The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #14434   Message #124008
Posted By: M. Ted (inactive)
14-Oct-99 - 08:03 PM
Thread Name: No Joke: Mudcat Under Attack
Subject: RE: No Joke: Mudcat Under Attack
I knew it was only a matter of time before these *expletive deleted* hit on Mudcat! These people are associated with the Harry Fox Agency, who basically collect mechanical royalties--performance royalties for recordings and films, and yes, though they are real, this is basically a shake the tree and see what falls out expedition--more designed to show that they rule the internet than to really excercise legal anything--

The On-line Guitar Archive and many others have had the same letter--and they went through all of this other stuff that you are proposing--

They have a team of volunteer lawyers in place, who are acting on this, and it would be wise to get together with them--

The legal grounds for their request are thin, and the fact of the matter is that Harry Fox Agency does not actually represent the publishers for the lisensing of publication, when pressed as to their justification in sending these letters out, they say that they are sending this notice as a courtesy to their members--

Oddly enough, since no legal action has been commenced, no action is necessary--but the best response is probably the one suggested above--

In the response, you should ask that they supply you with a specific list of all the songs that they feel violate a copyright, what the legal grounds are for claiming that violation, and the names of the publishers and the copy right holders, and documentation that substantiates their claim that they are authorized by the publishers and copy right holders to act on their behalves--

then assure them that, at the time they provide you with this documentation, you will take appropriate measures--

at OLGA-- they decided to pull the site until they got all the legal issues resolved--but there still was legal consensus that the postings were well within proscriptions of the law.

If worse comes to worse, the real resolution is to get permission to reproduce lyrics--this can be resolved with direct correspondence to the publishers and authors--The people who publish "Rise Up and Sing" had to do this--so it might be worth a phone call or something to see how it was done--

There are more than 30,000 music publishers, and it will be a lot of work for the NMPA to connect songs with publishers to determine what any of their members have a claim on--you can bet that, if they do that, it will take a long time--

Some of the stuff in the DAT is public domain, and a some of the rest of it is copyright expired--when you think about it, much of the rest of it is probably owned by people that are friends and associates--as Max has said, some permission has been granted--

MTed

Note: I am not an attorney, nor do I claim to be an attorney--as a member of this list, I am only expressing my opinion--