The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #104319   Message #2137856
Posted By: Anne Lister
31-Aug-07 - 03:10 PM
Thread Name: Copyright warning - bloggers!
Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
Just a couple of points: first of all, I have very rarely (if ever) copied someone else's album for a friend myself. I can't think of an example of when I did, which is why I say "if ever". I have made compilations for my own use in the car and ensured friends heard them, or played albums for friends, but that's a little different. I may be alone in this but at least I can put my hand on my heart and say I've stood true to my ideals on this one.

Secondly, I understand Jim Carroll's point of view entirely, but there is a difference between field recordings of trad singers and recordings of my own songs, made in the studio with musicans, engineer, materials and studio time to be paid for, taken from a CD or vinyl copy which has also taken money to create. Jim and the trad singers may be in total agreement about putting their music out in the world for as many as will. In this case I wasn't asked for permission or even notified that it was happening - I discovered it by pure chance. There's also an issue with the album "Burnt Feathers", for which the copyright resides with Fellside. I have had correspondence with Fellside as to whether I can distribute cassette or CD versions of this album myself, and the answer is that I can do this only on payment of a (fairly hefty) fee and only in limited numbers. Bear in mind these are still my songs, I'm still performing them and it's still our arrangements of the material, but the recordings belong to Fellside. And yet the blogger is happily giving this away as well.

There is no need to exaggerate anything that I've said into "burglar alarms and guard dogs". However, copyright law DOES exist, internationally, even, and should be respected - unless the creator of the intellectual property gives their express permission for a waiver.

Thirdly, yes, the technology makes a difference now between whether you can hear an album via friends, via a listening post in a shop, via the radio or via a website. As I've said before, in the case of my own music there are clips and whole songs available legally on line already, so no one is expected to buy without hearing at least some of the material. I'm afraid none of these points makes it right or justifiable for someone else to take my material and effectively give it away for free.

Finally, I didn't dismiss Woven Wheat Whispers, I just said that it wasn't actually part of this discussion. If I choose to make my music available via WWW it's my choice. This thread was focussed on the experience of discovering that my music was being made available without my permission, and as a warning to others that they might make periodic checks to see if it's happening to them.

My position is very simple. The money I earn from selling my recordings (on line, at gigs or via whatever distribution I can find) goes into the pot to make the next album. The money I earn from performing goes into paying bills, buying food and all that sort of stuff. I'm a one person business with no private income. I aim to deal ethically with everyone else and expect people to deal ethically with me. None of my recordings has been "remaindered" and all continue to sell, fairly steadily. My next project, in fact, is to make further copies of the very album that was being pirated because the first thousand have almost all gone and there is still a demand for it. But if the people who are looking for it can get it for free, there goes the very income that will fund further recordings. Which is why I don't find my blogging fan very supportive!

By all means give away the material which is yours to give, if you're so minded. Some of us have very good reasons not to be so generous.