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Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy

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Malcolm Douglas 19 Sep 06 - 09:46 PM
GUEST,Murray on Saltspring 20 Sep 06 - 02:12 AM
The Sandman 20 Sep 06 - 11:44 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 20 Sep 06 - 11:59 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Sep 06 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,mick 20 Sep 06 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 20 Sep 06 - 12:47 PM
Fred McCormick 20 Sep 06 - 12:49 PM
The Sandman 20 Sep 06 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,Russ 20 Sep 06 - 01:04 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 20 Sep 06 - 01:17 PM
Geoff Wallis 20 Sep 06 - 02:06 PM
The Sandman 20 Sep 06 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 20 Sep 06 - 02:22 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 20 Sep 06 - 02:52 PM
Fred McCormick 20 Sep 06 - 02:54 PM
Fred McCormick 20 Sep 06 - 02:57 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 20 Sep 06 - 03:18 PM
nutty 20 Sep 06 - 03:56 PM
The Sandman 20 Sep 06 - 03:58 PM
JamesHenry 20 Sep 06 - 04:27 PM
nutty 20 Sep 06 - 04:44 PM
The Sandman 20 Sep 06 - 05:12 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 20 Sep 06 - 05:52 PM
Folkiedave 20 Sep 06 - 07:47 PM
Desert Dancer 20 Sep 06 - 09:05 PM
The Sandman 21 Sep 06 - 03:15 AM
Big Al Whittle 21 Sep 06 - 03:49 AM
Folkiedave 21 Sep 06 - 04:12 AM
Big Al Whittle 21 Sep 06 - 04:27 AM
GUEST 21 Sep 06 - 04:30 AM
GUEST 21 Sep 06 - 04:35 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 21 Sep 06 - 04:47 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 21 Sep 06 - 04:59 AM
Fred McCormick 21 Sep 06 - 05:26 AM
Scrump 21 Sep 06 - 06:06 AM
The Sandman 21 Sep 06 - 06:45 AM
The Sandman 21 Sep 06 - 06:59 AM
GUEST,Dazbo 21 Sep 06 - 07:25 AM
The Sandman 21 Sep 06 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,MikeofNorthumbria (sans cookie) 21 Sep 06 - 08:34 AM
The Sandman 21 Sep 06 - 08:45 AM
GUEST,Russ 21 Sep 06 - 08:45 AM
Folkiedave 21 Sep 06 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,Dazbo 21 Sep 06 - 09:43 AM
Fred McCormick 21 Sep 06 - 10:05 AM
JamesHenry 21 Sep 06 - 11:17 AM
The Sandman 21 Sep 06 - 11:59 AM
The Sandman 21 Sep 06 - 12:13 PM
Folkiedave 21 Sep 06 - 12:13 PM
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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 09:46 PM

Since Dick Miles ("Captain Birdseye") invokes me, I ought to say that, while I am following this discussion, I don't have any useful information to add to it. I didn't know Peter Kennedy. I have heard many opinions of all sorts about the way he conducted his collecting and publishing activities; some from people who knew him well and others from people who know even less about him than I do. I am not in a position to say what is accurate and what is not. That needs to be left to people who know the facts and can back them up.

What would, perhaps, be helpful would be if innuendo were made specific. So, for example, Jim: who is the collector whose recordings Kennedy issued without permission? Dick: who is this "someone resident in Yorkshire"? What does he or she have to do with the discussion?

And Russ: are your comments based on things that you know Kennedy to have been guilty of, or are you just making a generalised assumption? Do bear in mind that, while some contributors to this thread seem to be speaking from specific (and, presumably, verifiable) experience, others apparently are not. If it is to be a useful discussion, then we need to be quite clear on which is which.

Note that I am expressing no opinions of my own on Peter Kennedy's work. I would, however, like to see it made clear what, in this discussion, is opinion and what is fact. One of the strengths of Mudcat is the diversity of experience and knowledge that people bring to it; one of its weaknesses is the tendency of some to launch into knee-jerk reactions without any real understanding. It isn't always easy to tell which is which, so we need everybody to be clear and specific about what they say if we are going to get anywhere.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST,Murray on Saltspring
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 02:12 AM

Perhaps this is relevant: a note I sent last June to Folktrax - to date, unanswered.


Dear folks:
First, let me offer condolences on the death of Peter Kennedy.
On checking your site, I see you have for sale cds of the material in PK's excellent book 'Folksongs of Britain & Ireland'. But I noticed some anomalies in the description of the contents of the 'Seduction' section. For all I know this may be the case with others. Namely, on comparing the contents of the record as listed with the book in front of me, I notice:
no 176 'The Haslebury Girl' - book: from Harry Cox; disc, Bill Lowne.
no. 179 'The Lady o the Dainty Doon-by' - book, from Lucy Stewart AND Jeannie Robertson [??] ; disc, Lucy Stewart alone.
no. 185 'The nightingales Sing' - book from Raymond and John Cantwell; disc, Fred and Ray.
no 190 'She was a Rum One' - book, from Davie Stewart, 1956; disc, Jeannie Robertson, 1953.

As you can see, there are quite a few mistakes of one sort or another. Please explain this, or correct it. If I order the disc, I'd like to know exactly what I'm getting.

Murray Shoolbraid
Editor, BC Folklore.

-----------------
Has anyone else noticed this sort of thing? Quite apart from PK's questionable ethics, about which I can have no opinion, there's this bother about questionable scholarship.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 11:44 AM

A shadow has been cast upon Peter Kennedys character,.
anybody who does this should be able to back it up with facts, figures, amounts of money,that people were defrauded of etc, if they dont or cant,. come forward , with proper evidence of financial malpractice, they should apologise and be quiet.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 11:59 AM

"Quite apart from PK's questionable ethics, about which I can have no opinion, there's this bother about questionable scholarship.
"

Murray, I am not familiar with the CD's and I'm not 100% sure if I understand the point you were trying to make. Do you take issue with the artist selection on the CD not matching the source listed in the book? IF that is the case, is it really necessary that the two different products match?


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 12:28 PM

A few weeks ago my wife was reading the obituary colmn to see if we were in yet.
She said, this bloke's died who wasan old boy of your school - Leighton park - folk song collector did you know him?

Well i didn't. if he was as miserable as i was at that place though, I crave your indulgence on his behalf - we're all damaged goods.

Dik cadbury of Decameron was there too.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST,mick
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 12:34 PM

"Quite apart from PK's questionable ethics, about which I can have no opinion, there's this bother about questionable scholarship."

Aren't you expressing an opinion about PK's ethics by saying they are questionable?


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 12:47 PM

Dick, you are asking for people to come up with facts and figures regarding Mr Kennedy.

Did you ever come up with facts and figures regarding your problems with a man in Yorkshire that you mention but don't name, and give details?

There is a posting above where a straightforward and logical question was asked of Folktrax which was ignored. Why I wonder.
Incidentally one of the tracks mentioned in that posting by the Cantwells had an accordeon accompaniment which when I bought it on vinyl I assumed to be one of the Cantwells. I was however informed by another collector that it was Peter Kennedy playing the instrument. Why would a collector include himself on a field recording of traditional singers I ask??


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 12:49 PM

Since people have started asking for facts rather than assertions, here's a few to start the ball the rolling.

Fact. Under the royalty agreements which Kennedy drew up, 50% was split between "our informants, collectors, authors and arrangers", and the remaining 50% was claimed by Kennedy. Source. Folk Review. March 1974.

Fact. When Geoff Wallis asked Kennedy for permission to use some recordings for a non-profit making CD, Kennedy asked him for 75% of the retail price ! Source. This thread. NB., I have seen the correspondence Geoff refers to. I have also seen Kennedy's grovelling response when Geoff pointed out that the recordings were almost out of copyright and would shortly be available at a much less extortionate rate elsewhere.

Fact. The collector, Tom Munnelly once sent a tape of the singer, John Reilly to Kennedy for interest purposes only. Without consulting Munnelly or Reilly, and without paying a red cent in royalties, Kennedy published the tape in Folktrax. Source. The IRTRAD_L discussion board.

Fact. In 1979, Keith Summers attempted to record Maggie Murphy of Tempo, Fermanagh. (She had previously been recorded by Kennedy when she was still Maggie Chambers.) She was extremely reluctant, saying that Kennedy had got her to sign "a piece of paper", assigning not only the songs he had recorded from her but any she might remember in the future. Source. A lecture which Keith gave in Hermitage, Berkshire, in May 1984., plus a copy of that lecture which I have in my possession.

Fact. Folktrax products fall way below anything resembling acceptable standards. They were copied onto poor quality cassettes, using recorders which often sounded as though the heads were badly in need of cleaning. And the notes consisted of single sided A4 photocopies - often illegible. Source. Take a look at a few. N.B. I once bought a tape of Yugoslavian music from Kennedy. The tape had already been used to record some English folk duo or other. It hadn't even been wiped before the Yugoslavian music was dubbed on.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 12:52 PM

there is a law of libel, this is a public forum, any defamatory comments should be carefully considered and able to be proven in law. as far as i am aware the only thing that could be proved in law is Peter Kennedys dubbing on of accompaniments.
can fred mcormick give details and prove that Peter Kennedy stole mechanical copywright royalties[ and what was the amount stolen]how does the law stand on ownership of songs that are in the public domain[ perhaps the onus is on the victim to have claimed it]iF fred knows the answers to these questions or if anybody does it may be useful to this discussion.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 01:04 PM

Malcolm Douglas,

My rant was not based on any knowledge I have of Kennedy's practices.

The last sentence in my post was improperly worded.

I should have said
"If the allegations are true, I personally am appalled by Kennedy's disrespect for his sources."

For the mis-statement I apologize.

However...

My rant was a general criticism of discussions of this type.

It was prompted by my interpretation of the remarks of some of Kennedy's "defenders."

I respect those who defend Kennedy along the lines of "Based upon my own experience and to the best of my knowledge Kennedy is not guilty."

What set me off were those who appear to be defending Kennedy along the lines of "no blood, no foul."
Some participants appeared to suggest that so little money was involved the issue is hardly worth worrying about, and as if that were the only significant factor.

My point
If guilt is eventually proven or admitted,
and if we are comparing the pros and cons of Kennedy's efforts,
Then we don't simply ask accountants to furnish us with balance sheets.
We don't simply ask other appropriately credentialed collectors to evaluate this methodology.
We should take a serious look at the impact of blameworthy practices on the individuals and traditions involved.
IMHO the last would be the most significant factor.

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 01:17 PM

"Fact. Under the royalty agreements which Kennedy drew up, 50% was split between "our informants, collectors, authors and arrangers", and the remaining 50% was claimed by Kennedy. Source. Folk Review. March 1974.

Fact. When Geoff Wallis asked Kennedy for permission to use some recordings for a non-profit making CD, Kennedy asked him for 75% of the retail price ! Source. This thread. NB., I have seen the correspondence Geoff refers to. I have also seen Kennedy's grovelling response when Geoff pointed out that the recordings were almost out of copyright and would shortly be available at a much less extortionate rate elsewhere."

To me, that sounds like a businessman - and I do not fault anyone from trying to earn an HONEST dollar.   Was he cheating anyone? In the above examples, I don't see any problem.

Were the "informants, collectors,authors and arrangers" forced to enter into an agreement? Was Geoff Wallis forced to accept the terms? Was any artist forced to sign a paper that gave exclusivity to Peter Kennedy?"   I don't know the answers, but I am guessing it would be "no" to all.

"Fact. The collector, Tom Munnelly once sent a tape of the singer, John Reilly to Kennedy for interest purposes only. Without consulting Munnelly or Reilly, and without paying a red cent in royalties, Kennedy published the tape in Folktrax. Source. The IRTRAD_L discussion board."

If this is indeed a fact, then Peter Kennedy was seriously wrong. Did Tom Munnelly take it to court? Is there more to this story?

"We should take a serious look at the impact of blameworthy practices on the individuals and traditions involved."

That is very true. I think part of the "problem" is that the field of collecting and independent productions have very little control or peer judgement.   In other fields, there are usually trade groups and other concerns that set standards and prices. Can we point to any one group or groups that are doing that for this field?


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 02:06 PM

A few comments on the above.

To Captain Birdseye - unless New Labour has slipped in a recent amendment to the law of libel it's legally impossible to libel someone who's dead.

To Ron Olesko - PK's demand for 75% of the retail price of the CD compilation which I proposed ignored the fact that he had absolutely no claim to eight of the tracks which would have appeared (and were recorded by Néillidh Boyle in the late 1930s), but he still wanted his shekels. There was no question of the fiddler being involved in the arrangement since he was sadly long dead.

PK's commercial exploitation of Tom Munnelly's tapes of John Reilly was simply fradulent, and about that there can be no doubt. But he did exactly the same thing with James Foley's recordings of the Tyrone singer John Corry. That's just two examples from Ireland. How often did PK use the same methods regarding UK collectors?


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 02:09 PM

TO GUEST RUSS , I am asking for the matter of    alleged defrauding of royalties to be clarified, that way people can make their own judgements.
Does it occur to anyone that the people that these songs were collected from, might through their own lack of understanding have an exaggerated idea of their financial worth, and no understanding of Peter Kennedys travelling expenses, and [possibly ]unfairly felt resentment.the people who peter kennedy collected songs from did not own them[ morally ]any more than the person they learnt them from.
      All traditional songs were written by someone at some point. the fact that the original author or broadsheet writer no longer had them under copyright does not mean that they were the singers property[ because they were not the singers creative work]unlike self penned material.they were no more that persons property than they are mine.
the difference is that if i choose to arrange a song [i can copyright my arrangements] but these songs were
unaccompanied and therefore unarranged. in my opinion part of the problem here is that these source singers did not understand that they did not own the song, because it was not their creative work, but the creative work of a broad sheet seller.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 02:22 PM

Does Ron Olesko live in the real world?

"Did Tom Munnelly take it to court?". Business Man ? Honest dollar?

I assume that you are a US resident in which case you should realise how impractical it would be to take a matter such as this to law.

Trade groups and other concerns to set standards and prices for field collectors?

Who writes your scripts Ron?

Most collectors that I know do/did it for a love of the music and have a lot of respect for their informants and most of them paid for their collecting out of their own pockets. Some of them placed their material in various archives where it would be readily available to interested parties.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 02:52 PM

There is no call to be rude and arrogant Hootenanny. If you wish to have a discussion, be reasonable and civil.   If my observations were wrong or you disagree you should point them out, but there is no need to turn a discussion into an excuse for insults and jokes. Every response here should be treated with some respect.

I have no knowledge of what occured with Tom Munnelly and I asked a legitimate question - what did Munnelly do? Granted courts would probably dismiss as it would fall under a petty crime due to the financial issues, but I curious as to how this was handled.   Did Munnelly confront Kennedy, and if so what was the response?

Yes, MOST collectors do this out of love and pay out of their own pocket, but there are, or at least were, individuals who took it beyond an amateur pastime and turned it into a profession. Did they treat everyone fairly? Not all the time. I did not know Peter Kennedy and I find this discussion quite eye-opening. I am not defending him, nor am I attacking him. I am trying to learn something here. Hopefully I can do that without being insulted.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 02:54 PM

Does Captain Birdseye live in the real world ? I quote him chapter and verse and give sources and he accuses me of libelling the man. Then he virtually accuses me of accusing Kennedy of stealing mechanical copyright royalties. Sorry Cap'n, there's a law of libe dontcha know.

As for Olesko. If Kennedy was a businessman out to exploit the artistic culture of the numan race, that would be bad enough. He wasn't. He was a collector who worked for a good part of his life on a publicly funded stipend. His recordings of Neilly Boyle were made while he was on that stipend. The terms he tried to raise with Geoff were outrageous.

As for Tom Munnelly. The vast majority of the people Kennedy ripped off were in no financial position to do anything about it. That is why he was able to get away with it.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 02:57 PM

Before anybody picks me up on it, that should have read law of libel, not libel.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 03:18 PM

McCormick - I do agree with you that anyone who "exploits" the artistic endeavours of any culture is not someone that I would want to do business with.   My questions and playing devils advocate was to try to understand the situation. Again, I have no dog in this race.   I am not defending anyone, just trying to understand. I do feel that situations like this have reprecussions and it is an important topic to be discussed in forums such as these.

Also, when I was referring to "trade groups", I probably used the wrong set of words. But, just as archivists have organizations that share practices and information, this is an important field that could use some scrutiny based on some of the stories being shared here. Was I wrong to suggest that some sort of group be available to help prevent problems like this from occuring?   Where would a Tom Munnelly go if he is getting ripped off?   Who is to say that 75%, 50% or 10% is fair or unfair?   Should someone who devotes enormous time to these endeavors be forced to take a vow of poverty?   Perhaps it is because everyone is creating their own sets of rules that we have problems like this.   Maybe it is a good thing that at least a discussion like this occurs.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: nutty
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 03:56 PM

This has been a fascinating thread but I keep wondering about the position of the EFDSS in all this.

Given that it has been suggested that the recordings were the property of the EFDSS - why did they not make any move to recover them or to prevent them from being put up for sale.

Surely the EFDSS would have been the appropriate agency to prevent these source singers and musicians from being exploited ..... if indeed they were.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 03:58 PM

I said can fred mcormick give details, and prove that Peter Kennedy stole mechanical copywright royalties[ And what was the amount stolen].
that is a question not an accusation/Ihave not accused you of anything. my remarks about libel were not aimed at you specifically, but a reminder to every one to be careful,.
you still havent given details of the amounts stolen, this is important.
I have not accused you of anything,you owe me an apology. its impossible to virtually accuse anyone of something, you either accuse them or you dont, read my post carefully, i have not accused you of anything.
finally traditonal material does not belong to a source singer [ only self penned material belongs to somebody ][[or an arrangement ]]that traditional singer has no more right to royalties.than the collector or his next door neighbour. some broadsheet writer wrote the song, so its his / her material, not the source singers. now personally I would not have behaved the way Peter Kennedy is alleged to have done. But without kennedys work the folk scene would be poorer, the source singer plays an important part but there are no rules as to how they should be rewarded, it is matter of individual conscience.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: JamesHenry
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 04:27 PM

The Captain is right. Peter Kennedy should be no more accused of "stealing" from the source singers than they should be accused of "stealing" from the original writers/composers. His endevours should possibly even be celebrated if he collected and issued recordings of the material at his own expense.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: nutty
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 04:44 PM

I think you might be missing the point Dick..

The assertion has been made that Kennedy did not have permission from these performers to offer the recordings for sale. That is a very different matter from him being accused of stealing.

I agree that without his efforts much would be lost to folk music but how he would have been applauded if he had made this material freely available. I believe that this is the case with the material he collected that remained with the EFDSS.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 05:12 PM

tO HOOTENANY, I have replied to malcolm douglas in a personal message. to Nutty...
Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Fred McCormick - PM
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 04:34 AM

In the case of Peter Kennedy and his alleged royalty expropriation, I believe the question of royalties extended to mechanical performance only. IE., reproduction of the singer or musician's performance, or what we nowadways describe as their intellectual property. In other words, Peter Kennedy had no right to release recordings of other people without seeking permission of them or their descendants, and without paying royalties.

Folksongs are, by their very nature, in the public domain. They belong to all of us and that makes a nonsense of the idea that they can or should be copyrighted.

Not that such considerations ever bothered Kennedy.
SO fred says without paying royalties,i am asking how much were they deprived of [ or how much was taken ..stolen by kennedy.please nutty read the posts carefully.
logically if folk songs belong to all of us, Kennedy has as much right as the source singer to copyright them.
if an enterprising source singer copyrighted them, would you be condemning him in the same way as you are kennedy.
folksongs have been written at some point, alot of them by broadsheet writers, they are not the intellectual property of the source singer or the collector, if they are arranged then the composer of the arrangement owns the copyright to the arrangement only.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 05:52 PM

May I just clarify something regarding royalties paid on the public performance of recorded work. For example I mentioned in a posting above a recording by the Cantwells. If or when this recorded work is played on radio or television or in a pub, club or similar then the radio station, tv station club or pub pays a licence fee to (in the UK) PPL, Phonographic Performance Limited. The amount collected if any, is paid out to the actual performers on that recorded work. By imposing their accompaniment onto a performance - and obviously a producer would only do this to improve it's appeal ho ho - then the producer becomes a performer and can also claim royalties. OK so we are not talking vast amounts in the folk field but that is the way it works. The copyright on the recorded work runs out after fifty years but if the company re-masters the recording and re-issues it then it starts all over again. There is an effort being made by some long lasting pop singers to have this increased to 75 years but I believe that this has been covered in another thread.
This doesn't happen in the USA as there is no similar licensing body for the public performance of recorded work, or if there is then it is only recent within the last say two or three years. Before anybody mentions ASCAP, this is for royalties of a different nature.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Folkiedave
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 07:47 PM

This discussion was started by Rod Stradling´s admission that he had kept a file on Peter Kennedy. Unless it`s components manifested themselves in his office of course. It seems from what his co-editor in his defence says that Rod saves everything that is sent to him. And presumably files it under,.......well who knows. Clearly he had a file marked "Kennedy".

When I send letters to magazines etc. I mark them "for publication" or "not for publication". I expect the ones marked ""not for publication" not to be published. It is clearly an editor´s right not to publish material marked "for publication". I do not regard it as an editor´s right to publish material that has been rejected for publication to be published later when a person to whom it refers is dead. I cannot imagine any decent editor or co-editor saving material on such a basis. Clearly Rod does do so, since according to Fred, Rod does keep all material sent to him on file. And he has now decided to publish it.

Now either Peter Kennedy was the only person who Rod was sent material about or there are others. Why not tell us who Mustrad has other files about, and at what point will they be published?

I have no idea what Peter Kennedy´s practices were regarding copywrite, royalties and so on. I know Fred is not sure since he uses the phrase "In the case of Peter Kennedy and his alleged royalty expropriation"... and I know Rod is not sure since he asks for "..concrete evidence".

I have spoken to many artists who maintain they have been ripped off by all sorts of other well-known organisations as far as royalties are concerned. There is a long thread about Green Linnet for example on Mudcat. So clearly Peter Kennedy is not the only one to indulge in this sort of thing. No doubt Mustrad has files on....well again, who knows?

Fred, whilst I am not a lawyer and do not purpport to give legal advice, I reckon I am on pretty safe ground to tell you there is no need to write "alleged". The dead cannot sue. The only people to be upset are his family. But I am sure you and your co-editor have taken their thoughts on this into consideration when you started all this. Or perhaps you believe that they don´t read Mustrad?

Actually Fred, despite the description on Mustrad of Peter as "....he seemed to be very litigious" (Pt. 13) I would have thought that anyone with a half-decent file on Peter Kennedy would know that such a threat was totally hollow. So you could have published all this previously. But as Rod says it has built up "Over the years". Maybe it just makes a decent article about now. Coincidentally of course.

Fred, you went apeshit when material about you was published anonymously. And you were correct to do so, but apparently it is OK to publish material about Peter Kennedy anonymously from Mustrad files. You should ask permission of all the people who have sent "comments and information.. [that]...has built up in my office" and those that are not prepared to have their names added to the comments and information should have their allegations discounted.

I have no quarrel with those like Jim Carroll and others on this thread who have put their names to what they have written.

My argument is not about Peter Kennedy and what he did or did not do.

It is about Mustrad admitting that they keep files on people which are then brought out anonymously as "critical reviews". And then almost holding a sword over Derek Schofield´s head - if he doesn´t publish I will.

I did believe Mustrad had higher standards. Now I am not so sure

Dave Eyre


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 09:05 PM

The rights to profits from a public domain traditional folk song and the rights to profits from a recording of a private performance of a traditional folk song by an individual are two radically different things which seem to be getting mixed up here.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 03:15 AM

Since these alleged mispractices have been going on for fifty years,why wait till Peter kennedy can no longer defend himself .
a file has been built up on Kennedy, what would have happened if these allegations were brought out during his lifetime, or have they not been brought out because his critics, know they would have lost.is it because they know that with his death, they are safe from libel.
       now I am not making accusations ,only asking questions that need to be answered.
   Becky, yes right they are different.
somewhere FRED talks about kENNEDY RIPPING PEOPLE OFF, can Mcormick give us detailed financial information about the amounts involved, as he and Rod have a file on Kennedy.
onthe subject of fred mcormick and Jim carroll, why is jim temporarily censored by mcormick and stradling and why does Fred mcormick query Jims collecting credentials , just curious.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 03:49 AM

Well looking through this correspondence here. i would appear that at least this character set it down in writing that these interpretations of folksongs were an intellectual property.

Surely ownership and the rights and responsibilites involved can surely be settled at a date when the possible owner go about their business and put in claims. As a songwriter that is what you have to do. Last year, by looking through the internet I found one of my songs had appeared on a couple of albums and there was a sum of money owing to me.

How many more artists and publishers have neglected to give writers their royalties - without didscovering a single folksong. Writers like John Connolly seem to have gotten the point where finding their work described as traditional seems par for the course. I know Ewan reached that point as well.

I remember owning a Ping Pong and Prance Society book where the Leaving of Liverpool was described as from the singing of Seamus Ennis, I wondfer how many artists who recorded that song have bestowed a similar honour on the man.

Seems to me there is some element of collective responsibility here.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Folkiedave
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 04:12 AM

I remember owning a Ping Pong and Prance Society book where the Leaving of Liverpool was described as from the singing of Seamus Ennis, I wondfer how many artists who recorded that song have bestowed a similar honour on the man.

Not too many I would guess

W. M. Doerflinger ("Shantymen and Shantyboys," New York 1951)
collected this song from an ex-seaman, Dick Maitland, who first
heard it in 1885. "I was on deck," says Maitland, "one night,
when I heard a Liverpool man singing it in the foc's'le. Yes
sir, that song hit the spot." The song is included on a
Prestige record of sea songs by A. L. Lloyd and Ewan McColl (both now
"up aloft," God rest their souls).

Of course Seamus Ennis may have collected it elsewhere.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 04:27 AM

Don't recollect this geezer Maitland getting too many mentions on album covers either.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 04:30 AM

I confirm what Fred McCormick wrote about Tom Munnelly being the collector and John Reilly being the singer.
Tom is my friend and neigbour and would not dream of taking anybody to court.
The amount made by Kennedy is totally irrelevent, I believe Kennedy set the tone for collecting in these islands and fouled the water for others; the water is still not clear.
He ripped of traditional singers and colleagues alike and did great disservice to traditional song.
Incidentally, in spite of Tom's and other's efforts to raise money for John Reilly who was living (sic) in a derelict house in Boyle,
John died of malnutrition.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 04:35 AM

PS
Why wait till Kennedy is no longer able to defend himself?
I still find myself looking over my shoulder waiting for the solicitor's letter to land on the mat.
Throughout his career Kennedy threatened legal action against thosae who used HIS songs and those who spoke against his actions.
The EFDSS, who were well aware of the controversy, chose to stay silent
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 04:47 AM

In a recent book of papers on folk music ('Folk Song - Tradition, Revival and Re-Creation' eds. Ian Russell and David Atkinson, University of Aberdeen, 2004) there is a fascinating contribution by E.David Gregory: 'Roving Out: Peter Kennedy and the BBC Folk Music and Dialect Recording Scheme, 1952 - 1957'. This meticulously researched essay makes it clear the Peter Kennedy did a truly prodigous amount of collecting, in Britain and Ireland, in the 1950s.

As a lifelong fan of British and Irish trad. music I would like to know why I have only heard a tiny fraction of this material - especially as it was gathered with public money? Gregory lays the blame firmly at the door of the BBC: "One cannot avoid the overall conclusion that while the BBC helped to build up, during the 1950s, a tremendous library of recorded traditional music, it undervalued, under-utilised, and hoarded this resouce ... Nor did it take its archival responsibilities sufficiently seriously."

I welcome the debate on Peter Kennedy but I hope that this debate will focus on what happened to this material and address the question of how enthusiasts, like me, can get to hear whatever remains of it (at a reasonable cost, of course).


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 04:59 AM

I can't see a problem with a magazine informing readers of the origin of their printed material. Take any number of people who have learned a song aurally from one source and I would bet that in a very short time there would develop either naturally or by design an almost equal number of slight variations on the original, it's known as the folk process. I would assume that the magazine in question was merely clarifying that that was the way a particular singer performed the song.

Is it not still common practice at a folk club for a singer to inform the audience the origin of their version of a song?

I can sympathise with the Drummer above if he has written songs and not been credited but he should not confuse his writing of modern songs with the performance of traditional material which I thinks is what is being dicussed here.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 05:26 AM

Jim Carroll. Why wait till Kennedy is no longer able to defend himself?

A few years ago, there was a long discussion on the IRTRAD_L message board about Kenedy and copyright. Most of what I said here, I said there also. Ditto for Jim Carroll. We were not alone in condemning Kennedy.

Neither of us can be accused of waiting until Kennedy was dead before laying accusations. Neither are we the only ones. Rod Stradling commented on Kennedy's methods while Kennedy was alive. So did Karl Dallas. Doubtless, there are others.

Incidentally, I forgot to add the question of dubbed accompaniment to my list of facts, but that is a terrible thing to do to anybody.

I also forgot to mention Kennedy's ineffectiveness when it came to collecting royalties on other people's behalf. When he attempted to extract payment from the Campbells for their performance of The Nightingale, they told him it wasn't the Cantwell's version they were singing. End of story. Did Kennedy tell people there would be no chance of proving ownership in a court dispute, and that therefore, these "agreements" were fit only for wiping people's arses with ? I hardly think so.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Scrump
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 06:06 AM

Re. the dubbed accompaniment - seems a strange thing to want to do, unless he was trying to pretend that the unaccompanied singer was accompanied when the recording was made - is that what is being alleged?

Otherwise I would have thought it was easier to just sing it again (or hire someone who can sing, if you can't) with accompaniment. Or am I missing something?


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 06:45 AM

I am still waiting for my question re the alleged financial misappropriation of royalties[what was the amount] to be answered by Fred McCORMICK.as far as I am concerned and anyone else who wants to make a level headed judgement, it is relevant. I am sorry to hear John died of malnutrition, but that is the responsibility of the IRISH SOCIAL SERVICES AND GOVERNMENT, It is their duty to look after citizens in need, [ if we knew how much kennedy ripped off, of reilly we could make a considered judgement]as to whether or not he contributed to it, are we talking about five shillings, five pounds, fifty , 500pounds, five thousand pounds,50 thousand pounds, i am sorry but it is relevant and it does make a difference.I agree it is very sad when someone dies of malnutrition,but care is needed in apportioning blame and making judgements.
if you accuse someone of ripping someone off,I would like to have detailed financial evidence[ amount wise],perhaps you can make me change my mind .
if the case was so strong against Kennedy why did no one take him to court,Dallas, mccormick, carroll etc.
   I would be prepared to change my assesment of Kennedy if you can give me more information.
       Finally collectors need to make it clear, that traditional songs are not necessarily the property of those who sing them,any more than they are of collectors. Honesty is required, no one should be coerced into letting a collector record the song they are singing, if the deal doesnt suit both parties.
But IN criticising Kennedy,is it going to prevent others operating Similarly or worse in the folk field.
I have three recordings owned by someone in englandthat are being suppressed, that even if I didnt see a penny in royalties , I would prefer to see giving pleasure to people, and publicity to myself, but this discussion I am sure will not convert THAT PERSON on the road to damascus.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 06:59 AM

to Scrump. I think that hewas trying to claim it as an arrangement, which of course is wrong artistically and morally[ without their permission].
but all this suggests to me someone who was trying to make a few pence wherever he could ,rather than someone who has made thousands out of exploiting source singers.Iam not excusing it just trying to get a clearer picture of the man. perhaps if he had been properly funded from the english government this may have never happened. on the two occasions i met him i found him a charming , generous man and i still treasure his books that i they have given me great pleasure.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST,Dazbo
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 07:25 AM

Cap'n

If as you say "I think that hewas trying to claim it as an arrangement, which of course is wrong artistically and morally" I presume you are referring to his accompaniament added at a later date.

If this was so then let us suppose that 'John Doe' was recorded singing a ballad. Peter Kennedy added himself to the recording. Assume that this accompaniment did not double the sales of the recording as people brough it to hear 'John Doe' not Peter Kennedy. Now let us suppose that this recording earned £x for the artists involved. By simple arithmatic 'John Doe's' earnings would have been £x but they are now actually £x/2. Has not half of 'John Doe's' earnings been taken by Peter Kennedy?


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 07:56 AM

well if we accept that, then how much did Kennedy take,was it half of fifty pounds or half of five hundred . but do you not take into consideration peter kennedy as the promoter,and his capital outlay, is he not entitled to something for that. Kennedy should have been more detailed with his singers, he should have informed them of his sales and paid them royalties. I have recorded with several companies, Brewhouse have been the only ones to pay me
ROYALTIES. this sort of thing is unfortunately quite common.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST,MikeofNorthumbria (sans cookie)
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 08:34 AM

People with longstanding grievances against Peter K should have raised them while he was still alive - either one to one privately, or in some appropriate public forum. Some of the posters in this thread say that they did indeed do so, but clearly they were unwilling to keep on pressing their case until they got satisfaction.

That being the case, it seems rather mean-spirited for them to revive these accusations here and now - firstly because the man can neither defend himself nor (if appropriate) apologise and make recompense, and secondly because his family must still be grieving, and all this can only distress them further.

In due time,historians will gather in all the available data, and weigh up the positive and negative aspects of Mr K's life and work. In my opinion, his good works will then be seen to have far outweighed his transgressions - but let's not condemn him out of hand before we know all the facts.

Wassail!

Dr Mike Sutton
Northumbria University


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 08:45 AM

Hear Hear. Please show some respect for his family.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 08:45 AM

Captain Birdseye,

Re your rhetorical question:
"Does it occur to anyone that the people that these songs were collected from, might through their own lack of understanding have an exaggerated idea of their financial worth, and no understanding of Peter Kennedys travelling expenses, and [possibly ]unfairly felt resentment.the people who peter kennedy collected songs from did not own them[ morally ]any more than the person they learnt them from."

This approach to the problem under discussion has a name. It is called "blame the victim."

Russ (Permanent and sometimes Impertinent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Folkiedave
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 08:57 AM

Since previous comments on Peter Kennedy detailed by Fred McCormick in this thread failed to bring forth litigation, clearly that was never a worry. Presumably point 13 on Mustrad suggesting he was litigous will be withdrawn.

Here´s what Fred thinks when people talk anonymously about him....

I have now been told - and I have good reason to believe this intelligence is true - that some nameless individual took my review, removed all the positive aspects and doctored the rest to make it look complete. It was then circulated to various people in Ireland and presented to them as though it were an exact reproduction of what I had written. The intention was to discredit me and my review, and I find it incredible that anyone who calls themselves a human being could resort to such treachery.

Apart from the fact that this is clear breach of copyright, it is also a monumental breach of human ethics. And it is difficult to imagine the kind of warped and twisted psychology which it would take for someone to stoop to such verminous tactics. However, it does explain why all the attacks on me and on my review have focused solely on my coverage of the book, and why various denigrators keep insisting that I ignored the book's subject entirely.


As co-editor of Mustrad you have published an edited version of a file which you tell us has been gathered over the years which consists of anonymous contributions.

I would be really grateful if you could explain why this is not a "monumental breach of human ethics", "twisted psychology" and "verminous tactics".

Dave Eyre


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST,Dazbo
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 09:43 AM

Cap'n

If this is true:

"Fact. Under the royalty agreements which Kennedy drew up, 50% was split between "our informants, collectors, authors and arrangers", and the remaining 50% was claimed by Kennedy. Source. Folk Review. March 1974."

It seems to me that 50% was claimed by Kennedy for his efforts and expenses in collecting plus the share of the other 50% to the person who collected (i.e. Kennedy), the arranger (i.e. Kennedy)etc etc.

Why are you so hung up on the actual amount?

Would you be happy for me to borrow one of your CDs and make a copy for my self? After all you're not likely to actually earn more than a few pence from the sale. So that's alright then?


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 10:05 AM

Sorry Dave, if you can't see the difference between circulating half a review, specifically with the intention of discrediting the entire review, and publishing edited highlights of correspondence - positive as well as negative - then I just despair.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: JamesHenry
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 11:17 AM

Who's making the money out of the article gleaned from "source" informants here and is any being redistributed?


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 11:59 AM

ToRUSS, no you misunderstand me, how am I blaming the victim , I am not blaming anyone .Istand by my point, They did not know how much Kennedy was making so assumed he was making a lot more than he was, thats not their fault, as I said in one of my more recent posts, Kennedy should have informed them how the sales were going.and paid royalties.
he perhaps should also have explained his own expenses, then this misunderstanding and bad feeling probably would not have arisen.
finally source singers do not own the material, because its not self penned, it was perhaps learnt from a relative or a neighbour but originally was written by somebody[ who perhaps sold it in broadsheet form ],so its not their creative work.
now as i have explained before, I would have acted differently from KENNEDY, he made mistakes ,
I dont think he made a lot of money out of all this [please show me figures to prove me wrong],he was not a double dyed villain as some are trying to portray him. he did things I wouldnt have done .but i still believe with all his faults he did more good than harm.
to DAZBO NO SOURCE SINGER, HAD TO AGREE TO SINGING FOR KENNEDY,if they didnt like him they could show him the door.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 12:13 PM

PETER KENNEDY was somebody I saw busking when he was quite elderly.he lived in a fairly modest house in Totnes. I am afraid that doesnt fit with the image of someone who made thousands or more from ripping off source singers.
please prove me wrong show me evidence that he stole tens of thousands or however much he did steal.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Folkiedave
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 12:13 PM

Then despair away Fred, for you cannot see how publishing something that is written anonymously and publishing something that is written anonymously is identical. The difference is that one has the publisher´s name attached. The other doesn´t. They both consist of anonymous and edited material.

The fact is Fred, that if I were a magazine publisher and people sent in material about you and I had saved it all over a period of years and then later published the "edited highlights" with derogatory material as well as anything positive, un-attributed to any source then you would be up in arms and you would be right.

Personally Fred I despair at your double standards.


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