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Copyright warning - bloggers!

Anne Lister 27 Aug 07 - 06:17 PM
andrewq 27 Aug 07 - 06:37 PM
Bill D 27 Aug 07 - 06:51 PM
Peace 27 Aug 07 - 07:10 PM
artbrooks 27 Aug 07 - 07:12 PM
Peace 27 Aug 07 - 07:27 PM
folk1e 27 Aug 07 - 08:27 PM
Sandra in Sydney 27 Aug 07 - 08:45 PM
Anne Lister 28 Aug 07 - 03:04 AM
Megan L 28 Aug 07 - 04:02 AM
treewind 28 Aug 07 - 04:05 AM
folk1e 28 Aug 07 - 04:21 AM
Anne Lister 28 Aug 07 - 07:03 AM
The Sandman 28 Aug 07 - 08:27 AM
Colin Randall 28 Aug 07 - 08:34 AM
GUEST 28 Aug 07 - 08:55 AM
mattkeen 28 Aug 07 - 08:58 AM
treewind 28 Aug 07 - 09:22 AM
Geoff Wallis 28 Aug 07 - 01:48 PM
Anne Lister 28 Aug 07 - 03:37 PM
Genie 29 Aug 07 - 12:11 PM
Anne Lister 29 Aug 07 - 12:18 PM
Jack Blandiver 29 Aug 07 - 12:47 PM
Anne Lister 29 Aug 07 - 03:31 PM
The Sandman 29 Aug 07 - 04:00 PM
The Sandman 29 Aug 07 - 04:05 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 29 Aug 07 - 11:57 PM
The Fooles Troupe 30 Aug 07 - 02:00 AM
Genie 30 Aug 07 - 04:17 AM
mattkeen 30 Aug 07 - 04:43 AM
Jack Blandiver 30 Aug 07 - 05:30 AM
The Fooles Troupe 30 Aug 07 - 09:16 AM
Anne Lister 30 Aug 07 - 11:11 AM
Bill D 30 Aug 07 - 12:26 PM
dick greenhaus 30 Aug 07 - 05:46 PM
GUEST,Val 30 Aug 07 - 05:56 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 30 Aug 07 - 09:36 PM
Bill D 30 Aug 07 - 10:13 PM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 31 Aug 07 - 03:26 AM
treewind 31 Aug 07 - 03:51 AM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 31 Aug 07 - 05:22 AM
GUEST,Val 31 Aug 07 - 12:35 PM
Anne Lister 31 Aug 07 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 01 Sep 07 - 04:16 AM
treewind 01 Sep 07 - 04:47 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 01 Sep 07 - 05:25 AM
dick greenhaus 01 Sep 07 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,leeneia 01 Sep 07 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 01 Sep 07 - 02:12 PM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 02 Sep 07 - 04:28 AM
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Subject: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Anne Lister
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 06:17 PM

I don't know if this will affect anyone here, but I thought I'd post this anyway.

The other night I was idling around, googling my own name, (as you do) and I found a reference to my music on someone's blog. The blogger had recommended my album "A Flame in Avalon" and my early recording as Anonyma "Burnt Feathers" to his readers and had posted a link to a file sharing site on which he had kindly placed both albums for free downloads. Now, although I'm happy for people to listen to my music I rather prefer to be in charge of what's given away for free, and there's an additional concern as well, as the copyright to "Burnt Feathers" is held by Fellside and I'm not allowed myself to copy the album or make it available for downloads.
Anyway, although it wasn't clear how to contact the blogger directly we were able to contact the file sharing site and point out that this was an abuse of copyright - they acted immediately to remove the albums and must have let the blogger know why, as he then posted a comment to the effect that he realised I was angry about it all. My husband has tried leaving him a comment in turn to point out just why, and to suggest he direct his readers to legitimate download sites if he's a fan of mine - he says he won't do that as it's "too much to ask". Some fan, you might think!

So this is a heads up for others ... the site involved is on a blogging site called Lost in Tyme, and there are other bloggers on that site making free with all kinds of music. As I said, I don't know if any other Mudcatters are involved, but I did also manage to point out the problem to my former musical partner Mary McLaughlin, whose album was posted up by the same chap. So it might be worth googling your own names once in a while and checking out anything you're not sure of.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: andrewq
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 06:37 PM

It's also maybe worth using the "Flag Blogger" button at the top of dubious blogger sites. In theory if enough people flag a page as objectionable (because it has illegal content) then Blogger will do something about it. Not sure if Blogger (i.e. Google) really cares, but that's the theory.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 06:51 PM

I suppose some of these people think that because they post compliments, as well as your album, they are 'doing you a favor'...and you should be grateful.

Sometimes I think that they do it because the technology exists and they want to "do" something to be part of it...


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Peace
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 07:10 PM

Locate them and have a little talk. In person. Up close. (But then I ain't 'too long outta the trees' to quote Archie Bunker.)


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: artbrooks
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 07:12 PM

Looks like the Rapidshare people, who host the download site, have had a lot of comments (dare I hope that they were from Mudcatters?). All of the folk albums pointed to by Lost in Tyme are posted as "download forbidden-complaint received".


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Peace
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 07:27 PM

I suspect that the record companies whose material is on his site be informed.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: folk1e
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 08:27 PM

maybe inform PRS?
or is that just nasty?


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 08:45 PM

slight thread creep - if you have a look at the thread on The Whale by (Terry) Fielding & (Fred) Dyer you can see zillions of folks, usually with hotmail addresses, looking for an MP3 of this great song.

Fred & Terry have both posted as Guests on this thread saying they are selling a CD containing this song, and No 1 fan (me!) & a few other fans have also posted saying buy the CD, but still they ask for a freebie.

buying a CD must also be too hard.

sandra


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Anne Lister
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 03:04 AM

I did have one response from a fellow UK performer who suggested I should be flattered that my music was getting out there, and that he would be delighted if his music was getting onto lots of iPods even if he wasn't receiving any money for it, because it represented a marketing opportunity. The flaws in this point of view are (a) you would have no idea if your music was on any iPods or 10,000, so it's not flattering OR informative and (b) how can you market to an audience when you don't know if they exist and if they exist, then where and who they are?

I think my "fan" did intend his efforts to be complimentary - what he didn't seem to understand was how it wasn't in the slightest way legal, ethical or helpful, when it's quite easy these days to be all three.

Anyway, here on Mudcat we're all singing in harmony, at least!

Anne


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Megan L
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 04:02 AM

While posting an entire album was wrong even if it was meant genuinely as a compliment I do wish more artistswould place perhaps single tracks from their albums online. The reason well where i live we dont get the chance to be exposed to many artists and i am on disability so don't have money to waste allowing a track to be heard would give people like me an idea if we would like the artist before forking out what can be quite a chunk out of our weekly budget.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: treewind
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 04:05 AM

Anne, a point in your first posting was well made - while may be some benefit in making some of your music available for free, YOU SHOULD BE IN CONTROL of that process! That's exactly what copyright is about: not that nobody's allowed to copy anything, but that the making of copies is something for which only you have the power to give permission.

Anyway, I'm glad it's been resolved - I saw your earlier posting in another forum when you hadn't yet got any recognition that there was a problem.

Somebody mentioned PRS - why should that be nasty? PRS exists to protect such rights, and PRS are involved in the production of recorded material as well as live performance, though as this is a mechanical copyright issue, the closely related MCPS is more relevant in this case.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: folk1e
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 04:21 AM

Nasty .... as in nasty to them (the freeloaders).
If they have to pay the royalties, I suspect the performers would be only too pleased for everyone to have "free coppy"


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Anne Lister
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 07:03 AM

We did a quick check this morning and yes, most folk performers on Lost in Tyme have clearly pulled their albums off Rapidshare(including Fairport)- the reason I posted this, though, was that if it can happen on one blogging site it could, presumably, happen on others too.

The trouble with notifying PRS or the MU (various helpful suggestions) is that the site is multi-national, the blogger carefully conceals his identity and how to contact him directly and this sort of thing is notoriously difficult to control.

Anyway, it's acting as a spur for me to get more copies made of the album concerned, get it to CDBaby and get it digitally distributed. And/or to put it on my own pages, independently.

Megan, if you go to most of the digital download sites you can listen before you spend very much (if anything) and then choose whether to download albums or single tracks. Also on MySpace there are generally three or four songs on artists' pages which you can certainly listen to for no charge.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 08:27 AM

Thankyou for alerting us.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Colin Randall
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 08:34 AM

I think nicking someone's music in this way - especially if it's the whole album - is beyond the pale, but copyright is a strange beast.

You get people uploading their own stuff voluntarily to YouTube or wherever, and it's there for a totally random audience to see and hear, and presumably to copy over and again

My own struggles occur mostly with still photography: each of my blogs makes plentiful use of Flickr. The need to use is usually instantaneous (or at least same day), but most Flickr members don't sit all day in front of screens waiting for requests. So I post first, ask afterwards, always promising to remove an image if its use offends.

In 98 per cent of cases, the response is positive: people like the fact their work has been shown elsewhere, with due credit given. They probably also realise I am unlikely ever to get rich, or even necessarily break even, running blogs.

But the few who DO object can be incredibly pompous about their rights, even though they have not bothered to make the easy security settings that would make it obvious their pix were not for use elsewhere. I am true to my word and remove such images asap, but am always left wondering why anyone whose pictures appear with notes saying Blog This or This Photo is Public (or similar) should then be surprised that someone takes them at face value. Yet the laws of copyright presumably protect them every much as the unfortunate victims of pirated recordings.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 08:55 AM

File sharing is very common obviously on the net.

The only answer I have discovered is to see "reasonable" filing sharing as a sort of advertising and to try to work out a way to capitalise on it. I think the trick is to try and use it rather than spend ALL the time fighting it. Not talking about serious abuse of your copywrite of course.

The way to get to the possible punters that may want your stuff on their ipod is to blog on the same site that the original blogger was on.

If you give away some tracks free they will soon come to you

I have had very good experience with CDBaby and their non exclusive digital distribution (Not that I sell a lot!!!! just they have been good to deal with) so that is a route that I can recommend.

Other possibility is to look at a creative commons type license that gives people to permission to copy BUT NOT TO SELL.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: mattkeen
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 08:58 AM

I am me (mattkeen)!

And the previous guest post was me to - had to reset cookie


Ta


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: treewind
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 09:22 AM

"If you give away some tracks free they will soon come to you"

Agreed, but that's a very different kettle of fish from having someone else give away your tracks with out asking, and in this case it was the whole album, and the person who did it had no right (i.e. copyright) to do so.

Creative commons is also fine if you that's what you want but (a) you have to release with the Creative Commons license in the first place and (b) anyone who copies your work must read, respect and pass on that license with any copies they make.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 01:48 PM

The same thing is happening with The Celtic Circle http://www.celticcircle.proboards55.com/ which offers numerous links to copywritten material, usually held by Rapidshare. I've alerted several musicians I know whose material is being made available, nobody's managed to stop Rapidshare hosting those files yet.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Anne Lister
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 03:37 PM

You might not be able to stop Rapidshare from hosting the files altogether, but they were very quick to drop the albums when I asked them to. They were also apologetic. They need to be told the URL of the blog where the link is, and probably have some assurance that the person telling them is the owner of the copyrighted material. Or working on behalf of the owner.

It's the blog site that is more of a problem than the file sharing site, as far as I can see. Google, who host many blog sites, seem to require notice in writing (so not an email) as well as a lot of substantive detail before they'll act, which is why I went directly to Rapidshare.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Genie
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 12:11 PM

An aside: (Pedant alert!)

For what it's worth, this discussion is about "copyright" (authorship/ownership protection), not to be confused with "copywrite" (which has to do with printing or typing verbal material).

Back to the discussion.

I agree that bloggers need to seek the permission of copyright holders before "sharing" other people's songs on the web.   And the artists themselves have a dilemma: where is the line between giving away 'samples' (as advertising and promo) and sabotaging your business by removing people's incentive to pay for your product?

I think the practice of providing short (but not too short) sound clips from songs can go a long way towards solving that problem.    If you can make available, free, a clip that's long enough to really demonstrate how good a song is, but not long enough to be a good substitute for buying the song, that would seem to serve both purposes (advertising and encouraging people to spend $ on your songs).

I kind of wonder why a blogger who claims to be someone's "fan" would not use a short clip on the site instead of "sharing" the whole song.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Anne Lister
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 12:18 PM

Thanks, Genie - my thoughts entirely!

And of course, those of us with MySpace pages do give people the chance to listen to some songs for free - and my own website has a few clips on it, as well.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 12:47 PM

The pefect solution to this is can be found at Woven Wheat Whispers which is a label for folk download albums where the artist has complete control over their material.

For example, I have a number of 'freebies' up there and can charge as much as I like for the other stuff. That I charge a mere £3.75 an album is becase of a) my relative obscurity & b) the somewhat esoteric nature of much of the stuff I do. Besides which, £3.75 is the price sticker that still clings to my original vinyl copy of Man's 'Back Into the Future' as it has done since it came out in 1973 - a fair price for non-corporeal copy.

There's all manner of goodies over at WWW - Jez Lowe included - so pay a visit & have a root around, and should you be curious as to what Eleanor's Visceral Tomb sounds like, then check the "Lady, Hap Yer Lingcan" EP which is entirley gratis (as seems reasonable for a 17 minute improvisation on the ballad of King Henry (Child #32) bookended by 'catering ambience' field-recorded in the Chapter House of York Minster...).

All this and John Barleycorn Reborn too - what more can you ask for?


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Anne Lister
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 03:31 PM

Sedayne, there are several ways for performers who want to keep control of their material to put things out for the public. This thread, however, is about bloggers who consider that having bought a copy of an album they have the right (even duty?) to put it on a file sharing site so that everyone can have a free copy. Which means the performer has no control whatsoever of their own material. So Woven Wheat Whispers isn't a solution to this problem!


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 04:00 PM

yes if people want to hear me ,I have selected three tracks that are available on my websitehttp://www.dickmiles.com


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 04:05 PM

I agree with Tabster,I do not want anyone putting my recordings,on any site, without my permission,it is galling enough to see albums of mine being advertised at extortionate prices on e bay.
This sort of chicanery should have no place in the folk world.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 11:57 PM

Foolish, foolish people!!!

If only you realized the exposure you are receiving for free.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 02:00 AM

"If only you realized the exposure you are receiving for free."

... some of which those people would have PAID for if they coudl not get it ALL for free...


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Genie
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 04:17 AM

What Captain Birdseye said.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: mattkeen
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 04:43 AM

Its actually VERY unlikely that the people who are getting tracks for free would have come and paid for them otherwise.

They just wouldn't have come across you.

I personally find clips irritating even 1 minute ones. Better to give away a track or two.

Others giving away whole albums is, of course, a serious abuse, but we have to find away to make it work to our advantage. Unfortunately you will not be able to stop it completely.

In any case we have all been doing something similar for decades - can anybody say they have not got unpaid for copies (inc old cassettes!) of their mates paid for albums. Not that this excuses it, just saying it is not entirely new phenomena. The scale has changed perhaps.

Finally, I personally would love it if there were hundreds of extra people out their listening to my stuff!


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 05:30 AM

I suggested Woven Wheat Whispers because it represents the only fully-formed download based label entirely given over to folk music, thus interfacing with the on-line culture where blogging, for better or worse, is par for the course.

People have always made tapes of their favourite albums for their mates; these days they do it on their blogs for their virtual mates, where ripping and uploading an entire CD can be done in a matter of minutes. No harm in it - if people blog stuff, they do it out of a desire to convince others of the significance of the music rather than to defraud the artist (which is job far better done by the labels) - after all, it's not as if they're making any money out of it themselves.

Bootlegging has always existed in one form or another, often throwing up an entirely alternative (and infinitely preferable) perspectives on the artists than the one offered to us by their labels - assuming they bother to offer us one at all, such as in the case of the numerous Peter Bellamy albums presently languishing in the vaults of Topic (and others) to the extent that even in his lifetime Peter was forced to bootleg himself.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 09:16 AM

"No harm in it "

That's just your opinion - that's the whole point of the discussion...


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Anne Lister
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 11:11 AM

Making a copy for your mates is one thing - putting it on a file sharing site where there are no limits to how many people get hold of it is quite another. The copy for your mates was always illegal and unethical as well, as it happens.

As to making it work to our advantage - how? If the performer has no way of finding out who has shown interest in their material or obtained a copy of this free album, just how can it be used in marketing or promo? As the site is international, there's not even the inducement of thinking perhaps the downloaders might show up at a concert some time.

And in my case, there's no "label" for me to be concerned about. The album is entirely my own copyright and entirely my own investment, which means anyone giving away copies without my knowledge and permission is ripping me off directly.

I'm not sure what moral perspective people are adopting if they're saying that (a) this has always happened and this is just the modern version and (b) I should be grateful that someone likes my music so much that they want to give it to all their friends rather than feeling they'd like to support my work by actually encouraging their friends to BUY THEIR OWN COPY. It's simply not good enough to say that record labels have ripped artists off so it's fine for fans to do the same, regardless of whether there is, actually, an exploitative record label involved. And in fact as the fan in question had obviously read my album notes there is no reason to suppose he was ignorant of the fact that I am a one person business.

As to the "clips" argument - this is a new technology thing as well, isn't it, because apart from some listening booths in some record shops in the past there was never the chance to listen before you purchase. It certainly doesn't justify downloading instead of purchasing, does it?

Finally, MattKeen ... you might or might not love it if and when it happens to you, but the problem is that you will have no idea whether it's one person or several hundred thousand listening to your product, what they think of it or how to get in touch with them. You might, on the other hand, suddenly realise that the album you spent a lot of money on making is somehow not recouping your investment (not many folkies make much of a profit on their albums) and unless you have other sources of income this might mean that's the end of your recording career. My own album sales go directly towards paying for the next recording - loss of income matters to me, mercenary that I am.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 12:26 PM

Very nice site, Captain Birdseye...and I think that 3rd CD "Around the Harbor Town" may be one I have to have...and perhaps also for my son for Xmas, as he is rapidly learning about this type of music.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 05:46 PM

Y'know- the interesting thing (to me) is that if CD producers were willing to settle for low (MP3) fidelity and didn't have to print booklets, tray cards and inserts, CDs could be a helluva lot cheaper. Is that whatmost people buying music really want?


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,Val
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 05:56 PM

A copyright notice will not stop dishonest people from ripping you off. Imbedded anti-piracy software might slow down some dishonest people for a little while, but will annoy a lot of honest ones. So basically if you have a product that CAN be easily copied, most likely someone WILL copy it.

However...
I would like to think most people who listen to music (especially folk-ish stuff) are generally honest. Do you think that if they were gently reminded that unauthorized copying is wrong and can be hurtful to the ARTIST (rather than to a faceless corporate behemoth), that they might be a little more respectful?

Creative Commons does not attribute any greater, less, or different control than does regular Copyright. However CC is trying to make a more convenient & user-friendly system by which creators can communicate how much they are willing to allow consumers to use their stuff, with what restrictions, and also how to contact the creator for permission for further use. CC has no enforcement ability - if someone wants to abuse or ignore a creator's rights, it doesn't matter whether the work is registered with the Copyright office, Creative Commons, or anyone else. You the copyright holder must use the legal system (or vigilante methods? Naw, I wouldn't suggest that) to pursue justice.

I suspect most people are honest consumers who are confused about copyright and/or feel some faceless profiteering Corporations are being overly draconian toward the mostly-innocent public rather than going to the trouble to pursue the serious criminals or those who intentionally flaut the law. Perhaps most consumers just need a gentle nudge to encourage them to do the right thing?

Printing a copyright notice on the CD jacket - even if it is in big print and in an obvious location - will not do much good if only the sound files are ripped and distributed without at least an image of the entire jacket.

Alas, I suspect to get the reminder out to those who need it and would benefit from it, you might have to record a verbal reminder at the front or back of every song on an album - something to the effect of "All rights to this recording are reserved. Unauthorized copying is naughty. If you want to make a copy, contact me at xxxxx and we'll discuss it". Of course, that would rather spoil the flow of the music, wouldn't it?


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 09:36 PM

A small moutain (say an imperial ton) of 78's landed, in person, on my doorstep this week.

I also have artists acknowleging you-tube,e-mule and dozen other SHARE sites....even if a person is close friend.....I will post them....if (they received on sale from me....perhaps five others will follow.)

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

just experienced (not good/ not bad) "out of body experience - eating Skippy's Peanut Butter What a ru7sh.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 10:13 PM

You make about as much sense as ever, garg.... but whoever said coherence was required to own a computer?


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Aug 07 - 03:26 AM

I have been following this thread with growing fascination and what has struck me most is the difference in attitude between that of most of the contributors and virtually all the traditional singers it has been my good fortune to meet and record
Wherever we went we were struck with the breathtaking generosity of people who were more than happy to pass on their songs in order to ascertain that they did not die - here, it seems, we are little short of having burglar alarms and guard dogs (not to mention copyright laws) in order to ascertain that performers are not 'ripped off'. Is the singing of folk-songs really so lucrative to require such lengths?
We decided when we started collecting back in the seventies that we would make our collection as available as possible, so we deposited it in the (then) British Institute of Recorded Sound in order to facilitate this. The only restrictions we place were those few requested by our informants (usually very personal information).
Anything we have acheived over the last thirty odd years has been entirely due to generosity (often of people living on or below the breadline).
We have tried to adopt an attitude beautifully summed up by Walter Pardon when, on hearing two folk 'superstars' squabbling over who should record one of his songs, "they're not mine, they're everybody's".
We have been involved in the production of about half-a-dozen albums of field recordings and I find myself totally in agreement with Matt Keen when he writes "Finally, I personally would love it if there were hundreds of extra people out their listening to my stuff!"
We are at present working to set up a local archive of field recordings and our ultimate aim is to make as much as possible available on line. Perhaps we are being a trifle hasty - please advise.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: treewind
Date: 31 Aug 07 - 03:51 AM

Jim, there is a world of difference between someone giving permission for their work to be distributed and someone else assuming that permission without asking.

Also the traditional singers you refer to mostly did not try to make a living out of their singing, and as in your Walter Pardon quote, they don't "own" the songs.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 31 Aug 07 - 05:22 AM

Jin Carroll said: 'We are at present working to set up a local archive of field recordings and our ultimate aim is to make as much as possible available on line. Perhaps we are being a trifle hasty - please advise.'

Please don't be put off from your plans, Jim - it sounds as if you are attempting to develop a welcome and worthwhile resource that will continue to keep these songs available - the internet as 'song carrier', if you like.

I'd strongly suggest you get in contact with the folks from Woven Wheat Whispers Contact WWW who have set up a successful legal folk download site from scratch in the past couple of years. I'm also aware they are normally more than happy to share their knowledge and skills with others in the folk community.

There is information about their rationale etc on their 'help' page, if you want to check 'em out before you contact them: What they're about! . I think they're coming from a good place. This isn't an ad for them, btw, so sorry if it comes across that way. It's just an attempt to offer positive support to Jim's project.

On a different note, Tabster wrote 'the copy for your mates was always illegal and unethical as well, as it happens.' Whilst you're right of course, are you honestly saying you've NEVER copied an album for a friend or recieved a copy? Ever? And what about this: a few years ago, a friend copied me an album by the Willard Grant Conspiracy. I liked it so much that I now own paid-for copies of every album they've ever done, including the one that was burned for me. That's money I would never have spent without participating in an 'unethical' act.

I think artists should do what's right for them when they find out about bloggers giving their stuff away without consent. Some will be outraged and act accordly, some will be pleased. I think however, the best remedy is to find as many online outlets you approve of as possible and use them to the hilt - i.e. make it easier for people to find your stuff from an authorised rather than unauthorised outlet. There are great resources already out there! In that context, I think it's a bit unfair to dismiss Sedayne's helpful suggestion about Woven Wheat Whispers - it's worked for him and many other artists in terms of both free and paid-for content.

Finally, Tabster asserts that 'in the past there was never the chance to listen before you purchase'. Not so! People have always been able to hear music before they buy to some extent. Most decent independent record stores would always play stuff for you, you could hear it at friends' houses or on the mix tapes they did for you(!)... but now that I can listen to music online and properly preview it, I certainly spend more on music than I used to. And do you know what? My collection is no longer full of crushingly awful records bought on spec.

Cheers

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,Val
Date: 31 Aug 07 - 12:35 PM

Nigel Spencer wrote:
"...are you honestly saying you've NEVER copied an album for a friend or recieved a copy? "

I suspect most of us have been guilty of breaking the law now and again. For example, there are very few who drive cars who can swear they have NEVER exceeded the legal speed limit. On the other hand, most of us would not drive 80 MPH past a school where the speed limit is posted as 25 MPH. Those who violate the law to a great extent really ought to be prosecuted more severely than the occasional minor offender. That does not mean the minor offender is "legal", and maybe not even "right", but it's probably not worth worrying about. At some point, though, the reasons for the laws become apparent and it is important to enforce them.

To think of an issue as entirely binary, black-or-white, right-or-wrong, can lead to polarization and extremism. (You can see how well THAT works by looking at some of the politics in the world today - but that's a whole different discussion).

The Recording Industry is taking the extreme stance of "All unauthorized copying must be stopped". Some Internet users are taking the extreme stance that "All information, and especially all entertainment, should be freely available to everyone with no restrictions or cost". Somewhere in between is a reasonable, rational, and fair balance. Organizations like Creative Commons are trying to encourage development, definition, and use of that middle ground.

I am also recalling a thread from a while back on "Ethical Collecting". Most participants in that discussion seemed to agree that a song should not be collected & published without at least asking permission of the Source. If the Blogger who prompted this thread had followed similar ethics, we might not need to have this discussion.

Just my two bits' worth, as always.

Val


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Anne Lister
Date: 31 Aug 07 - 03:10 PM

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.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 04:16 AM

Anahata
Walter Pardon said, 'they're not my songs, they're everybody's' this means they are OUR songs. When I read of 'bloggers' and 'copyright' and 'Christie Moore's Well Below The Valley' or Bob Dylan stealing Martin Carthy's Scarborough Fair' (whatever happened to John Reilly and Mark Anderson's part in the songs transmission?) I realise that there is a danger of our tradition passing into the hands of individuals - I've never been a great supporter of the privatisation of public property. These songs have lasted because they have been passed on; if that passing on stops because people wish to make a living from them, they will cease to be ours and will die.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: treewind
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 04:47 AM

I'm with you there, Jim. I cringe when I hear somebody stand up in a folk club and announce "this is a Kate Rusby/Martin Carthy/Steeleye Span/whatever song" and then sings something traditional.

Anne, who started this thread, writes her own songs, so does have some claim to ownership, and when a song is recorded, whether traditional or not, it's not the song itself but the mechanical copyright of that particular recording that needs to be respected.

My partner Mary Humphreys puts together arrangements and reconstructions of traditional songs and performs and records them. She is only too happy to encourage others to sing them, in that form (as some people do) or further modified and re-written (as Tom Bliss has done with one, for example). Getting the songs back into circulation is the primary motivation. For example we usually put a song (words, music and background text) into each issue of a local folk magazine, give out printed copies of our tune arrangements at workshops etc. That seems to me a reversal of your "privatisation" complaint.

But having said that, after we've recorded songs on an album on the Wild Goose label (run by Doug and Sue Bailey who are now very good friends, not a faceless "music industry" corporation) we wouldn't expect or encourage copies of those recordings to be distributed freely on the web. We do publish partial tracks (downloadable or on a demo CD) and we have some whole tracks on Myspace where downloading is difficult (though I acknowledge not impossible), but that's as far as I would want to go. We don't own the copyright on those recordings so we are pushing against the "fair use" boundary, but Doug knows what we are doing and we all assume it's worth doing for the promotional value.

I'd be interested to know if you have a problem with any of this.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 05:25 AM

Jim, I hear what you are saying, and in the 'olden days' when the majority of 'folk' music was genuinely traditional, known and sung mainly by 'source' singers, and you were first collecting and promoting these works for a wider audience, your point would have been entirely valid. If you had, as some did, claimed those songs as your own property, and restricted access to them so you could gain revenue, you would indeed have been privatising public property.

But Anne's albums are NOT public property, and never were. And anyway we've moved on.

The 'folk' world is now chockablock with new material that belongs firmly to its makers - for the very good reeasons Anahata and Anne have explained. Like the rest of the music and arts industry, and indeed the business world in general, we now have an entire infrastructure of performers, record companies, magazines, venues, festivals, web sites and the rest, some of whom rely on folk music for a living, all of whom rely on folk music for survival - and need at least some money to be changing hands.

Now I think from past posts that you might be one of those who'd prefer folk music to be largely traditionally-based, and moreover largly free of the taint of the filthy lucre? I can see how nice that might be, but it's not going to happen, and as such it's not relevant to this discussion - which is about a very real and threatening problem for professionals (who exist because people want us to, ok)?

Now, as Anne knows from a previous discussion elsewhere, I'm reasonably relaxed about people pirating my stuff, and willing to let recordings fly in the wind in the hope that they will bring people to my gigs and maybe proper CD sales in future, and so compensate in the long run for the lost revenue - but if this had happened to me I'd have been in there with a lawyer as fast as a knife.

Why? Because it's a matter of principle. That blogger was effectively holding the door open to Anne's house and saying to any passing hoody - hey step inside and help yourself.

And that's just plain wrong.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 11:33 AM

It may be argued (and I'm one who so argues) tht the songs belong to everyone. THis is definitely NOT true of an individual's recorded performance.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 11:50 AM

"where is the line between giving away 'samples' (as advertising and promo) and sabotaging your business by removing people's incentive to pay for your product?"

Let me speak as a shopper. There are times that I have been looking at a musician's website, thinking that the songs seem interesting, but wondering if the singer's voice is enjoyable. It would be nice to have a sample of their sound. However, the sample doesn't have to be a complete song. A mere part of a song, perhaps 8 measures, is enough to tell me whether the quality and style of the piece is something I want to buy.

But if somebody downloads an entire track, you might as well throw away all rights to it.

By the way, I hate those "samples" that repeatedly play a few seconds of a piece and then hiccup. I feel that if the performers are that suspicious of me, then I don't want their CD in my house.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 02:12 PM

I was only just finished saying on the fRoots forum (a propos of Jon Bowden's spirited defence against a below-the-belt attack on the Bellowheads' version Flash Company) that even new songs do kind of belong to everyone as soon as they are sung out, Dick, so I'm with you there.

But it's still only 'kind of.' Good manners still apply. I'd not change any song by a living writer without permission, or use a definitive arrangement of a trad song without permission either (though that's an area generally more grey).

As you say, this is a much more clear cut case. Open and shut in fact.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Sep 07 - 04:28 AM

I find myself much in agreement with much of what is being said, but not being particularly quick-witted (not this morning anyway) I would like time to give the points fuller thought.
I spent most of yesterday (until the early hours of this morning) at the funeral of collector extraordinairé Tom Munnelly who rescued in the region of twenty-two-thousand songs from extinction. In my thirty two year friendship with Tom I never once heard of him refusing a copy of one of his collected songs to anybody, and I have often witnessed his pleasure at hearing somebody sing one of them.
Similarly, twenty-odd years of my life were spent listening to and working with the bogey-man of the revival, Ewan MacColl, who adopted more-or-less the same attitude to songs he had collected or researched. Ewan and Peggy had a filing cabinet draw of (multiple) copies of songs they felt were important enough to circulate (often with Peggy's musical transcription): these were for any visiting singer who might be interested.
This generosity extended to their self-penned songs.
At one time somebody published a collection of political songs and included several of theirs, without either their knowledge or permission. I asked them if they minded. Ewan's reply was, "It would have been nice to have been asked, but in the long run, they were written to be heard, so what does it matter?"
In the meantime - A Modest Proposal.
How about a levy on every traditional song used on albums of revival singers; this money then being used to archive, index and make available all the various collections gathering dust on peoples shelves (or in some cases, in their attics), via such bodies as The National Sound Archive (London), or The Irish Traditional Music Archive (Dublin).
Jim Carroll


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