[Dixielandjazz] Jazz 1919 - piracy

Richard Broadie rbroadie at dc.rr.com
Sat Oct 9 14:42:47 PDT 2004

For more than you ever wanted to know about "Happy Birthday" copyright 
sintuation, go to http://www.snopes.com/music/songs/birthday.htm .   And I'm 
still trying to collect on my copyright for my compositions:  "The Blues" 
(both 12 and 16 bar variations).   :-)   Dick Broadie
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "LARRY'S Signs and Large Format Printing" <sign.guy at charter.net>
To: "DIXIELAND JAZZ POST" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Saturday, October 09, 2004 2:26 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Jazz 1919 - piracy

Pat said:
...28 people whom the Music Industry say are the main copiers and uploaders 
music have been taken to court her in the UK yesterday.

This is a follow up to  the prosecution of Napster etc.

Its a bit frightening. The kids interviewed on TV about it  all seemed to
think they had the God given right to steal whatever they like.

Whatever happened to the concept that taking someone else property was just
plain wrong?


Well I suppose that people who reproduce music and don't pay the composer or 
family or record company or whoever is stealing.  I really don't dispute 
that but there are degrees.

The music business as we know it could not exist without "stealing".  What 
would happen if the composer had 100% rights and could someway absolutely 
control who played his music and how much he got paid.  This is the record 
companies dream.  There would be no such thing as several artists recording 
the same tune and what would happen if the composer didn't want you or 
someone else playing his music.

There is a case in point.  The original movie of "Porgy and Bess" was owned 
by the Gershwin family who decided after his death that it was not a proper 
forum for his music and now only authorize the full opera version.   A great 
musical work is censored.

Another one.  Do you think that Dolly Parton would have let Witney Houstin 
record "I'll always love you" who incidently blew her (Dolly) away. NOT just 
on principal.

And what about us the musicians.  What would happen if the record companies 
/ composers / arrangers / owners could somehow take a cut for performance. 
Don't tell me that they wouldn't if they could.

The result would be individual musicians would have to learn to memorize 
very quickly and most probably go out of business and the ASCAP collector 
would be standing outside of all your gigs.

There is no School in this country, that I know of, that doesn't copy music 
and other copyrighted things on a regular basis.  What will they do when 
each piece of printed paper comes with a imbedded strip that copy machines 
will refuse to read.  OOPS there goes the copy machine industry.  By the way 
I teach in a private religious school that has two really active copy 
machines in the teachers lounge.

Eventually music and other things will have the same ownership rights that a 
computer program has in that you will only be leasing the  music.  You won't 
own it.  Next time you install a computer program read the fine print.

Disney just got the copyright law extended to roughly forever because the 
Mouse was going to be out of copyright.  This law will have impact on the 
music business because it will extend copyrights far beyond the lifetime of 
the composer.

There is another impact.  Go to your local eatery and tell them it's your 
birthday.  The staff will come out and sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you ---NOT! 
No one uses that in this town because two old ladies own it and apparently 
sued someone.  A tune that is virtually a folk tune turns out to have a 
copyright owner and it's no longer done.

Music as we know it today won't exist if the laws are enforced as they stand 
now and may be written to help big business.

I really don't think that it's an issue of stealing or not.  I think that 
it's an issue of consumers rights vs big business.  There has to be a middle 
ground where a kid can tape something off the air or a musician play a tune 
and not have the moralists scream thief and someway for big business to make 
money without destroying the very business they want to promote.

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