Wednesday, September 13, 2006

“Money makes the world go round / the world go round / the world go round”. Oops, guess I’d better change this heading...

A few months ago, I heard an interesting news item.

Not content with having been victorious over Napster and other file-sharing websites, The Big Global Corporate Music Machine had devised another plan to bring in more money.

Don't get me wrong here. I appreciate that an artist should be rightly rewarded for his or her work. I believe that copyright theft is a bad thing. Indeed, I feel quite uncomfortable using other people's images on my blog as frequently as I do. However, I do it because I feel that no one is actually losing out here, and no one is making money they shouldn't be. That is, I make no money from my blog, so I'm not making money off of someone else's efforts; and if I were to be asked to pay for images used, I wouldn't use them. Simple as that.

So what is it that The Big Global Corporate Music Machine had/has planned to do? You know, this is so simple it's genius. I can hardly believe they didn't come up with it before...

Just as it is illegal for me to put an mp3 of a published song on here -- let's say "Stand and Deliver" by Adam and the Ants, since that's also the name of his autobiography, in shops today -- The Big Global Corporate Music Machine proposes that it should also be illegal to put lyrics of published songs on sites without paying the appropriate royalties.

Yes, yes, I know, this is still someone else's copyrighted material, and as such it should rightly be protected. But come on. At the end of the day, most sites posting lyrics often use people's best guesses where songbooks have never been made available. These are the online community's version of sitting down with paper and pen and hitting pause on your tape deck every couple of lines, which I'm sure we all did as kids. Who knows what the fuck Joe Strummer, Shane McGowan, and Tupac Shakur are saying half the time. Check out the lyrics on two different sites and the chances are you'll get two different interpretations.

AND NOT ONLY THAT... Of course, all of this is also applicable to fan sites that offer tab notes for guitar players. The Big Global Corporate Music Machine believes it is losing out because people are learning their guitar parts from free online-community websites instead of going out and buying the sheet music or songbooks. That's a semi-fair point, but if I want to learn how to play songs by guitar-based artists such as Bright Eyes or Elliott Smith, there aren't any fucking books available for me to turn to. What then, Big Global Corporate Music Machine, you dumb cunt?

Am I being naive, or is this whole scenario just really fascistic?

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4 Comments:

Blogger Candy Minx said...

It is out of line seeing as most kids learn guitar by the sheer perseverance of their own personalities and they hide in their rooms and practice without any songbooks or lessons!

Not being able to use a title is ridiculous because how are you supposed to write a record review, or sell a cd if you can't tell someone it is awesome?

13 September, 2006 17:06  
Anonymous the cappuccino kid. said...

not naivety, just well said words. the big corporate music machines, exactly how much money do they need?
bunch of hypocritical facist greedy fuckers!

14 September, 2006 09:32  
Blogger Kate said...

"Am I being naive, or is this whole scenario just really fascistic?"

It's definitely the latter. I read the article on the BBC website about the moves to close down tab sites - it seems pointless and counter-productive. Huge numbers of successful guitarists learnt to play by following tabs, it is unfair to suddenly take that opportunity away from the next generation simply for the sake of a few quid, which, lets face it, the companies were never going to get in the first place.

14 September, 2006 14:49  
Blogger The Anti Crapitalist said...

Copyright is out of control. These big corporations would disappear tomorrow with a small change in the law. Its wrong. The industry will right itself when artists realise that they don't need the music companies to distribute their music in the first place.

14 September, 2006 23:26  

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