mikey wrote:To preface what I am writing, I hate that OLGA and other tab sites are being pressured to shut down, but at the danger of being accused of thinking like a lawyer...
Here is the point of view from the other side of the fence.
Let us say you are in the roofing business. (Being in Florida it is an easy simile for me to make). You make money by installing roofs for people. You need a ladder to get up on the roofs. People do not pay you for the ladder. If you own the ladder there is no problem. What if you didn't own a ladder. You could buy one, you could rent one, or you could borrow one from another roofing company or you could steal one. On the surface borrowing and stealing seem the cheapest way to go. You don't have to pay for the ladder out of the fee charged to replace the roof, your profit is maximized. Your not giving the ladder to the customer and at the end of the day you can return the ladder from the company you borrowed it from. Of course the other roofing company is not going to just let you just borrow a ladder from them. If you don't have a ladder you can't do the work and maybe the company with the ladder can take your client, and make the money for doing the work themselves. Stealing the ladder is of course stealing and against the law.
SO WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH TAB SITES??????
Tab sites sell advertising. They deliver you to advertisers on their sites. The advertising pays for the sites, for the bandwith, for the upkeep. At the end of the day, maybe something is left over for the site owner. The TAB is the ladder. It is the tool that brings people to the site where they see the advertising. You can't sell advertising without the tool that brings the people. This ladder (whether it is a good ladder or a rickety ladder) is being borrowed or stolen. The site owner is not paying for or renting the tool from its rightful owners. Some might argue that tab site owners don't make much money, probably lose money, and do it out of love and devotion to the guitar community. Go back to the roofer, whether or not he turns a profit, it is doubtful that he will get free use of a ladder, unless he steals it which I remind you is against the law.
Just my two cents.
Terrible analogy--tab sites are people who have built ladders of their own and give them away for free. They didn't steal or borrow the ladder. They built their own with their own time and effort.
The business model of giving away something you created in return for advertising revenue doesn't make it wrong or illegal.