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#1844076 - 02/13/12 07:16 PM Sweet Victory!
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10297
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
A year or so ago, the music service called UMG apparently filed a copyright claim against a video my son put on his page of him playing the third movement of the Pathetique. I think he was twelve or thirteen at the time of the recording. I filed the usual dispute with Youtube, but was ignored. Then Youtube blocked the video in Germany. One wonders why only Germany, but I digress.

Well, a couple of days ago I got fed up and I sent an email to Youtube. Here it is:

Quote:
Dear Sir/Madam,

I realize that this is small potatoes to a large organization like Youtube, but I'm not at all happy with the ease with which UMG can block videos for which they have absolutely no legitimate copyright claim.

Case in point. My son recorded himself performing a Beethoven sonata movement in our own home. UMG has no claim over this 200 year old work. There are thousands of videos of classical music works that are in the public domain. If UMG can block a video of a thirteen year old playing Beethoven in his own music room, then apparently UMG must own the entire corpus of classical music. This is an absurd overreach. It makes Youtube complicit in a ridiculous claim.

Here is the video in question:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Y1Cdj4jS4E

regards,
(dhfeld)


Youtube responded with a very form-like note:

Quote:
Hi there,

Thank you for your message.

YouTube's Content Identification system has identified copyright content in your video and applied the content owner's policy to it. To learn more about the Content ID system and what this means, see:
http://www.youtube.com/t/contentid_more

Specifics of the policy applied to your video are in the Content ID Matches section of your YouTube account at: http://www.youtube.com/my_videos_copyright

If you believe that this claim was made in error, you can dispute it directly from that page.

Please note that YouTube does not mediate copyright disputes.

In general, you must be certain that your video does not infringe someone else's copyright before you upload it to our site. We cannot make this determination for you as it's your responsibility to know the rules.

We suggest you refer to our Copyright Center at http://www.youtube.com/t/copyright_education, where we've provided some guidelines and links to help you determine whether your video infringes someone else's copyright.

You may also visit YouTube’s Copyright Workshop, a self-paced guide to copyright terms and tools, found here:
http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/static.py?page=guide.cs&guide=25903

Regards,

The YouTube Team


Well, I got a bit snippy ....

Quote:
Hi there back,

Apparently, no one in your office actually took the time to read what I wrote. Your reply indicates automation. I have already filed the usual complaints. Why do you allow UMG to ride roughshod over common sense. If UMG can claim a copyright violation over …. read this carefully …. a home recording of a thirteen year old boy playing A 200 YEAR OLD PIECE OF MUSIC BY LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, then they can claim anything. This chilling effect discredits Youtube.

regards,



This actually got a human response ...

Quote:
Hi Mr. Feldman,

Thank you for your message and concern.

The claimant has reviewed your dispute and reaffirmed its claim to your video. Specifics of the policy applied to your video are in the Content ID Matches section of your YouTube account at: http://www.youtube.com/my_videos_copyright

Please note that YouTube does not mediate copyright disputes. If you wish, you may resolve this issue directly with the claimant at .....

Please understand that YouTube is unable to mediate copyright disputes.

Regards,

The YouTube Team


A name!! They actually gave me a real person to contact!! So, I immediately shot an email to Mr. Richardson ....

Quote:
Dear Mr. Richardson,

I asked the copyright desk at Youtube why someone was challenging a video of my son's home recording of him playing a movement of a piano sonata written by Ludwig Van Beethoven in 1798. The folks at youtube said that they do not judge these issues. Apparently they simply accept all claims as compelling. I persisted, noting the absurdity of a claim against a home recording of this sort and they gave me your email address.

Here is the email that I sent to Youtube. Can you explain why your organization thinks it has a claim on my son's playing of this 214 year old piece of music that has long been in the public domain? Do you routinely block videos of kids playing classical music? Do you think we copied a famous recording your firm owns and dubbed that in over my son's audio track? Given the number of obvious errors in his playing, I doubt anyone with an ear at your firm could have seriously entertained that notion.

regards,


I realize that honey usually works better than vinegar, but I was peeved at this point. whome

To my astonishment, this is what I received back ...

Quote:
Hello Mr. Feldman,

Our claim on this video has been releases. Also, our content team would like to let you know that your son is a really good piano player because our audio filter matched his rendition with the actual piece.

Best,


Their filter actually thought that this kid was Richter, or whatever performance they actually own. You've got to be kidding me. I thanked Mr. Richardson, but had to add this ...

Quote:

Thanks for the kudos for my son. He is actually pretty good.

BUT...., If your filter showed that his performance matched a recording for which you have a copyright, then your filter really needs some adjustments. There are clear errors in his performance that any musician would note, and if you do a side-by-side of his performance against a professional musician (and Sviatoslav Richter comes to mind), the differences are audible to just about anyone. I'm guessing that your filter is sweeping up way too many amateur performances of public domain music.

regards,


The block on this video has indeed been removed. All is now right.

But how many amateur videos are being challenged by copyright holders because the filters they use are so poor that they confuse a thirteen year old with Richter. The mind boggles.
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Grotrian 192 #156455

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#1844091 - 02/13/12 07:41 PM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17698
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
To somebody who didn't have to wade through this frustrating year-long hassle, it's actually a pretty funny story! But I'm glad to see a victory of the underdog vs. Great Big Media Company. thumb
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Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1844092 - 02/13/12 07:45 PM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
didyougethathing Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 534
Loc: New York
Great (and frustrating) story! It's pretty amazing, the whole audio filter thing. Not only does it not seem to work well, but it's evident that no one actually checks the videos that fall into their filter. Had they taken the time to watch 10 seconds of the video they would have seen an amateur (though good) pianist in his home playing a work in the public domain.

The internet never fails to amaze laugh

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#1844098 - 02/13/12 07:58 PM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
fuzzy8balls Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 465
Loc: San Diego, CA
They always flag my videos, but I just dispute them and it clears up in a day or two.
_________________________
YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/fuzzy8balls

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#1844099 - 02/13/12 07:59 PM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5278
Loc: Orange County, CA
This is hilarious. Way to go!
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1844100 - 02/13/12 08:00 PM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
Damon Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 5916
Loc: St. Louis area
Power to the people!
_________________________
Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

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#1844107 - 02/13/12 08:11 PM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
Amaruk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 795
Loc: New England, USA
Amazing story! Well done!! Perhaps the filter only checks the first 20 or so seconds and that no errors were in that part?
_________________________
My latest piano cover on YouTube: Yann Tiersen - Mother's Journey

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#1844109 - 02/13/12 08:16 PM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Great story, and a good laugh! Just another example of how dumb computers are (they do exactly what they are programmed to do, and that's only as good as the programmer). laugh
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1844115 - 02/13/12 08:21 PM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
bessel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 242
Loc: Ohio, USA
Wow, that has to be an amazingly primitive filter... if they wanted to (which they apparently don't), they surely could tell the difference between the same concert pianist playing it twice on different pianos, with a short clip, much less a different person on a different piano. They must not care, because it's not costing them anything to block too much.

Is there really a lot of copying on youtube, ripping off their classical recordings, that they have to be so vigilant about?

Good for you, though, on your persistence!
_________________________
Started playing: February 2011. Still having fun.

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#1844116 - 02/13/12 08:26 PM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
Sam Rose Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 664
Loc: Los Angeles
My video of Nocturne in C sharp minor on my youtube channel was claimed by:
Entity: Warner Chappell
Content Type: Musical Composition

I filed the usual dispute, but I was denied (the first time that's every happened, mind you) with this result:
"All content owners have reviewed your video and confirmed their claims to some or all of its content."

These people are not stupid. My playing of the piece is half-decent, but it's damn well not whatever professional recording it's been matched against, and they know that. They know they can monetize these videos somewhat, and the little guy (me, in this case) cannot do anything, so they simply lie and say that they own the content. I wish I had the email address for these guys so I could give them a piece of my mind. I don't think there are any limitations on my video at the moment, but it still peeves me every time I see that "matched third party content" label on my video.

I do understand youtube's position in all of this, but it still annoys me very much.
_________________________
Playing since age 21 (September 2010) and loving it more every day.
"You can play better than BachMach2." - Mark_C
Currently Butchering:
Chopin Ballade no 1 in G minor Op.23
My Piano Diary: http://www.youtube.com/sirsardonic
♪ > $

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#1844120 - 02/13/12 08:30 PM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
bessel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 242
Loc: Ohio, USA
Wow, that has to be an amazingly primitive filter... if they wanted to (which they apparently don't), they surely could tell the difference between the same concert pianist playing it twice on different pianos, with a short clip, much less a different person on a different piano. They must not care, because it's not costing them anything to block too much.

Is there really a lot of copying on youtube, ripping off their classical recordings, that they have to be so vigilant about?

Good for you, though, on your persistence!
_________________________
Started playing: February 2011. Still having fun.

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#1844125 - 02/13/12 08:40 PM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19292
Loc: New York
CONGRATS! And well done!

BTW, I have to ask, did that note from Ben really have this typo.... grin

Quote:
Our claim on this video has been releases.

No reason for asking, except for wondering if it gave you an extra smile amidst all the frowns. ha
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1844132 - 02/13/12 08:57 PM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10297
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Indeed, it did give me an extra chuckle. But typos happen. I think Ben went the extra mile here.

Now, if their filter clamps down again in three days time .............. mad
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Grotrian 192 #156455

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#1844136 - 02/13/12 09:13 PM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Damon]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8696
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Terrific, thanks for sharing that!

Originally Posted By: Damon
Power to the people!

The irony is not lost on me... laugh
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Jason

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#1844139 - 02/13/12 09:16 PM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: fuzzy8balls]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10297
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Originally Posted By: fuzzy8balls
They always flag my videos, but I just dispute them and it clears up in a day or two.


Two other "firms" have challenged a Mozart sonata movement he put up a few years ago. One is Koch and the other is Believe. Koch backed off, but Believe hasn't bothered to check my protest despite the passage of about a year. Maybe I have to go nuclear on them too. smokin
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Grotrian 192 #156455

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#1844144 - 02/13/12 09:21 PM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: argerichfan]
Damon Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 5916
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Terrific, thanks for sharing that!

Originally Posted By: Damon
Power to the people!

The irony is not lost on me... laugh


laugh
_________________________
Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

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#1844145 - 02/13/12 09:22 PM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
Damon Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 5916
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Originally Posted By: fuzzy8balls
They always flag my videos, but I just dispute them and it clears up in a day or two.


Two other "firms" have challenged a Mozart sonata movement he put up a few years ago. One is Koch and the other is Believe. Koch backed off, but Believe reaffirmed their claim. Maybe I have to go nuclear on them too. smokin


So...... In order to get Youtube to remove someone's video, all I have to do is claim it is mine?
_________________________
Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

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#1844147 - 02/13/12 09:25 PM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Damon]
Sam Rose Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 664
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Originally Posted By: fuzzy8balls
They always flag my videos, but I just dispute them and it clears up in a day or two.


Two other "firms" have challenged a Mozart sonata movement he put up a few years ago. One is Koch and the other is Believe. Koch backed off, but Believe reaffirmed their claim. Maybe I have to go nuclear on them too. smokin


So...... In order to get Youtube to remove someone's video, all I have to do is claim it is mine?


If you have a qualifying corporation behind you, yes.
_________________________
Playing since age 21 (September 2010) and loving it more every day.
"You can play better than BachMach2." - Mark_C
Currently Butchering:
Chopin Ballade no 1 in G minor Op.23
My Piano Diary: http://www.youtube.com/sirsardonic
♪ > $

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#1844150 - 02/13/12 09:30 PM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10297
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Originally Posted By: Damon
So...... In order to get Youtube to remove someone's video, all I have to do is claim it is mine?


Actually, youtube never removed any of these videos. Their little embedded note always said that the video remained available but that viewers might see advertisements in them. The block of the Pathetique video in Germany was the most severe action that has been taken.
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Grotrian 192 #156455

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#1844153 - 02/13/12 09:34 PM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
gooddog Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4669
Loc: Seattle area, WA
How frustrating to have to put up with that nonsense and how satisfying to have it finally resolved. Piano*son is indeed pretty good!
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Best regards,

Deborah

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#1844291 - 02/14/12 05:56 AM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10297
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Originally Posted By: Sam Rose
These people are not stupid. My playing of the piece is half-decent, but it's damn well not whatever professional recording it's been matched against, and they know that. They know they can monetize these videos somewhat, and the little guy (me, in this case) cannot do anything, so they simply lie and say that they own the content. I wish I had the email address for these guys so I could give them a piece of my mind. I don't think there are any limitations on my video at the moment, but it still peeves me every time I see that "matched third party content" label on my video.


Sam,

That's exactly what I faced. But by pestering copyright@youtube.com long enough I eventually got a human being to give me that email address within the firm making the erroneous claim.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

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#1844991 - 02/15/12 02:23 AM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Damon]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3885
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Terrific, thanks for sharing that!

Originally Posted By: Damon
Power to the people!

The irony is not lost on me... laugh


laugh


I am putting D in touch with Occupy Saint Louis. smile

PDad: I would have stopped at the Richter analogy and lived off the fantasy for a while. smile
BTW, Did you use your professorial credentials or was that a true 99% vs the 1%??


Edited by Andromaque (02/15/12 02:27 AM)

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#1845050 - 02/15/12 07:32 AM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10297
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
I didn't use my background at all. If they thought about it for a while they might have inferred something from an "edu" email address, but I'm hard pressed to see why that would have scared anybody. I don't think my "credentials" would have bought me any street cred in this case.

Now, if my signature ended with a J.D., and I brandished a professional affiliation at Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe ....... grin

To tell you the truth, I think I got results for two reasons. The first is simple persistence. This doesn't always work, of course. Some people can bang their proverbial head against the wall for days and come away with nothing to show for their efforts but bruises. I think persistence helped me winkle that email address out of the "Hi there" Youtube team.

The second reason may be the internal amusement factor. I'm guessing the folks at UMG found my exasperated note funny. It seems to have gotten passed around the room a bit, and that may have helped get quick action. Mr. Richardson's email to me showed other internal emails of people who had looked at my message.

The idea of a pissed off dad of a thirteen year old pianist wagging his finger at them must have tickled the collective funny bone in that office.

[for some reason, an image from LOTR just crossed my mind as I was writing this response. I saw a furious Samwise Gamgee, feet planted wide apart and hands on hips, telling off Faramir in front of all his assembled troops. Amusement factor indeed.]
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Grotrian 192 #156455

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#1845100 - 02/15/12 08:40 AM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: fuzzy8balls]
Jibbers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 39
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: fuzzy8balls
They always flag my videos, but I just dispute them and it clears up in a day or two.


For those who successfully disputed these copyright claims, can you tell me if these successes relate to works by composers who are still alive or other passed away within the last 70 years?

Reason i ask, is I also have a bunch of these notices on my videos. For works by Mozart or Chopin I can see running a successful argument like Piano Dad did. For performance of a work by a 20th century composer (which is likely still under copyright), I'm not so sure.

Any thoughts?

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#1845696 - 02/15/12 10:01 PM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
The second reason may be the internal amusement factor. I'm guessing the folks at UMG found my exasperated note funny. It seems to have gotten passed around the room a bit, and that may have helped get quick action.
You might have something there. I once had occasion to complain to a cat food company that their cans were hard to open, and I wrote a letter from my cat, including his signature ("Tigger, his paw mark"). Immediate answer, including a shiny new good quality can opener. smile

And I really enjoyed your story. smile
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Du holde Kunst...

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#1845848 - 02/16/12 07:36 AM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10297
Loc: Williamsburg, VA

Quote:
For those who successfully disputed these copyright claims, can you tell me if these successes relate to works by composers who are still alive or other passed away within the last 70 years?


Jibbers,

I guess it depends on what exactly is being claimed about the work. If the content holder own a particular recording by artist X, Y, or Z, then they are crawling the web searching for uploaded theft of their recording. That was the issue here, since Beethoven's heirs (or hairs) have no protection!

I'm sure that Fuzzy has had some 20th century stuff nicked by these "rights" organizations, as has my son. And usually a simple counterclaim gets it to go away. Here too the issue is their ownership of specific recordings of the piece in question. Several of my son's recordings of 20th century stuff have been repeatedly claimed by various firms. I repeatedly counterclaim, and just as Fuzzy says, the claims usually go away. His playing of Rach's G minor prelude is a frequent target of these "can't shoot straight" copyright police. It's such a commonly recorded work.

The problem comes when one of these organizations won't release the claim, despite it's absurdity. This may happen because they can't be bothered to use the 3 minutes of labor time to check the validity of their youtube sweeps. They are counting on you knuckling under. That's when you have to get irate to have even a tiny chance of breaking through.

I'm guessing things become more sticky if the holder owns the music itself, and not just some particular recording. Someone with a good understanding of copyright law could chime in here, I'm sure.

I don't know exactly which works are public domain and which are not, so there is always the possibility that you can post something that is indeed owned. But even stuff that is not in the domain gets posted on youtube all the time. Just check out the multiple renditions of the Paganini Variations mentioned above. They don't get pulled down. Perhaps they're flagged. I don't know.
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#1845856 - 02/16/12 07:56 AM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
Emanuel Ravelli Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 671
Loc: Virginia
David slays Goliath! Well done. Tell Anthony it's safe to start practicing again.
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Phil Bjorlo

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#1845922 - 02/16/12 09:46 AM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2629
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad

I'm guessing things become more sticky if the holder owns the music itself, and not just some particular recording. Someone with a good understanding of copyright law could chime in here, I'm sure.

As I understand copyright law in the USA, it's death + 70 years. There's a pretty good article on Wikipedia that explains much with some context. If you scroll a bit past halfway down to the "duration" section you'll find some especially relevant information. I thought this sentence was particularly relevant.

"In 1998 the length of a copyright in the United States was increased by 20 years under the The Copyright Term Extension Act. This legislation was strongly promoted by corporations which had valuable copyrights which otherwise would have expired, and has been the subject of substantial criticism on this point." Of course, some corporations, means Disney, but would also include the Ravel and Gershwin estates. IIRC this matter will become an issue again in 2018.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright

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#1845935 - 02/16/12 10:07 AM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10297
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Yet I'm not seeing amateur performances pulled down because the composer's estate (or whoever holds the rights) challenges all public playing. I'm only seeing challenges from the rights holders who own a specific musician's performance. These are the stupidly broad filters that seemingly confuse a kid with Horowitz.
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#1846366 - 02/16/12 07:56 PM Re: Sweet Victory! [Re: Piano*Dad]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
that is very cool.. i'd have that letter framed.
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Keyboard stand
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04/19/14 09:42 AM
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