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Copyright warning - bloggers!

GUEST,Tom Bliss 02 Sep 07 - 05:05 AM
mattkeen 02 Sep 07 - 05:47 AM
mattkeen 02 Sep 07 - 05:58 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 02 Sep 07 - 06:02 AM
Anne Lister 02 Sep 07 - 06:19 AM
mattkeen 02 Sep 07 - 06:35 AM
mattkeen 02 Sep 07 - 06:48 AM
BB 02 Sep 07 - 01:58 PM
The Sandman 02 Sep 07 - 04:52 PM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 03 Sep 07 - 03:43 AM
The Sandman 03 Sep 07 - 04:36 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 03 Sep 07 - 04:43 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 03 Sep 07 - 04:45 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 03 Sep 07 - 05:18 AM
GUEST,Tom Again 03 Sep 07 - 05:27 AM
treewind 03 Sep 07 - 05:36 AM
GUEST, TB 03 Sep 07 - 05:40 AM
The Sandman 03 Sep 07 - 06:52 AM
treewind 03 Sep 07 - 08:17 AM
The Sandman 03 Sep 07 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 03 Sep 07 - 11:09 AM
The Sandman 03 Sep 07 - 03:29 PM
mattkeen 03 Sep 07 - 03:45 PM
The Sandman 03 Sep 07 - 04:17 PM
Ritchie 03 Sep 07 - 06:00 PM
Anne Lister 04 Sep 07 - 03:15 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 04 Sep 07 - 03:23 AM
Jack Blandiver 04 Sep 07 - 03:36 AM
The Sandman 04 Sep 07 - 03:48 AM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 04 Sep 07 - 04:07 AM
The Sandman 04 Sep 07 - 04:39 AM
Jack Blandiver 04 Sep 07 - 04:39 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 04 Sep 07 - 04:41 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 04 Sep 07 - 04:46 AM
mattkeen 04 Sep 07 - 05:11 AM
Jack Blandiver 04 Sep 07 - 05:19 AM
The Sandman 04 Sep 07 - 05:58 AM
The Sandman 04 Sep 07 - 06:05 AM
GUEST 04 Sep 07 - 06:42 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 04 Sep 07 - 06:52 AM
GUEST,tom 04 Sep 07 - 06:59 AM
treewind 04 Sep 07 - 07:16 AM
mattkeen 04 Sep 07 - 07:17 AM
GUEST,What's the fuss? 04 Sep 07 - 07:24 AM
mattkeen 04 Sep 07 - 07:42 AM
The Sandman 04 Sep 07 - 07:49 AM
treewind 04 Sep 07 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,tombliss 04 Sep 07 - 08:20 AM
treewind 04 Sep 07 - 08:22 AM
The Sandman 04 Sep 07 - 08:23 AM
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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 02 Sep 07 - 05:05 AM

Hi Jim,

I think there is a big difference between publishing an original song without permission, and offering actual tracks for free download without permission.

In the first case you will probably only be duplicating an existing publication, so your chief duty is only, I guess, to be accurate, and to give attribution to the writer and the actual publisher. Nowadays you'll find lyrics and tunes all over the web, so I'm not sure how the publishing companies react to copycats these days - though I guess there are some protection laws around it.

However, once an original song has been published (in a recording, a broadcast, in print, or on-line), anyone may cover it without permission (though as I said above, it's polite to ask), and their duty is only to make sure they give correct attribution on their CDs and concert PRS forms, so that the royalties find their way into the right pocket.

Offering an actual recording for free without permission is a different matter altogether.

However, I think you're thinking about your own project of making your field recordings available online?

Now I'm not an actual expert, but if I understand correctly, here again the rules are quite straightforward. In the broadcast world we would have got signatures from every singer at the time of recording, stipulating what the recording could and could not be used for. But I don't think many collectors did that, or did you?

I'm asuming none of them are still with us? If they are, then their permission would be necessary, for moral even if not legal reasons.

If they are not, then technically the performance rights will have passed to their heirs (actually I'm not entirely sure about that). If any of them were members of the PRS or an equivalent organisation AND they registered an arrangement of the song as you recorded it (unlikely) then the recording will incur a copyright royalty for 70 years after the date of death, exactly as if it was an original work. But I doubt you need to worry about that.

The key issue will be the copyright of the songs themselves. If you are sure that the songs are actually in public ownership (i.e. the actual writers have been dead for 70 years), then there should be little problem putting them on-line. (But I'd try to check with any surviving relations if I could, just because).

As I understand it, the words and tunes are in public ownership. The performance and arrangement (if registered, only) belongs to the singer, but the recording is yours.

Putting your field recordings on-line would be a very generous and noble thing to do.

You'd have every right to charge for the recordings (though not for the copyright of the songs - if you see the difference, which I'm sure you do), as Peter Kennedy used to, and you could still do that with some pay-pal system on your website. If you kept the charge low, so you were just charging for the maintenance of the site and archive, rather than for any copyright royalties, I think people would support you.

That said, I would definately talk to the PRS, because there is a lot of small print and you'd not want to fall foul. I've always found them very helpful (they do work for us writers and arrangers, after all, not the government or the arts police).

As for your idea that there should be a levy on the use of traditional songs... err that's a tricky one. My instinct is to agree and disagree at the same time - and violently!

These songs do belong to everyone now (so a levy would be wrong), but we only know about the vast majority of them because of the work of unpaid collectors who are often sitting on vast archives of recordings with no time or money to develop them (so a levy would be an excellent idea and fully justified)!

What does everyone else think?

Tom


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: mattkeen
Date: 02 Sep 07 - 05:47 AM

Tabster Anne

I am just trying to think through a way of dealing with the reality.

Your work is your work and you are due the money that you are due.
No argument from me - I just don't see that it is a policeable situation to ban/control downloads so a way of using them has to be found.

I appreciateyour concern and don't wish to offend.


The indie crowd (Artic Monkeys etc.) are right in the middle of download land (I don't belive the numbers issue is a reality for flkies sadly) and I believe there is something we can learn from them, though not really sure what it is.

Though I do suspect that our fears about downloads and their threat are not actually the reality. If thousands of illegal downloads of ones work was happening then I think you might notice the increase in traffic to your web site etc or increase in people trying o get in contact with you.

I think it is a real problem and am trying to think through ways of incorporating it, asits not policeable to ban it IMO.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: mattkeen
Date: 02 Sep 07 - 05:58 AM

Though not a folk label the online only record label Magnatune are trying to pioneer a new approach.
www.magnatune.com

Before it gets dismissed again Magnatune use a creative commons license structure AND do it very successfully. The other thing I like about it is (in its worker coop type philosophy, and I have woked in co-ops for many years) it is in keeping with the general political tone of the folk movement in the UK


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 02 Sep 07 - 06:02 AM

But Matt it is IS banned. It's illegal in international law (apart from in a handful of countries with no copyright legislation).

It may be hard to police - everything on the net comes into that category - but it's easy to increase public awareness of this illegality, so that fewer people will be likely to do infringe copyright in ignorance, so more people will recognise when it's happening and agree that it's wrong, and more people will alert either the web master or the copyright holder when it happens.

Most of these bespoke download sites carry a stipulation that you can only upload material that you own, and warn you that if you proceed when you don't, then you are breaking the law.

Sometimes this instruction is not as obvious as it should be, and often it's ignored (myspace is riddled with fan sites who have plainly not got permission to upload tracks).

But we can be vigilent, and we can blow the whistle when we find wrongdoing. It's called society :-)

Tom

By the way, re myspace - you can choose whether to make the tracks you upload be downloadable, or just playable without download. There is a difference - and though it's always possible to record a non-downloadable track, with a mic if necessary, you can make it harder for people to copy your music if you want to. That's why people put shortened versions up. We did for the Pipers Sons, though my own myspace has full tracks which I'm happy to 'cast as bread upon the water.'


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Anne Lister
Date: 02 Sep 07 - 06:19 AM

Just as a by-the-by ... the Arctic Monkeys said themselves that the notion that they achieved success through free downloads is just a press myth.

It may not be police-able, and I don't think I've ever suggested policing, but the point of my original posting was to alert Mudcatters that they might like to keep an eye open for this kind of abuse of their material.

But thanks, Matt and Jim, for thinking further.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: mattkeen
Date: 02 Sep 07 - 06:35 AM

Hi Tom and Tabster

Of course its banned and quite rightly, and I totally agree with both of you and have huge sypathy for you as professionals -- just wanted to explore some possible ways forward so that artists can minimise damage to sales and maximise the exposure element of downloads.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: mattkeen
Date: 02 Sep 07 - 06:48 AM

Anne - totally off topic you'll be glad to know!

I was at Steafan's leaving do a few months ago as he and family were going to Canada, and and in classic style Steafan didn't make it, although Sachia was there!

Regards if you see him.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: BB
Date: 02 Sep 07 - 01:58 PM

"These songs do belong to everyone now (so a levy would be wrong), but we only know about the vast majority of them because of the work of unpaid collectors who are often sitting on vast archives of recordings with no time or money to develop them (so a levy would be an excellent idea and fully justified)!

What does everyone else think?"

Personally, I think it's a brilliant idea, although how it could be set up is beyond my brain at present. I could see no problem with the equivalent of the contribution made for copyright songs being suitably allocated for traditional songs. If it was possible to say that there was only one place for the contribution for all trad. songs to go, it might be possible, but presumably any that have appeared in print have copyright on them, don't they, and the publishers/editors or whatever would claim copyright. It could get very complicated! And then, assuming that this could be sorted, there's the subsequent distribution of the fees... Maybe the National Sound Archive could (but would they be prepared to?) handle it, but to whom would they distribute the money?

Aaagh! It's just too complicated for me!

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Sep 07 - 04:52 PM

This is what I think.
Songwriters like Ewan Maccoll,Anne Lister ,Dick Miles,or anyone else,if they are registered with PRS and MCPS,are entitled to every penny of royalties from radio /tv and live performances.Ewan Maccoll became rich from First Time ever[no1 in american pop charts]and rightly so.
Traditional arrangements,pay out much less,but the arrangement is still someones creative work,it is only the arrangement that is copyrighted],and the amount the arranger receives is tiny compared to that which a songwriter receives ,[imo] rightly so.
Jim Carroll, all this stuff about what Walter Pardon said to you in 1974,is irrelevant.,and your comments about Ewan are even more hilarious, while he was very generous with helping people with their research,as I know from my brothers experience with him [who was full of praise for Maccoll].
He [Ewan] could afford to say, what does it matter,when he was receiving thousands from First Time Ever,that is not the same for a songwriter who has not had a number one hit.,and needs every penny of his royalties,to pay the neXt bill
Jim,If you cant pay your rent your out on the street,thats the real world its tough and its nasty,you are very knowledgeable on the subject of collecting,but your out of your depth on this one.
Both the law and courtesy need to be observed,songwriters rights need to be protected,and also arrangers rights.I dont care a toss what Walter Pardon[however good a singer he was] said, since when has he been an expert on songwriters ,songwriting or the law..


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Sep 07 - 03:43 AM

Sorry folks,
That some people choose to attempt to make a living out of folk song is of very little interest to me - their choice, their responsibility to provide themselves with the raw material, not mine (particularly when I read, as I did recently in The Living Tradition magazine of "The Imagined Village" which "recasts classic folk songs, adding a dose of sitar, dub soundscapes, beats, bhangra and dhol drums" – can somebody please pass the sick-bag and direct me to the nearest exit?) What is particularly galling about the above is the fact that the ad carries an Arts Council logo, so presumably it has the benefit of that august body's blessing as well as taxpayers' money.
My concern is that the songs and music get passed on to those who will respect them and facilitate their survival, and as far as I'm concerned any hope for this lies mainly with the clubs, not with the 'professionals', (though they certainly have a part to play and bear a large part of the responsibility for same).
When professionals tell me of how much it costs to put together an album I can only say that it measures somewhat small against the financing of thirty odd years of collecting – but then again, who's complaining – that's what we have chosen to do?
The music will not survive if it is left in the hands of people who adopt the attitude (to mis-quote President Trueman) "The tradition stops here".
If a singer chooses to sing say, a Christy Moore composition, or a Ralph McTell piece, or something by any recognised songwriter, they will expect to pay royalties; my suggestion of a levy on traditional material was made as a way of maybe evening the playing field and perhaps reciprocating the generosity of our tradition bearers, thereby taking some steps to ascertain that future generations might get the same pleasure that we have from the songs and music. I believe it is feasible, but only with the good will of the people concerned.
Cap'n, - whoops, your disrespect of traditional singers (and your elitism) is showing again. If Walter's statement (I wonder where 1974 came from - he said it some time in the mid-eighties) that the songs belong to all of us is irrelevant, who do they belong to – Paul Simon, Phil Coulter, Bob Dylan, you??? In practical terms every version of a song is an 'arrangement', so presumably somebody down the line has put in some work on it (without claiming it as their property). If "the rent" has to be paid, perhaps some of that is owed to Walter, Harry Cox, Sam Larner, et al, but I can't see them calling in the bailiffs, can you?
Incidentally, MacColl's generosity with his time, knowledge and material pre-dates the commercial success of First Time Ever by at least a couple of decades. That song (which was written fifteen years before its being taken up by Presley and Flack), and several other MacColl and Seeger compositions were recorded by numerous other singers without royalties being paid or requested. They believed that the songs were made to be passed on – I'll drink to that.
I intended to cover some of the other points that were raised, but Saturday night's/Sunday morning's hangover is getting the better of me - g'night all.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Sep 07 - 04:36 AM

I am not disrespectful TO traditional singers.
I am talking about musical arrangements and instrumentation, the use of musical instruments to make arrangements of traditional songs,something that Walter, Harry Cox, Sam Larner, didnt do and were incapable of doing
The arrangements of traditional songs belong to the arranger,Cecil Sharps arrangements belonged to him,my arrangements of traditional songs in my concertina tutors belong to me,.
When I sell my tutor people are free to use those arrangements, because they have paid me .Obviously if they record my arrangement,or perform it for monetary gain,I would like to be credited either verbally or in print[It would be courtesy],but by selling my arrangements in book form,there is nothing I can do,other than hope to be credited.
As regards my own songs, which have been arranged in the tutor,I would expect them to be credited with prs/imro /mcps,if they are recorded for commercial gain by anyone else.Dick Miles http://www.dickmiles.com


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 03 Sep 07 - 04:43 AM

I do agree with your sentiments Dick, though I'd not put them so strongly, because I also understand where Jim's coming from too. We're all passionate about folk music, and we can all easily fall into a defensive position when we feel our favourite corner is coming under threat.

The truth is that copyright legislation, and the system for the distribution of royalties thereon, was really developed for other genres of music, and the folk catalogue, with its much higher-than-average use of publily-owned material, has wound up being a bit of a compromise as a result - but in my view it's a pretty good one.

Basically there has to be a workable system, which is fair and reasonably efficient, and you can't start exempting any genre of music. Don't forget that ALL compostions fall out of copyright 70 years after the composer's death - not just folk songs.

People approach this compromise from many directions; songwriter, arranger, collector, traditional singer, folklorist, historian, fan, singer looking for covers, consumer, licencee, (err, blogger?) etc. and to be honest few are 100% happy with what we find - specially if we're not fully conversant with the detail, which few are (including me).

I've said this before, but I was initially very unhappy with the concept of any copyright being attached to any traditional material whatsoever (as it is, by the registration of arrangements, the writing of new words to old tunes, the rewriting of tunes etc) - because it did indeed seem like a kind of theft. But that's actually not what happens.

Again - a reminder that this is only my understanding. I'm not an expert.

But I believe the way it works is that licencees pay a sum based on the amount of music played in their venue, or on their radio station, or whatever. All music, regardless of ownership, counts in this calcualation, so revenue is being generated on everything that's played. It's not practical to pre-empt the calcuation, so a blanket system is reasonable.

This money all goes into a pot, and the PRS (etc.) have the job of distributing that money to the copyright holders.

Now with original works in copyright, that's easy. They just send the fee to the writers - splitting the money between composer and author, and the arranger too if an arrangement is registered. Non-registered, unarranged out-of-copyright material is easy too. The money stays in the pot, and is used to help fund festivals and lots of other things (something people are not as aware of as they might be). So that's trad that's not entered the system yet.

The Trad Arr stuff is more complex. Take a well-known song like The Newry Highwayman - and all its many other titles. There are hundreds of registered versions of this song (including one of mine). If someone has performed this who has NOT registered an arrangement, and they have also not credited one of the registered arrangement, (by putting trad arr Tom Bliss, for example, on the sheet), then the money stays in the pot as above. If they do credit an arrangement, mine for example, then money comes to me - all of it (as much as for an original song, because that's the fee for that 'slot'), but only for that individual performance. If they credit someone else, then that person gets the money.

Obviously when it's me doing the song I credit myself, and the money rolls in (it's only pence, actually).

The reason I get all of the money is that there's no-one else with whom to split the fee. So 'Trad Arr Bliss' (as long as it's my actual arrangement being counted) is just as lucrative as 'Bliss.' (We were reminded of this re The White Hare issue last year).

Now. Where the difference comes in, as Dick has mentioned, is that when my song is covered by someone else, I get a writer's royality on their performances and recordings. But wqhen Newry Highwayman is done by someone else, (assuming they don't do my exact arrangement - and the lawyers could have a field day in this area because the rules are really trixy here) I don't.

So there IS, potentially, a huge difference in income between original works and trad ars - as long as people are covering your songs, and those covers are getting played out, and so attracting royalties. (Mine aren't, much, so I don't :-( !).

Now. Back to Jim's idea.

One way to source revenue for trad catalogues would be to ask PRS to treat Mr Trad as a living writer. Royalties would be split between Mr Trad and the arranger - or, as often happens, Mr Trad as composer, and someone else as author (lots of us borrow trad tunes for new songs).

Mr Trad's money could then go to another pot, to be used as discussed.

But it would be very difficult to police - as the tradition is an evolving thing, and I fear we'd be trying to ring-fence a natural process - and that grey area where streams leap down and lawyers feed would suddenly get LOT bigger!

It certainly needs more thought.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 03 Sep 07 - 04:45 AM

Oops, took me so long to write that that I'm out of date. The above relates to the discussion up to Captain Dick's contribution at 02 Sep 07 - 04:52 PM


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 03 Sep 07 - 05:18 AM

Lol Jim - I can't let that one by!

You're right to say that it's wrong for people to claim traditional song as their own property - but not many do (not these days, anyway). Those who do this should be exposed and rightful attribution restored.

But registering an arrangement, or an adaptation of a traditional song, is not the same as claiming the song itself.

It's crucial that people understand this, and they might easily get the opposite impression from your post.

What Simon Emmerson is doing with the VIllage project is really no different in law and in culture to what any songbearer ever did: Taking a song he likes, and making it shipshape for a new audience. Yes, the setting may be more dramatic, and the changes more radical, but the song survives. It has reached new audiences, and been given a new breath of life. Now even more people can take it on board, and, if they choose to, strip out the additions (which, thankfully, is easy to do with trad songs, because we have lots of different versions on record from which to triangulate).

It's important that we remember, as I've said elsewhere, that it is the song that endures - not the singers. Trad songs were all the creation of a writer once, and they have surived as songs because the writer had enough skill with words and tune to create a work with such integrity that all the tweking and arranging and rewriting over the years has not extinguished the essential essence of the song.

THIS is what needs to be preserved and nourished and celebrated. Not the style of any individual interpreter or goup, who's contribution has been aznd can be endlessly evolved.

Now, perhaps your passion is for the singers themselves, their sound, their style, the whole world of them and their music. Indeed, many people would be happy to hear Walter Pardon, for example, intoning the phone book on one note, and that might include me! But few other singers would be likely to register an arrangement of that!

No, it's simply not reasonable to separate one form of 'evolution' from another. Morally; you must either say 'no trad song can ever be altered in any way,' or you can allow alteration, and just accept that you won't like some of the alterations.

Legally, as I've explained above, you don't have a choice - alteration is not a crime. Copyright law exists of necessity, and it lapses of necessity too, and the result is the system we have today. It's not just folk songs, or even music in general this happens with. It's everything.

But if you do put your field recordings on line, then a lot more people will be bale to hear the charm and integirty of those singers. And they may like you fall in love with the whole thing. And perhaps they'll decided this is how they like to hear these songs sung. The may even decided to learn a song from Simon, and sing it a bit like Walter.

Now, wouldn't that be a good thing?


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,Tom Again
Date: 03 Sep 07 - 05:27 AM

sorry Napper came to the door so I was typing fast!


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: treewind
Date: 03 Sep 07 - 05:36 AM

Tom: "as the tradition is an evolving thing,"
Pretty damn fast too. Apparently someone was heard recently singing a song called "Rue" which they said was "written by Cloudstreet"

(a few people here will know what I'm talking about)

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST, TB
Date: 03 Sep 07 - 05:40 AM

LOL!!!


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Sep 07 - 06:52 AM

I would like to make myself clear. Sam Larner ,HarryCox, WalterPardon,are all very good singers,but they are unaccompanied singers,legally their unaccompanied versions are arrangements,it is doubtful if any decent singer is going to interpret their arrangements,exactly note for note as they sung them .
musical arrangements that involve complicated harmonies are not treated differently either ,they are still trad arranged.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: treewind
Date: 03 Sep 07 - 08:17 AM

I'm not quite sure why Jim makes a distinction between "tradition bearers" and "professionals". A big advantage of the PRS policy of allowing arrangement royalties for for professional performers who sing traditional songs is that such a policy offers a financial incentive to perform traditional material. To the extent that this keeps the songs alive, that can't be a bad thing, and it make the performer the song carrier. It's unfortunate that in some cases the "arrangement" may not be to some people's taste, but there's no way to stop peole from doing that anyway. At least the present scheme provides no weighting in favour of, for example, an electronica/hip hop version of one of Walter's songs; exactly the same arrangement royalty is due even if the so-called arrangement consists of singing the song unadorned and unaccompanied.

My conclusion is that I'm not in favour of allocating writer credits to a hypothetical "Mr Trad". Apart from the endless bickering over who would get the money, it would actually discourage any performer who is a PRS member from singing traditional material.

And if nobody sings the songs, they lie hidden in books gathering dust which does no good at all and makes the whole business of collecting and preserving them rather pointless.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Sep 07 - 10:42 AM

ANAHATA ,I agree.
recently I discovered a traditonal song[in my opinion a gem]that I have not heard anyone sing in 40 years,it is a little like discovering a rare antique.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 03 Sep 07 - 11:09 AM

With apologies to Anne for all this trhead creep, but it's all about coyright, ownership and money, so I think it's relvant

Yes: "a distinction between "tradition bearers" and "professionals"

There is much evidence that a lot of tradition bearers were in fact professionals or at least sem pro in times gone by. Many tune players and ballad singers were, along with the travelling actors, broadsheet writers and music hall turns (who gave a lot of trad songs a shot in the arm).

Forgive me if i cut and paste from my own post on fRoots re Flash Company:

"It's often forgotten in the 'folk' world that songs have always had one foot on the stage. Many of the old writers were semi-pros, and many of the old songs were in fact written down and sold around the country - for semi-pro performers to use. Songs were often included in plays and passtimes (many of our best came directly from or via Music Hall and theatre). And all singers only choose to learn a song, from whatever source, because they think - "Ooh; THAT's a good song - that'll get their attention!"

So while many source singers may not have thought of themselves as 'performers' per se, merely social singers, this was as much an accident of history, in terms of the niches where the songs were surviving when they were collected, than any true representation of why they were written, why they first become popular - and most important of all - why they survived.

If we really want to keep the tradition alive we have to go back to what the original writer was trying to achieve. And that's exactly what the best interpreters of traditional song have always done."

And, I should add, we mustn't mind if sometimes the results are not to our personal taste.

By the way, this is a bit of The Imagined Village

What do you think?


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Sep 07 - 03:29 PM

well I listened to TAM LYN, Iwould rather listen to JOHN CAGE playing silence,.Iam probaly going to agree with Jim Carroll for once.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: mattkeen
Date: 03 Sep 07 - 03:45 PM

So you don't like

Don't insult it or John Cage


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Sep 07 - 04:17 PM

Mattkeen,how, have I insulted it,I am just saying what I would prefer to listen to.,neither am I insulting John Cage.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Ritchie
Date: 03 Sep 07 - 06:00 PM

perhaps i should really read all the comments before i put my tuppeny worth in.

I have agree with one of gargoyle's earlier postings....foolish foolish people.

and let him/her cast the first stone. So you've never sung a song written by someone else, you've never taped something, you've nevr loaned someone a cd. record or book....my friends ...we'll all be a long time gone but somethings will live forever.

keep music living ;-)

love Ritchie


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Anne Lister
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 03:15 AM

You've missed the point, Ritchie. This blogger was putting material on his site for free downloads for anyone who wanted. This is illegal distribution, it's an abuse of copyright - buying an album does NOT give anyone the right to give out as many copies as they want. There is a vast, vast difference between lending a book or an album, singing a song written by someone else (presumably remembering to credit them and, where appropriate, dealing with royalties) or taping something for your own use - and making something that isn't yours to give available to an infinite audience.

Calling me "foolish" doesn't actually deal with the facts here - the blogger's actions were quite simply illegal. And in my view of the world, unethical. If I want to let the world know about another artist there are many ways to do that which don't involve giving away free copies of their work to all and sundry.

Anyway, the latest news is that the particular blogger who I was worried by appears to have withdrawn most of the albums he was featuring. I don't suppose this was his free choice, because it looks as if numerous artists have raised objections and made sure Rapidshare knew what was going on.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 03:23 AM

Well said Anne - actually I was just about to ask Ritchie if he'd 'nevr loaned his credit card to a complete stranger', but the phone rang.

Its amazing how many people can't seem to get their heads round the fact that this is our pay packet we're taking about, and that most of us operate some way below the minimum wage!


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 03:36 AM

i ) John Cage never wrote a piece called 'Silence' - he wrote a piece called 4'.33" which is to do with concentrated listening to whatever sounds one actually hears within the time-frame of four minutes thirty-three seconds. I once read he got the idea when standing in a totally sound-proofed chamber, realising he could still hear the various sounds of his inner-body (blood, nervous system etc), so in effect there was no such thing as silence, hence 4'.33".

ii) Maybe if folk CDs were more realistically priced none of this would be an issue anyway? Go to any web-site offering full CD production then do the math.

iii) I recently forked out top dollar for a Shirley Collins CD the experience of which was marred by a consistently mis-rendered 'Staines Norris'. No doubt Norris is a relative of the 'Tim Lin' as found on a shoddily realised CD re-issue of a Fairport Convention LP (the name of which presently escapes me) which no doubt retailed for top dollar too.

iv) If there are people out there prepared to blog your work, then get down on your knees and give thanks; if they are bootlegging your concerts too then so much the better. Recently I was given the task of transfering to CD-R concert bootlegs of Peter Bellamy (Keele University 1972 and Newcastle Bridge FC 1974) which wouldn't have existed if everyone applied the same prissy holier-than-thou ethical so-called standards that have been a feature of the thread.

v) In a word of total commodification of music, where even the humblest of folkies are flogging their overpriced CD-R albums around festival singarounds, it's refreshing to know that at least the bloggers are doing it for the love of it.

vi) So blog away ye bloggers all - God knows you might be the life of this music yet.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 03:48 AM

I happen to like John Cages 4 33,I do not like Tam Lyn as performed on Imagined Village.
There was much criticism of Peter Kennedy on another threadfor purloining material that wasnt his,the same criticism applies to bloggers.
Song writers need time and money to sit down and be creative,all that bloggers acheive by depriving songwriters of their legal income,is the forcing of songwriters to give up ,and take a menial job that pays better, Sedayne you are misguided.


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

My original observation was on the difference of attitude of traditional and revival singers I have met over the last forty years, and the present apparent desire to hang a price-tag on songs, be they self-penned or traditional (my point remains - all versions of traditional songs are in essence 'arrangements' therefore the work of somebody).
I was always left with the impression that songwriters like MacColl, Seeger, Tawney, Rosselson et al were proud of the songs they wrote and more than happy to hear them taken up.
The times they are a-changing (the cheque's in the post My Dylan!)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 04:39 AM

Jim,yes proud to have them taken up.
I have had conversations with both Cyril and Rosemary Tawney on this subject,they both agreed andwere delighted for me to sing Cyrils songs BUT asked me if I performed Cyrils songs to log the prs and mcps for them .
so as regards Cyril Tawney your talking rubbish.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 04:39 AM

The one thing that has been well-established in this thread is that people who hear albums via blogs wouldn't have bought them anyway. So just who is losing out here?

I like the Captain's image of the leisurely songwriter moved to bare his soul by the arrival of the latest fat royalty cheque - and he has the neck call me misguided!


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 04:41 AM

Oh dear, here we go again.

Sedayne, I assume you enjoy listening to CDs? I assume you enjoy listening to gigs by professional performers? And I don't just mean folk artists.

What you have to understand is that CDs are a key element in the mix of activities that are neccessary for music to be available for you to enjoy. It's a whole complex system, which requires people having time and money to be able write, to rehearse, to practice, to travel, to record, to print and market CDs to do all the millions of things that need to happen if you are to have good music in your ears.

The price of CDs is set by the market - like houses or anything else. Yes, the actual print costs are a small percentage of the sale price, but there may be many thousands of pounds of investment to recoup, and various collaborators with whom the profit is split.

Maybe some re-releases by big record companies do take the mick, but most uk folk artists finance their own CDs - and it can be months or even years before we break even.

Moreover, we rely on income from CDs to keep our heads above water. The fee from folk clubs may put bread in the table for a few days, but it doesn't cover the fuel, publicity, strings and other sundry costs required to do the job - or build up funds for the next album. I repeat - if you take all the 'back office' work, including travel and costs, into acount, a typical folk club booking works out just below the minimum wage.

Some floor singers make CDs for fun. We don't. It's a calculated business proposition, and every pound counts. And judging by the people who come back again and again to buy subsequent CDs, most people consider them to be very good value.

Every CD that is downloaded for free is, potentially, a CD not sold. Now I'm happy to let some songs out as a PR exercise, but I can't afford to let whole CDs go. There is a download site (woven wheat) where people may purchase whole CDs of mine. If word got out that there was another site where those CDs were available for nothing, that revenue stream would dry up at once (and it would be tough on the guys who run it - who do a great job - too).

This is the real world. You wouldn't advocate people wanding into your corner shop and helping themselves to milk and cakes would you? We're small businesses too, and if you want what we're offering (and people surely do) you need to be willing to pay a fair and reasonable price. If not, then society deems you to be a criminal - and that's exactly as it should be.

And re the bootlegging of PB. It might have been a very different matter if he was still around today. He might very well have been happy for the recording to be made public, but he'd certainly want to have been asked!

And Jim. We are all proud of our songs and more than happy to have them taken up! You are confusing a desire to have songs used by others - which Anne and I share with Tawney and McColl and every other songwriter who ever lived - with a wilingness to let someone else give away our recordings of our own songs without our permission (in the case of the blogger), or keep royalties that are legally and morally ours in the case of others mentioned above.

Tawney and McColl will have got all the royalities they were due on all their compositions - count on it.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 04:46 AM

"The one thing that has been well-established in this thread is that people who hear albums via blogs wouldn't have bought them anyway"

On the contrary. That has been suggested, but not established - because it's simply not true.

But even if it was, the decision to take that business risk MUST lie with the owner of the material. Not some stranger.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: mattkeen
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 05:11 AM

Captain

No you weren't insulting me - you were unnecessarily derogatory about Imagined Village and John Cage.


I think CD prices are an issue - the only time I pay £13 to £15 for CDs now is at a folk gig. I am not saying that this is the price of ALL folk CDs its just that it is noticeably higher than most CDs that I buy.And I'm a committed purchaser of folk.

I still stand by the fact that we have to somehow find a way to use the download culture positively - I think that is likely to be by finding a combination of "give aways" and paid for, and pod casts etc.

I also think that there is a real point about the fact that nearly everybody, it seems, who has done more than 2 or 3 gigs has a CD out, and this has a fatigue effect on the audience and is really detrimental to professionals. I would be interested to hear if the professionals have noticed it becoming any harder to sell numbers of CDs at gigs because of this? Or is it impossible to tell?


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 05:19 AM

Potential sales are not actual sales though are they? Surely this is the point here; also that blogging might actually work in favour of the artist.

I came into this thread with an advocation of Woven Wheat Whispers as the only fully integrated on-line folk label and such likely to be of interest to the blogging generation. I've been using WWW from the off, often to basically blog myself (see Shibboleth Bonny at Morn, Eleanor's Visceral Tomb Lady, Hap Yer Lingcan, Ploughmyth Orbis Mysterium etc.) featuring material gratis that otherwise wouldn't get heard at all. But then again, I'm more interested in recorded medium as a means of documenting process rather than making the commercial products that sit rather awkwardly with the ethos of a 'folk' music.

As I've already said, quite often the unofficial legacy of an artist is ultimately of greater interest (and value) than the official one; this is something no artist or record company should ever have control over, but rather the consequence of the passion people feel about the music - especially those artists who are dead and gone, which we'll all be one day.

Third Ear Band bootlegs anyone???


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 05:58 AM

Mattkeen. I was not unecessarily derogatory about the imagined village,I was talking about Tam lyn,and Tam Lyn only,I said I did not like it[how is that insulting]and that I would prefer to listen to John Cage playing silence[meaning his 4 33],which I happen to like.
As regards my own compositions Iam very happy for floorsingers[amateurs]to perform them,anyone doing a paid gig, should log them with prs.anyone blogging and putting up/downloading, without my permission is breaking the law
Jim Carroll is completely wrong about Cyril Tawney,when I discussed recording a song of his, he gave me permission, told me the publishers name GWYNNETH PUBLICATIONS,and asked me to make sure I did prs documentation,the year was 2002 and the place we had the discussion was Lancaster Maritime festival,where we were both booked.
however I am hardly surprised any more as there is so much mis information,Finally you can bet Ewan Maccoll never turned away a penny of his royalties for First time ever,which made him a rich man.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 06:05 AM

SEDAYNE ,My image was not one of a leisurely songwriter,but of someone who writes songs as their main form of income,who has no other job apart from singing those songs,and who needs every penny they can get,as the renumeration from the folk scene is about what you get or less on a minimium wage,.
I know I have done it for many years,you are misinformed .


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 06:42 AM

"Tawney and McColl will have got all the royalities they were due on all their compositions - count on it".
In MacColl's case, certainly not true - fact.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 06:52 AM

sedayne. the industry works the way it does because that's the way industry works period. you can't separate any definition of folk music away from the rest of the music industry and try to apply different rules. where would u draw the line? no, the system is this way because that's how it evolved, via practice, market forces and case law - like anything else.

yes we must embrace the web   and new forms of communication, and we do. but we can't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

no, vanity cds do not affect sales. people can see the difference between a packaged CD with bar code etc and a home made CDr. you get what you pay for.

do you have permission to bootleg 3rd ear? they are still around

tom

via text


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,tom
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 06:59 AM

ok jim, you knew him, and no doubt he had his reasons for not pursuing that money. but he had every right to those royalties, as any writer should. prevent that and wed have no books, now stage shows, no magazines, operas, newspapers, pop songs - need I go on?

trad song came from a unique place, but now it inhabits the same world as everything else.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: treewind
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 07:16 AM

"everybody, it seems, who has done more than 2 or 3 gigs has a CD out, and this has a fatigue effect on the audience and is really detrimental to professionals"
By the time Mary and I had done 2 or 3 gigs, people were asking if we had a CD, which was one of the motivations behind our making the first (home-made) album.

That sort of CD (home reorded, burnt to CDR in small numbers) doesn't sell for £12-15, usually more like £5-10.

The problem with pressed CD prices for folk music is one of sales volume. The cost of making an album in the studio and getting a pressing run of 500 CDs is typically £2000-3000. The cost of re-pressing the next 500 is about £500, but you're doing reasonably well if you even get that get that far. A commercial CD that sells tens of thousands is far cheaper per copy to produce, hence popular classics for a fiver in the shops.

So blog away ye bloggers all - God knows you might be the life of this music yet.
... but the death of the people who created it?
Samples and bootlegs from live concerts are all very well, but does the blogger include contact details and a link to the artist's web site, and information on where proper recordings can be bought? Clearly in the incident that started this thread the singer/songwriter was treated as a free-to-give-away commodity, not as a living person who deserved some respect.

All this talk of the generosity of source singers and the commercial benefits has nothing to do with bloggers who throw other people's property to the public. It's easy to be generous with someone else's money.

It's as if someone stole my credit card details and used it to make a donation to a (really worthy, of course) charity. What a fine and public spirited gesture...

Oh, and Jim Caroll: once again, of course singers like others to take up their songs, but we're not talking about the songs themselves here, but about recordings which are made as a purely business venture by people who happen to be singers. The baker may be happy to give away his cake recipes, but that is not the same as allowing the public to steal the produce from his shop.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: mattkeen
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 07:17 AM

Thanks for all your time and effort on this thread Tom.

Appreciated


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,What's the fuss?
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 07:24 AM

I'm obviously missing something here. If people spend their time trying to promote the music of others, spreading YOUR music around the world, via the internet...and if they're not making a penny out of doing that, where is the problem?

So you may lose out on one or two sales of CDs. But you may gain far, far more. You may not. But it does happen.

Why do so many of you want to keep your music hidden away and under strict, total control?

Let it OUT!!

Billy Bragg does it, Show of Hands do it and it WORKS! Get people to share the music, let the do it. So occasionally someone may download your music for free...but they may love that music and come and buy more, or tell others about it and so it spreads.

You should surely be thankful that there are those who care enough about your music to spread the word far and wide.

The other option is that you just play it to your buddies and no-one else but you and them know about it.

Relax, the internet isn't going to bankrupt you, it's not going to lose you millions, but it could just get your name out there, your music more widely appreciated and known about.

Alternatively, just don't ever record anything, ever again. That way no-one will buy it, know about it or hear it. But at least you'll be in TOTAL control!


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: mattkeen
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 07:42 AM

"The problem with pressed CD prices for folk music is one of sales volume. The cost of making an album in the studio and getting a pressing run of 500 CDs is typically £2000-3000. The cost of re-pressing the next 500 is about £500, but you're doing reasonably well if you even get that get that far. A commercial CD that sells tens of thousands is far cheaper per copy to produce, hence popular classics for a fiver in the shops."


At £250 per day in the studio?
£600 for 500 pressings?
Take your point about the reality of sales figures though. So its always going to be difficult.

I don't come across many of the very home made products any more - most look like decent product, thats not difficult to achieve these days.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 07:49 AM

guest, whats the fuss ,yes you are missing something,the problem is asking people permission,or courtesy,if that person gives permission it is all fine,but they should be contacted first.
Jim Carroll,you are wrong about Cyril Tawney, have you checked your facts about Leon Rosselson,I would be surprised if he didnt want royalties he is entitled to.


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: treewind
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 07:56 AM

"I'm obviously missing something here"

Giving away your own stuff is fine, giving away other people's stuff isn't.
What's not to understand about that?

Billy Bragg does it, Show of Hands do it
Billy Bragg and Show of Hands have put a WHOLE ALBUM OF SOMEONE ELSE'S MUSIC on the web to download for free and without that person's permission? Show me.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: GUEST,tombliss
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 08:20 AM

let It out? good grief! we spend our entire LIVES letting it out! promotion is 24/7 (why do u think I'm writing this? grin)

but there has to be some control. there is a strategy, and there are caveats (like checking the quality of the download and the veracity of the info)

we are running businesses and we care about our reputations and our customers (grin again).

we're here making a living because we pay attention to detail and keep our ships on course.

there are times i'll take a punt and times I won't.

sometimes I get it right and sometimes I don't, but its my decision ok? and that's a human right. no less.

would you let a stranger do your job?


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: treewind
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 08:22 AM

At £250 per day in the studio?
£600 for 500 pressings?


What's wrong with that?
4-8 days in the studio, mixing and mastering time, glass master, graphics (somebody's got to do it, takes time and it's a skilled job to get it in the format the pressing plant wants). Maybe a well rehearsed solo artist can record an album in a day but that's exceptional.
It's in the ballpark. The figures don't matter, it's the decreasing cost with increasing sales volumes that's the point, and the reason why the music industry likes to promote a few million-selling superstars instead of thousands of lesser artists, and why folk CD's are more expensive (phew! nearly back on topic again).

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Copyright warning - bloggers!
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 08:23 AM

that is the whole point, we as performers have a right to have control over our own publicity,our own material.Dick Miles


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