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I Wrote that Traditional Song

Snoozer 12 Aug 02 - 06:39 PM
Gareth 12 Aug 02 - 06:44 PM
Amos 12 Aug 02 - 06:44 PM
artbrooks 12 Aug 02 - 06:47 PM
NicoleC 12 Aug 02 - 07:14 PM
Malcolm Douglas 12 Aug 02 - 09:29 PM
Phil Cooper 12 Aug 02 - 11:45 PM
open mike 13 Aug 02 - 01:44 AM
Jim McLean 13 Aug 02 - 04:10 AM
greg stephens 13 Aug 02 - 04:21 AM
GUEST,rOSSEY 13 Aug 02 - 11:09 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 13 Aug 02 - 11:17 AM
Mrrzy 13 Aug 02 - 11:21 AM
EBarnacle1 13 Aug 02 - 11:31 AM
Big Mick 13 Aug 02 - 11:31 AM
GUEST, NOMADman 13 Aug 02 - 11:59 AM
Amos 13 Aug 02 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,Glen Reid 13 Aug 02 - 04:34 PM
Herga Kitty 13 Aug 02 - 05:08 PM
Snoozer 13 Aug 02 - 05:12 PM
Bill D 13 Aug 02 - 06:59 PM
BH 13 Aug 02 - 07:21 PM
Mr Red 13 Aug 02 - 07:42 PM
GUEST 13 Aug 02 - 08:52 PM
Big Mick 13 Aug 02 - 11:09 PM
GUEST,Glen Reid 13 Aug 02 - 11:44 PM
katlaughing 14 Aug 02 - 12:54 AM
GUEST,Glen Reid 14 Aug 02 - 09:56 AM
MMario 14 Aug 02 - 10:02 AM
katlaughing 14 Aug 02 - 11:01 AM
Big Mick 14 Aug 02 - 11:21 AM
Julie B 14 Aug 02 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,eoin o'buadhaigh 14 Aug 02 - 02:15 PM
NicoleC 14 Aug 02 - 03:00 PM
GUEST,Glen Reid 14 Aug 02 - 04:15 PM
MMario 14 Aug 02 - 04:31 PM
Rick Fielding 14 Aug 02 - 11:32 PM
michaelr 14 Aug 02 - 11:38 PM
Jimmy C 15 Aug 02 - 01:57 AM
Jim McLean 15 Aug 02 - 03:49 AM
Jimmy C 15 Aug 02 - 11:04 AM
EBarnacle1 15 Aug 02 - 11:52 AM
Jim McLean 15 Aug 02 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,Glen Reid 15 Aug 02 - 11:57 AM
Herga Kitty 15 Aug 02 - 01:17 PM
Jimmy C 16 Aug 02 - 11:22 AM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 16 Aug 02 - 02:44 PM
GUEST,Burke 16 Aug 02 - 06:37 PM
GUEST,Gerry. 16 Aug 02 - 07:38 PM
Julie B 19 Aug 02 - 08:27 AM
nickp 19 Aug 02 - 09:31 AM
Steve Parkes 19 Aug 02 - 09:58 AM
Dave Bryant 19 Aug 02 - 10:18 AM
Jim Krause 19 Aug 02 - 10:41 AM
Irish sergeant 19 Aug 02 - 05:03 PM
Hrothgar 20 Aug 02 - 05:41 AM
Jim Krause 20 Aug 02 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,nobby 20 Aug 02 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,Jim I 20 Aug 02 - 04:36 PM
katlaughing 20 Aug 02 - 05:17 PM
Burke 20 Aug 02 - 05:48 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 20 Aug 02 - 06:06 PM
Rick Fielding 20 Aug 02 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,Gerry. 20 Aug 02 - 09:19 PM
Amergin 20 Aug 02 - 09:19 PM
Jim Dixon 21 Aug 02 - 08:30 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 22 Aug 02 - 09:25 AM
MMario 22 Aug 02 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,Burke 22 Aug 02 - 05:08 PM
GUEST,g.h. 29 Sep 04 - 08:08 PM
Deckman 29 Sep 04 - 10:00 PM
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Subject: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Snoozer
Date: 12 Aug 02 - 06:39 PM

In the last several months two people have e-mailed us saying that a song on one of our artist's CDs was written by them (or by a relative) and we should be paying royalties. These are both songs that we, in good faith, believed were public domain songs. Now maybe we didn't search every last music catalog for them, but when The Clancy Bros indicate a song is "trad." who are we to argue? Anyway, we certainly want to do right by the authors, we're not trying to cheat anyone. I have no doubt that these songs are registered somewhere (though, in what version is a question for another time). But I'm now a little nervous wondering how many more of these e-mails we're going to get! This seems to be one of the down-sides of having a web-site with your CDs and song lists published. Instead of wallowing in peaceful obscurity, we're being sought out by song-writers everywhere! (No offense to song-writers... if I had written a folk-song I just might be doing the same thing!) Has anyone else run into this? What did you do? Should we humbly pay-up? Or should we be skeptical and ask questions?

Thanks, Snoozer (we're located in the USA)


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Gareth
Date: 12 Aug 02 - 06:44 PM

Change a word next time.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Amos
Date: 12 Aug 02 - 06:44 PM

I'd find out whether their claim was based on the song itself (the actual words and tune) or an arrangement they then copyrighted. If the latter, all you need is evidence of popular circulation as a "trad" song prior to their claim. There aren't many that really truly sound "trad" written in the last thirty years, although "Darcy Farrell" fooled me at first. :>)

A


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: artbrooks
Date: 12 Aug 02 - 06:47 PM

There are many number of people that frequent this site that are either expert song researchers or who have encyclopedic memories (I'm neither one). If you'd like to provide the names of the songs you will probably get an answer pretty quickly. If you'd rather not, a large number of songs are listed in the DigiTrad (aka DT, look under the first letter of the title), and there may have been a previous discussion of the title/song (enter the title in "Digitrad and Forum Search")


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: NicoleC
Date: 12 Aug 02 - 07:14 PM

Hey, I could send you an email saying I wrote Greensleeves and I wanted payment, but that doesn't mean it's true :) Don't pay up so easily. It could be true, but it could also be a scam.

If the emails are coming from a lawyer they should have all the info you need to investigate. If someone is trying to handle things politely sans lawyers, a simple note back to them asking them for the copyright and publication details will probably suffice to either get rid of the posers or give you the info you need to research the issue.


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Aug 02 - 09:29 PM

A lot of traditional material has been "copyrighted" in the past on a pre-emptive basis; that is to say, the registration was not necessarily a claim of authorship but of ownership of a particular recording or specific arrangement, and intended to prevent other, less scrupulous people from trying to bag the whole thing. Agencies (and relatives) do not always understand, or accept, that distinction.

Having said that, "change a word" is bad advice; you know better than that, Gareth! Snoozer: your clients should make the effort, if they haven't already done so, to research their material a little; it's easier now than it has ever been, and will repay the effort.

Meanwhile, do feel free to be specific about the songs concerned.


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 12 Aug 02 - 11:45 PM

A friend of ours put together a CD of novelty 78's. They said in their notes that they took great care to get clearance when they could find it. They also mentioned that should anyone feel they hadn't gotten credits/royalties, and could prove it, that they should contact them.


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: open mike
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 01:44 AM

many songs attributed to the carter family, for example, were ones they had heard elsewhere, and either took credit for, or were given credit for. These days the roayalties issue is heating up--and causing some inter- net radio stations to flounder, not haveing enough income to pay the royalty fees. I do believe that artists should get rewarded for THEIR material, but some artist profit just by having their songs go out to the public, 'and so some of the recent royalty fees seem inflated.. hoep you can work out your issues.


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Jim McLean
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 04:10 AM

As the writer of Glencoe and several other songs, written during the 50's and 60's I suffer from artistes claiming them as traditional. I'm flattered and grateful and the PRS and MCPS usually pick up on them but the damage is done when the sleeve notes/inlay card say Trad arr... This perpetuates the idea that the song in particular is trad. I have written for the Clanceys as well and they can usually be relied upon do do the reasearch. My songs are all registered with the PRS and MCPS and a wee bit of reasearch by the recording artist could solve everybody's problems. Don't stop singing! Cheers, Jim Mclean


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: greg stephens
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 04:21 AM

Don't forget that is very standard practise for people recording traditional material to copyright it for the purpose of that recording, purely to get royalties for their own version. They are not in any sense trying to claim they wrote it, or prevent other people doing the same. So if you find a record saying Greensleeves copyright Greg Stephens, ignore it. But if you get a letter from my lawyer saying you can't record Greensleeves without paying me, do what other posters have suggested: do a bit of research, and if that is difficult write to Mudcat and Malcolm Douglas, or whoever, will be out in a flash telling you it was first printed in 1593.

And like others have said: do be specific about which songs you're talking about. We're all likely to be more interested and more able to help.


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: GUEST,rOSSEY
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 11:09 AM

Much confusion arises from artists simply assuming that works are trad "as they sound old". My father Stewart Ross's lyrical arrangement of 'Dark Island" "In the years long gone by...lovely dark Island where memories stray" is on the DigiTrad base even though it is relatively modern (1963). Many record companies are taking Scots songs and deliberately putting them down as trad even though they are modern.

When my father had just died one of his songs was straight away put down as trad on a release, even though it was only written in 1974. The perpetrators had just waited for him to pop off - hoping that they could put in a claim on what has become quite a well known song on Scottish samplers. These things snowball. With the practice of exchanging material over the Internet this can be made 1000 times worse, as its very difficult to stop misconceptions and rumours spreading about works. Then what may be modern and properly registered in one territory, can be nicked in another - and its years before you find out. I am now scared to give details of songs to Internet sites in case they are stolen. I only live to see my father's name perpetuated on the label of a CD or credited elsewhere - and I get very, very upset when I see his songs taken and miscredited as trad. Be warned don't trust single credits on releases. Try and build as much of a picture of the song as you can before you put it out in a public forum.

I am using a library computer and can't further the debate.


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 11:17 AM

Interesting thread. I've written a couple of songs that friends thought were traditional. Not trying to fool anyone, but then as folk singers, it's a real compliment having someone think that a song of yours is traditional. No money in it, though. :-)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 11:21 AM

Don't believe all emails, even from lawyers...

(thread creep - Darcy Farrell??)


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 11:31 AM

I've seen Fiddler's Green called trad several times on recordings. Called the artist's attention to it, too.


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Big Mick
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 11:31 AM

As someone who has just recorded a CD, and who is very interested in the appropriate parties getting paid their just due, I can tell you it is not easy to track down the appropriate parties in all cases. We used search engines in places like Harry Fox Agency, etc, and even went to Google searches. If one is not sufficiently versed in this stuff, they won't catch the difference between the rights to a song or tune, and the rights to an arrangement of a song. On the latter, we operated on the presumption that all of our arrangements are ours. We don't copy other folks, rather we always take a song and make it ours. But you would be amazed what you find as far as what some folks try to claim is theirs. We think we got it all correct, but still held a bit of the budget for "that letter" that we might receive.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: GUEST, NOMADman
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 11:59 AM

That's Darcey Farrow, written by Steve Gillette and Tom Campbell. It's in the DT as Darcy Farrow. Sure sounds Trad, though.

Regards,
John


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Amos
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 03:03 PM

Thanks, Nomadman. Darcey Farrow it is.

My error.


A


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: GUEST,Glen Reid
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 04:34 PM

I wrote the song "My Green Valleys" (SOCAN) over 30 years ago, and its been recorded over 30 times by such artist as the Wolftones, Irish Rovers. For the most part it has been accredited to me, but on a couple of occasions, it was put down as trad. This was only in the last 6 or 7 years, which tells me they didn't try too hard in their research.

It also pisses me off no end, as getting songs out of me is like pulling teeth and I ain't got many left.

As mentioned earlier, it does perpetuate the notion that it is trad. and can have a snowball effect.

I have never been compensated and even doubtful if the publisher has even bothered to try.

As to the individual who suggested changing a word or two, I would hope you were in jest. If not I suggest you, get a life!


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 05:08 PM

This is the quintessential folk song paradox, because all the songs were written by somebody. I recorded an unusual version of "I live not where I love" which had been passed to me as handed down via the oral tradition by an Irish singer, and I only discovered, between singing it in the studio and mixing the final version, that it had been reworked by Gregg Butler of Strawhead, and collected by Mary's sister off a flyer at a fleadh in Ireland.

A pop song is one that is popular when it comes out. A folk song is one that endures and is repeatedly sung for years and years, regardless of authorship (I'll just duck below the parapet now)


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Snoozer
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 05:12 PM

Many Thanks to all for your comments and advice. I did a search in the forum for the two songs from my original question. I was surprised (can you tell I'm a newbie?) to find very extensive and useful information. Now I'm too embarassed to tell you what the songs were, and besides I don't want to re-open those threads :-)

We'll certainly be more diligent in seeking out authors in the future (and maybe take another quick look at our already released CDs).

Let the discussion continue! It's very interesting and informative.

Snooz


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 06:59 PM

well, this points up some of MY discussions of what it means for a sone to be truly folk/trad..*grin*...if you can find NO information on any original author, or if the author was dead long before copyrights were serious issues, then it may be folk..

It is even more interesting when someone thinks a 'trad' song was written by some recent singer or group...I had to bring in a book to prove to some guys where I worked how old "Scarborough Fair" was...and that it was NOT an original construct of Simon & Garfunkle!


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: BH
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 07:21 PM

Give a listen to the great spoof by John Forster of Paul Simon. The song: Fusion. As he says in the lyrics: I changed one word and now ASCAP says its mine. Great imitation and beat in the song. It is on his Entering Marion CD.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Mr Red
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 07:42 PM

Gareth
UK legal precedents set the needed number of changed words to be greater than 1. I think 6 is the kind of number to make a good case. It is a gamble that you change the word that offends to one that the "copyrighter changed in order to avoid someone else's copyright". FWIW.
Not that UK law is going to help Snoozer.
There is a lot of oral tradition so it is to be expected that songs feel old. Lord of the dance was written in the 50's, (Sydney Carter is probably still with us.) the words that is, but they feel traditional. Of course their irony is that an American "born again Irishman" so popularised them that the world thinks the tune is Irish therefore the words are! When the tune is very traditional American.
But ask non-folkies and they will tell you ... Irish.
Oh 'tis a gift to be simple 'tis a gift to be...


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 08:52 PM

Guy Carawan once recorded a song written by Bill Staines as being traditional. He even changed the title.


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Big Mick
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 11:09 PM

For those that live in caves and don't know the name (tongue in cheek comment), Glen Reid is one helluva songwriter and musician. One of the reasons that I am wearing out two of his CD's is that his music and lyrics have a very "traditional" feel to them. They tell great yarns, historical facts, stories about the area he lives in and obviously loves. But based on the feel of these, I would bet that he constantly has people that rip his songs off. Personally, I cannot understand someone who fancies him/herself as an artist and performer that would want to rip off another artist. I just couldn't do it. I don't think that is particularly admirable on my part, it is just the right thing to do. I know how hard it is to craft a well written lyric/tune. That is because I, despite having some marvelous tales to tell, have never been able to do it. So should the day come that I do, I certainly want my "property" rights respected.

A few weeks back, Jed, Jeri and I had the great privilege to sit in a song circle with Glen. It was a rare treat. I would commend strongly, his CD's. And give him the credit due when you sing his songs, because you surely will.

Mick


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: GUEST,Glen Reid
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 11:44 PM

Thanks for the kind words, Mick All the best, Glen


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Aug 02 - 12:54 AM

What a wonderful thread! Thanks for the heads-up, Mick.

Glen, I found your website and read about your CD, Heritage River. Do we order through you or elsewhere? Also, I don't know beans about guitars, but yours are really elegant...I love the lines...really beautiful.

Reading with great interest, thanks all,

kat


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: GUEST,Glen Reid
Date: 14 Aug 02 - 09:56 AM

Hello Kat, Being new to the Mudcat, I'm not sure if its appropriate to responde in the thread or privately. Email me at glenreid@onlink.net

Thanks for your interest. All the best. Glen


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: MMario
Date: 14 Aug 02 - 10:02 AM

if it's about purchasing a CD available on the internet - dagnabit - answer here!!!!!

(d*mn my wish list keeps getting longer, and longer)


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Aug 02 - 11:01 AM

Mine, too, MMario!

Glen, I am sorry, I should have said..answering here would be fine, according to Mudcat etiquette. That way others who are interested would also have the info, if you don't mind. Fielding will tell you...we had a wonderful thread when Lifeline came out. Some of your handiwork there, too, I see.:-)

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Big Mick
Date: 14 Aug 02 - 11:21 AM

Glen, it is fine to promote your stuff here. In fact, it is encouraged. One of the wonderful things about this place is the ability to be exposed to so many fine artists that we might never otherwise get to here.


Fire away, and while you are at it, tell them about your instrument building.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Julie B
Date: 14 Aug 02 - 01:43 PM

I have recently written a song that people seem to like and want to perform. It is VERY traditional sounding, and, while it'll be lovely to hear other people singing it, and maybe recording it, I don't want to run the risk of it being attributed as 'Trad.' (or far worse, having somebody else claim that they wrote it). Friends tell me that in the UK, copyright is sort of automatic, and there is nowhere to register songs. Is this right? Can I do no more to protect my songs and prove that they are mine? Friends at the clubs I go to know which songs I have written, but will this be enough proof if someone else suddenly pops up singing them? (I know some have been recorded at sessions).

Julie B


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: GUEST,eoin o'buadhaigh
Date: 14 Aug 02 - 02:15 PM

What about the newly composed ballad competition at the fleadhs? I have attended fleadhs as far back as the early 70's and know folk who have composed ballads and entered them only to hear them being sung at clubs years later and beng claimed by the artists. The same thing happened to myself but I questioned the artist who claimed my song and he came clean. It has bound to have happened to lots of songwriters without them knowing about it. As for entering in the fleadhs as I mentioned above - how can one protect or prove that the song is theirs?

slan Eoin


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: NicoleC
Date: 14 Aug 02 - 03:00 PM

At least on this side of the pond, the (partial) solution is publishing, not just copyrighting. You can create your own publishing company fairly easily, and then get incorporated into one of the big catalogues like ASCAP or BMI. I'm not sure how you go about doing the second half, but here's a primer: http://www.ascap.com/about/howjoin.html

It won't help out with the folks who deliberately steal, but it will help get the song out there in a way that helps people credit it to you -- and you can get PAID for it if they do.


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: GUEST,Glen Reid
Date: 14 Aug 02 - 04:15 PM

Hi Mick Kat and Mario, The two CD,s I have available are Heritage River and the most recent, Wilcats Howlin' A big inspiration and a lot of imput came from my old pal Rick Fielding in the making of both these efforts.

The liner notes etc and information about my line of intruments are at http://www.onlink.net/~glenreid/index.html Cant seem to make it turn blue,

Thanks, Glen

link repaired by Joe Clone


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: MMario
Date: 14 Aug 02 - 04:31 PM

blue clickie for Glen


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 14 Aug 02 - 11:32 PM

Yup, it's fine to let folks know about your stuff Glen. when people come on Mudcat simply to SELL, they quickly find out that we're a community, and ya gotta contribute. Your name has actually been mentioned a number of times here, so I hope ya can join and be part of our little folk family. Your knowledge of instrument building would be welcome here.

Cheers

Rick

P.S. My song "Voices of Struggle" has been sung as a traditional song in a number of areas, especially Quebec.


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: michaelr
Date: 14 Aug 02 - 11:38 PM

Glen -- nice-looking instruments! Question: what's the black dot on the back?

Michael


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Jimmy C
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 01:57 AM

In the past I have felt sometimes feel that a few good some songs are not long enough and have added an verse or two of my own. When performing any of these songs I always give credit to the original songwriter if known but also put in a plug about the added parts being mine. It has been a long time since I recorded anything, but what happens if someone were to record such a song? How would credits and/or royalties etc. be handled? Also, is it ethical to add one's own verse(s) to someone else's work?

Glen, it's good to hear from you again. (Still have no word about Brannigan.)

Jimmy


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Jim McLean
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 03:49 AM

That's a tricky one, Jimmy. I find some people change or add words to my songs, usually because they couldn't catch the correct worrds on the recording. It's a bit like painting in an item on a well known canvas just because you think it looks a bit bare. Some additions or changes to a song of mine tells me that the person doing the changing hasn't understood the song and that's a bit irritating. Having said all that, I added two verses to Burns's Tibbie Dunbar because I thought it was too short (for a recording) and no one's complained yet! Cheers, Jim Mclean


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Jimmy C
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 11:04 AM

Jim, I agree with you to a point, one of the songs in question was " Come by the Hills", I happen to think it is a super song but even with repeating the first verse was still a little short, also the fact that most people repeat the first verse led me to believe that it MAY or MAY NOT be more finished with an additional verse ?. so I added another. It's a judgement call whether the extra verse really puts the finishing touch to it or not.

BTW, I don't make it a habit of adding verses, just on the very rare occasion, I always felt it was a bit unethical but acceptable provided I don't claim the whole piece, and gave credit where credit was due.

Slan


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 11:52 AM

A classic example of theft is Wimoweh. The guy who stole it got rich and the family of the guy who wrote it in South Africa lives in a hut. The rich guy had a feature article in the architecture column of the New York Times Magazine section a couple of years back.


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Jim McLean
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 11:53 AM

Jimmy, you could always check with Gordon Smith who wrote the lyrics. The Corries asked me if they could add a verse to one of my songs and even sang it over the 'phone! That was courtesy. Cheers, Jim McLean


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: GUEST,Glen Reid
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 11:57 AM

Hi There, Thanks Joe Clone and MMario for the blue clicky thing. Greetings Rick and Michael, The guitar you saw on the web-page has a detachable neck (optional) and the black dot is the cover concealing the screw heads. I just noticed that my web page is missing a whole lot of other photos (mando-thingies etc.). And I don't know where they have gone. Know anyone out there who has some experience in setting up a luthier's web-page? I am a total novice.

Hi Jimmy C, I visited with Joe Brannigan (Brannigan's Boys) last month and we had a good old gab. I mentioned your name and we reminisced about those Camelot days of old. Wish you had of been there.

All the best,
Glen


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 01:17 PM

Julie B

As you're based in England, you should take a look at the thread started by Mrs Lemon about PRS. The bit that you really want to check out is the info that the rules have changed - registering for PRS used just to depend on having evidence that someone was singing your songs, but now, apparently, you have to pay a registration fee of £100 and have a commercial recording of the song...

Kitty


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Jimmy C
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 11:22 AM

Jim, I suppose if one is not making any money from the altered song it is ok, if however it was part of a commercial recording venture then that would be a different situation and proper steps should be taken.

Glen,

I can just imagine what Joe said when you mentioned me, probably something like " That little Belfast Gobshite, where did he spring up from " or words to that effect.

Does he have E-mail ?. I would like to contact him, I very seldom get into Toronto and/or Scarborough very much these days.

Stay in touch

Jimmy


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 02:44 PM

In the USA, the last time I checked, if one writes/adds a verse to a song belonging to another, he must (should?)get permission from the writer, explain in the notes that he himself added the new verse. The original writer/composer gets all royalties, however. Can anyone second this as correct information?


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: GUEST,Burke
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 06:37 PM

As I understand it, checking your additional verses with the copyright holder is not just a courtesy, it's the law. This is from the FAQ at the US Copyright Office. Adding verses is considered a change.

How much do I have to change in order to claim copyright in someone else's work?

Only the owner of copyright in a work has the right to prepare, or to authorize someone else to create a new version of that work. Accordingly, you cannot claim copyright to another's work, no matter how much you change it, unless you have the owner's consent. See Circular 14. A .pdf file

I don't know about the details of application once permission is obtained. It seems like the exact notes, payments, etc. would be negotiable, but this is what lawyers are for.

Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created, and a work is "created" when it is fixed in a copy or phonorecord for the first time. If you want to register it just to be sure the fee in the US is $30.


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: GUEST,Gerry.
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 07:38 PM

Only the owner of copyright may authorize the changing of words, title, etc., of work, i.e. song. Many artists record songs believing them to be traditional and attribute these songs as trad/arr.by. thus denying the real author his or her rights as composer. The penalty for breach of copyright is pretty severe, check with BMI or ASCAP.


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Julie B
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 08:27 AM

Here's a link to the thread mentioned above by Herga Kitty ("the thread started by Mrs Lemon about PRS":

)

So what do you think of the PRS? (UK)

Julie B


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: nickp
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 09:31 AM

And then, of course, there's those 'traditional' songs 'Tall Ships' and 'The Galway Farmer' both written within the last 10 years by Steve Knightley (known in the UK as half of Show Of Hands - no relation to the US band of the same name)....


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 09:58 AM

If you want to receive royalties from performances of your songs, you'll have to bite the bullet and cough up to the PRS, but if you just want the songs to be acknowledged as yours, you'll need to be able to demonstrate that you wrote it. "Registering" it by issuing a recording sounds like a good way, provided they get circulated; otherwise you'll just ahve to tell lots of people "I wrote this".

BTW, Julie, bear in mind that when the broadside of P&P" comes out, the copyright on the design will be mine!

Steve


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 10:18 AM

I have heard of songs where the original author has let people think that one of his own compositions is a trad one which he collected. A good example is "Bring us a Barrel" - see DT. Keith Marsden didn't admit to authorship until he'd been singing it for some years and everyone assumed that it was trad. BTW Dick Greenhaus, isn't it about time you corrected the first verse to what Keith wrote ? -

No man who's a drinker sups ale from a pin For there is too little good stuff there within.

Or are you trying the changing words trick......


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Jim Krause
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 10:41 AM

Research, research, research.

I either write my own material, or perform material that is as certain as I can determine, over 50 years old and which copyright has not been renewed. Exceptions to this rule are songs written by known composers like Jimmie Rodgers, Carson Robinson, or A.P. Carter and the like.
Jim


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 05:03 PM

Being a writer (Literature not music.) I know the copyright law applies as soon as the piece is written (In the UNited States) However, if it is not registered with teh copyright office the would be plagarist can claim innocnet infringement and may very well get by with it. Don't know how that works with music but I suspect it's the same. Kindest regards, neil


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Hrothgar
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 05:41 AM

Does the US Copyright Office have copyright on the material n its website?


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Jim Krause
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 11:39 AM

Hrothgar, I should think so.
Jim


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: GUEST,nobby
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 11:45 AM

"All music is folk music but I aint heard a horse that can sing" ergo all music is traditional. It is traditional to write music ergo all music is traditional and is handed on to the nex generation to do with as they please. fortuneately listening to most of the crap that is on TV I have faith that most of it will disappear into obscurity in a few months or weeks. I just hope no-one decides to ressurect it until I am dead and gone.


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: GUEST,Jim I
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 04:36 PM

A friend of mine has written quite a few songs over the last three or four years. I don't know how effective it is but what she does is enclose the song lyrics in a sealed envelope and then posts it to herself. She then has a dated (postmarked) copy of the original song.

Is this a reasonable tactic?


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 05:17 PM

It used to be said that that would work for literature, Jim I. The best thing to do is still to register them with the copyright office. In the case of songs, the least expensive way is to include several in a "cycle" or "songbook," I think is what they call it. I'd ask my brother, but he's not available right now. He registered all of his songs that way. You only have to pay one fee, but can include several songs, instead of paying for each one indivudally.


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Burke
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 05:48 PM

Hrothgar, the US government cannot copyright anything. Anything the Gov. publishes is public property. Since the Copyright office is a US govt. agency, the web site should also be Public Domain.

If you use material from there, it would be good to cite it as your source for purposes of showing authoritativeness. You also cannot copyright what you get from there either.


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 06:06 PM

ASCAP has a good website- and I'm sure that BMI does also. For anyone who gets far enough with a song to want to protect it with a copyright, join up and they will (at least I know that ASCAP will) be very helpful.


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 06:47 PM

I learned "Deep Fork" from Sandy Paton, thinking it might be traditional. Imagine my surprise when he said Tom Paxton had written it. I'm told that Ewan MacColl would encounter folk who laughed in his face at his claim that he'd written "Shoals Of Herring". Apparently they THOUGHT they'd learned it from their parents (or grandparents).

Hi Jean...I imagine "The L and N..." has been sung (and recorded) a few times without folks knowing it's origin.

Other than the lost money, it's quite a compliment I guess.

Rick


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: GUEST,Gerry.
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 09:19 PM

Many composers in the U.K. have had their work credited as traditional/ arr. by. in the USA. Pete st. john, Pat Cooksey, and Ewan McColl to name but three. Songs registerd with PRS/MCPS in the U.K. do not automatically appear on BMI, HARRY FOX, ASCAP, etc, and therefore the writers of these songs are denied income when their songs are recorded or perfomed.


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Amergin
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 09:19 PM

i don't know...i think i would be thrilled if one of my songs became known as trad....just imagine walking into a pub...and some one is singing something that i wrote....would die of shock....but would be pleased....


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 08:30 PM

I think this sums up the best strategy for recording "traditional" music. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.)

Start with the assumption that every song was written by SOMEBODY, even if nobody knows who it is. And that person (or his or her heirs) deserves to be paid--UNLESS the song is so old that the copyright has expired and the song has passed into the public domain. For the US, I think that means 1920.

So to prove that your song is in the public domain, you have to find a published source that is older than 1920. (That's not that hard to do, if the song really is old.) Then, to be safe, you should stick exactly to the pre-1920 words and music unless you're quite certain that any modifications were invented by you and nobody else.

If you can't prove that the song is older than 1920, but you can't determine who wrote it, then the safest thing is to assume you will have to pay royalties to someone, and put money aside for that purpose.


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 09:25 AM

In the thread on After the Ball, Masato has cut and pasted Frances Black's version from the web site, with the info, Songwriter: Trad. It may well be in public domain by now, but more likely someone has renewed the copyright on what was the biggest selling song hit of the 1890s, music & lyrics by Charles K. Harris. It should not have been at all difficult for Frances Black to discover this, and she may as well be mistaken about the slight alterations given to the song being enough to call deny Harris his due, the arrangement of Frances Black's version is now P. J. Curtis. Her version is not as good as the original, but less dated in style perhaps. But it is not TRAD.!


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: MMario
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 09:32 AM

unfortunately many people equate "public domain" with "trad"


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: GUEST,Burke
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 05:08 PM

MMario, that's one of my pet peeves. I see it a lot on Bluegrass recordings. They will record an old hymn that's become traditional, but did have a poet & composer >100 years ago. Frequently the information is no farther away than a Baptist Hymnal.

The one that really got me was on Dolly Parton's Little Sparrow, "In the Sweet by and by" is 'attributed' to Public Domain.


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: GUEST,g.h.
Date: 29 Sep 04 - 08:08 PM

i wanted to know auther and where the island lies if it does excist iknew it was not traditional


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Subject: RE: I Wrote that Traditional Song
From: Deckman
Date: 29 Sep 04 - 10:00 PM

guest g.h.   Sorry, I can't help you.

This thread reminds me of something I witnessed in California, probably about 1964 or 65. We were in the audience of a live concert featuring the late Dave Spence. Simply a WONDERFUL traditional Irish singer.

Being Irish, and a damned good story teller, he was long on introductions. As he introduced his next song, he mentioned how it was a "traditional" song from the old country, that spoke of the "Little people." He then launched into Malvina Reynold's "Little Land."

At the end of the applause for that performance, this little grey haired stood up in the audience and said "I WROTE THAT SONG AND MY NAME IS MALVINA REYNOLDS."

Poor Dave. He truly thought it was a traditional song, and there he was live, IN BERKELEY (which was Malvina's home town). He fumbled and stumbled and mumbled, and finaly just walked up close to the mike and said very straighforward: "I'm terribly sorry if I made a mistake. Please forgive me, and let's hear a big round of applause for Malvina Reynolds.

We were backstage later when they met in person. The evening ended pleasently. CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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