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#1699351 - 06/21/11 01:21 PM Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs?
MathTeacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I transcribe pop hits a lot. The problem with piano scores from songbooks are that they are only intermediate level, lacking in greater detail like other instrumental melodies during the song, more chords are needed, and verses are usually written out as exact repeats when in fact they are somewhat different from each other. Chorus changes in intonation are not shown in these music sheets, and usually instrumental solos in the songs are entirely omitted. Sometimes certain bars are missing altogether for simplicity.

So I make these lackluster arrangements to an advanced version, usually as advanced as possible for two hands. The end results sound much better than the available scores in my opinion. Some of the songs have never been transcribed at all even. Having done so many of these, and of very popular songs from the past decades, I was wondering if I could start up a website for people who have the same complaints about the available arrangements of their favourite songs. Is it legal to put a price tag on these "embellishments" of mine, or do my scores still belong to the original publishing houses that made the first piano transcriptions?


Edited by MathTeacher (06/21/11 01:28 PM)

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Piano & Music Accessories
#1699362 - 06/21/11 01:41 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
scotpgot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/26/10
Posts: 129
I believe that unless they are "arrangement" (significantly different than the original work), which they obviously are not, they fall under the copyright protection of the original artist/owner.

So, yes - illegal (far as I know).

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#1699383 - 06/21/11 02:12 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1219
Loc: uk south
Even if they are an 'arrangement' you still have to compensate the composer. Probably you have to get permission from the composer and register your 'arrangement' as well.
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/davebeeboss

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#1699388 - 06/21/11 02:27 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: beeboss]
MathTeacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Ok. But there are several websites that sell midi files of songs. I kind of doubt that they have permission from every artist. Or perhaps they do. I don't know.

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#1699391 - 06/21/11 02:36 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21910
Loc: Oakland
There are lots of people selling heroin and methamphetamine. That does not make it legal.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1699393 - 06/21/11 02:40 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
daviel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
No, it's not legal. Buy a license.
_________________________
"She loves to limbo, that much is clear. She's got the right dynamic for the New Frontier"
http://roadhouseallstars.com/

David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#1699583 - 06/21/11 09:01 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
Scott Coletta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 514
Loc: Chicago
Here's a good source for the answer to your question and a million other legal issues in music.

http://www.amazon.com/Kohn-Music-Licensi...4378&sr=1-1


You can get the second edition used (it's just as good)for next to nothing:

http://www.amazon.com/Kohn-Music-Licensi...4158&sr=1-1

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#1699662 - 06/22/11 01:28 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
BadOrange Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 368
Loc: Banned
you would have to get a what is a called a folio licence from the publisher. The good news is that you don't have to pay for a mechanical licence. This is only if you plan to exploit it commercially. If you aren't selling it , you can do it.

But just because something is illegal does not mean you will actually get in trouble. If you are making enough money, be prepared to get served a cease and desist with perhaps a nice notice served that you are being sued.


Edited by BadOrange (06/22/11 01:30 AM)

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#1699690 - 06/22/11 03:08 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
sportsdude2060 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 133
It's most certainly illegal; however, there is a simple workaround. Simply list the available transcriptions on your website without any type purchase link and then offer to send customers the sheets of their choice in exchange for a "donation" of some sort(typically via paypal, for an amount negotiated by email).

Legitimate pianists do it all the time. For instance, http://vkgoeswild.com/

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#1699937 - 06/22/11 01:13 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17815
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
I like Vika's arrangements and have bought, er, donated for, a few myself. However, I think the proposed solution is still illegal, according to U.S. law. The violation occurs when you publish a derivative work without obtaining the right to do so from the original copyright owner. Whether you charge for that derivative work or give it away free is irrelevant.

It could be that copyright law is different, or equally likely, not enforced in Vika's home country. (Russia? I forget.)
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1700009 - 06/22/11 03:31 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: Monica K.]
MathTeacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Yes, Vika's webpage
http://vkgoeswild.com/?section=sheets

is precisely what I had in mind for my own transcriptions (and based on her sample, I think mine might be a bit more advanced than hers). Anyway, so bottom line: will she be going down anytime in the future? Don't be surprised if you see a new webpage like this sometime soon.


Edited by MathTeacher (06/22/11 03:33 PM)

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#1700108 - 06/22/11 07:13 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
daviel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
It's still illegal, IMO. There is also, IIRC, new legislation that tightens up this issue, but I'll check that out and report back. In short, I would not do it. It's not legal and it's not right - in that the artist/creator is not getting paid; to-wit:

http://youtu.be/mj5IV23g-fE

Cornell has a good site:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/usc_sup_01_17_10_5.html





Edited by daviel (06/22/11 08:00 PM)
Edit Reason: cornell
_________________________
"She loves to limbo, that much is clear. She's got the right dynamic for the New Frontier"
http://roadhouseallstars.com/

David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#1700136 - 06/22/11 08:32 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
azandj Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/10
Posts: 45
Loc: Texas, USA
I myself do not know about the legality of selling such transcriptions, but I thank you for making them. Most of the modern pop music songbooks for piano are rubbish. I am fascinated by the difference in the quality between songbooks from the 70s and earlier compared to those that are published today.
_________________________
Home piano: Yamaha P2 upright

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#1700156 - 06/22/11 09:40 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: azandj]
MathTeacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By: azandj
I myself do not know about the legality of selling such transcriptions, but I thank you for making them. Most of the modern pop music songbooks for piano are rubbish. I am fascinated by the difference in the quality between songbooks from the 70s and earlier compared to those that are published today.


Exactly. We are actually doing good service here. The piano pop songbooks are simplified purposely so as to increase their marketability to include people with limited playing skills. For those who can play well and want their songs to sound as good as possible, there's currently no such publications. We need these transcribers.

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#1700159 - 06/22/11 09:46 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: sportsdude2060]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1340
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: sportsdude2060
It's most certainly illegal; however, there is a simple workaround. Simply list the available transcriptions on your website without any type purchase link and then offer to send customers the sheets of their choice in exchange for a "donation" of some sort(typically via paypal, for an amount negotiated by email).

Legitimate pianists do it all the time. For instance, http://vkgoeswild.com/


The "workaround" is not legal. Read and understand the meaning of "copy right". It means that the owner has the exclusive right to make copies --or control through whatever arrangement they want the making of copies. The law does not have anything directly to do with payment -- although a compensation is normally a part of a licensing arrangement. But that's up to the copyright holder. If they want to license for free, they can, but somebody else can't just presume upon their generosity.

It's the same as someone bringing copy Fender or Gibson guitars into the US. It doesn't matter if they would be given away for free (how would you like that if you were Gibson? Would you feel better that what you owned (the design) was being given away for free instead of people making money on it? It still wrecks your market.
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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#1700166 - 06/22/11 09:55 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: kpembrook]
Lefty Chev Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/19/11
Posts: 377
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: kpembrook

The "workaround" is not legal. Read and understand the meaning of "copy right". It means that the owner has the exclusive right to make copies --or control through whatever arrangement they want the making of copies. The law does not have anything directly to do with payment -- although a compensation is normally a part of a licensing arrangement. But that's up to the copyright holder. If they want to license for free, they can, but somebody else can't just presume upon their generosity.

It's the same as someone bringing copy Fender or Gibson guitars into the US. It doesn't matter if they would be given away for free (how would you like that if you were Gibson? Would you feel better that what you owned (the design) was being given away for free instead of people making money on it? It still wrecks your market.


With the disclaimer that I'm not a lawyer, I don't believe just copying something violates copyright law. There needs to be damages as well. As far as I understand it, you can transcribe music for your own personal use, but distributing it is a different story. I can also build a guitar for myself that looks just like a Les Paul, but I can't sell it with "trademark" headstock, exact body shape or logo.

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#1700206 - 06/22/11 11:32 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: kpembrook]
sportsdude2060 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 133
Originally Posted By: kpembrook
Originally Posted By: sportsdude2060
It's most certainly illegal; however, there is a simple workaround. Simply list the available transcriptions on your website without any type purchase link and then offer to send customers the sheets of their choice in exchange for a "donation" of some sort(typically via paypal, for an amount negotiated by email).

Legitimate pianists do it all the time. For instance, http://vkgoeswild.com/


The "workaround" is not legal. Read and understand the meaning of "copy right". It means that the owner has the exclusive right to make copies --or control through whatever arrangement they want the making of copies. The law does not have anything directly to do with payment -- although a compensation is normally a part of a licensing arrangement. But that's up to the copyright holder. If they want to license for free, they can, but somebody else can't just presume upon their generosity.

It's the same as someone bringing copy Fender or Gibson guitars into the US. It doesn't matter if they would be given away for free (how would you like that if you were Gibson? Would you feel better that what you owned (the design) was being given away for free instead of people making money on it? It still wrecks your market.


I didn't claim it was, and it doesn't have to be. The "workaround" is designed not to soothe your conscience but rather to help you not get caught, and case studies show it's highly effective (note the fact that "legitimate" (i.e. perform in the public light), well-known pianists do it often without consequence). Perhaps I should have emphasized that in my post, but please don't lecture me on copyrights.


Edited by sportsdude2060 (06/22/11 11:35 PM)

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#1700207 - 06/22/11 11:34 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3187
Whatever happened to morality? Opps...forgot...its obsolete now! Today, its "get away with whatever you can" until they come after you. Nice.

Nice that is until an intellectual property that you have created (read: music) is ripped off by some creep transcribing/recording/whatever without your permission.

When that happens to you, then you will change your sorry-xxx tune and scream bloody murder.

Here's a radical thought....try and do the right thing, and actually compensate the artist for their work.


_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1700221 - 06/22/11 11:46 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: rocket88]
sportsdude2060 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 133
Originally Posted By: rocket88
Whatever happened to morality? Opps...forgot...its obsolete now! Its get away with whatever you can. Nice.


Haha, now you're catching on. wink

Originally Posted By: rocket88

Obsolete that is until an intellectual property (read: music) that you have created is ripped off by some creep transcribing/recording/whatever without your permission.

When that happens to you, then you will change your tune.


I don't know... If I'm were to make millions of dollars recording tracks with auto-tune and then lip syncing a few concerts, I really wouldn't be worried about the a few hundred dollars made by some random guy transcribing my music. Shoot, if I were to make millions of dollars as part of a band with real talent, I still wouldn't mind. But if I were just starting out, I can see how that might be troubling.

Then again, research indicates that the spread of pirating has actually led to direct increases in artist revenue, due to the greater exposure it provides.

Originally Posted By: rocket88

Just try and do the right thing...compensate the artist for their work.


Yeah, it is the right thing to do, but it's too much work.

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#1700227 - 06/22/11 11:51 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3187
And down the tubes we go with that style of thinking.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1700234 - 06/22/11 11:59 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: rocket88]
azandj Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/10
Posts: 45
Loc: Texas, USA
I think if I was a pop singer who actually CARED about the music, I would appreciate someone promoting my music in a beautiful way. True, that does not make it any more legal, but it's just a thought.
_________________________
Home piano: Yamaha P2 upright

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#1700235 - 06/23/11 12:00 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
daviel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
Apparently not many of the forumites here write their own original music. What is the objection to the artist getting paid? I can't understand the willingness to steal from other artists.
_________________________
"She loves to limbo, that much is clear. She's got the right dynamic for the New Frontier"
http://roadhouseallstars.com/

David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#1700236 - 06/23/11 12:02 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: rocket88]
MathTeacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I couldn't get hold of all the original artists even if I tried.

How about this. Somewhere in my website, I will state that the original artists may contact me to collect their royalties.

Musicnotes has done this to save their butt:
http://www.musicnotes.com/publishers/unknown.asp
Mind you, they REALLY hid their link to this page though (go ahead and try to find their link starting at their homepage). But that's just the publishers not getting paid by musicnotes. And the original artists?


Edited by MathTeacher (06/23/11 12:10 AM)

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#1700274 - 06/23/11 01:40 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5658
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
You could take your transcriptions to a publisher, who would get the permissions for you, if they thought it was worthwhile to publish your transcriptions.

You don't necessarily have to contact each and every artist - there are agencies that handle permissions.

It doesn't appear to me that you really wanted to know if it was illegal or not - you're pretty determined to do it whether or no. Maybe you just wanted to know how likely it was that you got caught, or what the consequences might be if you got caught? I dunno - I'm just not sure why you asked at all.

I think I heard somewhere tho that a measure of a person's character was what they do when no one's looking - or if they don't get caught.

Just sayin' smile

Cathy
_________________________

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#1700322 - 06/23/11 04:33 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4981
Loc: boston north
I would like to see more advanced transcriptions available. There are some collections out there so getting them published would be the way to go.

Jotur has the right idea.

And I just bet that a publisher would be interested!
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1700494 - 06/23/11 11:38 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
daviel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
Regarding the idea of a link on MT's webpage inviting the artists to send him a bill:

Oh, that's the ticket! put the burden on the artist. Why don't you just obey the law? There are companies that handle licensing. One of my bandmates is getting licenses for a CD we are mixing. It's not rocket science. Just do the right thing instead of ripping off the artists.

Are you really teaching math to students? Do your students smoke pot in class?
_________________________
"She loves to limbo, that much is clear. She's got the right dynamic for the New Frontier"
http://roadhouseallstars.com/

David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#1700524 - 06/23/11 12:31 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17815
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
I agree with Cathy. Before deciding that getting the appropriate permission is impossible, why not try? I'm very curious as to how much the license would cost per song. It might be a very reasonable token fee, and it could be as easy as contacting just a couple of organizations that represent a lot of different artists. I don't know. But if you took the effort to make the inquiries, you might be able to rationalize better to yourself that getting the legal ducks in a row was just too insurmountable. wink
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1700669 - 06/23/11 04:22 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: lilylady]
MathTeacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By: lilylady
I would like to see more advanced transcriptions available. There are some collections out there so getting them published would be the way to go.

Jotur has the right idea.

And I just bet that a publisher would be interested!


I'm not sure about that. Advanced transcriptions of pop songs would be a niche market I think. Only a minority of people would play them without frustration. I don't think there would be much profit for the publishers. Otherwise, Hal Leonard would have published such transcriptions long ago.

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#1700854 - 06/23/11 09:54 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: Monica K.]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1340
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Monica K.
why not try? I'm very curious as to how much the license would cost per song. It might be a very reasonable token fee,


It might be easy, indeed. My wife, who is a violinist, has done some transcriptions of both pop and classical stuff into arrangements for string trio. (Beatles, folk) When the trio (Three Belles With Bows) did a CD, they had no trouble getting permissions and the cost was very reasonable. There was only one artist's agent that didn't reply quickly.
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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#1700901 - 06/23/11 11:21 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
BadOrange Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 368
Loc: Banned
to the person that asked how much ? about 10 -12% of retail but considering you are on the internet and you probably won't be selling many ,i really doubt they would even respond. The phone call itself probably costs more than their potential income.

Contact the publisher. If they don't offer some sort of arrangement, just go ahead and do it yourself. The worse case scenario in your situation is a cease and desist order.

Ideally, you would need a publisher on your behalf to arrange this. Perhaps approach a publisher first and go that route.

either way , you won't be making any money.

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#1706312 - 07/02/11 05:36 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
RayE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/10
Posts: 163
Loc: Rochester, NY, USA
If you are doing arrangements and distributing them whether for profit, donation, or for free to do so legally requires the copyright holder of the song give you permission (this usually involves the paying of a per copy royalty fee). Yes there are a lot of people distributing this type of material without permission but that doesn't make it legal. If you are giving away arrangements of a composers song, then people are less likely to buy the authorized publishers versions, which means you are cheating the composer out of royalties for his work. This could get you sued by the publisher in question. It has happened and the amount of damages can be substantial. I've recently read about several churches being fined for copyright infringement for having illegal copies of music in their libraries. If a church can be fined, so can you as an individual for a similar offense. You can arrange songs for your own use and performance (the composer is compensated here in the US by ASCAP and BMI when you legally perform the song in a licensed venue). Where you get into trouble is when you distribute copies of copyrighted material and the fines are normally based on the number of copies. Do people do it and get away with it yes, is it legal or ethical, the answer to that is no. You have to decide for yourself is it worth the risk to do it illegally, or should you be above board and seek out an agreement with the copyright holder so that composers and others who depend on these royalties for their livelyhood get their fair compensation.


Edited by RayE (07/02/11 05:44 PM)
_________________________
Retired Army reserve Bandsman who now plays for the Joy of Music!!

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#1706322 - 07/02/11 06:07 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
I came across this on youtube

http://www.youtube.com/all_comments?v=OEIAC1UqwTc

"Everyone here is wrong. The song is in 6/4 and the bridge is in 3/4. Trust me. I transcribed it and posted my chart on Youtube. Shortly thereafter, I was contacted by Gretchen's manager Karen Kennedy, Gretchen, and Robert Glasper (arranger) and they threatened to sue me. I was told that chart was accurate... too accurate to post. It scared them."

bigbandman70 2 weeks ago

Mathteacher,

The problem is that since you've announced to the forum what you are planning to do, which makes it very easy for anyone here to report you to the original composer ...Not very bright.

Like others have said, work with a publisher and do it legally. If you do a good job, you'll get more steady work, and you'll be able to do it for the long term... it may lead to more interesting stuff. If you get caught selling music illegally, you will get really bad reputation from the community, and it will be much harder to make anything out of of your musical ability at that point.


Edited by etcetra (07/02/11 06:34 PM)

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#1707168 - 07/04/11 11:52 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
blueston Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/09
Posts: 273
Loc: MA, USA
Just curious. Has anyone here tried offering a transcription you've done to an online sheet music store like MusicNotes.com and see if they would pay you for it?

This would be ideal where you could get a one-time payment for your transcription work and the retailer takes care of the rest, actual sales, licensing etc.

I'm guessing this is not likely, or common. They would probably rather just do the transcription work themselves. But it would be cool if you could do this. I have some pieces ready to go!

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#1707316 - 07/04/11 04:05 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: MathTeacher
Is it legal to put a price tag on these "embellishments" of mine, or do my scores still belong to the original publishing houses that made the first piano transcriptions?


Under UK law, you'd be making derivative works. You'd own the copyright in the derivation, but you'd be infringing the rights of any number of other people in the process. I'm pretty sure the US situation is similar.

Ethically, I think what you're suggesting really has to be considered rather questionable. Composers have to eat, too.

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#1707329 - 07/04/11 04:26 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: rocket88]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Originally Posted By: rocket88
Whatever happened to morality? Opps...forgot...its obsolete now! Today, its "get away with whatever you can" ...
Sadly, this is true of the publishers AND the copy-makers. Copyright is meant to benefit the public by persuading artists and publishers to produce more, not (as it is currently misused) to benefit the publishers in spite of both the artists and the public.

I am in favour of much stronger copyright laws, with big teeth and massive penalties, that last (for a pop song) six months or a year - after which the song would permanently enter the public domain.
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#1707631 - 07/05/11 06:00 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: Monica K.]
appleman Offline
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Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 188
Originally Posted By: Monica K.
I agree with Cathy. Before deciding that getting the appropriate permission is impossible, why not try? I'm very curious as to how much the license would cost per song. It might be a very reasonable token fee, and it could be as easy as contacting just a couple of organizations that represent a lot of different artists.
No.

Making a CD is easy as pie. A lot of people have fought pretty hard so us artists have an easy time doing a cover. Making a music video, again, it's not as easy, but the MTV generation has done the heavy lifting for us.

Making sheet music, well, it's been the standard for a long time to either do a huge run or do a small pirate run. Most people who did a small run just gave up on trying to get the rights, because it was too hard to catch nameless pirates, unlike a band doing a cover or a video, which needs to advertise their name.

The downside to this, is that it's not automated. To make sheet music, you have to negotiate with the artist or the artist's representatives. To make matters worse, Hal-Leonard owns blanket rights over pretty much everything, so they get first dibs on any popular music. (A parallel to this is that Madden is the only video game that is legally allowed to use the NFL's team names)

Getting a CD is pretty automated, so there is no cost to the songwriter to grant a license and small runs are profitable to everyone. Since sheet music is not automated, it means lawyers have to get involved to draw up a contract, which makes it cost prohibited to do a small run, if a small run is even possible due to other contractual obligations.

Since there's big players that want to squeeze out the little self-publishers, I don't see this changing anytime soon.
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#1707642 - 07/05/11 07:08 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: david_a]
kevinb Offline
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Originally Posted By: david_a

I am in favour of much stronger copyright laws, with big teeth and massive penalties, that last (for a pop song) six months or a year - after which the song would permanently enter the public domain.


A good case can be made that copyright periods are currently too long, but six months? I suspect the only musicians who could prosper in such a regime are those who target the most fickle end of the ipod market. If all the money you were ever going to make from producing music had to be made in six months, surely you'd just end with nothing but poor-quality, mass-produced rubbish?

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#1707673 - 07/05/11 09:23 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
daviel Offline
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I bet we do not have many song copyright owners in this thread. IIRC the copyright terms were lengthened not too long ago. Again, the policy is the artist gets paid. A user of the music pays a royalty. What's wrong with that? If a transcription, CD, arrangement etc is not worth investing in the material to follow the copyright laws, then it is probably not worth publishing in the first place, no matter how good or important the transcriber or cover musician thinks it is. If OP - and this is not meant as an ad hominem - does not want to lay out the production costs, he probably, deep down, does not have much of an opinion of the material either.
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#1707832 - 07/05/11 02:41 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: daviel]
MathTeacher Offline
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Ok, then I guess there is eternally no solution to meet the demand of getting (affordably) advanced transcriptions of popular songs. It is illegal for the transcribers to sell them on their own, and publishers will not invest in them because all the average players (perhaps 90% of the market) won't want to buy them.

I guess I'll just have to do what I've been doing for years. Transcribe properly all the songs I like myself. And everyone else disappointed by the music sheets out there will have to do the same (and if you cannot transcribe, or don't have the time to, your out of luck).


Edited by MathTeacher (07/05/11 02:45 PM)

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#1707850 - 07/05/11 03:15 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: appleman]
Monica K. Offline

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Originally Posted By: appleman
To make sheet music, you have to negotiate with the artist or the artist's representatives. To make matters worse, Hal-Leonard owns blanket rights over pretty much everything, so they get first dibs on any popular music.


Very interesting, appleman, and I appreciate your description of how the sheet music publishing industry works. It does sound much more complicated than simply recording a cover of a piece on one's CD.

Your comment above got me curious, though. If Hal Leonard owns the rights to so much, could it be feasible simply to approach them with advanced transcriptions and see if they'll buy them? (Or, as MathTeacher notes above, that's not feasible because they have no interest in publishing very advanced arrangements.)
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#1708269 - 07/06/11 05:13 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: daviel]
appleman Offline
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Posts: 188
Originally Posted By: daviel
I bet we do not have many song copyright owners in this thread. IIRC the copyright terms were lengthened not too long ago. Again, the policy is the artist gets paid. A user of the music pays a royalty. What's wrong with that?
At some point, it does become a problem.

Think of all the great music by Liszt that would have never gotten made if he was forced to get the rights to Mozart's and Beethoven's pieces he altered. When cultural staples are owned by a few and not everyone, does the culture stagnate?

At the end though, this is one highlight of the failure of our current copyright system. Obviously, there are people who want high quality arrangements and people willing to make and sell them, but the current copyright model makes it cost prohibited to do so. The only way to change that is to agitate for change.
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#1708277 - 07/06/11 06:14 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
kevinb Offline
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Originally Posted By: MathTeacher
Ok, then I guess there is eternally no solution to meet the demand of getting (affordably) advanced transcriptions of popular songs. It is illegal for the transcribers to sell them on their own, and publishers will not invest in them because all the average players (perhaps 90% of the market) won't want to buy them.

I guess I'll just have to do what I've been doing for years. Transcribe properly all the songs I like myself. And everyone else disappointed by the music sheets out there will have to do the same (and if you cannot transcribe, or don't have the time to, your out of luck).


Frustrating as the situation is, the fact that the law is as it is not the fault of anybody on this forum. At least, I assume it isn't.

Maybe there is a market for what you produce, although as others have noted you might do better to approach a publisher with experience of the copyright situation, rather than trying to go it alone. It's worth bearing in mind that even the ubiquitious Hal Leonard was unable to negotiate the rights to publish legally everything in the bootleg Real Book -- which shows how difficult this job is.

But in the UK, at least, there are publishers producing transcriptions of pop songs, etc., and sometimes quite sophisticated ones. It's the small-scale activities that are not well-supported by the current law.

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#1708280 - 07/06/11 06:21 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: appleman]
kevinb Offline
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Originally Posted By: appleman

Think of all the great music by Liszt that would have never gotten made if he was forced to get the rights to Mozart's and Beethoven's pieces he altered. When cultural staples are owned by a few and not everyone, does the culture stagnate?


Indeed. But the problem is technology, as it so often is. In the days before recorded music, musicians could still make a living if other people appropriated bits of their work.

We do need IP law that fits the technology that we have, rather than a return to the days of Bach. Unfortunately, what we have seems to be based in the mid-19th century publishing model.

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#1708457 - 07/06/11 01:24 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
MathTeacher Offline
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Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
NEW IDEA

Ok, how about this. All people like me who want better piano transcriptions of their favourite songs and have been painstakingly doing their own arrangements can form a group and trade with each other. No money involved, so the original artists cannot complain.

After all the trading, there will likely still be many songs that members of the group want. So we make requests. If there is a request, then he has to make a good transcription of a song that a willing arranger wants. And so forth. This way, we can eventually get nice arrangements of all our favourite songs.

Any opinions? Anyone interested in joining such a group (remember, you must be a good transcriber yourself though)? Remember: no matter how good a transcriber you are, you probably won't be able to produce excellent arrangements of all your favourite songs since that is too time-consuming. You will need help from others.

Just a heads up: I've been transcribing songs from the 80's mostly, some from the 70's, though the song I'm arranging right now is from just 2 years ago. Also, my arrangements are always in 3 layers (sometimes 4): layer 1 is the melody, layer 2 are the chords attached to the melody, and layer 3 are instrumental melodies that are usually simultaneous with the singing (always neglected by those darn music sheets), and sometimes layer 4 for another instrumental melody (different instrument). Often the bass staff has multiple layers too, so you better have good hands. I never make verses mere repeats of each other, always add instrumental solos when there is one (again, neglected by those music sheets), and so on...


Edited by MathTeacher (07/06/11 02:53 PM)

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#1708489 - 07/06/11 02:29 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
Stephen Hazel Offline
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google groups is a pretty good way to set up a list that people can join...
https://groups.google.com/forum/
Click new group and so forth and so on. (You know the drill)

Another suggestion would be to keep guys like me in mind.

By that I mean people who WANT to learn how to make detailed advanced arrangements but aren't yet any good at it...
I mean, I guess you have to develop a knack for hearing the exact chord inversion and melody finesse-ing for piano and probably other instruments like drums, bass, etc, too.

This is a skill I PLAN to get good at.
So eventually, I'd LOVE to join a group like that.

Anyways, that's my 2c.

I =wish= to respect copyright.
But the other side of the coin is... I wish to PLAY and COMPOSE better.
If you write down a good song and provide me a way to pay for it, I will.
_________________________
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http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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#1708514 - 07/06/11 03:13 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: Stephen Hazel]
MathTeacher Offline
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Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
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Originally Posted By: Stephen Hazel
google groups is a pretty good way to set up a list that people can join...
https://groups.google.com/forum/
Click new group and so forth and so on. (You know the drill)

Another suggestion would be to keep guys like me in mind.

By that I mean people who WANT to learn how to make detailed advanced arrangements but aren't yet any good at it...
I mean, I guess you have to develop a knack for hearing the exact chord inversion and melody finesse-ing for piano and probably other instruments like drums, bass, etc, too.

This is a skill I PLAN to get good at.
So eventually, I'd LOVE to join a group like that.

Anyways, that's my 2c.

I =wish= to respect copyright.
But the other side of the coin is... I wish to PLAY and COMPOSE better.
If you write down a good song and provide me a way to pay for it, I will.


Yeah, why not? If you want to join such a group, it would be of great benefit to you since you can see everybody's lists. Like a huge store of advanced music sheets, and then you can work out a "way" to get the ones you want. But by law, we won't be able to accept money.

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#1708539 - 07/06/11 03:51 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
MathTeacher Offline
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Posts: 256
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Come to think of it, the group can be in the form of a forum, where there is a section for trading transcriptions and a section for those who wish to learn how to transcribe. As far as I know, there is currently no forum on piano transcriptions. Such a money-free forum should be perfectly legal and ethical.


Edited by MathTeacher (07/06/11 03:51 PM)

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#1708592 - 07/06/11 05:19 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
Stephen Hazel Offline
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Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 734
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
uservoice.com might be a good possibility too.
https://app.uservoice.com/account/new/free

It's not quite a forum, but users can post.
Then, vote on the posts.
It's free and THEY take care of backing up messages and
keeping spammers/hackers out.

Main tricky part is coming ACROSS people like yourself and
TELLING em of such a place.
(And not look like you're spammin pianoworld)

I can gladly host any docs on transcription.
I already have "piano 101" and "practicing basics" doc sets.
http://pianocheater.com/docs/piano
http://pianocheater.com/docs/practice

I think this is something sorely needed by pop piano learners.
I remember when I first started.
Wow! Look at all the pop sheet music I can get!
Order, order, buy, buy, order.
I start playing and then...

ummm...

I can't play =THIS= drivel to my friends!
I can barely stand the songs myself, and I'm a piano player!

Now there are SOME that are good.
Classic Rock Note For Note (35 songs) - Hal Leonard, and the like.
But there aren't MANY of the like...

Usually it's stuff like
Journey Greatest Hits - Alfred Publishing
The songs are ok, better than starting from scratch.
But they could use some serious improvement smirk

Well, anyways, I'd be glad to help any way I can.
But, I'm also not totally sure that just being "money free"
will avoid all copyright restrictions smirk
(Personally, I think learning piano takes precedence over copyright.
But, just cuz I think it doesn't mean nothin when it comes sue-in' time)

Also, here's another thread along the same lines as this one:
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1435261/1.html
_________________________
...Steve
http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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#1708622 - 07/06/11 06:07 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: Stephen Hazel]
MathTeacher Offline
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Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
So Stephen and I are looking into co-administering a Piano Transcriptions forum, where attachments like pdf, midi, musicXML, etc... files are enabled. If you would like to join, let one of us know. Without members, it won't materialize. With enough members, one can multiply his library of advanced transcriptions by a large number, all for free.


Edited by MathTeacher (07/06/11 06:11 PM)

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#1708659 - 07/06/11 07:24 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
Stephen Hazel Offline
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Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 734
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
I've PM'd our fearless leader about it.
(Mr. Pianoworld himself, Frank B.)

I kinda suspect he won't want to fight copyright problems, of course.

There are also forums ON pianoworld that sound suspiciously like
what we're after.
(Composer's Lounge, Member Recordings, Pianist Corner - Non Classical)
And PianoWorld allows at least links to youtube, etc.
Has the private message route.

In the end though, I think you just want specifically pop arrangers
who arrange WELL and are willing to trade for free.
It's not a technology problem, it's just a "find a guy" problem frown
I'm not sure there's a better route than email.
_________________________
...Steve
http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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#1708662 - 07/06/11 07:35 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: kevinb]
david_a Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Originally Posted By: kevinb
surely you'd just end with nothing but poor-quality, mass-produced rubbish?
smile And that is different in what way from the current pop situation? frown bah
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#1708688 - 07/06/11 08:37 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
Stephen Hazel Offline
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Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 734
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
Well, here's a forum not assoc'd with pianoworld that I just threw together.
Remember, MathTeacher is the main transcriber guy smile
I'm just a computer nerd is all.

http://poptranscription.freeforums.org/

But, unfortunately, the only attachments it'll allow is pictures which it puts inline with the message so you can't download easily.
Actual trades would still need to be done via email.
I'll keep lookin' around...
_________________________
...Steve
http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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#1708699 - 07/06/11 08:50 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: Stephen Hazel]
MathTeacher Offline
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Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By: Stephen Hazel
Well, here's a forum not assoc'd with pianoworld that I just threw together.
Remember, MathTeacher is the main transcriber guy smile
I'm just a computer nerd is all.

http://poptranscription.freeforums.org/

But, unfortunately, the only attachments it'll allow is pictures which it puts inline with the message so you can't download easily.
Actual trades would still need to be done via email.
I'll keep lookin' around...


Good job, Stephen. You can talk about your piano program there as well.
I'll be the first to join, and I'll put up a free transcription of a one-hit wonder song to encourage others to join (and also to give a sense of what I mean by advanced transcription).

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#1708868 - 07/07/11 03:23 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
kevinb Offline
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Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Folks: what you're proposing here is almost certainly unlawful. It would certainly be unlawful in the UK, and I strongly suspect it's unlawful in the USA.

I doubt anybody's going to find the copyright police smashing their doors down with rifle butts, but even so...

If you can't be good, be careful smile

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#1708954 - 07/07/11 09:21 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: kevinb]
MathTeacher Offline
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Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I don't see what the problem is. If you wrote a song, why would you complain if a group of pianists are liking your song and embellishing it with their own skills without profit, for sheer self-enjoyment? It means that you have succeeded in making people enjoy your music.

Oh, and the songs I've transcribed I did buy, since I liked them to begin with, and one usually needs to slow down the music with a special program to get all the notes and rhthym correct.


Edited by MathTeacher (07/07/11 11:55 AM)

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#1709021 - 07/07/11 11:50 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
Stephen Hazel Offline
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Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 734
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
Heya Andy - I got a user registered for ya now.

So hopefully the problem with registering new users is fixed (at least for now).
user=MathTeacher password=(same as mine that i already told ya)

But we'll still need to use email attachments or an "uploading site"
http://box.net/ is ok for that.

Also, we'll see what Frank thinks about this tom foolery smile
_________________________
...Steve
http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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#1709030 - 07/07/11 12:03 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: Stephen Hazel]
MathTeacher Offline
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Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Great! Now we can start sharing. To get more members involved, I will for now post a new transcription of mine free of charge for every 5 new members that join. One song is already there. Hopefully, Stephen can manage the forum so that only members can download. Again, here is our new forum:

http://poptranscription.freeforums.org/

We can also discuss transcriptions in general. I don't think there is any forum out there for people who want to discuss transcribing techniques. So, transcribers are most welcomed, even if you don't want to give away any of your work (but hopefully you will want to share).


Edited by MathTeacher (07/07/11 12:06 PM)

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#1709062 - 07/07/11 12:48 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
Stephen Hazel Offline
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Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 734
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
Originally Posted By: MathTeacher
Hopefully, Stephen can manage the forum so that only members can download.


Well, currently, only members can even SEE the forum.
But there's nothin preventing anyone from joining.
I can add a "review this user before he's allowed in" thingy.
But how can ya tell who's a transcriber and who ain't?
Require an initial song to join the forum?
Who's to say they didn't just find it on the web...
That could get messy frown

Is teaching pop transcription going to be a real emphasis?
If so, you'll want to allow "not-yet-transcribers" in.
If you're just trading "done songs", you'll get join and
drop folks. And not NEARLY the amount of people you'll
find on pianoworld itself, of course.

As far as explaining pop transcribing techniques, that
might be better done on pianoworld with a MUCH huger audience.
There's the Composers Lounge forum here...
Maybe make a SINGLE "Pop Transcription" thread that everyone keeps adding to (similar to the "adult beginners ONE" thread and "digitial piano prices paid" thread, etc).

Members can just tack on messages of their list of songs.
Then PM/email each other to trade amongst proven transcribers.

As I say, these are just ideas.
What =I'm= after is some "how to go about pop transcription" docs. Cuz it looks like that's the ONLY way I'll get to play DECENT pop song renditions. I don't want to JUST play. I want to compose, too.
_________________________
...Steve
http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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#1709071 - 07/07/11 12:59 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: Stephen Hazel]
MathTeacher Offline
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Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Anyone can join, whether you are a transcriber or not. I don't think there will be too many freeloaders that will just disappear once they got what they want. New songs are being transcribed by people all the time. I transcribe a new song about every 3 days. I'm starting a new one today. Hmmm ... which one should I do?

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#1709292 - 07/07/11 06:57 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
jasperkeys Offline
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Registered: 02/22/05
Posts: 411
Loc: Safford, AZ
Well, count me in! To be upfront about this; I currently only have about three or four pieces I could contribute if you don't mind. This kind of site would certainly be interesting. Thanks.
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#1709338 - 07/07/11 08:23 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: jasperkeys]
MathTeacher Offline
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Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By: jasperkeys
Well, count me in! To be upfront about this; I currently only have about three or four pieces I could contribute if you don't mind. This kind of site would certainly be interesting. Thanks.


Cool! You put one up, and I'll put my second one in. Unfortunately we cannot attach music files or even pdfs in this cheap forum (seeing that "free" is the main theme now), so what I did was use a (free) third party service www.sendspace.com as a place to upload and put the link in the forum. Perhaps our creator Stephen can think of a better way.

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#1709349 - 07/07/11 08:36 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
Stephen Hazel Offline
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Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 734
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
mmmm, I bugged the freeforums.org people about being able to attach
teeny midi files, but no word back yet...

So there's that http://sendspace.com or http://box.net/ ...
_________________________
...Steve
http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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#1709434 - 07/08/11 12:09 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
jasperkeys Offline
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Registered: 02/22/05
Posts: 411
Loc: Safford, AZ
Quote:
Cool! You put one up, and I'll put my second one in.


Thank you so much for the kind welcome. Please forgive me but I won't be able to do this until next week when I can get back to my computer with the files. I hope my examples won't be considered too rudimentary but I'm really interested in reviewing the work of some really gifted ears that have been applied to perhaps familiar music.

Along this line: I was just thinking that it would really be nice for users to provide an mp3 file of the music that was transcribed or at least to hear where the music was originally derived from. I like reading along with the sheet music as I'm hearing the audio file even if the music would be too difficult for me to ever play.
_________________________
"I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them." Andy Bernard

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#1709474 - 07/08/11 03:07 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
kevinb Offline
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Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: MathTeacher
I don't see what the problem is. If you wrote a song, why would you complain if a group of pianists are liking your song and embellishing it with their own skills without profit, for sheer self-enjoyment? It means that you have succeeded in making people enjoy your music.


It also means that I, as the composer, am potentially denied the opportunity to market a transcription myself, or have someone do it on my behalf, as part of my business.

At least, that's how the law views it.

The ethics of the situation are complicated, and can be argued either way. I'm not going to make moral pronouncements -- if there is such a thing as a moral high ground, I doubt it's anywhere near where I'm sitting.

When I said 'If you can't be good, be careful', perhaps what I should have said is 'Be aware that you're openly discussing an unlawful joint enterprise on a public forum'.

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#1709576 - 07/08/11 09:55 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: kevinb]
MathTeacher Offline
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Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By: kevinb
It also means that I, as the composer, am potentially denied the opportunity to market a transcription myself, or have someone do it on my behalf, as part of my business.



What ever miniscule loss in revenue to the composer due to people trading transcriptions, if any at all, is nothing compared to the huge loss of profit the composer already experiences from the mass of people exchanging mp3s and the existence of videos of the songs on youtube. And remember, there are already free music sheets of the songs out there like sheetmusictrade, sheetzbox, etc... There people are gettting the music sheets (though rudimentary level) by the handful.

Anyway, as we are on a new page now, here is the link to the forum again, for people wanting to trade advanced transcriptions of radio hits:

http://poptranscription.freeforums.org/

Thanks to StephenHazel for creating it. My second song will be uploaded soon.


Edited by MathTeacher (07/08/11 10:08 AM)

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#1709634 - 07/08/11 11:49 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
Lefty Chev Offline
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Registered: 04/19/11
Posts: 377
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: MathTeacher
I don't see what the problem is. If you wrote a song, why would you complain if a group of pianists are liking your song and embellishing it with their own skills without profit, for sheer self-enjoyment? It means that you have succeeded in making people enjoy your music.


Because you don't own the right to distribute the score. It's not yours to give away. All the rationalization about what you or someone else would do really doesn't matter. Do you have a legal right to give someone else the sheet music to a song that someone else owns the rights too?

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#1709727 - 07/08/11 02:08 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: Lefty Chev]
MathTeacher Offline
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Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By: Lefty Chev
Because you don't own the right to distribute the score. It's not yours to give away. All the rationalization about what you or someone else would do really doesn't matter. Do you have a legal right to give someone else the sheet music to a song that someone else owns the rights too?


If advanced arrangements of songs don't exist, and transcribers cannot sell them or even give them away for free, then how can people get advanced transcriptions of the songs they like? I will be 80 years old before I can transcribe every song I like. And a lot of people cannot transcribe or can't make the time to.

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#1709758 - 07/08/11 02:42 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
sportsdude2060 Offline
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Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 133
If the transcribers feel the need to operate legally, they simply obtain licenses before distribution.

At this point, you're only arguing the ethics of an already established regulation. Whether or not you agree with the law in no way changes the fact that ignoring it is illegal.

You'd be just as fine selling your transcriptions as you had originally intended.


Edited by sportsdude2060 (07/08/11 02:43 PM)

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#1710139 - 07/09/11 11:12 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
LindaR Offline
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Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 160
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This topic makes me wonder which I always have about Wedding Singers or Garage Bands that do covers. How about the band or singer at the local Holiday Inn or the local fair or restaurant or nursing home or the busqer(sp?) who earns income from the latest pop and rock and etc songs or playing any music copyrighted over the last 50 or so years?

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#1710148 - 07/09/11 11:34 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
rocket88 Offline
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In the USA, if a venue such as a restaurant or bar is hosting music, the venue has to buy a yearly license from an outfit like ASCAP, which allows the bands/performers to play any music that might be copyrighted.

Buskers and nursing homes and Wedding performers are not on the radar screen as far as I know.
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#1710165 - 07/09/11 12:06 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
Stephen Hazel Offline
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So there are daily reports of which exact songs were played in every restaurant and bar across the USA so ASCAP can pay the right author?

I wonder how that works...
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http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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#1710173 - 07/09/11 12:14 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: Stephen Hazel]
rocket88 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Stephen Hazel
So there are daily reports of which exact songs were played in every restaurant and bar across the USA so ASCAP can pay the right author?

I wonder how that works...



Good question . . . this is all I could find, which does not directly answer your question, unfortuntely:

Quote:
ASCAP collects licensing fees from users of music created by ASCAP members, then distributes them back to its members as royalties. In effect, the arrangement is the product of a compromise: when a song is played, the user does not have to pay the copyright holder directly, nor does the music creator have to bill a radio station for use of a song.
In 2008, ASCAP collected over US$933 million in licensing fees and distributed $817 million in royalties to its members, with an 11.3 percent operating expense ratio.[1] In the United States, ASCAP competes with two other PROs — Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) and the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC).


From Wikipedia
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#1710182 - 07/09/11 12:40 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: rocket88]
MathTeacher Offline
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The school I teach at plays a radio hit every morning over the PA system before class, and it does it without paying the artists. How could I work at such a corrupt place?

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#1710199 - 07/09/11 01:03 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
jotur Online   blank
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Radio stations, I believe, do turn in their playlists.

A nonprofit that rents its space to folk dancers here in NM was "caught" by, I believe, BMI and they now pay fees. The folkdancers use cds they personally own, but since the dances are open to the public legally the fees are owed. The playlists aren't turned in. I don't know how the fee company splits those royalties, since they're pretty obscure. Perhaps there's a category of obscure music that gets distributed by pro-rating of some kind.

I have no idea whether the various kinds of senior venues I play at should have a license - is the locked Alzheimer's unit a private residence or a public place? I don't know how the law is written. I don't know whether they, or the national corporation that owns them in some cases, have a license. But I can certainly envision a couple of them legally needing one. And again, it hasn't got to do with whether the performer is paid or not.

And I'd guess that your school, or school district, legally should have one. But I don't know all the ins and outs of the law. C'est la vie smile

Is it a nuisance? Why, yes it is. Does it cover fairly innocent uses of music? Why, yes it does. But many laws do the same. It's simply not possible to legislate for every individual situation, so in some ways laws will be overly broad. C'est la vie.

Didn't the Girl Scouts win? I'll have to look that up.

Cathy
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#1710201 - 07/09/11 01:03 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
Stephen Hazel Offline
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That explains ASCAP in general.
But not the mechanism for paying each original artist.
Just wondering if the songs are actually tracked.
Or if it's a "oh we've done some statistical business calculations and we KNOW we got it right - here Mr. Springsteen" sort of thing.

Well, anyways, this is copyright of performance.
Which is different than copyright of sheet music, i think?

So although ASCAP is taking care of performance rights,
it's not keeping track of the musicians that may have stolen
their sheets.

What bugs me is when a song has no sheet music available
and =I= don't have decent transcribing skills.
So I guess transcribing is something to DEFINItely look into.
Well, time to hit google.
If any of ya have good tips on transcribing, this would be
a great thread to list em in smile
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http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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#1710205 - 07/09/11 01:19 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
jotur Online   blank
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Ah. From what I can tell, the Girl Scouts pay a nominal fee of $1/year. So ASCAP has served notice they are legally due fees, but saved public face laugh

There are several forms of rights - copyright, performance, and mechanical for three. The mechanical is for making cds of your own performance, etc. I think there's a "you have to let me make a cd of my performance" clause once any one at all has been allowed to do so.

Again, some venues do turn in playlists. And some are probably statistical.

Cathy
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#1710208 - 07/09/11 01:21 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: Stephen Hazel]
MathTeacher Offline
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Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By: Stephen Hazel
What bugs me is when a song has no sheet music available
and =I= don't have decent transcribing skills.
So I guess transcribing is something to DEFINItely look into.
Well, time to hit google.
If any of ya have good tips on transcribing, this would be
a great thread to list em in smile


There is no transcribing forum. I personally had to get ear training to learn how to transcribe. EarMaster allowed me to recognize chords, and most of the radio hits out there consist almost entirely of major, minor, and 7th chords (but you still have to learn the other chords, because they do pop up every now and then). Don't always trust the guitar tabs out there, sometimes they are inaccurate and you will often see different "chord experts" giving slightly different answers.

Once you get the melody and its rhthym correct (I use an mp3 slowing device for fast songs), then the chords pretty much complete the transcription. Any bass melody is often just broken chords. Chords attached to the melody are usually just echoes of the current chord until the next chord change. Many songs we like share the same chord progressions. A good thing is that our voice tends to be good at transcribing melodies. Sing the melody and then play chords as you sing. You can get the correct chords that way too because if the chords match your singing, it is often correct. With practise you will be able to play the correct chords on your first guess as you sing.

The main challenge for me is instrumental melodies in the bass that is not a broken chord. They are sometimes really hard to hear because of higher, different melodies going on at the same time. I'm searching for a good program that makes the bass stand out, but so far the ones I've tried are not doing as well a job as I want. So sometimes I just make up the bass melody that seems to fit the upper melody. Some composing skills are required in transcribing as well. When you look at some advanced transcriptions, you will often find instrumental melodies that actually don't exist in the real song, but they do make it sound better for piano solo.


Edited by MathTeacher (07/09/11 01:39 PM)

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#1710210 - 07/09/11 01:26 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
LindaR Offline
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Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 160
Loc: Northern California
Math Teacher this transcribing and arrangements for piano solo is a good idea because of course just the variety of music that isn't in piano solo arrangements because they only make a few piano solo books. Sounds like its not difficult to stay in legal copyright lane.

I guess I'm a little off topic.

Rocket and all thanks. Nursing homes, restaurants, weddings, funerals, churches and just all the places you see live modern music I have wondered about.

Busker...busque is to look.



Edited by LindaR (07/09/11 03:12 PM)
Edit Reason: legal issue

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#1711961 - 07/12/11 01:05 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
jasperkeys Offline
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Registered: 02/22/05
Posts: 411
Loc: Safford, AZ
Question: Would you think a transcription would be a copyright violation if there is no sheet music available for the recording? I really like the idea of a transcriber's website for music we've heard and love but knew there was no sheet music available anywhere? Check out the website. You might like it.

http://poptranscription.freeforums.org/

There are my transcriptions or adaptations for:

"Brooks Was Here" from the movie "Shawshank Redemption"

"MacArthur Park" instrumental allegro interlude from a totally ridiculous song by Richard Harris about leaving a cake out in the rain.

Love theme from the movie "Spartacus" which I changed the time signature from 3/4 to mostly 4/4.
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#1711974 - 07/12/11 01:20 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: jasperkeys]
david_a Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Originally Posted By: jasperkeys
Question: Would you think a transcription would be a copyright violation if there is no sheet music available for the recording
Think about it this way:

There are no plans published for how to build a Ferrari. Does that mean (since those plans are missing) that Ferrari is not allowed to come after you for publishing them yourself?

Anything the publisher could have done (like publishing an advanced arrangement) but chose not to do, it's still their right to stop you from doing it. They want two things: money, AND full control. (Myself, I believe they deserve the money and the control, but not for nearly as many years as they have it now.)

Now, seriously, ARE they going to come after you? I have no idea.
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#1713073 - 07/14/11 06:31 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
kevinb Offline
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Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: MathTeacher
Originally Posted By: kevinb
It also means that I, as the composer, am potentially denied the opportunity to market a transcription myself, or have someone do it on my behalf, as part of my business.



What ever miniscule loss in revenue to the composer due to people trading transcriptions, if any at all, is nothing compared to the huge loss of profit the composer already experiences from the mass of people exchanging mp3s and the existence of videos of the songs on youtube.



Maybe so. But my response was about the legality of the situation, not the ethics or the business justification.

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#1713077 - 07/14/11 06:46 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: LindaR]
kevinb Offline
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Registered: 09/18/09
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Originally Posted By: LindaR
This topic makes me wonder which I always have about Wedding Singers or Garage Bands that do covers. How about the band or singer at the local Holiday Inn or the local fair or restaurant or nursing home or the busqer(sp?) who earns income from the latest pop and rock and etc songs or playing any music copyrighted over the last 50 or so years?


In the UK (and I suspect elsewhere), there is an element of 'don't ask, don't tell' about the way copyrights are enforced. There are certain circumstances in which copyrights are routinely infringed, but it's not in anybody's interest to pursue the infringer.

The copyright agencies don't go after churches, for example. I imagine that wedding bands benefit from the same kind of amnesty, even though what they do is probably unlawful. It remains unlawful in the UK to copy your CDs to an ipod, but (so far as I know) no action has ever been taken.

I doubt that any of this is done out of generosity to the consumer. Rather, the copyright owners don't want to do anything that will promote a Girlscout-style backlash, and possibly get the law changed in a way that doesn't suit them. The CD-copying thing is a good example -- the law in this area is so stupid that, if matters ever came to a head, it's hard to imagine there not being substantial changes in favour of the consumer.

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#1713132 - 07/14/11 10:03 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
jasperkeys Offline
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Loc: Safford, AZ
I'm in favor of the transcription site as I've often been annoyed by the fact that a typical guitarist has a multitude of websites offering tabs. A guitarist wants to learn the chord voicings and solo for one of this favorite songs and they're there for him to learn from. I often thought how nice it would be to have a website for keyboardists that would allow the same. As MathTeacher has alluded to; I've seen some pretty lame arrangements of good songs that have been "dumbed down" with a bare minimum of authenticity to the recording. How is it that these guitar tab websites have been able to survive in spite of copyright concerns from some people?

Believe me, in my lifetime I've spent a lot of money for sheet music. Before the internet I would be at the mercy of our local music store for ordering sheet music and then have to wait for what seemed an interminable amount of time to receive it if the music was even available. Yes, I will still buy music if I need to but access to transcribed music seems like a wonderful situation for us. I supposed one could assume a dogmatic stance on this about copyrights but if a person does, one could also ask; have you ever viewed a burned copy of a movie that a friend had made for you? Have you ever listened to a burned CD of music a friend has made for you to listen to? Have you ever burned a CD of music that you did not purchase? If you have refused to do this due to a conscious decision not to violate copyright laws, my hat's off to you for your integrity. You're a better person than me. I guess what I'm trying to say is that a person can't have it both ways. I hope I'm not coming across as being too critical or as a person with absolutely no morals but perhaps this issue as pertaining to learning more music isn't always a black and white matter.
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#1713134 - 07/14/11 10:12 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
jotur Online   blank
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And some churches do have licenses - I don't think there's a blanket kind of "we don't enforce."

The original question here, I think, was "is it legal" and some of us have addressed that. Is it enforceable, is it enforced, is it ethical, are different, tho related, questions.

Cathy
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#1713147 - 07/14/11 10:32 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: jasperkeys]
kevinb Offline
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Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: jasperkeys
How is it that these guitar tab websites have been able to survive in spite of copyright concerns from some people?


They haven't, necessarily. Look what happened to OLGA. In practice, these sites disappear and reappear quite a bit, for various reasons. I suspect that guitarists are better-served in this respect because there are more of them than pianists.


Quote:

Believe me, in my lifetime I've spent a lot of money for sheet music.


I've spent a lot of money on food over the decades, but I don't expect I'll get away with shop-lifting groceries next time I'm hungry wink Sorry, but I couldn't resist that smile

Quote:

I supposed one could assume a dogmatic stance on this about copyrights but if a person does, one could also ask; have you ever viewed a burned copy of a movie that a friend had made for you? Have you ever listened to a burned CD of music a friend has made for you to listen to?


I can't speak for anybody but myself, but I'm only dogmatic about the legal position. The ethics of the situation are complex, and there's room for reasonable people to disagree.

I do think, however, that people often don't think the ethical issues through that carefully. Many people and organizations are campaigning for a more consumer-oriented approach to intellectual property law. But the key word in 'intellectual property' is _property_. Any argument for a change to IP law that is founded on a lack of respect for, or understanding of, property has no credibility and, in the end, weakens the cause.

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#1713164 - 07/14/11 10:59 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: jotur]
kevinb Offline
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Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: jotur
And some churches do have licenses - I don't think there's a blanket kind of "we don't enforce."


I doubt it's in anybody's charter, no. And the MPA specifically issues copyright guidance for churches. Nevertheless, I'm unaware of any action being taken against a place of worship, and I've seen tangential references from agencies like the MPA to an unwillingness to do so. Of course, that doesn't mean that they won't change their stance tomorrow.

In practice, a vast number of infringements are tolerated, either as a matter of (unpublished) policy or simple expediency.

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#1713183 - 07/14/11 11:23 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
jasperkeys Offline
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Loc: Safford, AZ
Quote:
I can't speak for anybody but myself, but I'm only dogmatic about the legal position. The ethics of the situation are complex, and there's room for reasonable people to disagree.


Thank you, kevinb. I'm still mulling all this over. You're right; as far as the absolute letter of the law, it's black and white. As Cathy stated, the ethics involved are a separate issue and on that point everyone has to make their own decision.

It would be interesting see a correlation on whether a person is able to trancribe or not and which side of the fence they'd be on concerning the ethics.
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#1713196 - 07/14/11 11:40 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
rocket88 Offline
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Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3187
Originally Posted By: MathTeacher
The school I teach at plays a radio hit every morning over the PA system before class, and it does it without paying the artists. How could I work at such a corrupt place?


I would guess that the school, or the school district, has a license. There are too many opportunities to play music in school for it to go unnoticed.

Such as school dances and proms, music at sports events and rallies, music played by the school band, battle of the bands, talent shows, plays, etc.

At my son's high school, they charge for every music production. Multiply that by the 30 or more schools in just this district alone, and I am sure that the powers that be have come knocking for a license.
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#1713203 - 07/14/11 11:57 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
Stephen Hazel Offline
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Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 734
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
Remember, there's copyright on the playing of the music and
there's copyright on the "source code" - the sheet music (or midi file).
(Or are these the same copyright? I think they're different?)

I'd think it likely that schools pay a place like ASCAP for the right
to PLAY music. (And, mmm, SOMEhow the original artist gets money for
this even though I find it hard to believe every song is recorded so
ASCAP knows who to pay.)

But when my son was taking trumpet, I never had to pay for the sheet
music he'd come home with. I bought the "intro to trumpet" book.
But I saw plenty of photocopied sheets and was never asked to pay
for em...

So although the law states otherwise,
my opinion (which counts for nothin) is that
if the sheets/midi aren't for sale, then
learning to play and compose trumps copyright.
if they are for sale, of course, buy em.

In the case of the public school trumpet teacher, though,
I think he (ideally) should have charged the parents for
the sheets. As most looked pretty professionally published.
_________________________
...Steve
http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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#1713228 - 07/14/11 12:44 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: jasperkeys]
kevinb Offline
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Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: jasperkeys

It would be interesting see a correlation on whether a person is able to trancribe or not and which side of the fence they'd be on concerning the ethics.


In my view, the ethical question is complicated by practical concerns that are hard to assess. My own ethical views are pretty Benthamite -- if it helps me and hurts nobody, it's probably OK. If it helps somebody else and hurts nobody, it's definitely OK smile

But where intellectual property is concerned, whether it 'hurts nobody' is extrememly hard to assess.

The OP for this thread started off asking about _selling_ transcriptions. It seems to me that if something can be sold, then it could (in principle) be sold by the original rights-holder, and that puts the activity on ethically shaky ground. If it's something that couldn't economically be sold, then perhaps nobody is losing out if somebody makes it available free of charge.

My gut feeling is that privately circulating piano transcriptions of pop songs, particularly those not available for sale, does very little harm to anybody. If I had nothing worse than this to answer for on Judgement Day, I would be happy.

FWIW I can make piano arrangements of pop songs and the like, if nobody is in any hurry. I'm not hugely efficient at it and, as time is money, I'd rather buy it if I can and save myself the hassle.

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#1713395 - 07/14/11 05:10 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
daviel Offline
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Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
"It would be interesting see a correlation on whether a person is able to trancribe or not and which side of the fence they'd be on concerning the ethics.", jasperkeys

It would be interesting see a correlation on whether a person is able to compose commercially successful music and which side of the fence they'd be on concerning the ethics of someone selling transcriptions of their work without honoring the copyright and paying royalties to the composer.

I just paid for the licenses for 12 songs on a new CD of ours - all covers. There are companies who handle such matters and we went through one of them. I am at a loss why musicians want to rip-off songwriters just to sell bootleg scores, that may or may not be successful, that they cook up.
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David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#1713409 - 07/14/11 05:33 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: daviel]
jasperkeys Offline
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Registered: 02/22/05
Posts: 411
Loc: Safford, AZ
Well daviel, this is just speculation on my part but I believe that if there was money to be made from a composition of mine, I would feel entitled to share in the profit in some way. If there was no money involved and if people wanted to transcribe and share my music free of charge, I think I'd feel flattered and would want to see what they'd done with my music. But like I said this is just speculation but I think this is how'd I'd feel.
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#1713531 - 07/14/11 09:40 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
daviel Offline
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Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
Then that is your prerogative; handle your songs as you wish. Just don't assume anyone else handles theirs the same way. If you ask them they might just give you the right to do what you want. You really ought to get permission first, though.
_________________________
"She loves to limbo, that much is clear. She's got the right dynamic for the New Frontier"
http://roadhouseallstars.com/

David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#1713540 - 07/14/11 10:01 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: daviel]
rocket88 Offline
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Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3187
Originally Posted By: daviel

I just paid for the licenses for 12 songs on a new CD of ours - all covers. There are companies who handle such matters and we went through one of them. I am at a loss why musicians want to rip-off songwriters just to sell bootleg scores, that may or may not be successful, that they cook up.


Thats right. When I did my recent CD, I did the same for the three covers . . . jumped thru the hoops and paid the cost.

Bottom line, when a person writes a song, it is their intellectual property.

Using it in any form without compensation is stealing their intellectual property.

Unless they give you permission to do so.

Also, think about this: Suppose you do a transcription of a song by an obscure songwriter, and distribute it.

Later, someone else, such as a known artist, picks up the song and has a big hit with it. It has happened.

You can bet that you will be contacted by the lawyers for that artist, demanding money, and even suing you.

Just do the right thing, which is what you would want people to do with your intellectual property.
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#1713547 - 07/14/11 10:32 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: kevinb]
david_a Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Originally Posted By: kevinb
Many people and organizations are campaigning for a more consumer-oriented approach to intellectual property law. But the key word in 'intellectual property' is _property_. Any argument for a change to IP law that is founded on a lack of respect for, or understanding of, property has no credibility and, in the end, weakens the cause.
I am inclined to argue the opposite - that the longer we pervert the idea of property by extending it to the intangible, the more inappropriate and harmful laws we are likely to make.
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#1713638 - 07/15/11 02:56 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: david_a]
kevinb Offline
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Originally Posted By: david_a
Originally Posted By: kevinb
Many people and organizations are campaigning for a more consumer-oriented approach to intellectual property law. But the key word in 'intellectual property' is _property_. Any argument for a change to IP law that is founded on a lack of respect for, or understanding of, property has no credibility and, in the end, weakens the cause.
I am inclined to argue the opposite - that the longer we pervert the idea of property by extending it to the intangible, the more inappropriate and harmful laws we are likely to make.


Hang on a minute...

We didn't extend property law to the intangible. English law has recognized intangible property since medieval times. A lease, for example, is intangible property, as is a debt.

Recognizing the product of your mind as your property as much as the product of your hands is an entirely natural application of existing law. When you buy intellectual property you are buying a bundle of rights, just as when you buy a lease or a debt.

Of course, intangibles are different kinds of property from physical objects, and need a different kind of law.

But to remove intangibles from the scope of propery would be the most radical thing to happen to English law since the Norman Conquest.

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#1713644 - 07/15/11 03:18 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: daviel]
kevinb Offline
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Originally Posted By: daviel

It would be interesting see a correlation on whether a person is able to compose commercially successful music and which side of the fence they'd be on concerning the ethics of someone selling transcriptions of their work without honoring the copyright and paying royalties to the composer.


It's not just music -- many people's livelihoods depend on intellectual property being respected. Writers, computer programmers, architects, photographers, painters....

One thing that's always somewhat surprised me is that people who work in those lines of business seem to be no more averse to casual bootlegging than anybody else.

An argument I often hear from my colleagues is "Well, everybody's ripped off my program. Why shouldn't I rip off a bunch of movies?" Ethically, this is pretty self-serving and doesn't hold up to much scrutiny. But, at the same time, it's easy enough to understand why people think that way.

Add this tit-for-tat ethic to the rapacity of the recording industry and the ham-fisted, ill-judged campaigns of the copyright agencies, and you've got ideal conditions for widespread law-breaking.

I would like to think (hope?) that if the law more accurately reflected the consensus of ethical views on this subject, we'd all be more likely to respect it. Of course, there will always be some people who prefer theft over honest toil, but when large numbers of decent, mostly law-abiding folks find a law almost impossible to comply with, then it's time to have a good hard think about what can be done.

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#1713721 - 07/15/11 08:45 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: kevinb]
daviel Offline
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Everybody knows what a patent is, right? Well, a copyright is a patent for your ideas that are published. I guarantee that if many posters here had a dog in that fight they would do an opinion 180. Just ask a songwriter who depends on his craft to make a living what he thinks.


Edited by daviel (07/15/11 08:45 AM)
Edit Reason: spelling
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#1713979 - 07/15/11 03:16 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: daviel]
kevinb Offline
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Originally Posted By: daviel
Everybody knows what a patent is, right? Well, a copyright is a patent for your ideas that are published. I guarantee that if many posters here had a dog in that fight they would do an opinion 180. Just ask a songwriter who depends on his craft to make a living what he thinks.


Well, I am one of those people whose livelihood depends on IP rights being respected. So I most certainly have a dog in this pile.

I think you over-simplify an ethically very complicated and contentious situation. On the one hand, we (in the West) live in a society where the concept of ownership is well-established, and almost everybody agrees in principle that a person is entitled to exercise his or her rights of ownership. Almost everybody agrees that rights of property can, and should, apply to intellectual property as well as to physical objects. To be fair, not everybody does -- but most people do.

But most people's ideas about ethics are fairly utilitarian -- mine certainly are. If IP law causes somebody hardship without a corresponding benefit to anybody else, then it's understandable that people won't respect it.

Now, of course, some forms of IP violation are clearly harmful. Passing around bootleg movies or copies of CD clearly violates somebody's legitimate interests (although not necessarily the interests of the rights-owner). It's pretty hard to make a convincing ethical justification for that sort of thing, unless you're prepared to argue for the complete dismantling of IP rights (and all that would follow from that).

But there are many situations where the harm is not obvious, and may not even exist. Passing around private copies of transcriptions of music is, I think, a borderline case. While I accept that, in principle, you're depriving the original owner of a potential source of income, it's far from clear to me that this would happen in practice. Of course, done on a large scale it might be more likely.

It's not clear to me that the BBC, for example, suffered any loss or harm because fans of 'Teletubbies' put drawings of the characters on their Web sites. It's not clear to me that the company Orange suffers any loss or harm any time anybody else uses an orange square in their publicity materials. It's not clear to me that record companies lose money if I buy a CD so I can copy it to my iPod. I could go on, but there are just so many similar examples that it's hard to know which ones to pick.

The ethics of intellectual property is complicated, and it does the cause of those of us who want to see better compliance absolutely no good at all to pretend otherwise.

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#1713991 - 07/15/11 03:30 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: jasperkeys]
etcetra Offline
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Originally Posted By: jasperkeys
Well daviel, this is just speculation on my part but I believe that if there was money to be made from a composition of mine, I would feel entitled to share in the profit in some way. If there was no money involved and if people wanted to transcribe and share my music free of charge, I think I'd feel flattered and would want to see what they'd done with my music. But like I said this is just speculation but I think this is how'd I'd feel.


The problem is that even if you decide to share it for free, it may affect the composer's ability to make profit with that piece of music.. Let's say the composer actually has an arrangement... why would you buy an arrangement from the composer if you can download one for free? I mentioned earlier how this guy published a transcription of Robert Glasper's arrangement's on youtube and received a warning from the agent... Either way it's important to notify the composer.

But I do agree that copyright issue isn't all that black and white. People share jazz transcriptions online all the time, and that doesn't seem to be a problem(well it's not like there is much money in jazz anyways). The original fakebook did violate copyright laws, but musicians didn't find problems using them, and it would cost a fortune if you buy those charts from the composers individually..A lot of great accomplished jazz musicians do feel the same way as you do about their own music too.. I know Aaron Parks has all his charts on his websites, and most musicians will give the charts to you if you just ask them. Of course things may be different for commercial music compositions/arrangement, where the composers actually expects to profit from their music.

Here's just an example of how copyright laws actually do more harm than good for creativity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SaFTm2bcac


Edited by etcetra (07/15/11 03:34 PM)

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#1714171 - 07/15/11 09:13 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
daviel Offline
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Originally Posted By: MathTeacher
I transcribe pop hits a lot. ... So I make these lackluster arrangements to an advanced version, usually as advanced as possible for two hands. ... I was wondering if I could start up a website for people who have the same complaints about the available arrangements of their favourite songs. Is it legal to put a price tag on these "embellishments" of mine, or do my scores still belong to the original publishing houses that made the first piano transcriptions?


The OP wants to sell his charts.
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#1714194 - 07/15/11 10:10 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: daviel]
MathTeacher Offline
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Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By: daviel
The OP wants to sell his charts.


Wanted to. Now I'm content just to trade transcriptions. Here's the link again, with two transcribers trading so far:

http://poptranscription.freeforums.org/

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#1714320 - 07/16/11 06:34 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: etcetra]
kevinb Offline
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Originally Posted By: etcetra

The problem is that even if you decide to share it for free, it may affect the composer's ability to make profit with that piece of music.. Let's say the composer actually has an arrangement... why would you buy an arrangement from the composer if you can download one for free?


Well, yes, that is indeed the problem. The ethical complexity is that it's often far from clear whether anybody actually will lose money. Clearly the potential for loss is there.

Suppose my neighbour has a lawnmower he never uses, rusting in a garden shed. And I really, really need a lawnmower. Is it ethical for me to steal it? Would it make any difference if the lawnmower were unsaleable and of no actual monetary value?

I don't know the answers to these questions. One of the reasons we have laws is so that we don't all have to indulge in a game of Scruples every time we need to know whether some action is acceptable or not.


Quote:

People share jazz transcriptions online all the time, and that doesn't seem to be a problem(well it's not like there is much money in jazz anyways). The original fakebook did violate copyright laws, but musicians didn't find problems using them, and it would cost a fortune if you buy those charts from the composers individually.


It doesn't cost a fortune to buy them from Hal Leonard. And, in my view, the Hal Leonard RealBook is of better quality than most of the bootleg charts. I bought one, anyway -- it's a small price to pay for a clean conscience smile

But there's quite a lot of stuff missing from the Hal Leonard RealBook that exists in bootleg transcription, simply because HL couldn't negotiate a deal with the original publishers. Many jazz standards are unavailable as legal publications, so if you want to play them even in your own home, you've got to make your own transcription or rely on an unauthorised one from somebody else.

In principle, I suppose one should respect the right of the rights-owner to insist that the song is never played (that's what the absence of an authorised transcription amounts to, after all). But, coming back to Bentham, does such a course of action increase the total amount of utility? Or, as Kant would have said, does it help to bring about the summum bonum? It's not clear to me that it does.

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#1714344 - 07/16/11 08:29 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: kevinb]
beeboss Offline
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Originally Posted By: kevinb

I don't know the answers to these questions. One of the reasons we have laws is so that we don't all have to indulge in a game of Scruples every time we need to know whether some action is acceptable or not.



Except of course that the law is totally impenetrable and in a complete mess. In the UK (as I think you already mentioned) virtually everybody is already breaking the law by copying tunes to their ipod/computer/mobile. Nobody even knows what the law is and couldn't respect it even if they wanted to. And there is so much content available for free these days in the kind of grey is-it-or-isn't-it-ok area, youtube, internet radio etc. This is largely why normal people are not that bothered about whether they are breaking the law or not I think. Nobody but a lawyer knows what the law is anyway and there is little you can do to avoid breaking it anyway, especially if you don't know what it is.


Originally Posted By: kevinb

But there's quite a lot of stuff missing from the Hal Leonard RealBook that exists in bootleg transcription, simply because HL couldn't negotiate a deal with the original publishers. Many jazz standards are unavailable as legal publications, so if you want to play them even in your own home, you've got to make your own transcription or rely on an unauthorised one from somebody else.



I don't think there is anything wrong with MAKING a transcription. I don't there is anything wrong in playing this in public (the publisher/composer doesn't see any money from this anyway unless you are playing in a very large venue), it is only the copying and distributing of these transcriptions that could be regarded as potentially illegal/unethical.

Originally Posted By: kevinb

In principle, I suppose one should respect the right of the rights-owner to insist that the song is never played



I don't think that is a right that they have. How could a tune even become a standard unless people play it? For practical purposes it matters little if the performers have copied out a rough part or are playing it from memory, but I think it is only the making of copies that is illegal (of the sheet music or a recording) not the act of playing a tune in public.
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#1714389 - 07/16/11 10:36 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
daviel Offline
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As Li'l Abner said, "I obey all laws, good or bad"
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http://roadhouseallstars.com/

David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#1714426 - 07/16/11 11:54 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: beeboss]
kevinb Offline
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Originally Posted By: beeboss
How could a tune even become a standard unless people play it? For practical purposes it matters little if the performers have copied out a rough part or are playing it from memory, but I think it is only the making of copies that is illegal (of the sheet music or a recording) not the act of playing a tune in public.


Not so, in the UK at least. Owning the intellectual property rights in a song means you get to say who may or may not perform it.

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#1714483 - 07/16/11 02:01 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: kevinb]
beeboss Offline
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Originally Posted By: kevinb

Not so, in the UK at least. Owning the intellectual property rights in a song means you get to say who may or may not perform it.


I don't think that is right, but I am not a lawyer.
But I have played very many gigs in all kinds of venues, live radio broadcasts etc. I can tell you that never once has anybody tried to stop me playing anything. Nor could they - there is no mechanism that exists to stop someone playing a tune on a gig.
With radio it is possible that the composer may get some recompense (if they are lucky enough to fall into a prs sample area - don't get me started on that one) but on a live gig there is no mechanism at all to pay the writer for most gigs, though at certain larger venues you can fill in a form to say what tunes got played (which would submitted to prs and a few pennies may find their way to the writers bank account).
You can go to any jazz club or bar in the country and hear people playing tunes that they have not received permission to play. And the composer likely won't get payed for it either.

It is definitely true that you have to receive permission to publish a tune written by someone else (I think that is different in the states, for audio at least) but I don't think that is true for public performance.
If it is I would be really interested to see a proper official source that corroborates your assertion. If such a law was enforced it would be the end of live music, what little there is left.
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#1714520 - 07/16/11 02:51 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: beeboss]
etcetra Offline
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Originally Posted By: beeboss
Originally Posted By: kevinb

Not so, in the UK at least. Owning the intellectual property rights in a song means you get to say who may or may not perform it.


I don't think that is right, but I am not a lawyer.
But I have played very many gigs in all kinds of venues, live radio broadcasts etc. I can tell you that never once has anybody tried to stop me playing anything. Nor could they - there is no mechanism that exists to stop someone playing a tune on a gig.
With radio it is possible that the composer may get some recompense (if they are lucky enough to fall into a prs sample area - don't get me started on that one) but on a live gig there is no mechanism at all to pay the writer for most gigs, though at certain larger venues you can fill in a form to say what tunes got played (which would submitted to prs and a few pennies may find their way to the writers bank account).
You can go to any jazz club or bar in the country and hear people playing tunes that they have not received permission to play. And the composer likely won't get payed for it either.

It is definitely true that you have to receive permission to publish a tune written by someone else (I think that is different in the states, for audio at least) but I don't think that is true for public performance.
If it is I would be really interested to see a proper official source that corroborates your assertion. If such a law was enforced it would be the end of live music, what little there is left.


From what I know, live venues are supposed to pay license fee to play songs. I remember a friend of mine told me he wasn't allowed to play certain standard because they venue didn't have the proper license for them This was in US.

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#1715107 - 07/17/11 03:02 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
BadOrange Offline
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it is indeed the venues role to pay for the required fees. Liability lies solely with the venue, not the artist reproducing copyrighted works.

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#1715221 - 07/17/11 06:34 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: beeboss]
gryphon Offline
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Originally Posted By: beeboss
Nor could they - there is no mechanism that exists to stop someone playing a tune on a gig.
I know you live in the UK, so your laws may be slightly different than here.

But a lot of both good and bad/inaccurate info has been posted here. For example, artists DO NOT get fairly compensated for radio airplay. BMI/ASCAP have the ability to track everything electronically now, but they don't. If you are small, Lady Gaga and Bruce Springsteen are getting your money.

Likewise, some things are clear in the law and some aren't. Technically if the venue has a performance license, or you pay your own usage license, you can use or play any music. However, the artist might object to its use, even though you've paid for it. Many artists have complained about their works being used in political campaigns or similar (think Rush Limbaugh and Ohio) because they argue the use constitutes their endorsement.

As far as the OP's question, distributing arrangements of works still under copywrite without permission is a no-no, although people do it all the time, even here in this forum.
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#1715271 - 07/17/11 08:21 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: gryphon]
beeboss Offline
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Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: gryphon
Originally Posted By: beeboss
Nor could they - there is no mechanism that exists to stop someone playing a tune on a gig.
I know you live in the UK, so your laws may be slightly different than here.

But a lot of both good and bad/inaccurate info has been posted here. For example, artists DO NOT get fairly compensated for radio airplay. BMI/ASCAP have the ability to track everything electronically now, but they don't. If you are small, Lady Gaga and Bruce Springsteen are getting your money.

Likewise, some things are clear in the law and some aren't. Technically if the venue has a performance license, or you pay your own usage license, you can use or play any music. However, the artist might object to its use, even though you've paid for it. Many artists have complained about their works being used in political campaigns or similar (think Rush Limbaugh and Ohio) because they argue the use constitutes their endorsement.

As far as the OP's question, distributing arrangements of works still under copywrite without permission is a no-no, although people do it all the time, even here in this forum.


Yes, that is just about how it is over here in the UK, I think. Basically the way royalties work is to serve the interests of big companies.
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#1715445 - 07/18/11 02:30 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: beeboss]
kevinb Offline
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Originally Posted By: beeboss
Originally Posted By: kevinb

Not so, in the UK at least. Owning the intellectual property rights in a song means you get to say who may or may not perform it.


I don't think that is right, but I am not a lawyer.
[...]
If it is I would be really interested to see a proper official source that corroborates your assertion. If such a law was enforced it would be the end of live music, what little there is left.


It's covered by s.19 of the Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act (1988), as ammended:

Quote:
19 Infringement by performance, showing or playing of work in public.

(1)The performance of the work in public is an act restricted by the copyright in a literary, dramatic or musical work.

(2)In this Part “performance”, in relation to a work—

(a)includes delivery in the case of lectures, addresses, speeches and sermons, and

(b)in general, includes any mode of visual or acoustic presentation, including presentation by means of a sound recording, film [or broadcast] of the work.


FWIW I do have a UK law degree. However, IP is a specialised area of law, and what I mostly remember about it is what I had to cram to pass the exam.

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#1715492 - 07/18/11 06:23 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: kevinb]
beeboss Offline
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Originally Posted By: kevinb

It's covered by s.19 of the Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act (1988), as ammended:

Quote:
19 Infringement by performance, showing or playing of work in public.

(1)The performance of the work in public is an act restricted by the copyright in a literary, dramatic or musical work.

(2)In this Part “performance”, in relation to a work—

(a)includes delivery in the case of lectures, addresses, speeches and sermons, and

(b)in general, includes any mode of visual or acoustic presentation, including presentation by means of a sound recording, film [or broadcast] of the work.


FWIW I do have a UK law degree. However, IP is a specialised area of law, and what I mostly remember about it is what I had to cram to pass the exam.


Thanks, that is interesting. And maybe you are right. I had assumed that if the venue was licensed then that took care of the legal stuff, but maybe you are right and I am breaking the law every time I play a gig (as well as every time I download a cd I have bought to my ipod). It would make me laugh if playing jazz was actually illegal!
You said that permission was required for a live performance of any work so how should one go about getting that in theory? And if a copyright holder didn't want to have their tune performed publicly how would they go about stopping that happening?
I said before the law is a mess and is impenetrable for non-lawyers but it seems it is worse than I thought.
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#1715493 - 07/18/11 06:38 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: beeboss]
kevinb Offline
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Registered: 09/18/09
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Originally Posted By: beeboss

You said that permission was required for a live performance of any work so how should one go about getting that in theory? And if a copyright holder didn't want to have their tune performed publicly how would they go about stopping that happening?
I said before the law is a mess and is impenetrable for non-lawyers but it seems it is worse than I thought.


I'm sorry if my post was not clear. In the UK most venues that regularly host live music will already be taking care of the legal side of things, by getting a licence from the PRS or some other way. My understanding is that performers at such a venue shouldn't have to deal with the legal issues themselves.

As a composer or songwriter, by registering my work with the PRS I am essentially giving permission for it to be performed.





Edited by kevinb (07/18/11 06:40 AM)

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#1715549 - 07/18/11 08:55 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: kevinb]
beeboss Offline
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Thanks for the clarification
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#1715654 - 07/18/11 12:00 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
Bob Newbie Offline
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Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1555
Someone mentioned the Hal Leonard Real Books..I purchased 2 of their books..I thought..they were somewhat faithful to the recordings..wrong key perhaps..in some instances..
I E mailed them and asked when they were going to offer an electronic book version..you'd think I was making a silly request from there standpoint..reminding me they're a book publishing firm..so they linked me to a sheet music site
to download individual sheets..! now why on earth would I want to do that folks!..the book costs 44.00 (roughly)
I can un spiral the book and scan the pages by hand!..
the cost for single sheet songs would be astronomical..
I'll wait and bide my time..eventually they hear the clamoring from other musicians..to go "E" book format!

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#1715659 - 07/18/11 12:13 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: Bob Newbie]
kevinb Offline
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Registered: 09/18/09
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Originally Posted By: Bob Newbie
Someone mentioned the Hal Leonard Real Books..I purchased 2 of their books..I thought..they were somewhat faithful to the recordings..wrong key perhaps..in some instances..
I E mailed them and asked when they were going to offer an electronic book version..you'd think I was making a silly request from there standpoint..reminding me they're a book publishing firm..so they linked me to a sheet music site
to download individual sheets..! now why on earth would I want to do that folks!..the book costs 44.00 (roughly)
I can un spiral the book and scan the pages by hand!..


That's probably unlawful, as well, at least in the UK smirk It's a kind of 'format shifting', analagous to copying CDs onto your ipod so far as IP law is concerned.

Despite the somewhat handwritten look, I imagine that the Hal Leonard RealBook is eletronically typeset, and a PDF (or similar) format from the publisher would offer better quality than a scan, particularly if you wanted (e.g.,) to print it at a different size than the original. The problem is that, from the publisher's perspective, PDFs almost have to be cripplingly expensive, because they know that hundreds of bootleg copies will circulate for each legitimate sale.

Of course, this isn't a problem that is particular to music publishing -- ebook publishers in general have had to grapple with it, with greater or less success.

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#1715687 - 07/18/11 01:00 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
Bob Newbie Offline
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Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1555
Well ..now Amazon has "some" fake books on Kindle..but not all just a few..so I guess I'll wait a little longer..
for the Ultimate fake book with 1200 songs..and the "Just" Real series from Warner Brothers..to go "E" book..

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#1715741 - 07/18/11 02:34 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: kevinb]
beeboss Offline
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Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1219
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: kevinb
Originally Posted By: Bob Newbie
Someone mentioned the Hal Leonard Real Books..I purchased 2 of their books..I thought..they were somewhat faithful to the recordings..wrong key perhaps..in some instances..
I E mailed them and asked when they were going to offer an electronic book version..you'd think I was making a silly request from there standpoint..reminding me they're a book publishing firm..so they linked me to a sheet music site
to download individual sheets..! now why on earth would I want to do that folks!..the book costs 44.00 (roughly)
I can un spiral the book and scan the pages by hand!..


That's probably unlawful, as well, at least in the UK smirk It's a kind of 'format shifting', analagous to copying CDs onto your ipod so far as IP law is concerned.


That is mad, you mean you buy the book and then you are not even legally allowed to cut out the pages you like? Insane.

Originally Posted By: kevinb

Despite the somewhat handwritten look, I imagine that the Hal Leonard RealBook is eletronically typeset, and a PDF (or similar) format from the publisher would offer better quality than a scan, particularly if you wanted (e.g.,) to print it at a different size than the original. The problem is that, from the publisher's perspective, PDFs almost have to be cripplingly expensive, because they know that hundreds of bootleg copies will circulate for each legitimate sale.

Of course, this isn't a problem that is particular to music publishing -- ebook publishers in general have had to grapple with it, with greater or less success.



They are a bit slow off the mark and missing out on a trick I think. Electronic versions of the real books are already common but probably illegal just like the original real book was.

A lot of people are using the ireal book iphone app these days, but it is chords only as chords are uncopyrightable (I think). It plays the sequences as well so it is good for practice. Only £5.50 as well so good value (as long as you already have the rather expensive dongle. I don't).
_________________________
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#1715791 - 07/18/11 04:08 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: beeboss]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: beeboss

That is mad, you mean you buy the book and then you are not even legally allowed to cut out the pages you like? Insane.


You can cut the pages out, draw flowers on them, burn them, whatever. What you can't lawfully do is copy them. The post above was about taking the pages out to scan them into some electronic format, which amounts to taking a copy.

Many sheet music publications are now printed with a copying warning on every single page, in case people don't get the message smirk


Quote:
A lot of people are using the ireal book iphone app these days, but it is chords only as chords are uncopyrightable (I think).



I think that if that were the case, the original under-the-counter fakebooks would not have presented the problems they did. It appears to be pretty well established that a chord progression in itself is not capable of amounting to anybody's intellectual property. But chords with a melody, or chords with lyrics -- that's a different matter.

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#1715808 - 07/18/11 04:43 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: kevinb]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Originally Posted By: kevinb
Originally Posted By: david_a
Originally Posted By: kevinb
Many people and organizations are campaigning for a more consumer-oriented approach to intellectual property law. But the key word in 'intellectual property' is _property_. Any argument for a change to IP law that is founded on a lack of respect for, or understanding of, property has no credibility and, in the end, weakens the cause.
I am inclined to argue the opposite - that the longer we pervert the idea of property by extending it to the intangible, the more inappropriate and harmful laws we are likely to make.


Hang on a minute...

We didn't extend property law to the intangible. English law has recognized intangible property since medieval times. A lease, for example, is intangible property, as is a debt.

Recognizing the product of your mind as your property as much as the product of your hands is an entirely natural application of existing law. When you buy intellectual property you are buying a bundle of rights, just as when you buy a lease or a debt.

Of course, intangibles are different kinds of property from physical objects, and need a different kind of law.

But to remove intangibles from the scope of propery would be the most radical thing to happen to English law since the Norman Conquest.



My terminology was ridculously mistaken, and I apologize for that. I do have a point, and I'll try to make it in a different way.

In the same way that killing time is not grounds for charges of murder, stealing ideas is not grounds for charges of theft. I'm NOT saying there shouldn't be charges - I'm saying we need a distinct and separate category. Ideas are not property, and stealing ideas is not theft. The crime is of a different and only accidentally-related kind. Copyright holders craftily advertise things like "stealing is illegal" - which it is of course, but that slogan only applies if I physically go into a shop, pick up a book or CD, and walk out without paying. If I pay for the book and photocopy it later, that's a crime too - but not the crime of theft nor anything resembling it.
_________________________
(I'm a piano teacher.)

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#1715835 - 07/18/11 05:37 PM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: MathTeacher]
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1555
If I bought the book I'll scan it..I just didn't want the hassle/work, doing it..regarding the law..I do not "share"
stuff..go out and buy yourself..so in that your keeping within some semblance of the law..same goes for CDs..go to the store and buy it..make whatever Mp3s etc..just don't share..this way..the artists get their just $due..problem is
they want you to "re" buy..for every device..! now thats greed!..

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#1716135 - 07/19/11 02:58 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: david_a]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: david_a

In the same way that killing time is not grounds for charges of murder, stealing ideas is not grounds for charges of theft. I'm NOT saying there shouldn't be charges - I'm saying we need a distinct and separate category. Ideas are not property, and stealing ideas is not theft.



Philosophically, I don't see why ideas should not be considered property.

But, in fact, in English law copyright infringements are not considered 'thefts'. So all those ads claiming 'piracy is theft' are, in point of law, incorrect.

But that's just a matter of semantics, no? Whatever you call it, the law recognizes that people are entitled to be rewarded for their creative and imaginative output. This does seem to me to reflect the consensus ethical view -- I think most people would agree, if asked, that if I create a work of imagination it is 'mine' in _some_ kind of sense. The tricky part is working out what the full implications of that 'mine-ness' amount to.

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#1716148 - 07/19/11 03:52 AM Re: Is it legal to sell advanced transcriptions of songs? [Re: kevinb]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Originally Posted By: kevinb
Originally Posted By: david_a

In the same way that killing time is not grounds for charges of murder, stealing ideas is not grounds for charges of theft. I'm NOT saying there shouldn't be charges - I'm saying we need a distinct and separate category. Ideas are not property, and stealing ideas is not theft.



Philosophically, I don't see why ideas should not be considered property.

But, in fact, in English law copyright infringements are not considered 'thefts'. So all those ads claiming 'piracy is theft' are, in point of law, incorrect.

But that's just a matter of semantics, no? Whatever you call it, the law recognizes that people are entitled to be rewarded for their creative and imaginative output. This does seem to me to reflect the consensus ethical view -- I think most people would agree, if asked, that if I create a work of imagination it is 'mine' in _some_ kind of sense. The tricky part is working out what the full implications of that 'mine-ness' amount to.
I agree with all you wrote here.
Some of the major copyright holders, it seems, would prefer to legislate the tricky parts and the implications out of existence, enshrine the concept that my idea is "mine" in precisely the same way that my pencil is "mine", and thus create a situation that is simple but unjust and unreasonable.

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