Illegal Words

Lyrics and tab sites are “now illegal” (From Thud)

In light of this, I think Thud had better be careful with publishing lyrics on his website as he does. After all, he does also have a film review site which has ads, and he does link to said site from his blog, and I’m sure his “Guess Ten” posts drive a lot of visitors to his site, so in a round-about way, he’s making money from his illegal publication of lyrics.

MPA president Lauren Keiser said he wanted site owners to be jailed.

He said unlicensed guitar tabs and song scores were widely available on the internet but were “completely illegal”.

Mr Keiser said he did not just want to shut websites and impose fines, saying if authorities can “throw in some jail time I think we’ll be a little more effective”.

I’ve heard of exaggeration, but this is damn ridiculous. Jail time for typing up lyrics — generally with mistakes — and putting them on the internet? Is it illegal to recite these lyrics — you know, as a clever retort in a conversation? What about singing the song in the shower? If I have a dream in which the song plays some role, was that an illegal dream until I pay royalties?

Is the song writer the only person who can legally express those lyrics in an oral or written form?

Excuse me
while I kiss this guy

If not for lyrics sites, a whole generation might think that this is what Hendrix is singing!

As for the guitar tabs, that’s even worse.

The Xerox machine was the big usurper of our potential income,” he said. “But now the internet is taking more of a bite out of sheet music and printed music sales so we’re taking a more proactive stance.”

David Israelite, president of the National Music Publishers’ Association, added his concerns.

“Unauthorised use of lyrics and tablature deprives the songwriter of the ability to make a living, and is no different than stealing,” he said.

In what way? Has this guy ever actually looked at the tabs available on the internet? They’re generally so off as to be perverse.

Now, if it’s a question of someone scanning pages from a published tablature book, that’s a different story. But if it’s some schmuck, sitting in his bedroom, listening to the same portion of a song 1×10^173^ times to figure it out, then publishing what he thinks is the proper way to play the song — and again, these tab sheets are usually so far off that one can only use them as a rough guide — then kudos to the guy.

There are wider implications, though. Does this mean that I can’t then play any of the music I’ve figured out on guitar by myself in the privacy of my own home? I’m not a performer. I’m not making any money off this. Usually, I’m not even providing anyone but myself with any enjoyment.

The music industry is saying, “You vill enjoy dis music, und you vill enjoy it how ve say to enjoy it!” Once again, it is showing itself in fine, pimpin’ colors.

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