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Intellectual property

10 Sep 98 - 09:27 AM (#37767)
Subject: Intellectual property
From: Bert.

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.


10 Sep 98 - 07:19 PM (#37807)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Dave T

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


10 Sep 98 - 08:02 PM (#37814)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: BSeed

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


10 Sep 98 - 08:38 PM (#37823)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.

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.


10 Sep 98 - 11:19 PM (#37846)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Barry Finn

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


11 Sep 98 - 05:17 PM (#37890)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Earl

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.


12 Sep 98 - 09:48 PM (#37994)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: gargoyle

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.


13 Sep 98 - 07:56 PM (#38022)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: BSeed

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


13 Sep 98 - 08:46 PM (#38025)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Roger Himler

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


13 Sep 98 - 11:17 PM (#38035)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Barry Finn

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


14 Sep 98 - 03:31 AM (#38044)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Ewan McV

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


14 Sep 98 - 12:19 PM (#38063)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Jerry Friedman

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).


14 Sep 98 - 01:20 PM (#38077)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Jon W.

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.


14 Sep 98 - 02:33 PM (#38085)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Bert

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.


14 Sep 98 - 03:04 PM (#38088)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Henry Miller

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.


14 Sep 98 - 06:13 PM (#38111)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Ewan McV

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?


14 Sep 98 - 07:31 PM (#38127)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Dave T

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


14 Sep 98 - 09:00 PM (#38140)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.

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.


14 Sep 98 - 09:13 PM (#38141)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca

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.


14 Sep 98 - 10:34 PM (#38146)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: dick greenhaus

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.


15 Sep 98 - 11:19 AM (#38191)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Earl

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.


15 Sep 98 - 01:23 PM (#38203)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Jerry Friedman

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.)


15 Sep 98 - 01:41 PM (#38205)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Jerry Friedman

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"?)


16 Sep 98 - 12:23 AM (#38274)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: gargoyle

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.


16 Sep 98 - 05:00 PM (#38348)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: BBJ

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!


16 Sep 98 - 08:33 PM (#38371)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.

gargoyle, hope you never need legal assistance

Chet W.


16 Sep 98 - 08:51 PM (#38375)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.

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.


16 Sep 98 - 09:30 PM (#38381)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Pete M

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


17 Sep 98 - 01:06 AM (#38394)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Joe Offer

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-


17 Sep 98 - 01:53 AM (#38399)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Alan of Australia

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


17 Sep 98 - 07:42 PM (#38477)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.

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.


17 Sep 98 - 08:52 PM (#38489)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Barry Finn

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


17 Sep 98 - 09:13 PM (#38491)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: BSeed

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


18 Sep 98 - 08:55 AM (#38526)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Bob Schwarer


18 Sep 98 - 11:26 AM (#38529)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: John M

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.


18 Sep 98 - 03:34 PM (#38546)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: BSeed

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


18 Sep 98 - 04:18 PM (#38550)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Jenny

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


18 Sep 98 - 07:03 PM (#38557)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: The Shambles


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


18 Sep 98 - 07:11 PM (#38558)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Dave T

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


18 Sep 98 - 09:54 PM (#38565)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: dick greenhaus

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.


18 Sep 98 - 11:37 PM (#38572)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.

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.


19 Sep 98 - 02:26 AM (#38584)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: gargoyle

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)


19 Sep 98 - 02:37 AM (#38585)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Joe Offer

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-


19 Sep 98 - 09:15 AM (#38597)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: The Shambles


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


19 Sep 98 - 10:24 AM (#38602)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: John M

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.


19 Sep 98 - 05:56 PM (#38646)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.

God bless us every one.


20 Sep 98 - 11:42 AM (#38713)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.

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.


20 Sep 98 - 04:39 PM (#38734)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Pete M

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


20 Sep 98 - 07:49 PM (#38744)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: dick greenhaus

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.)


20 Sep 98 - 11:17 PM (#38772)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: John M

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


21 Sep 98 - 02:11 PM (#38810)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Barry Finn

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


21 Sep 98 - 02:41 PM (#38816)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Songbob

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


21 Sep 98 - 05:55 PM (#38855)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.

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.


21 Sep 98 - 06:08 PM (#38858)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Roger Himler

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


21 Sep 98 - 08:22 PM (#38884)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.

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

Chet


21 Sep 98 - 10:56 PM (#38901)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: gargoyle

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."


23 Sep 98 - 10:34 AM (#39097)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: John M

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 !!!!!


23 Sep 98 - 11:54 AM (#39101)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Ewan McV

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.


23 Sep 98 - 12:21 PM (#39103)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Bob Schwarer

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

Bob S.


23 Sep 98 - 01:51 PM (#39110)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: The Shambles

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.


23 Sep 98 - 02:56 PM (#39117)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From:

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.


23 Sep 98 - 04:09 PM (#39123)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From:

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.


23 Sep 98 - 04:21 PM (#39124)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Bert

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.


23 Sep 98 - 08:47 PM (#39146)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.

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.


24 Sep 98 - 10:50 PM (#39294)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: gargoyle

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."


25 Sep 98 - 03:09 AM (#39317)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: BSeed

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


25 Sep 98 - 02:39 PM (#39359)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: The Shambles

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.


25 Sep 98 - 02:41 PM (#39360)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: John M

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 !!!!!!


25 Sep 98 - 03:29 PM (#39369)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.

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


25 Sep 98 - 06:12 PM (#39388)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: BSeed

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


25 Sep 98 - 06:37 PM (#39396)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Allan s.

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


25 Sep 98 - 07:14 PM (#39404)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Jerry Friedman

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.


25 Sep 98 - 10:50 PM (#39425)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Jenny

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


26 Sep 98 - 05:08 AM (#39457)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Ewan McV

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.


26 Sep 98 - 05:10 AM (#39458)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Ewan McV

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.


26 Sep 98 - 06:09 AM (#39461)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: The Shambles

Thank you Ewan. I take your point.

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


26 Sep 98 - 07:10 AM (#39471)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: The Shambles

What ever constutive is?


26 Sep 98 - 10:12 AM (#39490)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: John M

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 ?


26 Sep 98 - 03:32 PM (#39510)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Jerry Friedman

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.


26 Sep 98 - 04:32 PM (#39515)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: BSeed

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


26 Sep 98 - 04:45 PM (#39516)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: gargoyle

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


26 Sep 98 - 04:54 PM (#39519)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: gargoyle

Stanford Copyright Analysis Mechanism


26 Sep 98 - 11:52 PM (#39570)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Chet W.

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

Chet W.


27 Sep 98 - 06:24 AM (#39606)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Ewan McV

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.


27 Sep 98 - 01:29 PM (#39638)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: gargoyle

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?


27 Sep 98 - 04:38 PM (#39657)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca

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.


27 Sep 98 - 04:45 PM (#39658)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: The Shambles

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.


27 Sep 98 - 04:48 PM (#39659)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Pete M

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


28 Sep 98 - 05:54 AM (#39699)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Ewan McV

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!


28 Sep 98 - 08:56 PM (#39790)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: dick greenhaus

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


28 Sep 98 - 11:28 PM (#39814)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: gargoyle

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.


29 Sep 98 - 05:29 PM (#39954)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca

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.:)


29 Sep 98 - 07:27 PM (#39966)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Barry Finn

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


29 Sep 98 - 10:10 PM (#39981)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Bill D

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..


29 Sep 98 - 11:43 PM (#39987)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Dan Keding

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.


30 Sep 98 - 02:45 AM (#40002)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca

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.:)


30 Sep 98 - 02:30 PM (#40042)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: The Shambles

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.


05 Oct 98 - 02:01 PM (#40378)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Bert

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.


05 Oct 98 - 11:09 PM (#40464)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: gargoyle

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.


06 Oct 98 - 09:02 AM (#40537)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Bert

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.


06 Oct 98 - 01:36 PM (#40572)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: The Shambles

Congratulations to this thread on reaching it's 100th contribution. It didn't look like making it at one point.


06 Oct 98 - 05:35 PM (#40602)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Pete M

Bert, I was interested in your previous? profession because that is where I think the views I expressed and your response come to cross purposes. I too earn my living by "intellectual ability" and yes, I certainly expect to be paid for it. What I do not expect is to be continued to be paid for a design or system if it is used again.

It seems to me artistic effort, as noted above, derives most of its monetary value as opposed to artistic merit from the artist. With singing, the greatest songwriter who ever lived was/is anon, and the fact that someone well known records a song adds nothing to it, but if people buy a CD or go to a concert, the vast majority do so for the singer regardless of the songs.

I may be wrong, I'm certainly biased, but the number of "folk" songs that are in common usage and can be traced to a current author is a minute proportion of the canon. I agree that we all want common sense to be the determining factor, but given legislation currently in place, do we really want to chance losing the legal right to perform one of Anon's works because XYZ has recorded a version of it, to safeguard income for those who write "folk", as opposed to "pop" songs which are intended to be recorded by someone else?

Pete M


06 Oct 98 - 06:13 PM (#40609)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Jerry Friedman

Nobody wants to lose the legal right to perform anonymous songs. And nobody has to, IF the performer is prepared to fight and win a legal battle.


06 Oct 98 - 10:57 PM (#40640)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: gargoyle

So Bert

What are views on USF?

As an "investment."


07 Oct 98 - 04:43 AM (#40660)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Ewan McV

One point I've made earlier is that the creators of 'folk songs'are often more easily identified that you'd think, and if you look in the right places they are sometimes clearly identified. We seem to want to take some songs into mass ownership, and instinctively suppress the creator's name. Pete M, if your design or system is copied and used by someone other than the person who paid you for your work, and that other person keeps the design fee, and may even claim to have been the designer, what is your position? Why should the maker of a song not be paid, when the designer of a soup can gets a fee every time a new can is made? When a song is sung it is in a sense remade, and often amended from the maker's intentions. The maker cannot claim all of all versions, but the man who invented the biro pen (called Biro I suspect) probably gets something every time his method is applied to a new kind of pen along the same principles. I make most of my money from other sources than songwriting. People fail to pay me for use of my songs all the time. They ignore the laws of the land on this. I don't mind because I'm used to it, and the people who do not pay are either issuing their own recordings (for which they insist on cash money, by the way) or record company sharks. But if you feel my intellectual property should be yours as well in common ownership, you won't mind if I borrow your car some time without telling you, now will you? Common wealth is common wealth.


07 Oct 98 - 02:14 PM (#40728)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: Bert

Pete M,
The company I work for makes software and they expect to be paid for every copy. That's the only way they can afford to keep in business and keep a team of developers employed on improving to product.

I agree with you that we don't want to lose the right to perform traditional works.
As for writing 'folk' songs there ARE Mudcateers who will argue that you can't, but that's a different issue. My songs have a sort of country/folk style.

Gargoyle, I hate to show my ignorance but what is USF?

Ewan McV,

Sorry to hear that people are ripping you off. Why don't you start another thread and let us know who these thieves are. I like your last sentence.

So, My songs are, by law, my property. What I am trying to establish is some way that the songwriters of Mudcat (Songwriteers?) can agree upon to allow each other reasonable use of our songs.


10 Sep 07 - 05:35 AM (#2145248)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: sian, west wales

Weird. I honestly thought I'd just posted to this thread about an hour ago but ... guess not. Won't blame the technology; more likely to be an age-related brain fart. So:

It is PURE coincidence that I'm reviving this on its 9th birthday, but I thought I should pass on something just received from an MU member:


"GRASSROOTS update

"You will see in the newsletter an article entitled "Research On The Impact Of Intellectual Property On Music" which refers to a survey being undertaken by the School of Law at Liverpool University. If you could take a few minutes to complete the on line questionnaire it would be most appreciated. Please note that the website address in the newsletter is slightly wrong and the correct address is printed below.

You can access the document at: www.survey.ljmu.ac.uk/ipmusic "

Knock yourselves out,

sian, west wales


10 Sep 07 - 05:57 AM (#2145265)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss

Hi Sian

I just tried to post that link on this thread: Blogging and more

but it's 404. I've asked MU for help

Tom


10 Sep 07 - 06:33 AM (#2145277)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: sian, west wales

Well, that is interesting. OK - here's just the plain ol' plain ol': www.survey.ljmu.ac.uk/ipmusic Maybe it didn't like the blue-clicky for some reason.

sian


10 Sep 07 - 06:37 AM (#2145279)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: GUEST,Tom

Ah yes, it was the blicky in your case. In mine in was the misprint in Grassroots - just corrected by Paul (I've slipped off the email list that I assume you did recieve).

Sould be an ell, not a one, as printed

t


10 Sep 07 - 06:45 AM (#2145288)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: PMB

The real clicky


10 Sep 07 - 06:48 AM (#2145291)
Subject: RE: Intellectual property
From: sian, west wales

bingo.

sian