The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #111033   Message #2343799
Posted By: Jim Carroll
18-May-08 - 04:06 PM
Thread Name: Money v Folk
Subject: RE: Money v Folk
Thanks for that; thought we'd fallen out.
If we had a bundle of definitions to argue the toss over, perhaps we might get somewhere; as it stands we have on the one hand an established definition, on the other a school of thought which has no definition and appear incapable of constructing one. Simple solution; disprove the old one and replace it – surely.
Have just seen your posting and comments on the '54 definition. Surely if you are an official in a responsible position on the issue of copyright it is your duty to tell it as it is, not how you/they would prefer it to be. It appears to me somewhat patronising to assume that because people don't necessarily understand the situation now, that this will always be the case.
A strong argument for defining your terms clearly is the fact that you have two distinct bodies of material; one in the public domain, the other, somebody's property. I couldn't help but notice that you chose to ignore my invitation to relinquish your claim on your own compositions and allow them to fall into public domain.
You seem to be under the impression that all copyright abuses were a thing of the distant past – and in Ireland. Peter Kennedy (very English) was working for the British Broadcasting Corporation (even more English). He died a year or so ago and was making claims on traditional material right to the end. We are still living with the mess he created.
I seem to remember that the PRS claim for payment on the grounds that 'copyrighted music 'might' be played during the course of the evening' arose from an incident in the UK – may be wrong.
Don't even go there. If you think folk definition is contentious, try dipping your toe into 'who wrote the folk songs' and watch your feet disappear.
On of the defining factors of folk songs (with exceptions, I hasten to add) is their anonymity. Surely, if there is payment in the offing a composer is hardly likely to conceal his/her identity
During the course of our collecting we have encountered a somewhat strange phenomenon. On several occasions we have recorded songs, here in Clare and also from Travellers, which must have been composed during the lifetimes of the singers. On two of these (both composed communally), the singers were present when the songs were made. Yet each time we have drawn a blank on finding the composers. It just didn't seem important enough to be remembered.
Folk scholarship is bedevilled by the fact that by and large we have no information on our singing traditions from the real experts – the traditional singers. It is a sad and extremely puzzling fact that nobody has bothered to ask their view on their art. This, to me, shows a great contempt and disregard for the people who gave us our songs and music, a contempt displayed pretty typically by your comments.
As far as I'm concerned, they were there when the house and crossroads dances were destroyed by the 1935 Dance Halls Act which levied a monetary charge on all such activities in order to drive people into the newly constructed ballrooms.
They were there when the influx of commercial records from the U.S. all but destroyed regional musical styles. They witnessed these events; we didn't, and it seems like basic good manners to listen to what they have to say on the subject, and not dismiss them out of hand, as you have done in the past and are doing once again.
I have given you an account of what is happening here in the sessions - please tell me I am imaging it all!
Jim Carroll