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Ewan McV
Date: 28 Sep 98 - 05:54 AM

One of the problems is that what you wish to call making your living, others want to call contributing to the corpus called 'folk'. Then they take some sense of a collective ownership over the material, so they do not wish you to assert your reasonable individual right to get paid for part of what you do instead of earning some other way i.e. write songs sometimes. Why should songs (always made up in my belief initially by some individual) be owned publically when land can be owned privately? Yes, it's the same Hokey Cokey. The only reason Kennedy gets all the monies in the UK is because it is no-one's job to assert the public right when the initial creator (very possibly British) cannot be identified, and anyway his family's private right to collect on the song will have expired by now. I'd consider whether to argue that we need an investigative body to sort out who wrote these things, except that life is overloaded with such people already, and they inevitably misuse their power - see the starting point of this thread!


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 28 Sep 98 - 08:56 PM

Does anyone care to reflect upon the inherent incompatability between intellectual property and an oral tradition?


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: gargoyle
Date: 28 Sep 98 - 11:28 PM

Web Site Distribution
Of Lyrics Is Illegal

Wall Street Journal
Monday, September 28, 1998

Our Attention was drawn to your Sept. 17 Web Watch article and the comments concerning the International Lyrics Server Web site. Most of the lyrics on this site are posted without the authorization or consent of the owners or administrators of the musical works. Such activity violates the U.S. Copyright Act and other international property rights conventions.

Despite the best efforts of several music publishers and the National Music Publishers Association, the site continues to illegally distribute copyrighted song lyrics. In fact, the owners of the composition "Louie Louie" wrote a letter to the ILS asking that the song be removed from the server, a request ILS continues to ignore.

Our company is engaged in the publication and distribution of sheet music and other printed music products. Buyers of printed sheet music often make such purchases simply to acquire the song lyrics. This is expecially true when a recording artist makes the creative decision not to include song lyrics in his or her CD liner notes.

David C. Olsen
Director/Business Affairs
Warner Brothers Publication

Folks, it is NOT a folk friendly world out there

I encourage you to spend 10 minutes on the Stanford site to see the "power" that was available three years ago. Its potential should have advanced "four-fold" by this time.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 29 Sep 98 - 05:29 PM

Why don't they move their database to a server in some country where copyright laws are not enforced, or where the authorities can be conveniently bribed?

I too think that they should remove Louie Louie.:)


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Barry Finn
Date: 29 Sep 98 - 07:27 PM

If you do a extensive search of "Louie Louie" you may find it to be a West Indian song. It was riped off & then copyrighted. Barry


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Sep 98 - 10:10 PM

I looked at the ILS site...the main point of it seems to be to make 'Artists' current stuff available....no wonder there are many objecting..


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Dan Keding
Date: 29 Sep 98 - 11:43 PM

I'm not quite sure what this thread is all about. Are we saying that once a song is out there it becomes the property of the community and not the individual that created it?? The phrase from an earlier message, intellectual manifest destiny, comes to mind. Are we saying that if we sing this song for money in a performance setting that the author shouldn't receive any compensation? I know that ascap and bmi go way too far one way but don't we all agree that some fee is due the artist? Non paying gigs, summer camps, churches, etc. are one thing but when we earn money from another artist work isn't it only fair to compensate? I usually perform only traditional ballads and stories but in the storytelling world the issue of using original and personal stories is a hot one. Just imagine someone telling a personal narrative from your life and doing it in the first person. Now that's goes too far.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 30 Sep 98 - 02:45 AM

Dan,it's called appropriation art, I believe, and in places like NYC and London people make money off of it. I think it started around the time of WWI when a gentleman entered a store-bought urinal in an art show and signed his name to it. He was in fact being insultingly ironic about mediocre talents stealing and trivializing the work of others, but the concept caught on. One lady I read about takes Ansel Adams photographs and signs her name to them, on the clear understanding that she didn't really take those pictures and is just making an artistic statement of some sort. People pay good money for the Ansel Adams photographs with her name on them.

Therefore, with this in mind, I am announcing that I am putting my name to all the works of Stan Rogers, Archie Fisher, Gordon Lightfoot, Leon Rosselson, Louis Armstrong, Steve Goodman, and Hank Williams. Once I am established, I think I might move into the Child ballads and Mozart. I am not claiming credit just for the songwriting, mind you, but for the actual performances when recordings exist. I shall become an ironic uberartist, and dress in black, and hang around in darkened bistros. I figure someone is bound to pay me money in appreciation of my statement.:)


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Sep 98 - 02:30 PM

Tim I have thought for sometime that we have become too focused on 'the Artist', more so in the visual arts than music but to some degree there also. We seem to go to great lengths to purchase material from named Artists despite the fact that it may not be any good. Just because someone produces something good does not not mean that all of their work will be as good. The art is important, artists are a just a necessary evil.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Bert
Date: 05 Oct 98 - 02:01 PM

Dan, I started this thread because I'd noticed that a few Mudcateers were unhappy with the copyright laws as they are. The general opinion seemed to be, that they need to be tempered with a little common sense.
So the first message is what it is all about.

However, us Mudcateers are a garrulous lot and we seem to have branched out a little here and there.

For the past thirty five years, I have earned my living using my intellectual ability, so I can't subscribe to the opinion that all information should be free. So yes "I want MY cut". If I'd had to have given away all my work in the past, my family would have starved.

So while we can't all give our work away, we do want to be able to spread it around and allow people to use it in a reasonable manner.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: gargoyle
Date: 05 Oct 98 - 11:09 PM

Your family would not have starved!

You are too conscientious. You would have dug ditches, or potatoes if it meant food in your family's belly.

The world would had to survive with a few, fewer of your songs.


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Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Bert
Date: 06 Oct 98 - 09:02 AM

I wasn't writing songs in those days. I was a mechanical designer, so the world would have had to survive with fewer water treatment plants, power stations and bridges.

Someone has to do the creative work involved in those (and many other) activities but they wouldn't do it for nothing.


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