Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Music Media Your Rights Online

Threatening Online Tablature 266

Posted by timothy
from the base-do-you-copy-do-you-copy- dept.
mr_don't writes: "Howard Sacks, president of RenegadeOLGA, has recently released this statement describing the future of RenegadeOLGA after being threatened by the powerful National Music Publishers Association and it's attack dog, the Harry Fox Agency. The RenegadeOLGA.com website has posted a lengthy description of the events that led up to the legal threats. Apparently, the Harry Fox Agency is working with NBCi to develop a digital sheet music site called Songfile.com, and they are using legal threats to eliminate any competiton." Outlawing amateur tablature is a bit like outlawing sports spectators from reporting scores on games they watch -- that is to say, not currently as outrageous as it should be.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Threatening Online Tablature

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    What Vuarnet wrote reminds of the following:

    "They first came for the communists, but I was not a communist so I did not speak. Then they came for the jews, but I was not a jew so I did not speak (etc)"

    Not to compare them with Nazis, but you get the idea. We have to realize that these are not separate things. It's all the same. When will the persecution stop?? It's up to us to do something, I guess.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm a programmer. I write GPL software, and I give it away. I own the copyright to this software, so Microsoft, Apple, Sun, and anybody else who might have a problem with Open Source can kiss my geek ass.

    Instead of copying other people's creative works (Napster, guitar tab sites, ROM sites, and so on), how about if all you guitarists out there write some original work, license it under the Open Content License, and then distribute it on the Net? Then you, too, can tell Harry Fox to take a hike.

    Hell, maybe if you write some tabs, and some other people write some lyrics, and you all use an open content license, we can actually have Free Music that comes with all the ingredients for the next generation of musicians to tinker with freely.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2001 @08:06PM (#258634)
    > Somebody nuke NBCi and this other group for me

    It's already happened :) NBCi have been aquired by NBC (think "stop the bleeding"), who are shutting it down [marketwatch.com].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29, 2001 @05:35AM (#258635)
    judges have a specific purpose in civil suits, to decide who is right and who is wrong in the eyes of the law.

    I'm amazed at how easily people buy into all that conservative rhetoric. In case you did not know, we have three branches of government: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. Those branches act as checks and balances against each other.

    Every year, congress writes dozens of laws which violate the constitution. If the courts blindly interpreted those laws, there would be no point in having a constitution at all. In order to keep the constitution intact, the judicial branch has the power to declare a law unconstitutional.

    Even if a law is constitutional, the judicial branch has the duty to interpret the law, and they may well believe the law was never intended to apply in some specific case.

    Keep in mind, those checks and balances are our buffer against corruption. If a single corrupt interest manages to control all three branches, our final option is the second ammendment. This is what George Washington was referring to when he warned us about political parties.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2001 @04:45PM (#258636)
    The level of naivete evinced by this post is truly astounding. Clearly the poster has never played with FFTs (Fast Fourier Transforms for frequency analysis). The problem with a Fourier transform is that you must collect a large number of samples in order to get reasonable frequency resolution, unfortunately, that causes you to loose time resolution. So you only get the frequency components of a very looong note.

    At least one PhD dissertation [umi.com] has been written on using wavelet transforms to attempt to reconstruct musical notation from a recorded performance. It wasn't terribly successful....

    I tend to think that it would be a bit more that a small project to come up with rip-tab!

  • Can someone parse this please? Methinks Timmy's been hanging around Rob Malda too long.

    - A.P.

    --
    Forget Napster. Why not really break the law?

  • by sjames (1099) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @05:59AM (#258641) Homepage

    What about those bands who can play by ear (ie do not write down the tablature, but play what they hear)?

    Shades of Farenheight 451. It would appear that after centuries of progress, we're back to oral tradition if we want to have any sort of culture that is not wholly owned by various imortal corperate entities who will happily twist it to maximise their profits and minimize questions.

    It took mankind thousands of years to develop the technology required to preserve culture and heritage through the generations.

    It looks like it will take corperate entities, judges and congress just over 100 years to completely destroy those thousands of years of progress.

    I have to wonder, if Bell had realised that ultimatly the gramaphone would be instrumental in handing ownership of culture over to the RIAA, would he have destroyed it quietly?

    At the rate we're going, the first generation in U.S. history to never see a copyright expire has already been born.

  • While I fall in pretty close with the "original intent" crowd (but not exactly), I've grudgingly come to accept the result in Marbury v. Madison as necessary and correct.


    Laws are enforced by actions in court. If a law is not within the constitutional power of the government, it is not within the constitutional power of the court to enforce.


    On top of that, the Federalist Papers were *quite* clear that this was a role of the court; it was a *selling point* to a population that didn't trust central governments . . .


    hawk

  • by hawk (1151) <hawk@eyry.org> on Monday April 30, 2001 @06:03AM (#258643) Journal

    >I am not talking about the supreme court only. Judges are appointed
    >because of their political affiliations in all levels.

    There has been more success by both parties at the lower level, yes.

    >The senate
    >blockade of Clinton's nominees was mostly for federal and appelate
    >judges, not the supreme court.

    >the "blockade" is a *bit* more complicated than that, but I'll let it pass.

    >Plus, you have just said what I said.
    >Judges have a political affiliation that is crucial to their decision.

    Yes, but at the top level, this political affiliation is only loosely
    correlated with with the party appointing the judge.

    >You can dress it up as constitutional interpretation.

    It's not a matter of "dressing it up". It is *supposed* to be
    constitutional interpretation, but as I said, this only has 2.5 of
    the 9 votes at the mements. Then the democrats have 4, and the
    republicans 2.5. Scalia and Thomas are the only ones who will
    consistently vote for a result they don't like when the constitution
    requires it--and when Scalia writes the majority opinions in those
    cases, it's easy to tell he doesn't like the results.

    > Sometimes it is,
    >and sometimes it is raw favoritism ( cf. Gore vs. Bush. ).

    Unless you're referring to the Florida Supreme Court, this is
    just nonsense. The result they reached is the only possible
    result that is consistent with the last 100 years of administrative
    law and the last 150 of election law. (But yes, I was surprised
    that they were able to create a 7 vote majority on the substance
    of the issue that relied solely on well-settled law. And for the
    record, I'd have joined with the two liberal justice who joined
    the majority but thought that Florida should be able to try to
    do something consistent with the decision in the 28 (?) or so
    hours that remained. I think that the 5 votes that said there
    was no possible way to do wo were correct that there would be no
    way to meat the deadline [but then again, I had thought there was
    no way to get a 7 vote majority based on established principles.
    Nonetheless, the state was still entitled to try.)

    >>If you look at the actual voting records rather than the political and
    >>media hype, you'll find that your best friend on the court (most
    >>likely to vote in your favor when faced with government power or
    >>intrusion) is Thomas... followed by Scalia.

    >I see you have been an intern on Pravda. Could you please supply us
    >with some precise examples of Thomas and Scalia protecting me (
    >assuming 'me' to be an ordinary citizen without big pockets) against
    >anything?

    When you cross from generalizations about the behaviro of the court
    from years of observation, you get into things that I charge to do.
    As such, I won't do it off the cuff. If you or anyone else wants
    to cover my retainer, I'll be happy to provide the examples, the
    contra-examples, and a detailed analysis. I doubt, though, that
    anyone reading slashdot would be interested enough to cover my
    minimum fee :)

    >There have been a number of statistical studies of the supreme court.
    >There is little doubt that except for the dramatically out of line
    >Warren court the US Supreme court has never been in the business of
    >protecting ordinary Americans against anything.

    Only by those who reach this conclusion before thinking.

    > The typical supreme
    >court decision protecting against over-zealous government is Dred
    >Scott Vs. Stanford, Row vs. Wade is rather the exception.

    Curious. You cite the two leading candidates for the worst cases
    to ever come down from the court. And no, I don't mean for the
    results reached, but for the flagrant abuse of judicial power
    used to reach the conclusion in both cases.

    >But then, since you are a fan of Scalia, I assume you think Dred Scot
    >was a shining example of protecting personal liberties. Good for you!

    Ahh, nothing like a good old ad hominem attack when you're relying
    on simple ignorance. I would, however, love to read the dissent
    that Scalia would have written in that case . . .

    >you have a rather skewed view of the approaches taken by the two
    >parties here . .

    >>I believe I have a realistic understanding that the Republican party
    >>is doing what it can to close the door of the court to all but the
    >>insanely rich.

    Uh, yeah. Leaving aside the fact that it's the moderately rich that
    tend to be republican, and that the insanely rich and very big
    corporations tend to lean democratic, this just plain falls into the
    "what color is the sky in your world category." I was actually
    taking you seriously until this.

    >You are welcome to prove me wrong.

    From the last couple of your comments, it's clear that there's no point.
    If God came down and told you otherwise, you'd take it as a
    republican trick.

    hawk,esq.
  • by hawk (1151) <hawk@eyry.org> on Sunday April 29, 2001 @07:43AM (#258644) Journal
    you have a rather skewed view of the approaches taken by the two parties here . . .


    *both* parties try to put in judges who view the constitution in the same way as they do. Suggesting that either party does more of this is simply ignorant (at least if you leave out Al Gore--to the best of my knowledge, he's the only candidate for president from either major party in modern history to promise a litmus test on a particular issue).


    The republican track record in getting Supreme Court justices to point their way is pathetic; they'd do as well by drawing random names for the membership rolls of the bar in various states--Earl Warren and Justice Souter come to mind.


    Right now there's a 3 way split on the court, with the classic liberals holding the swing votes between the liberal/democratic block (about half of which were appointed by republicans) and the conservative/republican block.


    If you look at the actual voting records rather than the political and media hype, you'll find that your best friend on the court (most likely to vote in your favor when faced with government power or intrusion) is Thomas (again, against all reasonable expectations at the time of his appointment), followed by Scalia (unless the safety of a police officer is involved). Then comes Kennedy on his good days.
    i


    On his bad days, Kennedy joins the conservative block and votes like a good
    republican. The other six votes are entirely predictable (2 republican and
    4 democratic).


    The "unual and unexpected coalition" you sometimes here referred to
    comes up when the classic liberals vote with the liberals--and these
    votes are quite predictable.


    When you see a 6-3 vote with Thomas, Rehnquist, and Kennedy in dissent, watch out. Look quickly; the conservatives and liberals just ganged up and took away some of your liberties. Even worse tend to be the 7-2 votes, when Kennedy *doesn't* joint Thomas and Scalia . . . *ugh*


    hawk, esq. and civile libertarian at large

  • Lyrics.ch is my all time favorite example of the sort of world the RIAA and associated friends would like to see. Their use of (signed, and thus dangerously unsafe) Java to prevent cut and paste, printing, or even screen shots (no control over the scroll rate for you!) is just insulting. Trust us to not be downloading non-sandboxed Java code to reformat your hard disk, and we'll trust you to see the precious and secret lyrics to 'Happy Birthday' on your computer screen momentarily. And, while you're here, why not click on our banner ads?

    Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear citizen, Happy Birthday to you.

  • This is a great example of why the Internet is A Good Thing. Not to slather on the praise too thick, but where in the mainstream press will you read a statement that says "Establishment Entity X routinely abuses our beloved Constitution?"

    Yes, it's time to have every law that abuses the term "limited" in the copyright clause thrown out. Yes, it's time to have every law that abuses the commerce clause thrown out. The same kind of abuse of the Constitution that leads to routine abuse of probable cause leads to abuse like this, and abuse of the fifth and tenth amendments.

    What we need is a law that attaches serious consequnces to anyone enforcing unconstitutional laws. You bet lawmakers would hear about it pretty quick the first time a bureaucrat got thrown in jail for being overenthusiatic about the power an unconstitutional law conferred on him. Laws are too often made as private deals between lawmakers and law enforcers or, as in this case, people who derive their living by being private enforcers. If there are no consequences, this will go out of control.

  • by crisco (4669) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @03:29PM (#258651) Homepage
    This fight has been going on for a long time. The tablature has been online since the 'good ole days', I remember one of my fellow guitar students talking about back in about '91, when I was like 'duh, how do I get internet'.

    The first step was to get the archive dumped off of the University of Nevada's servers. Then anyone else hosting it would get the nasty letters too. You'd have to hope the cross-atlantic links and the Italian site hosting the archive were up and hope you'd be able to find the tab you were looking for quickly enough.

    Of course the maintenance goes downhill too, when you can't connect to the archive or officially host it you can't very well keep adding tabs for all the new stuff that keeps coming along, and whether your preferences run toward the newest Blink182 or the next Satriani album or even Shania, being able to grab tab is nice.

    And while some might look at tab as 'cheating', don't forget how many beginners learn from it, people that might not get to hang around with decent guitar players or have money for lessons.

    Again, the issue comes down to fair use in an interconnected society and the inability of old distribution and reward models to fit to an interconnected society.

    Good luck to OLGA!

    Chris Cothrun
    Curator of Chaos

  • >>...downloading the lyrics is wrong.

    >Well they are copyrighted too. Downloading them
    >is really not wrong, but distributing them might

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I always thought that downloading *is* a method of distribution.
  • Nevermind that some of these tabs (as was some of the lyrics on lyrics.ch) are "backward engineered", in that they are other people's interpretations of what the lyrics or tabs might be or probably are. They'll be determined to keep control to the point they'll make their tabs completely unusable. Copyright holders need to look at things in a different light.


    By your argument, I could read a book and post my interpretation of the book on the web. This interpretation would have a significant amount of content from the originial - so much so that it is very recognizable as the original. (For a song, this just means getting the "hook".) Basically, this is called copying and under IP laws (for many moons) it has been illegal. How do we know these people aren't just buying tab books (or even borrowing them) and just copying that to the web? I mean, Christ, these people are simply copying! It's that simple. Pure and simple, posting tabluature is very clear violation of copyright.

    Interpretations of music, namely performances, have always costed those who play them. However, it is utterly unfeasible to follow all live performances, so establishments that have live performaces pay blanket fees based on the number of cover performaces they will or did have (based on some statistics, like how often they have live performaces, etc.). So even your interpretations argument does not hold.

    I don't think the Harry Fox agency is being unreasonable. They are protecting the copyrights of the musicians who sat and wrote the music. If the musicians are willing, let them give away the tablature.

    Besides, if you want to be a decent musician (namely guitarist), put down the tab, open your ears and listen to what you want to play and attempt to recreate it. Hell, you may even write something original in the process. This is generally how music is written anyway.

    Nagash

  • If tab is put up in partial form, then I'm not sure where the line gets drawn. As you mentioned, posting the whole thing is the bad thing. I was referring to this. I don't use tabs anymore, so I haven't gone looking for them for a long time.

    You are also correct that you cannot copyright chord changes. What you do have copyright on, however, is the arrangement of the piece and its performance. Note that this is not like a patent or trademark! Other people can still use it, they just can't use the exact same one. When you publish/post (full) tablature, you are essentially copying the original arrangement. If you only give out certin "licks" or "riffs", I doubt that's a major infringement. Of course, I don't know where the line is drawn - that's always been the fuzzy part about this.

    Nagash
  • by Surak (18578) <surak@mai[ ]ocks.com ['lbl' in gap]> on Sunday April 29, 2001 @04:13AM (#258683) Homepage Journal
    Do you guys get that over there occasionally? Can you get rid of judges who are clueless? Do you have any frigging say in the way your country is run at all?

    The purpose of a judge in the U.S. is to interpret existing law. It's entirely possible that amateur tablature falls in the category of "fair use." (I think it would), but a judge might very rule that it is copyright infringement. It depends on how you interpret the law. At least in this case we're not likely to have the situation, as in the Napster suit, where the judge has no frigging clue...online tablature is basically the same as writing it down on a piece of paper.

    The real question is is writing it (the tablature...the music if you will) down a piece of paper and then distributing it to the masses copyright infringement? If I just write it down and give it to a few friends, may. But if I write it down take it to a print shop, have a million copies made and even if I don't sell them for $10 a pop, well, maybe that IS copyright infringement. Translating a work is considered to be one of the protected rights under copyright. That's what you have to consider.
  • by marxmarv (30295) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @05:34PM (#258685) Homepage
    The social institution of DIY has been in danger for years now. I think it started with the War On (Some) Drugs making it almost impossible for an individual to acquire fine chemicals, and orders for listed chemicals are subjected to scrutiny by chemical distributors and prosecuted for anything from controlled substance manufacturing to terrorism if the buyer can't come up with a good story. Radio Shack, once a source for electronic components, now is a glorified consumer-electronics also-ran that won't even sell you a 6.5536MHz crystal anymore. The DMCA neatly banished research of copy control to corporations, with even the ivory tower of academia under attack for research the law explicitly permits, and very nearly makes a crime out of verifying the operation of something you paid for. In some places, you can't buy CO2 or hair bleach

    Innovation has become the sole province of corporations, it seems, and this is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. This is an unprecedented attack on the sovereignty of the individual, on many different fronts, concocted by people who have few common ties but the ability to profit from conformity, and it isn't getting any better. We can keep fighting them point-by-point to slow down the machine's progress, but what can we do to reverse the trend? What can we do to restore discovery, initiative, and independence to their rightful place as the cornerstone of Western achievement, in a world filled with prefab, overpriced, purpose-built, rubber-bumpered crap?

    Hey, Katz, if you want to do something useful for "The Kids", then quit defending mindless entertainment and start advocating mindful engagement. Ten million zombies playing Quake are not going to fix the problem.

    -jhp

  • by mav[LAG] (31387) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @03:24PM (#258686)
    I expect to read soon that that Harry Fox Agency will start cracking down on jam sessions because guys share lyric sheets and show each other popular licks.

    I would genuinely like to know just what successes there have been against obvious greed by a corporation in the courts over the last eighteen months or so. I define success as something along the lines of: an impartial judge considers the facts of the case and what implications his or her judgement would have and then tells the corporate entity bringing the action to go and stick it.

    Do you guys get that over there occasionally? Can you get rid of judges who are clueless? Do you have any frigging say in the way your country is run at all?

  • Hey, I'm not saying that there should be NO IP laws, or that people shouldn't be able to make money off of IP. I'm a software programmer. I make most of my money because of IP.

    However. The draconian IP laws we have in place are indeed destroying our intellectual underpinnings. Think about the video games you played as a kid. Those are protected under copyright 75 plus the life of the author -- bascially your whole life. Many of these games will not survive 75 years. There is no real profit for Atari to re-release a bunch of 2600 games, but at the same time, we're raising the next generation of game designers on copycat games (first person shooters, real-time stragegy, driving, martial arts fighting). I can remember when every game had a very unique strategy, look and feel to it. The ones that didn't, died. If you want to play any of those 2600 games now, the game manufacturers won't sell them to you, and they don't want you to grab them off the net, so you must find an old Atari 2600 somewhere that still works (good luck), with good controllers, and then find the games you want to play. Oh wait, the IP people don't like reseller shops -- remember the flack over used CDs?

    Truth of the matter is, be it film, video games, music, books, or software, much of this IP loses it's commercial value within five years. It's the odd thing that maintains it's worth more than 15 (Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, Victor Hugo's Les Miserables). Most of this stuff will not survive for 75 years when it might possibly come out of copyright. They don't want to sell it to you now, because it costs too much for too small a profit. They do want to hang on it, on the off chance it becomes valuable. Only problem is, they are looking at the dollar signs, they have no real interest in preserving history. When these things are lost (and some things are already lost, try to find a good copy of Metropolis), they cannot be regained.

    The fact they'd rather clamp down and control content rather than sell us the very thing we're stealing -- well, that's just bad business and we shouldn't protect that with law.

  • by einTier (33752) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @04:54PM (#258690)
    Anyone remember lyrics.ch? I do. I remember when it was the place to go to get lyrics to songs. Sure, the song lyrics were copyrighted, but lyrics.ch didn't exist to defy copyright. It was there so you could look up the half-mumbled lyrics to that new song you heard yesterday -- so you could sing along, and possibly enjoy the song more. Or, if you were a parent, you could actually see what your kids were listening to without having to listen to it yourself for extended periods of time. Keep in mind, not all CDs contain lyrics (though thankfully, most do). I used to print out pages and pages of song lyrics for the privacy of my living room (the print on CDs tends to be really small too) or to refer to in the car.

    Apparently the Harry Fox agency didn't like that. And, they ruined lyrics.ch. They tried to change it, and in their zeal for total content control, they made it unusable. Now, you can't print the lyrics, and you can't scroll back to read the ones just displayed, you can't even control the speed of the scrolling. Plus, most songs aren't even listed. Great solution guys. I can only see how lyrics.ch helped promote music, but copyright is king today.

    Now, I see they're going to do it with guitar tabs. Nevermind that some of these tabs (as was some of the lyrics on lyrics.ch) are "backward engineered", in that they are other people's interpretations of what the lyrics or tabs might be or probably are. They'll be determined to keep control to the point they'll make their tabs completely unusable. Copyright holders need to look at things in a different light.

    Rather than asking how they can keep people from making money off their IP, they need to ask "why are people making money off this?" and "how can I make it better and easier to use, so they like my service better?" I'd be willing to pay a nominal fee for lyrics or tabs or god forbid, mp3s. If and only if, I can do whatever I want with them after I purchase them. Don't cripple them, don't worry about me misusing them. As it is, I'm not buying any intellectual property until these strong-arm tactics are under control.

    Copyright law is ruining the intellectual underpinnings of our society.

  • by miahrogers (34176) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @03:34PM (#258691) Homepage
    The ability to get free tabs makes playing music much easier, which in turn creates more musicians, and makes the recording industry MORE MONEY. If they shut down the tab websites, they'll get back the INCREDIBLY small amount of money from people who'd rather hear a local band perform an artist's song than the artist themself.

    Do I have any less desire to see Clapton in concert because I heard FuzzBucket perform "Tears in Heaven"? Absolutley not.
  • Consult the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. s. 106, which provides that the copyright holder owns exclusive rights to reproduction and distribution. With respect to a copyrighted work directly from the original sheet music, a recording or a performance of a copyrighted work, if you record the tablature, and published that result, you have implicated both reproduction and distribution rights. There are some merger issues, but for many tunes, you will run into quite a few walls trying to defend on grounds of noninfringement.

    A better claim might be fair use. Much depends on the particular facts of the case; the work, how much is taken; impact on the publishing marketplace; for what purposes the tablature was recorded, and so forth.
  • Right. Their license requires them to give notice concerning the "accounts" issue. It is the generally feeble efforts of MLB and similar sports organizations to hold on to what's left of the hot news exception.
  • by werdna (39029) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @04:27PM (#258696) Journal
    Nope. That was settled in the Motorola cases not too long ago. There is nothing copyrightable in the subject matter of a sporting event. Of course, you can't simply rebroadcast a particular sportscast, or use excerpts of the play by play commentary -- that (the photography and the content) is most certainly protected.

    however, the subject matter of what is shown on the newscast -- that's no violation of copyright.

    It remains to be seen, however, whether the common law action for misappropriation would apply. The law varies from state to state whether the action protects contemporaneous rebroadcast of "hot news." But that is another (really hypertechnical, but fun for geek lawyers) issue.

    What is clear is that traditional sporting events, itself, is not likely to be protected by copyright. (There may be interesting issues in highly choreographed events, perhaps something like pro wrestlying).
  • by CoughDropAddict (40792) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @05:39PM (#258697) Homepage
    Ya know, it wouldn't be a huge project to write a program you plug your sound recording into and it writes the tabulature to the screen or file in real time. There's only a finite number of ways to finger to get notes out of a fretted instrument, so run a frequency analysis and then apply some simple algorithms for fingurability. Add basic harmonic analysis and it's easy to separate the bass from the guitar from whatever.

    You, my friend, are talking straight out of your ass. If you could implement even a fraction of what you say "wouldn't be a huge project," you would single-handedly show up all of the current experts in the field.

    I recommend you read the alt.binaries.sounds.midi FAQ [nease.net], where the task of converting WAV->MIDI is discussed in depth (section 1.4). This is equivalent to the process you propose, the idea of taking a digital PCM sound file and decomposing it into musical "events." The discussion concludes with the following:

    Think of it this way: If you don't mind spending more than the US national
    debt on computer equipment and waiting a few years for the job to complete,
    you can have a system that MIGHT accurately convert the digital waveform
    data of a 5 minute song into a small, compact MIDI file.


    --
  • So, so much...it opens a new window for every thing you want to do and then at the end, there's no instant access to the song file...you have to put it in the basket. WTF?
    Now, if the site rocked and charged micropayments, it might be sweet, but there's just something so perverse about paying for something that is worse than the free alternative.
    I guess it's nice to see the system working for somebody...too bad it's not us.
  • by wendy (42400) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @02:57PM (#258699) Homepage
    But see Nat'l Basketball Assoc. v. Motorola [cornell.edu] (2d Cir. 1997), for a narrower reading of when a misappropriation claim will stand. The Second Circuit dismissed the NBA's claim against Motorola's basketball-scores-by-pager service (holding that the state law misappropriation claim was preempted by federal copyright law, which in turn did not protect the factual reporting of game scores). I believe the PGA Tour court distinguished Motorola by saying the real-time data PGA reported wouldn't be collected if there were no protection for the PGA Tour's effort, as opposed to basketball scores which would be generated in any event and Motorola picked up from publicly available TV broadcasts .

    OTOH, if database protection passes, preemption won't offer even the weak shield it currently does...

  • by Mr. Slippery (47854) <<tms> <at> <infamous.net>> on Saturday April 28, 2001 @04:21PM (#258702) Homepage
    ...giving a play by play account of a sporting event. Which, guess what, that's copyright infringement.

    Nonsense. Describing something - a plya-by-play of a sporting event, a review of a play, a transcription of a song - in my own words does not violate anyones copyright. My description is my creation. In fact, I automatically hold copyright on my description.

    Anyway, I thought these assholes at Harry Fox would have learned their lesson when they went after the orginal OLGA [olga.net], only to have mirrors spring up all over the place - the same way pressure on Napster has led to things like OpenNap. I said it then [augustachronicle.com] and I'll say it now: Music is not a crime.

    Tom Swiss | the infamous tms | http://www.infamous.net/

  • by Hard_Code (49548) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @04:38PM (#258703)
    Distributing tablature derived from listening to music? That's outrageous! It's almost as bad as communally deciphering and publishing lyrics! These people need to be thrown in jail, along with softcore drug users, and encryption users.
  • please at least show enough respect to quote the entire thing:

    In Germany they first came for the Communists,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
    Then they came for the Catholics,
    and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
    Then they came for me -
    and by that time no one was left to speak up.

    - Pastor Martin Niemöller

  • you know, before all this sound recording junk came along musicians used to make a fair living off sheet music. Of course, that was before the intellect expected of fans dropped low enough for "tabs" to be necessary.
  • That's great! Now you can close your eyes and pretend the law doesn't exist because there is no way to enforce it. Yah! An alternative, would be to do something about the law rather than just giving up on society.
  • The common satire:

    First they came for the hackers.
    But I never did anything illegal with my computer,
    so I didn't speak up.
    Then they came for the pornographers.
    But I thought there was too much smut on the Internet anyway,
    so I didn't speak up.
    Then they came for the anonymous remailers.
    But a lot of nasty stuff gets sent from anon.penet.fi,
    so I didn't speak up.
    Then they came for the encryption users.
    But I could never figure out how to work PGP anyway,
    so I didn't speak up.
    Then they came for me.
    And by that time there was no one left to speak up.

    My google skills are unmatched :)

  • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Saturday April 28, 2001 @05:07PM (#258709) Homepage Journal
    No see, judges have a specific purpose in civil suits, to decide who is right and who is wrong in the eyes of the law. It is not a judge's duty to make new laws, modify the existing ones or otherwise devine some lofty moral goal. Congress has the power to make new laws and recede old ones. The law in question, copyright, was made specifically for this purpose. It's a stupid law, but that's my opinion. It has been highly effective at promoting the arts and as such is not likely to be receded any time soon (in fact it is being strengthened with such laws as the DMCA, as we all know). So stop bitching about "greedy corporations" and judges doing their job, and come up with some good reasons why the law should be changed.
  • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Saturday April 28, 2001 @04:36PM (#258710) Homepage Journal
    Music score is like source code and tablature is like object code and the sound is like the gui! That's why Oasis isn't in jail for rippin' their look and feel off The Beatles.
  • Yes, I do agree. There has been software that claimed to do this, and they have only worked in the simple cases.

    A windows program called Awave music takes a sound sample of one note (piano, guitar) and then you give it a whole sang and it was supposed to convert it into MIDI data. It worked somewhat with very simple data (Major and Minor chords with no filters or effects), but anything else would produce wierd stuff.

    There is also something called Lateral Guitar Synth that is a software version of those MIDI enabled guitars you see. You have to spend awhile tweeking it just to have it reconize simple chords, nevermind the latency that takes effect.

  • by SydBarrett (65592) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @01:17AM (#258714)
    The funny thing is, the tab thst I have got from OLGA sites have been better than most published sheet music. Yes, sometimes people seem to mistake a Am chord for a C major chord, but lots of popular songs on OLGA have more than one submission, so you can look at each one and decide for your self on which is correct, or combine bits of each.

    When I was in high school, I spent $25 (which is alot when you don't have a real job) on a deluxe copy of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon Tab Book. And guess what? A good deal with it was wrong. The opening of "Brain Damage" is not as complex as the book claimed (it's just D and G7 chords with a FEW extra notes). The cheap version of the same book (just sheet music , no tab) of the same leaves out the solo to Time (among other things) and includes a song called "Wots Uh the Deal" that isn't even on the Dark Side of the Moon album. To be fair, I got a better understanding of how to play "Us and Them", better than I have seen on OLGA, but that seems to be rare.

    I have been downloading tab since the days that you had to sniff out FTP sites. I was just starting out and I didn't know a 1-4-5 progression if it bit me on the ass. For a newbie, a lot of songs that I liked were hard to figure out, and the Tab books were watered down versions that were hardly useful to me. How was I to know that using a capo would make the opening part to Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" so easy to play?

    Since then I posted a bit to OLGA (no job at the time), mostly Ween and Beck songs. And I loved it when people emailed me back with thanks, or requests to post my stuff on their web sites (which I always agreed to). When I was starting, I didn't even have a computer. I just went down to the college computer labs and printed out what I wanted to learn (using very small fonts to save paper), took it home and got to it. How cheap and easy could you get?

    And how the hell is this stealing any money from the artists? Most tabs say ( as well as I did) to listen to th CD to get the timing right, as plain text tab is very limited in showing note lengths. Trying to play a song by using tab and ot having a CD or tape of the music in question is almost impossible. I wated to learn songs on CDs that I PAYED FOR AND OWNED. They (whoever) already got my money. It's just sometimes my ears needed a bit of help playing what I like. What the big idea about that?
  • I'd be very careful about having too much organization. The key benefits of Freenet for this kind of thing are:

    1. Anonymity: You can insert keys into Freenet, and publicize those keys, anonymously.
    2. Security: Using public/private keys you generate yourself, you can publicize keys you've signed, but retain your anonymity.
    3. Scalability: Popular content is automatically duplicated across the system. There are apt-get packages in Freenet, which is quite handy when new releases come out.

    If you put too much organization into a project, you'll lose the anonymity benefit. It is possible to organize anonymously (and securely!) through Freenet or other anonymizing filters, but it's not as convenient as email and whatnot.

    I think a very cool project (and one that wouldn't absolutely require anonymity itself) would be to replicate the substantially useful parts of Sourceforge in Freenet, so folks who want to work together on corporately unpopular projects can do so.

    -glenn

  • by gcrocker (74615) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @05:27PM (#258718)
    Content like the tab archive should be posted in Freenet [sourceforge.net]. Go learn about it or have all your rights taken away by the companies that own the US government.

    Oh, and while you're at it, get at the root problem, and join Common Cause [commoncause.org].

    Stop being such fsking victims. It's lame. Take control of your information.

    -glenn

  • Quick personal note: When art forms an industry, and decides to make the public pay for its use, it ceases to be art. Art is that which enriches your soul for no greater price than that of your time.

    Example given: Mozart's operas were always shown in paying venues (you had to buy a ticket to see Figaro). Therefore, Mozart's operas are not art. Eh.

    An artist is someone who can live out of fresh air and pure aesthetics. Anyone who needs basely material things (such as, say, money) to survive ceases to be an artist.

    (Boy, and this is rated +5 insightful...)

    Thomas Miconi
  • by fanatic (86657) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @06:38PM (#258722)
    Go here [guitarnotes.com] and search fo something. Book mark the servernames you get out of the results - many of them are in foreign countries which, if the sites aren't owned by americans, may be more immune to this crap. It's important to do this now because the URL above IS in the good ol' USA, so even tho it's only a search engine, it might get shut down under the same reasoning as Napster.

    --
  • by fanatic (86657) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @06:05PM (#258723)
    I can tell you from personal experience that most of the "official" sheet music that comes out for guitar is pure garbage. Example: I paid a great deal for a Led Zeppelin book to understand "The Rain Song". It was a VERY POOR approximation, in that it didn't even have the correct tuning of the guitar (which is how the strings are tuned, and makes a huge difference in how the song is played and how it SOUNDS). The publishers can take a hike until they produce a quality product at ANY proce (which they've spent 25 years that I know of proving that they can't or won't.

    --
  • by fanatic (86657) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @06:20PM (#258724)
    Screw Fox. Also, you can go to Google Advanced Groups Search [google.com], enter the song title into the "with the exact phrase" field and enter "alt.guitar.tab" into the "Newsgroup" field, then click "google search" and you're set. Let's see the pricks shut down usenet.

    --
  • by geekster (87252) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @04:56PM (#258725) Homepage
    It is not like hacking in and stealing the sources. If it's like anything it's reverse engineering. It's an interpretation of the song, put on the web for free.

    What if I were to play a song I'd learned from an... uuuh... illegal tablature, in my own room, by my self. Would this be like running Win98 compiled from stolen source code?

    Anyway I think it's a bad idea comparing it to source code since the code can't be kept a secret, the music is the code, it's never in some sorta binary form.
  • Laws that are too much trouble to enforce either cease to be enforced or are repealed.

    Or, if the general public doesn't protest too much, then the laws stick around forever and are selectively enforced by the authorities whenever they feel like.

    Too bad there's nothing in the Constitution which says that laws which can't be enforced consistently will automatically expire.

  • Too late. Reporting game scores in certain commerical circumstances is already illegal, and has been for decades. Search for the term hot news misappropriation. For example:

    http://www.lawmemo.com/ip/sum/iplm/i20001107.htm [lawmemo.com]

    Morris Communications Corp v. PGA Tour Inc (MD Fla 10/23/2000)

    PGA Tour invested millions of dollars in an electronic relay system called Real-Time Scoring System (RTSS) that facilitated the transmission of the real-time golf scores to an on-site media center. PGA Tour granted Morris Communications the right to gather scores from the media center on the condition that the information was not to be syndicated. Morris Communications claimed that in conditioning the use of the media center, PGA Tour was acting as an illegal monopolist. In response, PGA Tour contended that it had a right to condition access to the media center, and thus the scores the RTSS compiled in order to protect its property interest.

    The court held that PGA Tour was entitled to condition access to information gathered by the RTSS. "Plaintiff cannot point to a sufficient reason why Defendant's uniformly applied rules represent anything other than a legitimate business decision intended to allow it to reap the benefits of its investment."

    International News Service v. Associated Press, 248 US 215 (1918), was the first case to set forth the "hot news" theory of intellectual property. In that case, the Supreme Court stated that a newspaper publisher had a property right in time-sensitive information when the publisher had expended resources to collect the news. The court allowed the PGA Tour to assert the hot news theory to protect its investment in the RTSS system. "It appears in this case that Plaintiff wants to capitalize not just on the golf scores themselves, but also on Defendant's mechanism for simultaneously gathering and generating the scoring information."

    And with database treaties, this will probably become even more of an issue

    Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, just interested in the topic.

  • Although I personally have my doubts as to how much this will help 2600's case, this article is yet case they will be able to refer to in their hearing tommorow. See yesterday's article [slashdot.org] about the university professor who had to back off due to legal bullying.
  • by musiholic (94408) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @03:20PM (#258729) Homepage Journal
    This is completely retarded. Somebody nuke NBCi and this other group for me.

    The number of times I've consulted on-line, amature tablature for both bass, rhythm, and lead parts cannot be counted. Its a great way to find out how to play songs - especially since no one ever completely gets it "right". Each person's transcription has its own character since we all hear things a little bit differently. It would be a disgrace to musicians everywhere to allow legal hound dogs ruin this tradition over "potential competition" to something I doubt I'd ever use.

    Again, someone nuke them now. It seems the only sane thing left to do, other than outlaw lawyers, but that's a little too paradoxical.

  • There is value to breathing. If you didn't breathe, you would die. OBVIOUSLY there is a value, and you should license it from the Harry Fox Agency.

    -Legion

  • by Legion303 (97901) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @08:11PM (#258735) Homepage
    You can always publish your own interpretation of music. It falls under the "educational use" bit of the fair use act. I have written several tablatures, and I continue to give them to anyone who wants to learn. The Harry Fox Agency can kiss my ass and drag me to court if they think they have a case. Strangely enough, I sent them email to this effect and they haven't taken my offer. Guess they don't have as much of a case as they like to claim.

    -Legion

  • by cei (107343) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @06:05PM (#258739) Homepage Journal
    So if I listen to a song a few times without an instrument in my hands, then walk into a room where I can't hear the original, but do have an instrument, and I work out the TAB from what I remember in my head, then that would constitute a clean room reverse engineering which has been protected by the courts, right?
    ------
    WWhhaatt ddooeess dduupplleexx mmeeaann??
  • i dare you to show me some numbers that prove this. sales have gone up since the whole mainstream mp3 thing. and i've bought over 1/2 my cd collection because i found some of it in mp3, and liked it.

    lyrics. oh please... some of us like to know what mr. stipe is mumbling in his songs. we're not going to sell the lyrics, we just want to read them. i don't think thats wrong.

    tabs. yeah... illegal to play a song that someone else wrote! if not for tabs, i know a lot of people who would never have learned to play a guitar. this is just ridiculous.

    -------

  • by katana (122232) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @05:06PM (#258743) Homepage

    If you take away the guitars, then there's no chance of infringement. I can think of many people who need their guitars taken away, and would be happy to provide a list (with home addresses) to facilitate this action.

    Or I suppose you could just stop selling strings. That would work too.

  • Freenet is an excellent idea. Maybe some sort of organized effort could be put together to work on putting the tabs into freenet.

  • you do realize, of course, that most of the tabs you get in books are transcribed by someone hired to figure out the music, not the musicians. a fine example is sunhawk [sunhawk.com]. Just busineses transcribing tab, or even sheet music, and trying to get people to pay for it. A lame concept in and of itself (as most guitarists will get a hell of a lot better by just jamming to the radio rather than playing from tab). And the only reason companies are starting to get pissed is because they can't bear the idea that most people would rather figure the music out themselves than pay for tab.

    But who knows, this may make for better guitarists in the long run. Perhaps even revive the lost art of the trained ear.


    FluX
    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • by fluxrad (125130) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @04:20PM (#258751) Homepage
    i think this is a far cry from some play by play (which, AFAIK, isn't copyright infringement).

    1) Anyone who is getting these tabs is usually getting them for personal use. They'll either use them to play when they're bored, or they'll play them when friends come over for shits ang giggles. That, my friend, is definitely fair use. Unless, of course, there is something sinister about playing covers for your friends, and, dear god, not charging them for your private show.

    2) Any half-way competent guitarist should be able to figure out any song without use of tablature. Sure, there are some discrepancies(sp) with the way that the song is played, sometimes complete chords are fubar'ed, but - it's really not that difficult to figure out what the musician was doing by listening to a song a few times (hell, i figured out Travis' cover of Hit Me Baby, One More Time because i couldn't find it on the OLGA. The only reason most people use sites like that are because of laziness, not because of some sinister desire to undermine the profit margin of the music industry. Outlawing sites like the OLGA isn't going to stop cover bands, and it's sure as hell not going to stop anyone who can play anything more than power cords. (Subnote: It's a good song, and no, i'm not gay).

    3. Most importantly, these songs were "reverse engineered" so to speak. 99.9% of the tab you see on places like the OLGA weren't written by anyone who had anything to do with the music industry. They were written by average joes like you and me who decided to help others out. They weren't, and aren't, doing anything more than providing easy instructions for a product that doesn't come with an instruction manual.

    In that sense, the music industry is trying to outlaw do-it-yourself manuals. Why don't we just take the next step and outlaw Chilton's car guides and Time-Life Home Improvement books.

    Quick personal note: When art forms an industry, and decides to make the public pay for its use, it ceases to be art. Art is that which enriches your soul for no greater price than that of your time.


    FluX
    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • what if i don't have a cd.

    Then go buy the CD. Or rip the tape or the vinyl.

    some people don't have cd players.

    If your home computer is old enough not to have a CD-ROM drive, it probably doesn't have a large enough hard drive to store many MPEG audio files.

  • Music score is like source code and tablature is like object code and the sound is like the gui!

    Music score is like source code. Tablature is another form of music score, and so is a MIDI file. The .wav or .mp3 is a binary, statically linked with the instruments, unlike MODs which are dynamically linked to their instruments.

  • Now you can close your eyes and pretend the law doesn't exist because there is no way to enforce it.

    Laws that are too much trouble to enforce either cease to be enforced [dumblaws.com] or are repealed. This war on sharing is similar to the war on drugs and the old war on alcohol (Prohibition era); it just doesn't work. There are other other ways to compensate artists, such as the Street Performer Protocol in which the full version of a work is released if and only if enough paid orders for it are received.

  • Or, why not apply an accoustic-analysis procedure and create a file that, when fed to the appropriate program, reproduces the music almost exactly how it was played!

    This is MPEG layer 3 audio compression in a nutshell (sorry, O'Reilly).

    Still free?

    No. Look at the deep sh*t Napster is in right now.

  • Clearly the poster has never played with FFTs (Fast Fourier Transforms for frequency analysis). The problem with a Fourier transform is that you must collect a large number of samples in order to get reasonable frequency resolution, unfortunately, that causes you to loose time resolution.

    Most rock music is composed at a maximum resolution of about sixteenth notes (ignore complex guitar solos for now); decent beat detection will find the note grid. For a song at about 120 quarter per minute (Nirvana), this gives 1/8 second per grid space, or over 5,000 samples. 4,096 samples is more than enough to get a decent spectral resolution in an FFT. The problems discussed in MIDI FAQ [nease.net] may not apply as much to rock because you don't have 100 layers of instruments on top of each other (more like just drums, bass, three guitar notes, and vocals) or that many effects (just reverb and various sorts of harmonic distortion).

  • then the laws stick around forever and are selectively enforced by the authorities whenever they feel like

    Except authorities who enforce forgotten laws end up on DumbLaws.com [dumblaws.com] and are embarrassed out of their... Next point?

    there's nothing in the Constitution which says that laws which can't be enforced consistently will automatically expire.

    In fact, there's nothing in the Constitution that requires copyright itself to expire. The "for limited times" in U.S. Const. 1.8.8 is relatively meaningless in the face of the Eldred v. Reno^H^H^H^HAshcroft [harvard.edu] decision, setting a precedent allowing for already nearly perpetual copyright [8m.com] to be extended even longer. This is a bad thing.

  • The tabs on the site are transcribed by people that listened to the music.

    But they're derivative works of the original musical composition.

    This can be compared to running a program and then making your own that is similar without looking at the source code.

    Cloning software [pineight.com] is legal, but cloning music is not. They differ in the amount of paraphrase [everything2.com] (copying of ideas with new expression) between the original and the copy. Copying the behavior of a program is copying ideas and not restricted under copyright law. Raw music itself, on the other hand, contains hardly any content that could be considered "idea" (you can be sued for four notes [everything2.com]), and the lyrics that normally accompany tablature are generally copied verbatim.

  • I certainly, in the hundreds of gigs I've played, have never been required to list by the dollar and dime which of the popular slop I am playing I owe royalties on.

    I'm afraid you have. The fact that you haven't done it doesn't relieve you of the responsibility. If you're ever playing copyright songs for money, there's a fee per song. Larger organisations may wangle a "block booking", but I'd ask to see the documents b4 I'd trust them.

    If you don't pay your taxes and you don't get any letters chasing you for them, does that mean you're no longer liable to pay tax? Of course not. Same thing here.

    Of course, most part-time pub bands will get away without paying the royalties. But if Metallica cover "Ecstacy of Gold" by Ennio Morricone then they'll be paying a fee per recording and per performance to use that song, unless Morricone (or his publishers) make it public domain. Harry Fox is merely the collection agency, contracted by the music companies to collect royalties owing to songwriters. How they collect and who they collect from is their business - at some point it'll cost more to chase all the little pub bands than they'd get back in royalties.

    I agree the time period is too long (myself, I'd look at around 10 years for copyright of anything, maybe 20 at most), but that's the way the rules work ATM, right or wrong.

    Grab.
  • They won't have to pay to buy the tab, but they'll still have to pay if they perform it for money. If they don't charge for it, they don't pay. But Metallica would pay to perform and record "Ecstacy of Gold", Mike Flowers Pops would pay to perform and record "Wonderwall", etc.

    Grab.
  • No, it's more like outlawing sports spectators from giving a play by play account of a sporting event. Which, guess what, that's copyright infringement.
  • i think this is a far cry from some play by play (which, AFAIK, isn't copyright infringement).

    It is much closer to play by play than it is to just the scores. Whether or not that is copyright infringement is still somewhat of an open question. As far as I know though, radio broadcasts of a game are licensed. Why wouldn't someone just watch the game on tv, and make their own broadcast? One key question which I don't know is whether or not Yahoo obtained a license for the Yahoo Sports applet which updates a sporting event in real-time. But anyway, fair enough, I withdraw this analogy (but I think the analogy to sports scores is even worse).

    1) Anyone who is getting these tabs is usually getting them for personal use. They'll either use them to play when they're bored, or they'll play them when friends come over for shits ang giggles. That, my friend, is definitely fair use. Unless, of course, there is something sinister about playing covers for your friends, and, dear god, not charging them for your private show.

    From what I read, they are not trying to stop the people getting the tabs, they are trying to stop the people distributing them. This is almost always commercial use. Take OLGA, for instance. Selling T-Shirts, displaying ads at the top of the page. Don't you think the artists should get a part of this revenue?

    Playing covers for your friends, if you don't charge your friends to play the covers, is generally fair use.

    2) Any half-way competent guitarist should be able to figure out any song without use of tablature.

    If you can figure it out yourself, then you don't need the tablature.

    3. Most importantly, these songs were "reverse engineered" so to speak. 99.9% of the tab you see on places like the OLGA weren't written by anyone who had anything to do with the music industry. They were written by average joes like you and me who decided to help others out. They weren't, and aren't, doing anything more than providing easy instructions for a product that doesn't come with an instruction manual.

    Reverse engineered products are legal in a very specific instance. One person looks at the code, then tells a second person about the code, without telling them the exact code. For your analogy to work, one person would listen to the music, then would tell a second person about the music, without telling them the exact chords. That is not what is happening here.

    In that sense, the music industry is trying to outlaw do-it-yourself manuals. Why don't we just take the next step and outlaw Chilton's car guides and Time-Life Home Improvement books.

    Fixing your car or your house is not a protected form of expression.

    Quick personal note: When art forms an industry, and decides to make the public pay for its use, it ceases to be art. Art is that which enriches your soul for no greater price than that of your time.

    Well, personally, I think that's bullshit. Art is important, and wanting to be able to afford to live in a house and eat is acceptable. I'm pretty sure that tablature is one of the few items generally owned by the artists themselves, not some record company. Forming an industry is what allows the artists to get paid *and* them not having to charge each person individually by themselves. I'd be all for a statutory licence of lyrics and tablature which works in the same way as one for public performances. Because they are not "broadcast", this is not "public display", and would presumably fall under mechanical licensing. This charges a per minute per copy fee. If instead they made a statutory license on a percentage of (usually ad) revenue basis, this would make a lot more sense, since "copies" are generally free and unlimited. I don't want to stop the spread of guitar tablature. But when sites like OLGA come up and try to profit off what is essentially a compilation of other people's work, I have no sympathy for them. This is mainly a fight between ASCAP et. al. against Harry Fox et. al. I think *most* people would agree that the artist should share in the revenues of OLGA, they would only argue about how and under what terms.

  • Or, why not apply an accoustic-analysis procedure and create a file that, when fed to the appropriate program, reproduces the music almost exactly how it was played! Still free?

    Oh wait...

  • by enneff (135842) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @05:03PM (#258773) Homepage
    If you play guitar and can't transpose a riff between keys (especially when you've got the original to compare to, and it's obviously wrong) then you should probably just give up.

    Idiot.

  • by enneff (135842) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @05:11PM (#258774) Homepage
    "sales have gone up since the whole mainstream mp3 thing"

    To me, this is one of the most crippling arguments in the whole MP3/napster/whatever debate.

    Music sales have been going up for about, hrmm, the last 50 years or more. This is due to the fact that there is constantly more and more music out there to buy. Trying to calculate the number of sales lost, however, is no simple task. This is because every single album will have different sales. Because the market relies largely on people's tastes (okay, that's a stretch), there is no real way of projecting the sales for any particular album, hence no way to calculate losses.

    I am pretty sure that there are many people out there who have not bought an album/single or two because they have it as mp3s.

  • The case you cite sounds like a separate issue; the PGA Tour was spending a lot of effort to collect scores in a central system, thus adding some proprietary value to them. A more interesting question to me is: If someone keeps score for a sports event on their own, can they be prevented from publishing that information?
  • If a performer adheres to the letter of the law, and profits (or even loses money, but still takes in some revenue) by publicly performing a song, the artist IS compensated by way of union dues, ASCAAP, BMI, et. al.. That is definitely NOT getting something for nothing. If, on the other hand, someone gets the tab to figure out all or part of a song stricty for personal enjoyment, and not to make money with, how is that taking anything away from the artists?

    I'd rather you debate the points of the discussion, rather than rehash the same tired arguments again and again or brag about what you've "contributed". I am programmer and musician myself, although I have not contributed more than bug reports and testing time to the Open Source community (mostly due to a lack of free time, not desire). The database company that I work for does promote Linux as our primary development and server paltform, though.

    My work aside, how do you justify the belief that using tabs from people who themselves have NOT profitted from providing them strtictly for learning purposes is taking anything away from artists like the ones you mention? Again, I have already stated that this is completely different from distributing unauthorized mp3s, so the last line of your argument completely disregards an area where I've already made clear that I am totally in favor of the artist getting paid. These guys aren't distributing the songs themselves (like mp3s, which would be almost impossible to justify as learning materials), but educational materials...

    Also, most of the musicians good enough to be booking paying gigs rarely have to rely on tabs, anyway... at least ones that I'd be willing to pay to see. There's just not that big of a legitimate market for tabs among those calibre musicians. I'd personally just as soon go out and by a book from the music store if I wanted to learn 8 or 9 Pink Floyd songs... but if I'm stuck on just a riff or two of one song, and I take a peak at a tab to get a better idea of how to play it, I've not taken food from the mouths of these artists, because I'd have never spent 19.95 to learn that one riff, and nor would the "starving artists" themselves.
  • by e_lehman (143896) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @04:37PM (#258783)

    I am so sick of laws that have no purpose other than to enrich a few scumbags by creating artificial markets:

    • "We can't make a business out of that; it is already conveniently available for free."
    • "Ah, but we get the convenient, free service declared illegal and then we get rich!"

    How can executives at these companies not look at themselves in the mirror each morning and think, "I am a disgusting parasitic leech of a human being"?

    I just don't know. Maybe they just need a reminder. [nmpa.org]

  • by jcapell (144056) <jcapell@yahoo.com> on Saturday April 28, 2001 @03:29PM (#258784) Homepage
    I can always find the TAB I want at Harmony Central's search engine [harmony-central.com] and the search target always seems to be hosted on a different site all the time.
  • Of course, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This applies to their dreams of creating a sample-based music world as well. :-P
    http://www.bootyproject.org [bootyproject.org]
  • As a lot of posters have already pointed out, removing free tablature is actually going to hurt budding muscians, and will actually rob the recording industry of musical talent in the future.

    "So", the outraged Slashdotters say. "The RIAA is just shooting themself in the foot! By nipping tomorrow's musicians in the bud, they're just depriving themselves of musicians they can make money off of tomorrow!"

    Tempting argument, but that assumes the recording industry wants musicians tomorrow. I, for one, feel that they're just moving towards a sample-based recording industry. There are already trillions of hours of recorded music out there; they don't need to go through the inefficient process of actually finding musicians who can play music anymore. It's far more efficient for them to just licsense samples from their back catalogs to people who want to create "new" "music".

    This business model also has the added bonus of keeping pesky start-up labels out of the game, because they obviously don't have huge catalogs of samplable, licensable music to rely upon for income.

    Holy fucking shit... this post started out as a very sarcastic attempt at humor, but then it actually started to make sense while I was writing it! Help! Calgon, please take me away!!!

    http://www.bootyproject.org [bootyproject.org]
  • by MaxGrant (159031) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @05:01AM (#258796) Homepage Journal
    Tablature is not generated by the artist. Tabs are generated by listeners who pick the songs out for themselves. They may or may not be accurate. They are reverse-engineering. They are not the song. They are not a recording. They are a guide to playing one part of the song.

    It's the copyright holder's choice and publishing the tabs without permission is the equivalent to hacking into Microsoft's computers, stealing the source code to Win98 and posting it online for the world to see.

    God this analogy is fucking weak. First of all, as people trying to copy-protect music have discovered, if you want someone to hear your music, eventually you have to unpack the data and let it reach their ears. You have to expose yourself to copying if you want to have a business at all.

    Secondly, if you want to have music, you have to have musicians. Musicians who don't go to the Juliard school of music usually don't get a lot of either money or encouragement. To learn how to play the easiest method is to learn someone else's songs. Right now I'm doing that for a student of mine. She has brought me CD's she would like to play, and I am learning the songs and transcribing them for her. If I were not doing this she would be subjecting herself to a ludicrous game of hunt-the-music. There is no way in hell all of the sheet music to all of the CD's in the world can be published. Even when it is it's frequently not accurate. I've got a Rush book which is filled with errors and omissions, and it's all arranged on two staves, as if some pianist would sit down and churn through "Limelight."

    If musicians are unable to learn songs they know, they will surely never progress to writing songs, and the Harry Fucking Fox Agency will have no one to "protect" from copyright infringement.

    I think transcribing a tab for amateur musicians' edification easily falls under fair use. It's used to illustrate a point or as an educational tool, or for hobbyists to share amongst one another. It is not demonstrably taking money out of someone's pocket -- let's face it, what 16-year-old kid has eight bucks to blow on learning a single song? If that had been my option back then I would have simply stuck to learning it myself.

    This is really just the gigantic fist of a gigantic corporate monolith, squashing that which it does not comprehend. No good will come of it, I guarantee. If amateur tab is driven off the web, it will show up in furtive emails and newsgroup postings instead. It will get encrypted, and it will be impossible to trace or control.

  • by MaxGrant (159031) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @05:27AM (#258797) Homepage Journal
    How close does a song have to be to the original before it can be declared the original?

    Let's ask George Harrison. [benedict.com] I'm sure he's got a highly sarcastic reply.

    Seriously, there are only seven available chords in any given key anyway. I ii iii IV V vi and vii. Most rock musicians to my knowledge do not bother with vii as it's highly dissonant and hard to play on a guitar besides. Almost every song you will hear on the radio alternates betwee I and V and IV, unless you listen to the "alternative" station in your area, where you will hear fucked up minor chords in no key in particular.

    Shifting the key doesn't make much difference except to people with perfect pitch. A large number of alternative groups drop their guitars down to eb or d (nirvana, korn, etc) anyway.

    Chordless riffs (the opening of "Day Tripper" if you're over 40, or the opening of Rush "Limelight" or Ozzy's "Crazy Train" if you're an '80's metalhead, or to PJ's "Jeremy" if you're an alterna-dude) qualify as melody, and you really couldn't disguise them without ruining them. If you flattened the G in Day tripper to an F# to put it in the same key as the rest of the riff it would just barely be recognizable as the wrong riff. Alter any other note in the riff by a semitone and it becomes cacophany. Alter it by more than a semitone and it becomes increasingly difficult to play.

    add in new notes (according to a map),

    That would definitely obscure things, but only if done in a random way. You can add trills and grace notes to most existing songs and you'll just sound like you're showing off.

    and change the tempo

    Since tablature doesn't contain rhythm, this won't make any difference.

    Although, now that this interesting fact has re-occurred to me, I wonder if tab can be seen as infringing at all? Since it doesn't contain that vital third dimension in music, the rhythm, they can't really be considered as a copy of the music. It's one reason why I don't use tab anymore, becase most bass parts are rhythmic, not melodic, and tab can only show me so many times that I play an E for eighteen mind-numbing measures.

    Anyway, what I think is far more likely is that the greed-driven activity of lawyers will once again drive a harmless activity underground, make more previously harmless people into angry dissidents, fester discontent in our society, foster disrespect for the law in general, and push us all one more step closer to a societal collapse. Thanks, Harry Fox Agency.

  • I will be a very dull world the moment copyright dissapears.

    You're already pretty dull. If you cannot view music and art as anything but property, you haven't grasped their fundamental worth anyway.

    Yesterday I rented the Rocky and Bullwinkle movie. It was supposed to be entertaining to the kids, but it was kind of flat. After the movie we watched the "deleted scenes" as my son calls them. The daughter of Jay Ward, creator of the original series, apparently had started to try to make the movie almost immediately after his death in 1989. Her description of the film was a "fine, family oriented property." I don't know about you, but when I go to see a film, I don't consider myself to be viewing a property. That's what I do when I go looking for a house. I can't buy a film from the maker. I can buy a copy of it. But the real payback, for any person with genuine creativities, is ultimately not the money. The money is not why I create. I do not write songs for money, I do not write essays or books for money. I do them because they need to be done. I have invested thousands of dollars in musical instruments because I need to play them. Not because I expect to make money off them. I do not collect bass guitars because I expect to sell them in twenty years. I have them because I need them like a drug addict needs heroin, or a fourteen-year-old needs to jack off. It's an unstoppable urge that has no reason and no excuse. My 1973 Rickenbacker 4001 has a sound that I FUCKING NEED. I sit at my job all day and sometimes I can feel the strings beneath my fingers. It relieves my tension. I tap on office furniture with my right hand to the rhythm of songs. I fret imaginary notes with my left hand when no one's looking. I whistle in the elevator and harmonize to the songs I hear in my head.

    And I own every single note I play or write. I own it all, more truly than I own my house and my cars and all the things inside them. I own the fruits of my intellectual labor because they are original to me and clearly mine. When I play someone a recording of me, they never doubt that it is me because that's my voice singing on the recording. When I show someone an essay or story I have written they never question whether I copied it from the Internet because they recognize my voice in the words.

    And it is for these reasons that I find the entire concept of intellectual property to be, well, fucking absurd.

    At that point we might as well blow out our brains

    What would make me want to blow out my brains would be a world where no one could talk about music, or literature, without a plethora(tm) of (c) idiotic trademarks(r) and Capitalized Trendy Words, and Licensing fee$ interfering. When art becomes all about money, it becomes prostitution, and artists become whores. Look no further than Hollywood for what happens when it becomes about the money. Once in a very long while an independent filmmaker comes along and turns the industry on its ear, by making genuinely inspired, original art for no other reason than the joy of it. The year following, we see eight or ten shameless, lifeless ripoffs following in its wake.

    the idea of completely free IP sickens me

    Free IP didn't stop Virgil from writing the Aneid. Bare substinence living didn't stop Mozart from writing some of the most brilliant music of all time. Hand-to-mouth returns on their efforts never stopped the Van Goghs or the Edgar Allan Poes. And as thousands of slashdotters will immediately attest to, lack of profits do not stop contributors from putting their mark on the Linux source code. Intellectual efforts are created because someone needs to do it. Creativity is beyond business models or investor expectations. If you don't understand how that works, well I pity you that you've never had the fire inside you. There's nothing like it in the world.

  • by TheFrood (163934) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @04:38PM (#258799) Homepage Journal
    The purpose of copyright law, according to the U.S. Constitution, is to promote the creation of new works. (Art.I, Sec.8, Cls.8).

    Does prohibiting the distribution of amateur-created guitar tabs serve this purpose? Would the extra income generated by having exclusive guitar-tab-creation rights result in musicians producing more music? And if so, would the public benefit more from that increase than they would lose from giving up the right to create and distribute their own guitar tabs?

    Unless the answer to both questions can be shown to be "yes" (and shown convincingly), people should be free to create and distribute their own guitar tabs. (Note that I'm not talking about what current law says, I'm talking about what it should say.)

    TheFrood

  • by EvlPenguin (168738) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @05:00PM (#258802) Homepage
    As a citizen of the U.S., I'm pissed.

    As a human being, I'm outraged.

    As a guitarist, I'm fucking homicidal.

    To think that anyone would PAY for a guitar/bass/drum/keyboard/whatever tab, is beyond me. Personally, when I'm trying to figure out a song, if there's a part that just doesn't sound right, I look up the tab to see the correct (or semi-correct) fret.

    While it may not be _too_ much of an inconvieniance for me, I know as a beginner, you look for a tab _then_ try to figure it out for yourself. By putting a system in place where you must pay for tabs, most people will not pay, and therefore never learn.

    In the name of profits.
    --
  • by EvlPenguin (168738) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @05:20PM (#258803) Homepage
    I see a lot of people saying tabs:music::source code:programs. However, I can tell that most of the people making these statements has never played by a tab they got off the internet.

    You see, depending on the tab writer (and the tuning of his guitar, amp settings, skill, etc), the tab itself is not^H^H^H never 100% accurate. This holds true especially when a song uses something more complicated like alternate tunings, artifical harmonics, effects, etc. In my experience with tabs, they vary from a 50% to 99% accuracy. Most get the main body of the song right, but then lose accuracy on a solo, bridge or the like.

    Anyway, I'm pointing this out because in order to show that any given tab you pull off the internet will not be like source code because it will never be 100% accurate (I have seen exceptions, but those are few and far between). Therefore, it's not the same as the original work. You could even go so far as to call it a remix. Whatever you call it, it's not the same, and therefore cannot (or atleast should not) be held under the same law.

    My guitar wants to kill your lawyer.
    --
  • by michaelbyrne (179452) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @07:26PM (#258811)
    Since when is posting the facts flamebait or trolling? The only semi-informed posts I have seen on this topic have gotten scorched for saying the truth. If you know anything about music copyright law, you know that the Harry Fox agency has an open and shut case against web sites that "publish" sheet music.

    If posters think that music publishers should not have the right to be the only source of sheet music for a song they own, then that is a *good* and *different* point. But the fact is they do have that right, and Harry Fox is just protecting that right. If you don't like it, then get the law changed--I'll help you..

    If you transcribe a song for yourself or your band mates to jam on, then that is fair use, if you publish the tabulature on the Web, you are publishing the sheet music and, like it or not, your are infringing on someone else's rights.

    It is easy to pretend that you are fighting the System and the Man, but the reality is the music copyrights are most needed by small powerless musicians to protect themselves against the large corporations. For example, these assocated music copyright laws are the only thing that help early black musicians recover part of the huge amount of revenues they generated for the companies that screwed them.

    If you want to take away these rights, what recourse do the individual, non-corporate musicians have when MegaLabel wants to absorb all music into there online database that you have to pay to subscribe to? As an independent musician, I wouldn't want some large corporation making money off of me, and I would want to be able to stop that from happening, but without those laws, I couldn't.

  • by firewort (180062) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @05:35PM (#258815)
    And it'd be nice if that were true:

    Judges have been making their decisions based on what the social change will be since the 1920s.

    Judges rule on many civil matters from a position of ignorance and redefine existing laws in the name of morality and social change. (They make a ruling as they see fit, and that ruling goes to precedent. Not many judges care to reverse the rulings of their collegues.)


    A host is a host from coast to coast, but no one uses a host that's close
  • by Alien54 (180860) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @04:40PM (#258816) Journal
    Problem is that there are some chord changes that are essentially the same for a number of songs. For example, the theme for the Flintstones TV show sped up, or slowed down, are the same as the chords for many other classic jazz tunes. for example, "I've Got Rhythm"

    Other songs that have similar chord changes are between thenselves are: "Heart and Soul", "Last Kiss", "Stand By Me", "D'yer Myker", and most of "Grease".

    Also Check out Rage Against the Machine's "Wake Up" from the Matrix soundtrack and Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir".

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

  • by metis (181789) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @08:52AM (#258819) Homepage

    *both* parties try to put in judges who view the constitution in the same way as they do.

    I am not talking about the supreme court only. Judges are appointed because of their political affiliations in all levels. The senate blockade of Clinton's nominees was mostly for federal and appelate judges, not the supreme court. Plus, you have just said what I said. Judges have a political affiliation that is crucial to their decision. You can dress it up as constitutional interpretation. Sometimes it is, and sometimes it is raw favoritism ( cf. Gore vs. Bush. ).

    If you look at the actual voting records rather than the political and media hype, you'll find that your best friend on the court (most likely to vote in your favor when faced with government power or intrusion) is Thomas... followed by Scalia.

    I see you have been an intern on Pravda. Could you please supply us with some precise examples of Thomas and Scalia protecting me ( assuming 'me' to be an ordinary citizen without big pockets) against anything?

    There have been a number of statistical studies of the supreme court. There is little doubt that except for the dramatically out of line Warren court the US Supreme court has never been in the business of protecting ordinary Americans against anything. The typical supreme court decision protecting against over-zealous government is Dred Scott Vs. Stanford, Row vs. Wade is rather the exception.

    But then, since you are a fan of Scalia, I assume you think Dred Scot was a shining example of protecting personal liberties. Good for you!

    you have a rather skewed view of the approaches taken by the two parties here . .

    I believe I have a realistic understanding that the Republican party is doing what it can to close the door of the court to all but the insanely rich. You are welcome to prove me wrong.

  • by fatphil (181876) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @02:02AM (#258822) Homepage
    "I think if a company like Fender or Gibson would speak out..."

    You're a bloody genius! However, they aren't going to tell anyone enything unless they are told that unless they do, their profits will be affected. So in the end of the day it's every strummer's job to write the following:

    Dear
    [ ] Fender
    [ ] Gibson
    [ ] Ibanez
    [ ] other ___________,

    I've always liked the way
    [ ] Yngwie Malmsteen
    [ ] Gary Moore
    [ ] Paul Gilbert
    [ ] other ___________
    plays the
    [ ] Strat
    [ ] Les Paul
    [ ] Signature
    [ ] other ___________
    and have been learning some of his licks from tabulatures I downloaded from
    [ ] The Post Office
    [ ] The Nevada Archive
    [ ] Olga (Inc.)
    [ ] other ___________.
    However, I've realised that I can't replicate his sound on my current guitar due to the inferior
    [ ] scalloping
    [ ] neck rigidity
    [ ] other ___________,
    and thus was looking into buying a new guitar of the appropriate type.

    However, to my dismay, I now discover that the tabs are no longer available due to the bullying of the archives by companies who insist that the tabulatures are a breach of copyright despite the fact that they are clearly fair use, having been the output of an individual's study and interpretation of the song, and intended for the same purpose for other interested individuals.

    It appears that the voices of the up-and-coming guitarists are not being heard, but I'm sure that if your company were to give some sign of support then our fair use rights could be returned to us. In particular given that music is tending towards sequenced synthesised non-music, it's all the more imporant to keep the great musical spirit alive.

    Yours sincerely,
    ____________

    Oh - and contribute your non-copyrighted tabs to these archives, and fund Olga Inc. Don't just gripe here on Slashdot.

    Note - obviously do _not_ send the above letter - write your own, it was intended simply as an amusing example.


    FatPhil
    --

  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @03:31PM (#258828) Journal
    There is no way in hell this will hold out in court. If this guy can prove that nbci is working to eliminate competition, it will immediately be thrown out. Its abuses such as this one is why America should join Canada and other countries in legal system reforms. Basically in a reformed system, an abusive company that practices unreasonable prosecution has to pay the legal defense cost of the guy being sued. With all the news about the SDMI research being stoped because just one suit by the mpaa will cost alot of money to defend, makes a strong arguement for it.

    The guys like NBCI and the MPAA will always ( finicially ) win because they have big pockets. If your a defendent and win a lawsuit what do you gain? You just lose your house, some cars and perhaps your childs college fund just to prove that you did nothing wrong.

    Big corporations have nothing but gain. IF they lose the case it doesn't hurt them finicially. IF they win it rewards them with bigger profits.

    All the corps do is point and they win hands down every time. IT so unfair.
  • by NetGyver (201322) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @04:51PM (#258829) Journal
    Cheap Shot - John Mellencamp

    Well the record company's goin' out of business
    They price the records too damn high
    And the boys in the band could use some assistance

    Well the record company's goin' out of business
    They price the records too damn high
    And the boys in the band could use some assistance
    Get a daytime job just to get by
    Well the P.D.'s they won't play the record
    They're too worried about that book
    And the D.J's they all hate the song
    But they're in love with the hook

    Chorus
    So na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na
    I bet you've heard this song before
    Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na
    Take your cocaine and hit the door

    Well folk rock, punk rock, power pop music
    Turned out to be the latest trends
    And ther ain't no more progressive music
    The business has put it to an end
    Ol' "Rolling Stone" has gathered some moss
    No they ain't what they used to be
    They try to look like "Look" with their political pages
    And advertising all over T.V.

    Appariently in 1983 he knew that the business would put alot of things to an end. Go figure.

    Now, we got a business who wants to sell digital sheet music and kill off other simular services who offer simular stuff (albeit not exact) for FREE!!! The great thing about OLGA is that first its free, and the tablature isn't THAT BAD. Its enough to give you a feel for the chord structure, and some of them are very very close to the real thing.

    Tablature is a great way for a beginner to get his feet wet playing guitar. I've personally used OLGA for a number of songs that i wanted to learn how to play, and it's a great service with a good deal of tab selections to choose from.

    Most guitarists know there are songbooks out by popular artists with the exact chord structures (in the form of sheet music) in them. You need to pay for this, but it's worth it, if you want to play the song exactly how it was written musically. And i have bought a few.

    However, services like OGLA, I use on the side (and a good bit) when I don't want to spend $10-$20 dollars for a whole freakin book of sheet music. I just want to learn one damn song, not the artists whole album in sheet music. It's a waste of money, unless your a big fan of that artist.

    Why can't they just advertise their service by saying "it's the ORGNINAL and EXACT reproduction of the artist's music" or something to that effect instead of just crushing the tab sites? How are sites like OGLA competition? They know they got a better, truer product, why not just hype that and be done with it?...It'd be too damn easy.

    - NetGyver

    "A penny for my thoughts? Here's my two cents. I got ripped off."

  • by Vuarnet (207505) <<luis_milan> <at> <hotmail.com>> on Saturday April 28, 2001 @03:25PM (#258830) Homepage
    ...downloading the MP3 is wrong.
    ...downloading the lyrics is wrong.
    ...downloading the Tabs is wrong.


    What's next? Buying the CDs online from any store other than their website? Downloading wallpapers and WinAmp skins of your favorite artists? Someone send them a clue, please.

    Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit, I
  • by Weh (219305) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @12:07AM (#258846)
    I don't know about that, it's true that I've seen some stuff that was obviously wrong or someone's "interpretation" but there's also some stuff that seemed to be copied right out of a tab book. "Little Wing by Jimi" comes to mind.

    On the whole I think it's pretty lame to sue the Olga. The times I've used it were just to figure out some note in some lick or some vague chord. Not something I would go out for and buy a $20 tab book. Those books are sooo overpriced. How many of those books do they sell anyhow? It's not like people are buying n'sync tab or anything.

    I thought that people playing music was a way to make the music more popular and would result in higher record sales.

    I've also had this idea that instrument manufacturers should try and help out the OLGA. The more easy it becomes for people to learn and play an instrument the more popular instruments themselves might become. I think if a company like Fender or Gibson would speak out for the OLGA it would make a pretty powerful statement not in the least because so many artists use their products.

    On an OT note, what's with the deluge of mod points that seems to have hit /. users ?

  • If publishers can't produce higher quality tablature/sheet music than I can for free, then they deserve to go out of business.

    They've got access to the artists who WROTE the piece, for heaven sakes. They're a business, so presumably they have some operating cash and employees they can put into getting it just right -- and the value of getting it just right is enough that I'd pay a buck or two for that, certainly.

    But the strange thing is, there's a lot of tab/music out there that's sold for free that really sucks; I can produce a better variation by listening to the song and transcribing it myself.

    So publishers: compete on quality. Compete on cool art and glossy covers and scribblings done in the artist's handwriting. Compete on actually selling a pre-printed and pre-bound product. In other words, actually provide a service for your fees. But don't whine that you can't compete with a bunch of amateurs who do this in their spare time.


    --
  • by JohnTheFisherman (225485) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @03:24PM (#258849)
    ...especially since no one ever completely gets it "right".

    Man, half the time I'm not even sure I'm looking at the right song.

    And yes, someone nuke NBCi.

  • by grammar fascist (239789) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @07:55PM (#258859) Homepage
    Lyrics are copyrighted, and the people that distribute them without a license to do so are illegally distributing. If you knowingly download from such people, you may be guilty of vicarious infringement.

    The music itself is copyrighted with a "musical works" copyright. As you may be aware, copyright gives the owner exclusive rights (read: "ownership" - since ownership is based on the right to exclude) of certain activities, such as distribution and the creation of derivative works. Tabulature created by someone listening to the song falls under the latter.

    So, legally, somebody who listens to a song and creates tabulature from it and then distributes it on the Internet (or anywhere else, for that matter) is twice guilty of copyright infringement. I don't necessarily agree, but that's how it is.
  • by SlippyToad (240532) on Monday April 30, 2001 @05:31AM (#258861)
    There are official publications which have the actual tabs used by the bands during their recordings.

    The band doesn't need tablature, Zico. They already know the song because they created it. Once you've learned the verse chorus and maybe an intro riff, if you can't play it from memory you will probably be kicked out of the band. "Writing" it usually refers to charting the lyrics out. The guitar solo is usually, like, improvised. Most rock bands don't read music, so they likely won't have a nice score.

    The site is created by listeners who pick the part out by ear and write it down. Don't be such an uninformed tool.

    I like your "official publications" line. It plays right into the idea that there is only one source anyone can have for music and culture. The "official" one. Do I have to get a license to be an "official" musician, too?

  • by the real jeezus (246969) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @04:58PM (#258864)

    Next some pushy recording industry group [riaa.org] will decide that singing in the shower obviously violates precious Intellectual Property rights. I just wonder how they'll enforce it.

    Isn't it ironic that the RIAA and other groups are raining on everybody's parade, yet they artists are getting screwed just as badly as the fans? Methinks they are exercising their fictitious yet inalienable right to profit without limit.



    Ewige Blumenkraft!
  • by Regolith (322916) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @05:57PM (#258873)
    That's easy. They will get a bribed judge to mandate that all showerhead manufacturers build surveillence microphones and GPS units into each of their showerheads. When installed, these will enable the RIAA to monitor all sound emissions created in your shower, and locate your position for purposes of prosecution should you dare to hum the tune of the newest Brittney Spears song while cleansing yourself.

    -----
  • by crazyprogrammer (412543) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @03:41PM (#258879) Homepage

    Guitartabs.cc [guitartabs.cc] Lots of guitar tabs.
    Wholenote [wholenote.com] Guitar tabs and a MIDI guitar tuner.
    Chordfind [chordfind.net] use this site to find out how to play any chord.

  • by Lothar+0 (444996) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @03:28PM (#258885) Homepage
    If tablatures are outlawed, only outlaw garage bands will be able to cover Stairway To Heaven.

CCI Power 6/40: one board, a megabyte of cache, and an attitude...

Working...