Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Your Mashup Is Probably Legal

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the oh-thank-you-2-live-crew-thank-you dept.

Media 149

TV Barn writes "We've been conditioned to think that if you pull something off the web and use it, you're committing some sort of copyright infringement. But increasingly, the law is moving in the opposite direction. Provided you are making a truly new use of the content, you are free to make money off those copyrighted images and video and sound. On Monday the Center for Social Media released 'Code of Best Practices for Fair Use in Online Video,' which reflects the latest changes in copyright law that has expanded the understanding of fair use to include 'transformational effect.' Already Miro has endorsed the guidelines, as have several public broadcasters. The Center has a good track record, having issued guidelines for documentary filmmakers that have greatly reduced copyright claims in that area. The website has plenty of resources for mashers and mixers; I interviewed the Center's director in this podcast that summarizes the most important findings of the report." On the other hand, says reader kaliphonia, your guitar tablature sites may not fare so well.

cancel ×

149 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Why any attempt to define "Fair Use" is pointless (5, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099005)

You can try to define "Fair Use" all you want to. But any definition is utterly meaningless in the real world because your rights are entirely and completely dependent on a number of factors that have nothing to do with any attempt to define the term:
  1. The determination of the copyright owner to take you down (how far they're willing to go)
  2. The determination of your host to refuse their attempt (if you're on a site like Youtube that takes down videos at the slightest complaint, this is pretty much 0)
  3. Your determination and ability to defend yourself to your host and in court (i.e., do you have the financial resources and time to defend yourself and are you willing to do so?)
  4. The quality and disposition of the judge in the case
  5. Your ability to withstand additional harassment from the copyright owner even after the initial case (process can start over at this point, depending on the factor #1)

The Church of Scientology, for example, is a copyright holder that is VERY determined (very high in the #1 factor). They have taken down MANY critiques that clearly fell well within any reasonable definition of "Fair Use." Go up against them and it won't matter what the "definition" of Fair Use is, they will still likely prevail in any real-world scenario (unless you are also VERY determined and VERY capable of defending yourself).

Re:Why any attempt to define "Fair Use" is pointle (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24099049)

SCROTUM

Re:Why any attempt to define "Fair Use" is pointle (3, Funny)

phobos13013 (813040) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099593)

I think the poster was trying to point out SCOTUS, which in the end of any lawsuit involving this will be the final naysayer to free use. Although, there was a different time... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Why any attempt to define "Fair Use" is pointle (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 6 years ago | (#24101781)

In Canada, you can recoup your legal expenses. If you take a case to the Supreme Court of Canada, you're looking at out-of-pocket expenses of $1 million or more.

I can't imagine it costing any less to go to the US Supreme Court.

So sure, you could fight the law, but do you have the cash to afford the extensive lawsuit, considering that you'd be out of work for a year or more while you work full-time on your case?

Re:Why any attempt to define "Fair Use" is pointle (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24099407)

All your mashups are belong to us.

Re:Why any attempt to define "Fair Use" is pointle (4, Interesting)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099663)

Exactly. As long as the justice system remains a for-profit industry, you really have far fewer rights than you realize.

That is, unless you are super-rich.

Re:Why any attempt to define "Fair Use" is pointle (2, Insightful)

zanerock (218113) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099925)

First, off, whether or not things are still bad, trending towards a broader definition of fair use is still good. Not only in-and-of-itself, but it provides another wedge to start undoing all the other bad stuff and overcoming the factors that lead to abuse.

Second, let's not make the mistake of focusing too much on hosting and take downs. Maybe the RIAA can still force a take down of a mashup, but if the accepted law is that my copy of the Grey Album is legit, my iPod is less likely to be seized at the border.

Re:Why any attempt to define "Fair Use" is pointle (5, Interesting)

rgviza (1303161) | more than 6 years ago | (#24100129)

I was about to say the same thing...

IANAL, but have an entertainment attorney (since I am a publisher/engineer/producer in my spare time) who made a very important point:

You can make fair use of content, just make sure you have the bank account to fight them when they take you to court. The golden rule applies. You can get sued for using a kick drum sample to make an original beat for a new song. Will you get sued for this?

Depends...

Would they win?

Not if you can outlast them financially in court and have the better attorney who can prove that you are making "fair use" to whatever judge is on the case.

It's a lot easier to pay $.99 to license the kick drum sample from a service that sells sound, as long as you keep your reciept:D

-Viz

Re:Why any attempt to define "Fair Use" is pointle (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24100823)

It's a lot easier to pay $.99 to license the kick drum sample from a service that sells sound, as long as you keep your reciept:D

Can you recommend a few good sample libraries whose TOS doesn't conflict with releasing the end product under, say, the Free Art License, the Creative Commons Attribution License, or the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license?

Re:Why any attempt to define "Fair Use" is pointle (5, Interesting)

DrMaurer (64120) | more than 6 years ago | (#24100273)

Scientology has, IMO, pushed a little hard on the legal end.

Their recent attempt to have Gawker Media remove an edited interview of Tom Cruise failed. Gawker's direct response was to cite fair use. See the thread on Gawker.com from January 15th: "Tom Cruise Indoctrination Video [gawker.com] ." There are follow-ups on Chilling Effects for the Cease and Desist Letter [chillingeffects.org] . Gawker's response to it...etc. etc. Basically, you can still see the thing.

Then some people on 4chan seem to have started the whole Anonymous protests as a direct result of Scientology's attempts to silence Gawker. Those protests have waned recently, but were a definite sign that people do notice this stuff and take it seriously.

The definition of Fair Use is a legal one; yes, the pocketbook factor will always limit the direct legal rights you theoretically have, but if you can get a million people in masks out into the streets....

Re:Why any attempt to define "Fair Use" is pointle (1)

badasscat (563442) | more than 6 years ago | (#24101647)

You can try to define "Fair Use" all you want to. But any definition is utterly meaningless in the real world because your rights are entirely and completely dependent on a number of factors that have nothing to do with any attempt to define the term

Exactly - and the article summary is wrong about the law "moving increasingly in the opposite direction". The law hasn't moved at all. Copyright law is what it is and the last real update to it was the DMCA what, ten or more years ago now? There are several bills making their way through congress right now that would strengthen copyright laws, not weaken them. The law has not budged since the awful DMCA, but if it's *going* to move in any particular direction, it's going to get worse.

What's changed is the public's perception about copyright. But that's got nothing to do with the law. You're perfectly free to believe murder is right and moral too, but that doesn't mean you won't go to jail if you kill somebody. The law is the law.

Re:Why any attempt to define "Fair Use" is pointle (1)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 6 years ago | (#24102749)

It's the judges' interpretation of the law that is moving - and since the ultimate conclusion of a legal battle is down to the judges' discretion, 'fair use' is an increasingly important concept.

.

Alright! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24099093)

So my Mickey Mouse / Prince hentei slash rape movie set in the Palladium universe using music from Metallica is perfectly legal. Sweet. Intertube fame, here I come!

Re:Alright! (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099369)

No. you need to mash the music with something else also, or at least the use of the unaltered music will be problematic. But the rest should qualify as "original art" under fair use terms. Either that, or give you a ride to the next loony bin.

Re:Alright! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24100877)

So my Mickey Mouse / The Artist Formally Known As Prince hentei slash rape movie set in the Palladium universe using music from Metallica is perfectly legal. Sweet. Intertube fame, here I come!

There Fixed it for ya.

Re:Alright! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24101493)

Prince is back to being Prince, he only changed his name to break his record deal with Sony.

Words too? (3, Interesting)

pzs (857406) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099117)

Does this also apply if you want to use three consecutive characters from an associated press [cadenhead.org] story?

Re:Words too? (4, Informative)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099525)

As far I can tell, the AP hasn't removed their takedown notices, but according to the guy who runs the blog, one of their VPs is putting on a damage control PR campaign. link [cadenhead.org] Legally, it doesn't seem they have much of a foot to stand on and they seem to know it:

It doesn't appear, however, that AP is continuing to pursue its "hot news" claim against Drudge Retort, and for good reason. ... in National Basketball Ass'n v. Motorola, 105 F.3d 841, 844 (1997), one of the few cases to address a "hot news" claim, the Second Circuit set an exceptionally high standard for such claims to be viable, requiring, among other things, that the information be time-sensitive; the defendant be in direct competition with the plaintiff; and the continued publishing of the "hot news" would so reduce the plaintiff's incentive to produce the product or service that its existence or quality would be substantially threatened.

source. [citmedialaw.org]

Re:Words too? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24099585)

On the other hand, anything that pisses off Drudge makes me smile inside. The guy's a douchebag and his site is just a collection of second-rate journalism that doesn't even try to hide its strong neo-conservative bias. I'd call it propaganda, but that would be an insult to the real thing.

Re:Words too? (3, Informative)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 6 years ago | (#24101885)

Don't get confused, this isn't the Drudge Report. This is the Drudge Retort, a big difference. Have a look at the previous slashdot story. [slashdot.org]

snvoiu09jr nllahhp y9-we[;;;fi fkhHKKH (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24099145)

plenury salubrious chrome

Oh oh, TFA leads to... (4, Interesting)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099163)

a law school. It would have been nice to know why tab sites aren't covered under fair use. From my admittedly ignorant reading of the pdf (IANAL so I am in fact ignorant) it looks like the article says exactly the opposite of what TFS says.

I know that often the law makes little or no sense, but after all, unless the tablature has been written down then your putting it on paper (or computer screen) is a new work.

Can someone help alleviate my ignorance here?

Re:Oh oh, TFA leads to... (3, Interesting)

actiondan (445169) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099651)

Fair use applies to creative reuse of content.

Transforming content from one form to another is not necessarily considered creative. In the case of guitar tabs, I guess it isn't.

If you painted a canvas that included graphic representations of the tabs for a song and the use of those specific tabs had some connection with the theme of the painting that was important to the meaning of the overall piece, I would guess that fair use would come into play.

Re:Oh oh, TFA leads to... (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 6 years ago | (#24101645)

Okay, so you create a game where the guitar tabs (or some analogue) is a central mechanic to the game. Some game not overtly guitar-related (so, I don't mean Guitar Hero). Or a sketch of improv comedy, who knows. In some way, the audience would need to be able to know how to convert what they'd just seen (or played) back into guitar tabs, but at the core would still be a new creative performance.

I suspect this might be an end-run around it, similar to how printing source code (in book form) for encryption was constitutionally protected for export.

Re:Oh oh, TFA leads to... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24099749)

Can someone help alleviate my ignorance here?

Easy: if you're not ultra-wealthy, it's a safe bet that whatever you're doing is illegal.

Re:Oh oh, TFA leads to... (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099829)

unless the tablature has been written down then your putting it on paper (or computer screen) is a new work.

Can someone help alleviate my ignorance here?

Surely a transcription of music from a phonorecording to a tablature sheet is not a new work, but a derivative one? It is the content, not the medium, which matters.

Re:Oh oh, TFA leads to... (1)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 6 years ago | (#24100599)

The tabulature is infringing on the music publisher's copyrights. It is exactly the medium that matters, as someone (sometimes the artist, usually a music publisher) holds rights to make written representations of the music, and it's not the author of the tab.

Re:Oh oh, TFA leads to... (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#24100979)

It is the content, not the medium, which matters.

That's why an mp3 from an CD is not covered but a new song created by someone sampling pieces off of a cd would....
Where's my Drum machine

Re:Oh oh, TFA leads to... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099965)

it looks like the article says exactly the opposite of what TFS says.

That's been known to happen occasionally round here.

Re:Oh oh, TFA leads to... (4, Interesting)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 6 years ago | (#24100069)

"unless the tablature has been written down then your putting it on paper (or computer screen) is a new work"

Probably not. It's a new representation of an old work. Copyright isn't attached to a specific representation of a work (though I believe it does require that the work be fixed in some tangible representation).

Fair use is pretty much inherantly a murky area of copyright law. The actual language in the law just sets a list of criteria to be weighed. It doesn't say how to weigh them, except that it says that none of the criteria alone is controlling. The introduction to TFA notes that this is a guide to interpret the law based on experience and opinion, but "This code of best practices does not tell you the limits of fair use rights." So it is very possible for two identical cases to be resolved in contradiction to one another.

The argument with mashups seems to be that the addition of new creative content justifies the use. There will always be a blurry line there. (If I juxtapose two copyrighted works and add nothing else, but the juxtaposition is itself meaningful, is that fair use? Who decides if it is meaningful, or if I'm just dodging copyright by slamming two works side by side?) The guidelines in TFA seem to acknowledge this, and are not nearly as one-sided as the slashdot headline/summary suggest. (Surprise, surprise.)

But when you transcribe tab, you're not adding any new content. You're just translating from one form to another. The translation process may be difficult and require skill, but it's still not a creative process. I'd like to think tab sites were legal; I used to use them quite a bit myself. But realistically, I can't see how they would be.

Re:Oh oh, TFA leads to... (1)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | more than 6 years ago | (#24100187)

But when you transcribe tab, you're not adding any new content. You're just translating from one form to another. The translation process may be difficult and require skill, but it's still not a creative process. I'd like to think tab sites were legal; I used to use them quite a bit myself. But realistically, I can't see how they would be.

Depends on the tab. A tab can be a faithful reproduction of the song, or it can be an interpretation of the song. I think the latter has a better chance of being "fair use" than the former.

Re:Oh oh, TFA leads to... (1)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 6 years ago | (#24100335)

In that there are "legal fake books" full of notation for slightly-altered songs, where the original is copyrighted, you may have a point.

Of course, that just creates another blurry line -- What really is the difference between a low-fidellity copy (which is not protected) vs. an "interpretation" or other slightly-different-but-similar work? Maybe it comes down to intent...

But when it comes to tab sites as a whole (at least the ones I've ever seen), I'd stand by my previous analysis. Most if not all of the tabs are intended to reproduce the original, with any differences being accidental.

Re:Oh oh, TFA leads to... (2, Interesting)

torkus (1133985) | more than 6 years ago | (#24100607)

I'm half playin devil's advocate here...so take that into consideration.

One could consider tab to be a description of music. After all, you can't listen to tab directly and get the actual music. I'd compare it to a sportscaster giving a blow-by-blow of a hockey game. If the recording of the game was copyright does that mean a sportscaster needs specific permission to describe the game step-by-step? Yes, I know they work for the arena and are hired to do their job but that's besides the point. What if joe-neighbor watched the game and posted a blog online of step-by-step action after the fact?

It's not the actual work, it's not identical to the original and you can't derive the same exact thing from it. After all, I play guitar but metallica isn't going to sub me in for one of their shows and call it the same thing. :)

Re:Oh oh, TFA leads to... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24101285)

After all, you can't listen to tab directly and get the actual music

OCR the tab to MIDI, and you can listen to it.

If the recording of the game was copyright does that mean a sportscaster needs specific permission to describe the game step-by-step?

Not only the recording is copyrighted. The underlying musical work is also copyrighted.

What if joe-neighbor watched the game and posted a blog online of step-by-step action after the fact?

How long after the fact?

Re:Oh oh, TFA leads to... (1)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 6 years ago | (#24102019)

The analogy to sportscasting breaks down because the game itself (events that occured; raw facts) is not protected by copyright. The broadcast is protected (and the broadcaster will be sure to over-state its rights, including trying to imply that an amateur play-by-play would require permission), but a play-by-play isn't a representation of the (protected) broadcast -- it's a representation of the (not protected) game (which happens to also be depicted by the broadcast). Of course, as the reason the broadcast is protected should be because of added content beyond the raw facts of the game -- commentary, maybe camera angles and editing work, etc. -- if your "play by play" describes those added elements as opposed to just the game, there might actually be a copyright issue (depending on whether your commentary on their commentary constitutes fair use).

By contrast, with a musical recording, it is the music itself that is protected by copyright. That's why sheet music is covered by the music's copyright. (The publisher of the sheet music may claim additional copyright on the notation, independent of that on the music; but the notation is still subject to the copyright on the music itself if there is one.) Tab would be the same.

I guess to the other angle -- You can get from tab to the music. You just need a complex device (called a musician) to get from point A to point B.

Of course, all of that is my personal understanding and interpretation. While I've researched the subject a number of times, IANAL.

Re:Oh oh, TFA leads to... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24100971)

Creating tablature of a song is *not* creating a new song, it's just making an unauthorized copy of a musical work. So it's straight-up infringement.

A copyright holder can have a copyright in (1) a musical work (in the abstract, the notes that make up the work), as well as in (2) a sound recording embodying the work.

If I make an unauthorized copy of an mp3 that is a song where a band is doing a cover song, I infringe on (1) the sound recording created by the cover band, AND simultaneously (2) the musical work created by the original author of the song.

In this case, a tab version of a song would infringe on the musical work created by the original author of the song, not the sound recording.

(IANAL yet: I just graduated from law school, and should really be studying for the bar right now rather than reading Slashdot.)

Re:Oh oh, TFA leads to... (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24101411)

I hope you're planning on becoming another Ray Beckerman (/.'s NYCL)and not an RIAA Goon! ;)

If you're on our side (EFF etc) then please get to work on that bar exam. If you're going to work for the RIAA, there are some really interesting slashdot stories today...

Step 5! (4, Insightful)

muellerr1 (868578) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099215)

FTA:

FOUR: Reproducing, reposting, or quoting in order to memorialize, preserve, or rescue an experience, an event, or a cultural phenomenon
FIVE: Copying, reposting, and recirculating a work or part of a work for purposes of launching a discussion

Somebody post a copy of Windows XP: I want to memorialize and preserve it, and I'd like to launch a discussion about how MS should continue to sell and support XP.

I guess what I'm saying is, as nice as these Fair Use guidelines are, they're only as good as the lawyers that fight for them and the deep pockets that will fund them.

Re:Step 5! (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099343)

I guess what I'm saying is, as nice as these Fair Use guidelines are, they're only as good as the lawyers that fight for them and the deep pockets that will fund them.

Quite right. And don't forget also: only as good as the judges before whom the cases are presented.

Re:Step 5! (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099899)

Exactly, or ROMs for old systems that the companies have either gone broke or they aren't making any money off of them. The difference though is, it is becoming increasingly not, "is this legal" but rather "does anyone care?".

Re:Step 5! (1)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | more than 6 years ago | (#24100261)

Somebody post a copy of Windows XP: I want to memorialize and preserve it, and I'd like to launch a discussion about how MS should continue to sell and support XP.

I guess what I'm saying is, as nice as these Fair Use guidelines are, they're only as good as the lawyers that fight for them and the deep pockets that will fund them.

The part you are missing is the limiations. From teh TFA:
Fair use reaches its limits when the entertainment content is reproduced in amounts that are disproportionate to purposes of documentation, or in the case of archiving, when the material is readily available from authorized sources.

If you post full copy of XP, you are clearly violating the limitations. An overriding theme of teh guidelines is to copy enough of the original content (and cite it) to make your point.

Also, there are better ways to memorilaze the XP experience like screen shots, screen movies, etc.

Windows XP is out of print (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24101517)

From teh TFA: "Fair use reaches its limits [...] when the material is readily available from authorized sources.

If you post full copy of XP, you are clearly violating the limitations.

Windows XP is out of print as of a week ago. So is it as "readily available from authorized sources" as you thought?

So my Harry Potter Cho Chang sex video (4, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099255)

is legal now?

Re:So my Harry Potter Cho Chang sex video (1)

sir_eccles (1235902) | more than 6 years ago | (#24101409)

Not necessarily. There are other laws apart from copyright. JK Rowling et al could and probably would still sue you for such things as trademark infringement, destroying good will in the name etc etc.

Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because ... (3, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099271)

You cannot apply fair use to something that has never been copyrighted. Claiming that a song is copyrighted, and therefore any tablature is copyrighted is absurd. First of all, you would have to charge almost every band that ever existed with copyright violation, since 99% of the live band music played on any given day is what we musicians call a cover song [wikipedia.org] .

Either the entire music industry is illegal by definition, or replicating/mimicking a musicians work is not illegal. There is no such thing as a musician who has never played another musicians music.

The sole exception here would be that if someone scanned pages from Guitar Player magazine or some similiar magazine, and then posted the scan on the web, that would be a copyright violation.

And of course, we need a car analogy: Imagine if Ford tried to claim that any instructions explaining how to replace a gasket in their cars manifold was a copyright violation of their manuals.

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (1)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099359)

And of course, we need a car analogy: Imagine if Ford tried to claim that any instructions explaining how to replace a gasket in their cars manifold was a copyright violation of their manuals.

The instructions themselves aren't, but the format and actual text are. You can't just copy it word-for-word. In other words, while the facts aren't copyrighted, their organization and expression in a fixed medium (the shop manual) is.

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24099667)

so everything is dandy if the engineer told you how to replace the gasket and then you go and write down the procedure, in your own words?

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (2, Informative)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099725)

so everything is dandy if the engineer told you how to replace the gasket and then you go and write down the procedure, in your own words?

Absolutely.

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24101269)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_room_design

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 6 years ago | (#24101595)

Excellent link! Guitar Tablature is the quintessential example of a clean room implementation.

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (1)

Rary (566291) | more than 6 years ago | (#24102975)

Excellent link! Guitar Tablature is the quintessential example of a clean room implementation.

That's debatable. An analogy to writing tablature would be listening to an audio CD of a book, and writing it down, word for word. The end result is a perfect copy of the original book, but it could be argued that it's a clean room implementation.

I can tell right now how well that argument would do in a courtroom.

Of course, the counter argument is that tablature isn't necessarily a perfect transcription of the song (ex. I might write down an open A chord using the 5th, 4th, and 3rd strings, whereas the guitarist on the album actually played a barre chord on the 5th fret using the 6th, 5th, and 4th strings). But that's a pretty blatant attempt at finding a loophole. A judge will see through that.

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (2, Insightful)

vaz01 (1206962) | more than 6 years ago | (#24101803)

You can't just copy it word-for-word. In other words, while the facts aren't copyrighted, their organization and expression in a fixed medium (the shop manual) is.

So shouldn't the fact that most of these (usually user-submitted) tabs on most tabs sites are either greatly simplified or completely wrong be their saving grace? I'd call it paraphrasing the work at best.

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (4, Informative)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099417)

Claiming that a song is copyrighted, and therefore any tablature is copyrighted is absurd. First of all, you would have to charge almost every band that ever existed with copyright violation, since 99% of the live band music played on any given day is what we musicians call a cover song [wikipedia.org] .

And thats what performing bands are paying royality fees for.

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (2, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 6 years ago | (#24100349)

"And thats what performing bands are paying royality fees for."

Which would be "informative", if not for the fact that performing bands are doing no such thing. If you don't believe me, go to your local night clubs and talk up any of the performers. Ask them who they pay royalties. They will look at you like you have three heads.

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 6 years ago | (#24100651)

I can only speak vor the situation over here (Germany). I know people in a few bands, and while several of them got away with not knowing about it, some others wish they had payed royalities, as that would have been cheaper than paying the 'fine' afterwards. (more a back payment based on a worst-case-scenario than a proper fine, but nothing you'd want to argue about) As those royalities only apply to "Public Performances" it's often up to the owner of the concert venue as the organizer of the event to take care of it. (read: at least write in the contract who has to take care of it)

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (3, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#24101071)

Usually the house pays the fees. Go to your local night clubs and ask the manager who he pays royalties. If he looks at you like you have three heads, you could probably make some money turning them in.

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 6 years ago | (#24101527)

"Usually the house pays the fees. Go to your local night clubs and ask the manager who he pays royalties. If he looks at you like you have three heads, you could probably make some money turning them in."

Alas, you have cited the biggest non-sequitur bandied about in regards to this issue. You see, just because someone pays fees, does not validate a claim that such a payment is legally required . Clubs pay extorsion fees all of the time. Some of those extorsion fees are paid in the form of "royalities."

Under fair use, no such payment is required . I sometimes play various songs at my family and friends homes, yet nobody pays "royalties". People play songs at train stations, etc. with legal permits , yet they are not required to pay royalties. There is no such thing as a company universally authorized to collect money in exchange for the right to play everyones songs. While it is the conventional wisdom to buy into the extortion, it is a house of cards.

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 6 years ago | (#24102059)

Yeah, that's right, it's "protection money" to ASCAP. Protection from being sued by them that is. I play at a celtic session once a month at a local tavern and the ASCAP assholes even showed up there trying to make the manager pay royalties for us playing there. The songs we play are traditional songs that sometimes date back to the middle ages, there's no copyright on them, they're in the public domain. Secondly, we don't even perform for the bar, we're off in a side room, we don't make any money and neither does the bar owner. The manager told them that and I think and they haven't been back but it's still a concern that we might get booted out of our favorite tavern just because of some corporate thugs have more lawyers than the bar owner.

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (1)

Rary (566291) | more than 6 years ago | (#24102803)

Under fair use, no such payment is required.

Oh, really? Point out the part of the fair use doctrine that allows performance of someone else's songs wherever and whenever you please. Here's the actual law [copyright.gov] (I'll assume you're in the U.S.).

I sometimes play various songs at my family and friends homes, yet nobody pays "royalties".

That is not a public performance. You can do that all you want without paying royalties, as no copyright holder (not even the RIAA) would ever come after you for that.

People play songs at train stations, etc. with legal permits, yet they are not required to pay royalties.

Actually, they are technically required to pay royalties if they're performing covers. The RIAA hasn't started going after them yet, so don't give them any ideas. Of course, the busking permit could be modified to include a payment to the appropriate PRO (maybe that's already in place. I don't know).

There is no such thing as a company universally authorized to collect money in exchange for the right to play everyones songs.

It would be impossible for an individual copyright holder to chase down every individual who performs the copyright holder's songs without licensing them. So, organizations were created to pool the efforts on behalf of the copyright holders. Bars, clubs, radio stations, etc voluntarily pay these fees to these organizations, known as PROs (Performing Rights Organizations), in order to avoid civil litigation. It is not a legal requirement that fees be paid to this organization, but it is a legal requirement that any fees demanded by the copyright holder be paid to them. The PRO is simply a convenience for the performers/broadcasters and the copyright holders.

While it is the conventional wisdom to buy into the extortion, it is a house of cards

It is not extortion. You don't have to pay it. If you choose to break the law (ie. perform a song that you don't have the legal right to perform), then you may face consequences. That's reality. If you want to avoid the consequences, don't break the law (ie. either pay the appropriate licensing fee, or just don't perform the song).

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103013)

It is not extortion. You don't have to pay it. If you choose to break the law (ie. perform a song that you don't have the legal right to perform), then you may face consequences. That's reality. If you want to avoid the consequences, don't break the law (ie. either pay the appropriate licensing fee, or just don't perform the song).

Protection money is not extortion. You don't have to pay it. If you choose to disobey the mafia, then you may face consequences. If you want to avoid the consequences, don't disobey the mafia.

It is extortion.

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24101115)

Here in the UK, that is covered by a performing rights license. Any venue that allows performances has to have such a license, and under it you are allowed to perform a certain amount of copyrighted work. The band doesn't pay the royalties, but the venue does

Club owner pays royalties on band's behalf (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24101381)

And thats what performing bands are paying royality fees for.

Which would be "informative", if not for the fact that performing bands are doing no such thing. If you don't believe me, go to your local night clubs

Which, for a lot of people affected by these rules, would involve waiting several years to become 21 in order to gain entry to these clubs.

and talk up any of the performers. Ask them who they pay royalties. They will look at you like you have three heads.

Or ask the club's owner if he is paying royalties to BMI or ASCAP or SESAC on behalf of the bands.

Re:Club owner pays royalties on band's behalf (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 6 years ago | (#24102107)

"Or ask the club's owner if he is paying royalties to BMI or ASCAP or SESAC on behalf of the bands."

Instead, I asked a local club owner if he was paying fees to the mafia. He indicated that he was. I was very surprised to find out that clubs are legally obligated to pay extortion fees to the mafia!

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (4, Informative)

bitrex (859228) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099711)

It is legal for a live band to perform cover songs at a venue if the copyright holders of the music are members of ASCAP/BMI, and the venue pays its yearly royalties to those organizations.

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (4, Informative)

Rary (566291) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099761)

...since 99% of the live band music played on any given day is what we musicians call a cover song.

And that's why the club in which the band is playing pays licensing fees to a Performing Rights Organization, and those fees transform into royalties for the holders of the copyrights on the songs played, assuming the band reports their set list to the PRO, which they should, as they will also get paid royalties for playing their own songs.

By the way, if a band is recording a cover song, they first have to pay to get a license for the mechanical rights to the song.

Nevertheless, copyright on tablature is an interesting problem. There's no doubt that music is protected by copyright the moment it is recorded. Transferring that music to a different medium (ex. CD to tape) is an infringement of copyright. But what about transferring it to a completely different medium (ex. CD to paper in the form of tablature)? Does that really constitute a copyright violation?

Well, actually, thanks to the reality of publishing rights, it does constitute a copyright violation. Basically, the law attempts to make it possible for musicians to make money selling their music in other forms, such as releasing books of tablature.

Personally, if a website posted tablature of my songs, I wouldn't be at all concerned. Same goes for lyrics. But, then again, I also wouldn't be too concerned over MP3s of the actual songs being distributed. So I guess I'm a little more easy-going on the copyright issue than a lot of other musicians are. My preference is to put all songs, lyrics, and tablature on the band's website so no one needs to go looking for it anywhere else.

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#24101821)

By the way, if a band is recording a cover song, they first have to pay to get a license for the mechanical rights to the song.

So if they don't have mechanical rights, they can't record it. So the performance of that cover is not fixed by them in a tangible medium, and copyright over that particular performance won't exist. But if I were to record it, I'd be fixing it in tangible medium. The copyright of the performance may belong to me, but then I could be sued for not having the mechanical rights to make the recording?

Sounds like these licensed mechanical rights mandate a public domain that no one can exploit and the extinguishing of works forced to be ephemeral, which sounds to me to be against the spirit of copyright (see signature).

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (1)

Rary (566291) | more than 6 years ago | (#24102481)

So if they don't have mechanical rights, they can't record it.

I should have been more clear. They can record it, they just can't legally sell it. If they do, they'd be doing so in violation of copyright and could be sued. The recording would still physically exist, as well as all rights to it.

So the performance of that cover is not fixed by them in a tangible medium, and copyright over that particular performance won't exist.

Are you talking about performance now, rather than recording? Because that's a different situation. Recording involves mechanical rights. Performance involves performing rights. Failing to pay for mechanical rights has no bearing on performing rights.

The copyright of the performance may belong to me, but then I could be sued for not having the mechanical rights to make the recording?

I'm not sure how to approach this, as your scenario confuses mechanical and performing rights. Assuming you are making a recording, with permission, of someone else's live performance of a cover song, regardless of their right to perform it, then I believe you will need to get a mechanical license if you want to sell it.

By the way, it's dead simple and cheap to get a mechanical license.

Sounds like these licensed mechanical rights mandate a public domain that no one can exploit and the extinguishing of works forced to be ephemeral, which sounds to me to be against the spirit of copyright (see signature).

--
A work that expires before its copyright never enters the public domain and thus enjoys eternal copyright protection.

Again, you're confusing mechanical and performing rights. Copyright is not a single right, it is a collection of many rights, not all of which apply to a specific work. A work does not "expire" before its copyright. Copyright covers the song, not the specific live performance of that song. That performance is not fixed, and therefore not protected by copyright. The song still exists even after the band has finished playing it. If someone records it, then it has been fixed, and that recording is covered by copyright (not the live performance, which has now "expired"). The recording still exists, and it is protected.

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 6 years ago | (#24100115)

You cannot apply fair use to something that has never been copyrighted. Claiming that a song is copyrighted, and therefore any tablature is copyrighted is absurd.

Only if you don't understand how the copyright system works. (Many people do not, which may suggest that the system is poor.)

As soon as a creative work, such as a song, it brought into existence, it is subject to copyright. The creator gets to decide who may make copies of the work, including printed musical notation that represents the content of the work.

In short, the right to publish tablature for a song is reserved to the creator of the song and/or those to whom a license to copy has been assigned.

First of all, you would have to charge almost every band that ever existed with copyright violation, since 99% of the live band music played on any given day is what we musicians call a cover song .

You've changed the subject. I thought we were talking about publication, not performance.

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (3, Interesting)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 6 years ago | (#24100177)

Tab is covered by copyright because the song composer owns the copyright on the specifc arrangement of notes represented by the tablature.

As to cover tunes, they, too, are covered by copyright (as is any music used in performance settings)--a performance copyright. If you buy some of the large and extremely expensive books of cover tunes, they often include limited performance rights (thus the tremendous cost). One of the reasons a lot of coffee shops have dropped or altered their musical programs is that lawsuits were threatened over local musicians who came in and played well-known tunes without having first secured performance copyright permissions. Of all copyright law, that's one to which I can best relate, since I am a songwriter when not bogged down as a sysadmin. Other musicians should not be able to take and use my songs (and make money doing so) without fair compensation to me (I manage my own copyrights, and do not require rediculous licensing fees for their use). Let them either pay a reasonable amount to use a piece in their performance, or let them write their own music.

Now, for mashups, people should be allowed some use of protected pieces, provided that economic gain is not the primary purpose of the mashup. If someone wants to put together snippets of their 10 favorite Devo songs while displaying a collage of abstract watercolor paintings, let it be. Now, if someone wants to do the same and sell the resultant media on a late-night television infomercial, then let them pony up some licensing cash (or revenue sharing).

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (1)

vaz01 (1206962) | more than 6 years ago | (#24101877)

I see where you're coming from, copyright protects you in particular then by assuring people know that your songs are yours.... Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure that, say, Nirvana or RHCP or whoever people are looking for tabs on don't have the same problem. Once your songs are well-known no one's going to go into a coffee shop and pretend they wrote it. And the tabs on these sites are for well-known songs... It really is just a matter of "does anyone care?" I guess.

Re:Guitar Tab doesn't qualify as fair use because (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24101923)

" If someone wants to put together snippets of their 10 favorite Devo songs while displaying a collage of abstract watercolor paintings, let it be."

Did you just whisper words of wisdom, and was it legal for you to do so if Michael says so, or Paul?

but... (4, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099295)

"Your Mashup Is Probably Legal"

However, if you use the word "mashup" you're probably a jerk.

Re:but... (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099763)

"Your Mashup Is Probably Legal"

However, if you use the word "mashup" you're probably a jerk.

Hmm... I guess I'd better find a new way to prepare potatoes if I want to preserve my social status...

OK... (1)

TV Barn (200215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24100405)

"Your Mashup Is Probably Legal"

However, if you use the word "mashup" you're probably a jerk.

Which I guess would be you minus the "-off"?

Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24099325)

Time to start the development of my Smash Bros Brawl Sex game.

Legal, as long as you host it? (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099365)

The thing with mashups is that they often break the revenue model of the folks providing the content. Stripping ads and/or using content without "signing up" for things is sometimes like demanding value for free. So go ahead and make a mashup of the user interface-- just host it yourself and use your own database.

Re:Legal, as long as you host it? (2, Informative)

actiondan (445169) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099685)

I think TFA is referring to mashups in sense of music and video content combined in creative ways, rather than in the sense of software systems that pull data from other systems and combine them.

Re:Legal, as long as you host it? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#24100035)

.. or in the sense of pretty much anything, as was very much the vogue roughly a year ago.

...in which country? (3, Insightful)

Hemogoblin (982564) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099461)

if you pull something off the web and use it, you're committing some sort of copyright infringement.... But increasingly, the law is moving in the opposite direction.

I know the site is USA-centric, but it's probably a good idea to specify the country in the summary. The above blanket statement is obviously not true, since, for example, the Canadian government just introduced DMCA-style legislation that would remove a lot of fair use. I'm certainly not as optimistic as the submitter.

Re:...in which country? (4, Funny)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099861)

The USA really needs a "Strengthening The Fair Use" -act.

Size Matters? (1)

onetruedabe (116148) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099559)

Interesting...

So the way I read this is: if you sample just a teeny bit of a song (the hook from "It Takes Two", e.g.) you're infringing -- or you have to pay out the wazoo to get the sample cleared -- but if you include enough of the material to claim "Commentary", then [they'd argue] you're clear.

VERY interesting...

Re:Size Matters? (2, Informative)

actiondan (445169) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099735)

It's not so much the duration sampled as the use to which you are putting the content that's important.

Are you using the sample because it's a convenient way to get a nice sound (not fair use) or because the original work it came from is important to the meaning of your new work (possibly fair use)?

Re:Size Matters? (1)

Secret Agent X23 (760764) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099845)

It's not so much the duration sampled as the use to which you are putting the content that's important. Are you using the sample because it's a convenient way to get a nice sound (not fair use) or because the original work it came from is important to the meaning of your new work (possibly fair use)?

My understanding is that you also have to look at how important the sampled piece is, in the context of the new work you're using it in. For example, if you take a song hook and loop it for the duration of your entire piece and add nothing more than a few extra embellishments here and there, that would be different from just quoting a single occurrence of someone else's riff in the body of your own, much larger work. In the first case, it can be argued that your new work is pretty much based on the already-existing song. Not so in the second case.

But IANAL.

Re:Size Matters? (1)

Roberticus (1237374) | more than 6 years ago | (#24100211)

For a concrete example of this, I offer the DJ/band called Girl Talk. His music is an extreme case of the single-occurrence-quote, where the entirety of the music is a series such quotes mixed together.

See a Wikipedia entry on a recent Girl Talk album [wikipedia.org] if you're interested. I believe the article links to an official site with sample songs.

"transformational" (2, Interesting)

TV Barn (200215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24100535)

Samples are different. There is a whole different wing of case law for samples. Also, fair use is not just about commentary. The key word is TRANSFORMATIONAL. I shoulda linked to my story as well [kansascity.com] , which discusses that aspect a bit.

But yes, if you can show that you are taking something and making something significantly "new" from it, fair use applies, whether it is commentary or a dance remix of O'Reilly's rant.

But the artist who did that composed his own music. If you just sample, you're taking music and making .... music. Not transformational.

What would Viacom do? (3, Interesting)

yuna49 (905461) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099871)

While I admire the effort these academics have invested in this document, it might have more clout if there were a few names from the content industries on the list. Their interpretations seem reasonable on the face of it, but I wonder if Viacom's or Elektra's attorneys would agree with their views.

I note that they make the point repeatedly about how fair use requires a transformation of the copyrighted material being used, and that the use of entire works generally has less protection than excerpts. Still I don't think I came away knowing whether making a music video from a complete song would qualify as fair use or not. On the one hand, the original work might be "transformed" by adding the video component, but the song itself was still used in its entirety. A mix of different video clips backed up with excerpts from a variety of different songs probably has a better chance at a fair-use defense.

agreed, but .... (1)

TV Barn (200215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24101573)

... again, I don't see a transformational use of the music in the video. If RevoLucian were sufficiently antisocial [slashdot.org] , for instance, he could sue the dude who made a YouTube video out of his O'Reilly Dance Remix, because simply adding the video to go with the audio, from the exact same Inside Edition rant, would likely not pass a judge's transformational test.

However, in the real world there has been much skittishness over the years about using ANYTHING that comes from Big Media over fear of legal action. This document suggests there is a way out of that, by distinguishing pure ripoff (e.g., last night's Colbert reposted to YouTube) from creative reuse (the famed, 100% Viacom-approved Colbert mashups [eweek.com] ).

Also, remember these guys have a track record. Pat Aufderheide told me that after their statement on docufilms came out in 2005, Kirby Dick used more than 150 classic Hollywood movie clips in his documentary about the MPAA ... and didn't license a one. If you've seen This Film Is Not Yet Rated, [wikipedia.org] you'd know why - and see a textbook example of transformational use.

AMVs/Shorts Collections (2, Interesting)

Xtense (1075847) | more than 6 years ago | (#24099913)

So how this affects the legality of AMVs [wikipedia.org] or collections of 30sec or less shorts [amvhell.com] in their style? The latter case is of particular interest to me, since I've made [pouet.net] one, uploaded it to Youtube and it got deleted "by request of the music publisher". After that I lived in a bit of insecurity that my efforts at some demoscene-oriented jokes will be the financial death of me.

(Though admittedly, it was a bit crap, so I see reason in there ;) )

Re:AMVs/Shorts Collections (2, Interesting)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 6 years ago | (#24100199)

Remember that YouTube is a private company. They can remove content at their discretion whether it is fair use or not.

Re:AMVs/Shorts Collections (2, Interesting)

purplepolecat (1108483) | more than 6 years ago | (#24102939)

I have also had some of my AMVs removed or restricted by YouTube.

Although AMVs probably constitute fair use, it's a moot point in the case of YouTube because they (not you) are making money from hosting your clip, so they (not you) are legally vulnerable if the original copyright holder comes knocking. This is why their TOS stipulates that YOU must own the copyright to all the material you post.

Fortunately most anime publishers recognise AMVs as free advertising, and leave it alone.

Mark Twain said it all... (1)

ArikTheRed (865776) | more than 6 years ago | (#24100179)

Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.

Sampling legal now? (1)

nynexman4464 (785292) | more than 6 years ago | (#24100183)

So Bridgeport v Dimension [wikipedia.org] has been overturned then?

The only changes I see are for the worse, not the better.

Good news (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#24100243)

I have a mashup of Linux and some proprietary code (handles the DRM) for a set top box. Good to know it's legal!

What's illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24100885)

So, is tablature illegal because someone could now play that song on guitar in their house without paying royalties or licensing fees? Most people just pick it up by ear, which would make brains illegal. What if your friend who is really good at guitar shows you how to play it? If tablature is illegal because the copyright owner could potentially choose to later publish a tab book or sheet music, then is it legal to upload videos to youtube of someone showing how to play a song as long as it's not written down? What if the copyright holder wanted to, at some point, release an instructional how-to-play video? Does that then make it illegal to teach people how to play a song if you record yourself teaching it? How retarded does this argument have to get?

Such misunderstanding about copyright (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24101243)

"Provided you are making a truly new use of the content, you are free to make money off those copyrighted images and video and sound."

Copyright law has nothing to say about making money. If you can make a billion dollars off someone else's IP without copying it then you are already free to do so. Conversely, copying someone else's IP without making a dime is not legal. The concept of "commercial use" only comes up as one of the tests related to fair use determinations, and it is not a binding factor.

A case in point is Google News. What they are doing with the content is allowed by copyright law - they are displaying very short summaries that link to the original articles. The fact that they make a bazzillion dollars off of it doesn't magically run them afoul of copyright law. There is no protection against someone else making a ton of money off of "your" material and refusing to give you any of it. Get over it.

Guitar Tabs WTF? (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#24102211)

What is the deal with guitar tabs? It was always been my understanding that if you're just learning to play it, making no money off of it, then that's fair use. If you're playing it in the a club or coffehouse setting, isn't it the responsibility of the venue to pay for licensing? I really don't get it - is it the fact that the people posting the tabs might be making money off them?

Sheet Music tabs (1)

Moblaster (521614) | more than 6 years ago | (#24102459)

It may be that guitar tabs are not fair use because they wholesale copy copyrighted work. Because there is usually a financial aspect to these sites, they remain prime targets for non-fair-use (unfair) claims.

I've seen a lot of success with my hybrid site Sheet Music Archive [sheetmusicarchive.net] offering a combination of locked and unlocked (by subscription) offerings of classical sheet music beyond the copyrightable term.

However, we have seen some "free" sites copy our presumably copyrighted PDF scans (presumably to us, at least) claiming the internal content is public domain. There is an open legal question whether specific editions of public domain work are separably copyrightable. We'd like to think so although I'd be curious to know what legal precedents are known to the Slashdot community.

always been (1)

hcmtnbiker (925661) | more than 6 years ago | (#24102773)

Provided you are making a truly new use of the content, you are free to make money off those copyrighted images and video and sound.

This is the way the law has ALWAYS been. Copyright law is meant to protect your originality. This is why parodies are allowed, it's the thought that the parody can be as original and artistic what it's making fun of. If you create something unique then it's yours, the part where it gets messy is when you take something and call it unique when it really cant stand on its own without the piece you borrowed from somewhere else.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?