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(@simonhome-co-uk)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 678
Topic starter  

Damn, this is really pathetic - First Powertabs and now Mysongbook.com have been stopped from distributed even tabs worked out by ear! Who the hell is it anyway who objects to this?! None of these artists would ever in a million years want people to not be able to work out their music for others to learn from! And its not an issue for the record companies to worry about either. This is just bureaucracy for the sake of bureaucracy - they just saw something that isnt doing any harm but could easily be legally clamped down on and so they have.
Have none of the artists spoken out against this? Id be pretty suprised of they havnt, its crazy.


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(@noteboat)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

Record labels aren't involved.

Artists typically enter agreements with four types of companies for a song: the record label, which sells recordings and gives the artist a royalty; print publishers, which make printed music available in books and magazines, and pay the artist a royalty; rights management agencies, which collect money from radio stations and other broadcasts, and pay the artist a percentage; and song publishers, who try to get other artists to cover the song, in exchange for partial ownership of the copyright.

Should artists care about tabbers? That's complicated. Free tab would perhaps increase record sales and requests for radio airplay, which might offset or exceed lost royalties from print publishing. So artists may be no worse off either way.

But the tab struggles are with the print publishers, who feel that online tab reduces sales of song books. They're probably right - why would you pay for something if you could get it free? And artists have given them contractual control over the print copyright - which includes the right to sue unauthorized publishers (who aren't paying royalties). So artists have in fact approved the action up front. And I haven't heard of any artists returning royalty checks or breaking contracts because of what the publishers are doing.

The fact that somebody worked out the song by ear is a red herring. When you figure out a song, the result is not 'your' work, it's just your transcription. If you transcribe Harry Potter from a book on tape, and post the result on a website you'll get sued just as fast - and for exactly the same reason.

If you say a tab isn't a transcription, but your own 'version' of a song instead, it's even worse. The law gives the artist (or other copyright holder) the right to approve or reject any 'derivative work' before publication.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@musenfreund)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5134
 

Just a general note to everyone, if you have to use asterisks to bleep out letters to disguise an expletive, just find another word. We're a PG site and want to keep it clean.

Thanks!

Well we all shine on--like the moon and the stars and the sun.
-- John Lennon


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(@saber)
Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 351
 

Notebooks comment seems to cover the issue pretty well. People are complaining because they aren't getting for free what they used to get. It's not like it's bread and water, it's song transcriptions, of music people worked very hard to write. Sure you work hard to transcribe, but student artists practice by painting the mona lisa, and it's still a copy of someone elses work.

I like tab as much as the next guy, but I believe whoever is sueing these websites is entitled to that action.

"Like the coldest winter chill. Heaven beside you. Hell within." -Jerry Cantrell


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(@simonhome-co-uk)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 678
Topic starter  

Its real bad news as far as im concerned. I would not be one eighth the guitarist I am now had I not been able to have access to tabs of any kinda of music or artist at the press of a button. And, although downloading all these tabs wont improve me as much any more as when I was starting out, It certainly would help. Sure I work some things out myself, but I have limits both in my ear's ability and my patience - I cant work out the entirety of Ygnwie's 'Far Beyond the Sun'!
If I didnt have access to tabs, id still be playing the same old Metallica solos...This legal action hinders thousands of players out there; is that really an acceptable sacrifice so that some artists and men in suits who already are loaded, can get a little more money i their pockets?...


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(@noteboat)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

Sure you work hard to transcribe, but student artists practice by painting the mona lisa, and it's still a copy of someone elses work.

Besides the fact that the Mona Lisa is in the public domain, so nobody owns the rights to it... this points out the crux of the matter:

Tabbing something is fine. If you've bought a CD, you've essentially purchased a license to use that music for your own personal use, and you can do whatever you want with it as long as it's not commercial.

You can play it in your home, office, car, or at the beach on your boombox. You can transcribe the songs in tab, standard notation, or Sanskrit cuniforms. You can play it for your friends at a party.

But there are two invisible lines that you can't legally cross: personal and commercial. The commercial one is pretty obvious. If you're playing music at a party, and you're charging people a cover to get in, you own royalties. If you make copies of the CD for all your friends, you're no longer using it under your personal license - you're distributing (which is the problem with online tab)

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@davidhodge)
Member Moderator
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 4485
 

Taso's right. And I've edited the thread to reflect that.

How about we all get this back on track and leave the socioeconomics out of this?

Personally, I think that not having access to tablature can make for a better guitarist and musician all around. Not having them makes you have to learn more about music to figure things out and also encourages you to meet other musicians in order to learn how they do things. In a way, having to figure things out yourself tends to contribute to your own style.

I'm not saying that I think tablature is bad but I do think that many guitarists become so reliant on it they don't learn how to become their own musician.

Just a thought.

Peace


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(@saber)
Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 351
 

I understand the Mona Lisa is public domain. I was trying to point out that the entitlement people feel to a song by personally tabing it out is ridiculous. Tabbing something, as I understand, can be a great way to learn music and awesome practice, but it is essentially just a reinterpretation of someone elses creative property. If millionere artists who own five houses, and a small island, want to keep copies of their work from being distributed then more power to them. It's not about who's got what, suits or debauchorous rock stars, if they made it, they deserve the rights to it.
At least that's how I see it.

"Like the coldest winter chill. Heaven beside you. Hell within." -Jerry Cantrell


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 Taso
(@taso)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2852
 

I don't appreciate that I can't download tabs anymore, however it's not that big of a deal to me. As you progress on the guitar, you start to use tabs less and less, as your ear becomes better and you start writing you're own songs. The only tab I've downloaded in the past 5 months or so was The Godfather theme, as performed by Slash, just to confirm what I learnt by ear. Really, the lack of tabs may turn out to be a good thing. Fellas like Clapton did not have tabs, they had to learn everything by ear, resulting in them becoming amazing players. (Ok, so this wasn't the ONLY factor, but it was a large part of it)

David is definitly right in that you have to learn more about music to figure out songs, or at least doing so will make figuring them out easier. If you understand what scale an artist was working out of, or what key, it becomes much easier to figure out what the chords are, etc.

http://taso.dmusic.com/music/


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(@duffmaster)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 855
 

Hey, can someone please pm me telling me why my post was deleted? It was on topic, we were discussing how politics and music are changing. If someone has a problem with my political views than please say it to my face. But I should be allowed to speak my views just as I have a right to play my own music.

Thanks

Who needs a signature?
I mean really...
It's almost always lyrics...
or a cliche...
or garbage about me...
Lets just save YOU from the pain, ok?


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(@davidhodge)
Member Moderator
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 4485
 

It was deleted because it (and other parts of the thread that were also deleted) was sending this thread off on a tangent that might result in it getting deleted. My call as moderator. Not necessarily the right one, but the one I made.

I don't have a problem at all with your politcal views, whatever they may be, but the fact is that we're supposed to (by the guidelines already posted on this page, which we're all supposed to abide by) keep politics out of the discussion. There are plenty of other boards where you can discuss your politics.

Absolutely nothing personal was meant here, so don't take it that way.

Back to the topic at hand...

I think that there's also a big difference between tabbing out something yourself and then posting that tab. Seriously, if it's only for the person who did it, then why post it? That's when it becomes a very grey area and one that probably needs to be defined at some point in order to make all sides of this issue happier.

Even in the forties and fifties (and earlier) musicians would make technically illegal copies of music in order to help each other play things. Especially for gigging musicians. But today's technology truly is beyond anything a writer or songwriter may have expected. I've seen some posting of tablatures of songs that haven't even been released - folks go to a concert and record it and then do a transcription.

Learning the song is one thing. Teaching it is another. Giving it away is still another. Perhaps there have to be clear definitions as to what may be allowed or not.

Speaking for myself, I truly don't know if any answer is going to work. But I do think it's important to try to see all the various sides of this issue before making a blanket statement about it. Like almost anything in life, it doesn't come with a "one size fits all" solution.

Peace


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(@jimh2)
Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 84
 

Besides, it only costs about $4 to buy a licensed copy of the musical notation and the tab for most songs out there...

Music is the universal language, love is the key.


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(@misanthrope)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2268
 

Personally I think it's ridiculous that you can't share a tab you've written provided it's not for profit (selling your own version of a tab book would be a different matter, but it's not the issue here).

I learned a few GnR songs from tab back when I started and when I got better and wanted more accurate tabs, I bought their 100%-accurate-to-the-minutest-of-detail tab book.

IE, if I want the official version I cough up, if I'm happy with just being in the same ballpark, then that's the sacrifice I make for keeping my money in my pocket. I don't think that's unreasonable.

ChordsAndScales.co.uk - Guitar Chord/Scale Finder/Viewer


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(@bford)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 248
 

I have found that most tab out there is junk. I'd rather drop a few dollars down for something more acurate than become frustrated looking for a freebie off the internet. I know not all tab/chord books are accurate but I seem to have better luck with them than what I find online.
You get what you pay for.
.02

Treat others how you would like to be treated.


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(@noteboat)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

One thing I've noticed about tab - whether online or printed - is that it's more prone to typographical error than standard notation is. I've got more than a few books where the tab doesn't match the printed notation above it... and it's sometimes off by a string.

Publishers can hire folks who sight read (on any instrument) to check the accuracy of the standard notation... when you sight read, you're hearing the printed line in your head. You catch errors just as you'd catch mis-spellings when you read text.

But even if they have a competent guitarist checking the tab, you don't hear a line in your head from the numbers. It's more of a two-step process: you visualize the fingering, and then you hear the sound that fingering creates. So if the note is C (5th fret 3rd string), and the editor knows the tune already, it's more likely that the note printed as E (5th fret 2nd string) creeps in.

I'm just speculating here, but I think there are three probable causes:

- publishers might be using older notation software. The new stuff generates both standard notation and tab at the same time, but older models might need to be programmed independently. Most of the problems I've seen where standard doesn't match tab comes from a couple of specific publishers.

- there can be software errors. I've used a transcription program that tabbed and notated fine... until you made a correction. When changing a note that's already in place, and altering it by a chromatic half step, I've seen only one part changed - the tab (or notation) is then off by a fret. The kicker is that it doesn't happen every time... so it must be related to how the software figures frets against the possible combinations of notes and key signature.

- some magazines print ONLY tab, without a standard notation line. That gives them nothing to check against, even if they use new software that's error free. Then data entry errors aren't as likely to be caught.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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