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RIAA Forces YouTube to Remove Free Guitar Lessons

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the quit-trying-to-learn-things-you-ungrateful-grubs dept.

Music 341

Bushido Hacks write "Is it so wrong to learn how to play the guitar? According to NPR, a record company ordered YouTube to remove videos of a man who offered to show people how to play the guitar for free. One of the songs that he taught was copyrighted, and as a result over 100 of his videos were removed from the internet. 'Since he put his Web site up last year, he has developed a long waiting list for the lessons he teaches in person. And both he and Taub say that's still the best way to learn. If someone tells Sandercoe to take down his song lessons, he says he will. But his most valuable videos are the ones that teach guitar basics -- things like strumming, scales and finger-picking. And even in the digital age, no one holds a copyright on those things.' How could this constitute as infringement if most musicians usually experiment to find something that sounds familiar?"

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Fair use (5, Insightful)

SniperClops (776236) | more than 7 years ago | (#19776545)

These lessions should really fall under fair use.

Re:Fair use (4, Informative)

randall_burns (108052) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777225)

I agree-and we all should get hold of our representatives and let them know that.

Re:Fair use (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777381)

He's not just putting pirating instructions on YouTube, but also owns a intellectual property infringement device. He should be jailed.

Re:Fair use (1)

Turey (1030434) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777571)

C'mon, no one else gets this joke?

Re:Fair use (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777585)

It's not that we don't get it. We just don't find it funny.

Re:Fair use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777643)

It's not that we don't get it. We just don't find it funny.


It's one of those serious jokes.

Re:Fair use (4, Informative)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777481)

100% agreement, this should be an exception under fair use.

People have figured out chords to songs from the radio for decades. Is playing the song for a friend, or teaching them the chords, a violation of copyright? Then I should be signing checks to the RIAA every other day, it seems. But that is silly; it's just simple sharing. Doing it over the internet is nothing new (although, doing it over the internet commercially is something else. If anyone makes money, it should be the artists).

Here is a little sharing of my own. I figured out the chords to 'Cloudbusting' by Kate Bush the other day. But I won't post the actual chords (which might be 'copyright violation', supposedly), instead, I modulated the song to a different key. So actually they aren't the chords to anything:

B#m A G / A /
G A B#m A
B#m A G /
And anyway these are probably inaccurate, like 95% of internet chords.

Re:Fair use (2, Interesting)

Kabuthunk (972557) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777529)

What came to mind with your comment of "People have figured out chords to songs", it makes me wonder about games like "Guitar Hero". Is the RIAA going to go after THAT next?

Re:Fair use (2, Insightful)

GizmoToy (450886) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777573)

I doubt it. I'm sure that royalties were worked out for all the songs in Guitar Hero. A commercial product would likely not receive an exception under fair use, but this guy's lessons probably should.

Re:Fair use (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777537)

B#m, AKA Cm? :)

Re:Fair use (1)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777917)

*whoosh* ;)

Re:Fair use (3, Insightful)

Fred Ferrigno (122319) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777761)

OK, so how would you feel about watching a comic on TV, memorizing all his lines, and posting a video of yourself doing his act on YouTube?

Re:Fair use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777809)

If you are serious, you really don't understand any of this.

Posting an exact copy of a performance is infringement.

Posting lessons which reference a popular song as a teaching tool is fair use.

Look it up, moron.

This is Madness - eradicate all copyright! (3, Insightful)

trelayne (930715) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777705)

We live in the modern dark ages. One day, we will afford to ignore all copyright. The Pirate Bay "youtube", if it can be sustainable, should start to do that. Every technology and innovation on earth should be used to encourage and protect the sharing, morphing, and creation of culture.

Innovation itself is at risk because of this stifling stranglehold. This is why the pirates mock the legal warnings of microsofts and the RIAA.

Re:This is Madness - eradicate all copyright! (3, Insightful)

cliffski (65094) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777913)

what bullshit. And how exactly are you going to encourage people to create new works? J K Rowling (Harry Potter) was an unemployed single mother when she wrote her first novel. In your world, she would have gone to work stacking food in a supermarket instead of wasting her time thinking she might make money as a writer.
Try to think it through before spouting knee-jerk anti-copyright nonsense.
And don't make us laugh by suggesting donationware (seen not to work or anything but a trivial scale) or state sponsorship. I don't want the government to approve all entertainment, and neither should you.

Re:This is Madness - eradicate all copyright! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777981)

> what bullshit. And how exactly are you going to encourage people to create new works?

Imagine two scenarios:
1. you write successful book/album and it stays copyrighted indefinitely, bringing you income forever
2. you write successful book/album and the copyright expires in 14 years, depriving you of income

Under which scenario are you MORE likely to write a new book/album?

> J K Rowling (Harry Potter) was an unemployed single mother when she wrote her first novel.

And it was a hugely successful novel. She could easily have hung up her writer's cap and lived off royalties from the first book, but she felt compelled to write more Potter novels. Why? Just for the money? You want to tell her that to her face?

It's time to stamp out the myth that "without copyright, nothing creative would ever be produced." It wasn't true in the past, it won't be true in the future. The only thing that won't be produced is fat-cat middlemen who think music isn't something to be ENJOYED, it's merely something to be bought and sold!

Re:This is Madness - eradicate all copyright! (5, Insightful)

Arterion (941661) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777987)

Thousands if not millions of people have to work stocking supermarkets. What makes her any better than anyone else? What would be truly fair is if supermarket-stockers made a fair living wage. Hey, if people could work freely and not have to stress over feeding their kids, we might see a lot more artwork come from people that would otherwise be too downtrodden to be creative.

Re:This is Madness - eradicate all copyright! (4, Insightful)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19778033)

And how exactly are you going to encourage people to create new works?

Media companies don't want to encourage the creation of new works, they want artificial scarcity. They want to create the impression that making music, making pictures, writing stories, and making videos is some kind of black art that only they can do and that costs millions in investments. As far as they're concerned, if teaching music were outlawed, it would be all the better because they could just keep selling the crap they are selling right now.

Re:This is Madness - eradicate all copyright! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777933)

Wishful thinking. The stranglehold record companies have on us is not only IP-related, it's economical as well. They can do what they want, period.

Pirate Bay has its days numbered. Sooner or later, it will be closed down as a WTO clause or with some other "political" muscle. Give it another year, maximum two.

The pirates can mock legal warnings as long as they want, it won't change the outcome: the record companies will win. The pirates will be destroyed.

Deal with it.

Re:Fair use (5, Insightful)

spyderblade (914512) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777751)

As a person who picked up a guitar 2 months ago, this trend is devestating. I only really got push to finally buy a guitar after watching some *amazing* youtube covers of a couple of songs I happen to love. I absolutely depend on online guitar tabs and these youtube vids to learn... I don't have the money or time or transportation to get real lessons. I mean ... come on... I'm sure the artists don't have a problem with people "reverse-engineering" their songs for personal pleasure (......chicks dig guitars...). I've been wondering what happened to a few of those youtube lessons, this clears up that mystery. If this continues, my guitar will collect dust for sure, I'm just not talented enough/have the time to come up with an acoustic guitar version of gnarls barkley's 'Crazy'. Sure once I learn it, I'll add some personal touches, but without this resource, none of it will happen. And I'm sure it has been mentioned, but do these people realize that they are biting the very hand that feeds them? Do they think budding musicians only play original music? Or un-copyrighted music? These are the people that are going to be your future talent, they should be encouraging them. My first 2 cents on slashdot. (this irks me enough to break a 6 year silence.)

Re:Fair use (2, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777901)

As a person who picked up a guitar 2 months ago, this trend is devestating. I only really got push to finally buy a guitar after watching some *amazing* youtube covers of a couple of songs I happen to love. I absolutely depend on online guitar tabs and these youtube vids to learn... I don't have the money or time or transportation to get real lessons.

Look at it this way: neither did Jimi Hendrix.

That said, I agree with your other points. Just not the one about "depending" on the internet to learn how to play guitar. Plenty of great guitarists learned how to play just fine before the internet was even a glimmer in Al Gore's eye.

(Yes, that's a joke.)

This bit is always amusing... (5, Interesting)

L4m3rthanyou (1015323) | more than 7 years ago | (#19776609)

The RIAA is usually (more) rabid about defending guitar tabs and such... I honestly find it funny, in a pathetic sort of way.

Come on, guys. The vast majority of rock music uses the same few chords. They're not secrets. There's really no use in trying to hide them!

And, why does the RIAA always try to squelch those who are interested in learning guitar? Don't they need a steady influx of "talent" to exploit?

Re:This bit is always amusing... (1)

duke12aw (936319) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777215)

but they want the money now. they dont want to have to wait to exploit the future generations.

Re:This bit is always amusing... (4, Insightful)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777221)

We're watching a media industry commit a slow suicide. When it dies, they'll blame it on those who merely wanted to hear and view their product.

Re:This bit is always amusing... (3, Insightful)

NobleSavage (582615) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777377)

Agreed! I just hope that if at the last minute if they decide to become "the good guys" that the collective voice of humanity calls BS. They have gone way to far, far to long. The only justice at this point is for their entire empire to crumble into tens of thousands of pieces to be picked up by true innovators and artists.

Re:This bit is always amusing... (4, Insightful)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777423)

I just hope that if at the last minute if they decide to become "the good guys" that the collective voice of humanity calls BS. They have gone way to far, far to long.
The industry collective is kind of like a thinking entity. It sees new technology and new media channels and it's scared. It wants everything to stay the same--stay stable. Maintain the status quo to avoid disruptive change.

Re:This bit is always amusing... (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777819)

I'm not one to give out second chances much.

RIAA and MPAA have used at least 50 by now.

Re:This bit is always amusing... (2, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777543)

Your "media industry" is a propaganda machine that must control what we hear and see. So these actions are necessary to that end. This has always been the law's intent, and the law is getting stronger, not weaker. Copyrights are getting longer, not shorter. There's no end to that trend anywhere in sight. If they feel the need, pretty soon they'll start a shooting war over this. All over the world the cops are waving their guns around and taking people away. The need for absolute control is that critical. It's not just an economic issue. The government is behind this as much as anybody. These laws provide a means of censorship while at the same time allowing plausible deniability. Cool trick that never fails no matter how many times it's done.

If you want to play the guitar, or any other instrument(including your voice), I'm sure the industry will offer up a player's license at a reasonable price so only authorized people can purchase use the instrument. And most people won't care. They're expecting a tax cut from the same politicians, who will be re-elected over and over. This issue will not endanger any of that. There was a time in the USA when it was illegal to teach slaves to read, so it's not like this is really a "new" phenomenon or anything.

Re:This bit is always amusing... (2, Insightful)

babbling (952366) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777667)

What do you mean the "industry" is committing suicide? There will always be music. Music can't go out of business. It's just the current crop of record companies that are eventually going to go away.

Re:This bit is always amusing... (4, Insightful)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777823)

Those record companies are the "industry". Independent artists doing their thing isn't an industry.

Re:This bit is always amusing... (1)

pasamio (737659) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777245)

No, since the middle of the 80's (and perhaps earlier) companies have invested in creating talent on their own. Recently this is has been tied with the reality TV scene where they make money that way as well as producing talent that is locked into a record company contract (Idol, Popstars, etc). This is why there are so many small and independent labels as well as labels that consist of one band.

Re:This bit is always amusing... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777289)

It's actually sad. A composer or performer CANNOT copyright a harmony (the chords). The melody, yes.

The number of songs that use a standard blues progression is STAGGERING. Half of a Blues Brother's CD is straight blues progression, which you can find being recorded by any other reasonable blues artist.

The number of songs based off of George Gershwin's I've Got Rhythm are so numerous, jazz improvisers know the progression by heart so they can be more versatile at jam sessions and gigs.

What's the lesson, RIAA? Lack of a copyright, or non-enforcement of a copyright, produced MORE art. Enforcement of a non-existent copyright KILLS art. The RIAA is killing the goose in search of more golden eggs.

Re:This bit is always amusing... (4, Informative)

asuffield (111848) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777955)

It's actually sad. A composer or performer CANNOT copyright a harmony (the chords). The melody, yes.


Actually, no. In 1994, SCOTUS found that using a melody from another song is legal fair use [benedict.com] , if the new version is genuinely a new song, even if the entire song is noticeably similar to the orignal.

Anything else would effectively be a ban on the creation of new music - there are extremely few places where genuinely new melodies are being created, and most of those are experimenting with bizarre tunings or similar things. The number of possible pleasant-sounding melody themes in the 12-note scale is not so large that we're still capable of finding large numbers of new ones. Most new songs just put existing melodies together in new ways. SCOTUS declined to ban the creation of new music, so there is no such thing as a copyright on a melody, only on the complete song.

Re:This bit is always amusing... (3, Informative)

shark72 (702619) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777321)

"The RIAA is usually (more) rabid about defending guitar tabs and such... I honestly find it funny, in a pathetic sort of way."

Nope -- the RIAA doesn't care about guitar tabs, either. The RIAA has had nothing to do with the shutting down of the guitar tab sites, just as they had nothing to do with this -- the submitter was lying, and he fooled you good and proper. All the record companies care about is the copyright on the recordings. That's why they sue people for trading copies of recordings.

I guess it's easy to use "RIAA" as a catch-all for anybody who attempts to protect their rights in a way that we find distasteful, but I think it's important to understand the difference between record companies and publishing companies, and the respective rights that they hold. To fight your enemy, you must first understand them.

Re:This bit is always amusing... (1)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777687)

You're flirting with proclaiming one of the great evil secrets of the recording industry. The vast majority of all Rock/Pop/Country/Rap/etc music from the 20th century and afterwards is extremely simple. It thus utilizes a fairly small subset of all possible music. The real truth is this: if someone were to compare those works with the works of just the great classical master (Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Schubert, etc, etc) it is a probability approaching certainty that all modern musical melodies exist in those libraries. What this means is that almost all pop music, that is, the tablature, is really public domain. It is unowned and unownable, for the same reason I can't go out and claim authorship of the works Henry Fielding or Robert Louis Stevenson. Somebody already wrote all of that stuff. It doesn't matter, even if I decide that "two roads diverged in a yellow wood" all on my own, its already been written, and the same is true for all modern music (baring a few far out experimentalists).

Re:This bit is always amusing... (1)

llamaxing (895844) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777889)

what are you talking about? Consumers LOVE buying new albums with the same old material on it. It's like reliving the past, man!

Why: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777223)

Because YouTube are craven spineless fucks, that's why. And it was easier to take all the videos down than to take ones down containing copyrighted material.

I honestly don't understand... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777257)

Why any artist would care if someone learned their works.

Oh, because the RIAA aren't artists?

The guitar website in question (5, Informative)

gtoomey (528943) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777271)

The article is rather lame and fails to mention the website http://www.nextlevelguitar.com/ [nextlevelguitar.com]

Re:The guitar website in question (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777491)

From the article:

Taub sees the videos, at least in part, as a marketing tool for his paid instructional Web site, NextLevelGuitar.com. His videos emerged last year as an experiment when one of his students, Tim Gilberg, shot video of Taub teaching.

Re:The guitar website in question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777565)

If I wasn't learning the guitar from RIAA-owned sheet music on YouTube videos, I am now.

Fighting copyright is counter-productive as the internet will retaliate by advertising the content which was taken down. Thus more people will get a chance to access/download it.

COPYRIGHT THIS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777779)

/me shoves a red-hot poker up RIAA lawyer's arse.

Re:The guitar website in question (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777951)

Nor does it mention John McLaughlin's ultimate guide to improvisation [abstractlogix.com]

I'm calling bullshit. (4, Informative)

shark72 (702619) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777275)

The RIAA owns the copyrights on recordings. Publishing companies own the rights to music and lyrics. If it's an "unauthorized public performance," it's ASCAP and BMI -- who represent the rights of composers and songwriters -- who get you. Not the record companies. Not the RIAA.

That's the ugly truth here -- sometimes it's the composers and the lyricists who are the bad guys. Not everybody who protects their rights (or, perhaps, overprotects in this case) is the RIAA.

This raises the question: did the submitter really think the RIAA was behind this, or was he having a joke at Slashdotters' expense? If the latter, it's worked -- there are already several posts from people who are just shocked that the RIAA would do such a thing.

If this pisses you off, you should be upset at ASCAP or BMI -- who, again, are run by and for composers and lyricists. The RIAA doesn't have a monopoly on evil.

Re:I'm calling bullshit. (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777315)

The RIAA owns the copyrights on recordings. Publishing companies own the rights to music and lyrics. If it's an "unauthorized public performance," it's ASCAP and BMI -- who represent the rights of composers and songwriters -- who get you. Not the record companies. Not the RIAA.
I don't understand why it doesn't fall under fair use for educational purposes. Learning to play guitar is a form of education. It's not a public performance in the form of a concert or playing in a bar.

Re:I'm calling bullshit. (1)

shark72 (702619) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777361)

"I don't understand why it doesn't fall under fair use for educational purposes. Learning to play guitar is a form of education. It's not a public performance in the form of a concert or playing in a bar."

Whether these would fall under fair use is something that a court would decide. I sure ain't the hell no lawyer, but I agree with you that there's a fair chance that it would. But, it looks like it won't get that far. Whoever owns the rights to the Rolling Stones lyrics and music -- ie. Messrs Jagger or Richards or one of their agents, most likely -- doesn't want to be bothered with that, so they simply filed a DMCA. YouTube caved, and it's unlikely that this will even make it to court.

Re:I'm calling bullshit. (1)

mrbooze (49713) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777553)

I can tell you that where I take lessons instructors probably photocopy thousands of guitar tab pages a day for popular songs that they've worked out simplified chord progressions for. The justification for this is usually a vague claim of Fair Use, but I've long assumed that this has never actually been challenged, and that the sheet music people would love to avidly punish music schools for stuff like this.

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777325)

I'm fairly sure the article doesn't mention the RIAA either...

Re:MOD PARENT UP (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777351)

I'm fairly sure the article doesn't mention the RIAA either...
I didn't see it either. The article submitter seems to have been anxious to make that assumption.

Re:I'm calling bullshit. (5, Informative)

shark72 (702619) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777463)

A followup to my own post. The copyright claim was filed by ABKCO [wikipedia.org] , which happens to be both a record company and a publishing company. So, stating that they were hassled by a record company is correct -- because in this case, the record company has a music publishing arm.

Per the Wikipedia article, ABKCO was also behind the Verve / Bittersweet Symphony mess. It appears that the article has already been updated to reflect ABKCO's action against the guitar lesson fellow.

Re:I'm calling bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777495)

From the wikipedia article "The company's music publishing division comprises over two thousand copyrights including songs composed by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Sam Cooke, Bobby Womack, Ray Davies, Pete Townshend and other composers."

The strange thing is people seem to ignore the fact that people were making money off the use of this song. For one, Google with their ads, and possibly two, the fellow making the videos as a promotion for his site which sold instructional DVDs.

What about wannabe lip-syncers (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777517)

You know, those stupid 9-14 year olds jumping up and down on their beds lip syncing to some rap/whatever shit that they call music. Better pull them down too.

Re:What about wannabe lip-syncers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777531)

Don't forget to kick them off your lawn while you're at you grumpy old coot.

Re:I'm calling bullshit. (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777557)

The RIAA doesn't have a monopoly on evil.

Of course not. The government already said that Microsoft does.

Wraa (2, Insightful)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777277)

This is starting to get surreal. I'm half-expecting them to come out claiming they hold a patent on ALL music, thus all production of music by non-RIAA approved people must cease immediately.

What does the RIAA have to do with this? (2, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777281)

This isn't an RIAA issue. They sell recorded performances. It's the copyright in the composition that's involved here. That's licensed separately, in the US usually through the Harry Fox Agency. [harryfox.com]

Re:What does the RIAA have to do with this? (2, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777385)

So what does that mean for people who can play songs by ear and don't even purchase the sheet music?

Re:What does the RIAA have to do with this? (2, Informative)

Phroggy (441) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777493)

The composition is still copyrighted, whether it's written down or not, I believe.

Sheesh (0)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777283)

I'm not a big fan of the RIAA's tactics, but in this case, a performance is a performance. What difference does it make about the performance's motivation?

I think I'll put out an album of covers and call it a "training album". Then I can avoid paying royalties! Wheeeeeee!

Re:Sheesh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777319)

Fair use. [copyright.gov] Maybe you've heard of it.

Re:Sheesh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777379)

Google Ads [google.com] Maybe you've seen them on youtube.

Is it fair for google to make money of that rolling stones song?

Re:Sheesh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19778021)

I caught a lovely red herring today as well.

Re:Sheesh (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777497)

The only argument that could possibly be made here for fair use is that the lessons are presumably being offered with no charge. otherwise, it is clearly a violation of the copyright holder's rights. After all, you couldn't go publish a DVD to teach people how to play the guitar and then fill it with lessons on playing Stairway To Heaven or Smoke On The Water (all three cords of it!) or a number of other non-public domain songs. Well, you could - but only if you acquired the rights to do so from the copyright holders - probably for a fee.

Why do you think all of your grade school music books were filled with songs about Old Smokey and the guy with the frying pans? Textbook companies can't afford to purchase the rights to contemporary stuff.

Does the article actually say that? (4, Insightful)

diamondmagic (877411) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777303)

Does TFA actually say anything about videos actually being taken down?

He thinks it's only a matter of time before a licensing company orders YouTube to take them down.

Not only that, the phrase "RIAA" doesn't even appear in the NPR article.
Didn't anyone bother to proof read the article before posting it, or did another strikingly similar (but different) article about guitar and YouTube get linked?

Re:Does the article actually say that? (2, Informative)

Your Pal Dave (33229) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777797)

Does TFA actually say anything about videos actually being taken down?

He thinks it's only a matter of time before a licensing company orders YouTube to take them down.
It's a little confusing. The article about the take-down is mentioned in the first paragraph, which is a actually follow-up to the main article with pictures on that page. The bulk of the information is in the audio broadcast on the first "listen" link.

Not only that, the phrase "RIAA" doesn't even appear in the NPR article.
Didn't anyone bother to proof read the article before posting it, or did another strikingly similar (but different) article about guitar and YouTube get linked?
They only say "music company" on the broadcast segment.

Clearly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777311)

How is this news? He performed a copyrighted song. It's illegal to photocopy and distribute even sections from copyrighted books or music, even in a classroom environment. If I recorded myself reading Blade's Lady [amazon.com] , and distributed the recording because listening to it cured cancer, I still would be violating copyright law.

Fair use (5, Informative)

zCyl (14362) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777375)

It's illegal to photocopy and distribute even sections from copyrighted books or music, even in a classroom environment.

False. Check the page the U.S. Copyright Office provides [copyright.gov] about fair use provisions. Among the things they explicitly say are covered by fair use and have been tested in the courts, they list "reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson", in particular when used for "nonprofit educational purposes".

Re:Fair use (3, Insightful)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777559)

"in particular when used for "nonprofit educational purposes"."

and before someone says "but there's a link to his website so he's technically profiting!"... no, he isn't. Anyone can watch those lessons online for free, he didn't sell it to you. Now if you decide you like his work and want more lessons and want to pay him for lessons that's fine, but you didn't pay him for the original lesson. Think of it as a teacher showing you something in a class, but then you decide to hire the teacher for private tutoring.

Re:Clearly (1)

Boogaroo (604901) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777409)

Ah, but posting a portion of you reading that book because you had a review or other commentary of it would likely be fair use if you didn't go overboard with your excerpt.
The question is whether the person exceeded such undefined boundaries. Some other comments seemed to think that it may have, which means that it's not very clear. While it may indeed have been appropriate to remove ones that were suspect, it seems overkill to remove everything that person had ever uploaded.

"A Record Company" != RIAA (2, Interesting)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777329)

Nevermind not reading TFA. People don't even read the posting.

Re:"A Record Company" != RIAA (2, Informative)

shark72 (702619) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777397)

"Nevermind not reading TFA. People don't even read the posting."

It's actually worse than that. Just like "RIAA", "a record company" was a figment of the submitter's imagination. This is a public performance licensing issue, not a recording copyright issue. Record companies have nothing to do with this.

The submitter trolled everybody real good.

Summary doesn't mention one aspect... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777335)

From TFA:

Taub sees the videos, at least in part, as a marketing tool for his paid instructional Web site, NextLevelGuitar.com.

Justin Sandercoe also has a teaching Web site -- justinguitar.com.

This does get uncomfortably close to using copyrighted material for profit (e.g. these videos are basically promotions for their sites, which are ad driven and have videos and products for sale.) Considering there are tens of thousands of amateur performances of copyrighted music on Youtube that aren't threatened I wonder if the RIAA sees it this way too.

By the way I'm all for fair use (and am no fan of the RIAA), but this seems a little murkier to me than the summary makes it out to be.

Youtube lessons killing the sheet music industry (1)

lawrenlives (991376) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777489)

I was interested to see what the lessons looked like, but his account was already suspended. At any rate, something like this [youtube.com] that uses sound from Rolling Stones recordings as part of the lesson (and is linked to a commercial venture) is different from a lesson based on an interpretation seen here [youtube.com] . Most amateur lessons are nothing more than a cover song with an explanation.

But I'm sure we can all agree that learning to play guitar online is stealing money from music publishers! Support recording artists, buy sheet music!

Oh, I weep for the future. (2, Funny)

OmgTEHMATRICKS (836103) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777349)

Future headline:

NO MORE GUITARISTS - ALL TEACHERS SUED
RIAA innocently shrugs shoulders and says, "wot?"

Re:Oh, I weep for the future. (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777373)

NO MORE GUITARISTS - ALL TEACHERS SUED
I guess the current young crop of musician wannabes will just have to give up those crazy dreams, cut their hair, and get an office job. No one left to rage against "the man". Nothing but musak in the elevators.

Some would consider that hell.

Re:Oh, I weep for the future. (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777711)

Fuck you!

I won't do what you tell me?

No, you explained quite well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777947)

Have you listened to today's music?

Do you actually think any *teacher* taught them that?

Personally, I thought they got their music lessons from either sailors or oil rig workers.

Other Guitar Lessons & Tab (1)

jac_at_nac (996340) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777355)

I guess this wouldn't apply to George Lynch since he probably wrote most of the music and supplies tab & lessons on his site but there are also some on UTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BrAi59zkDM [youtube.com] And yes...DOKKEN STILL ROCKS!

Not necessarily "Fair Use" (4, Informative)

Prien715 (251944) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777369)

I listened to the NPR article at work today.

One of the tests of fair use is if the offending use of said work is non-commercial. While the videos themselves are available for free, they contained advertisements to the teacher's pay site: they could be construed as advertising for it. Thus, the work could be construed as being "for profit" and thus not falling under fair use.

I'm not saying I necessarily agree with this interpretation, but I do think it's a good idea to give both sides of the story.

Re:Not necessarily "Fair Use" (3, Informative)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777569)

Merely being a commercial use does not automatically exclude it from also being fair use. For example, I can write a news article where I include a reasonable-sized quote from a book or other reference material, and then sell that article to a magazine or newspaper. I'm still making fair use of the book, but I've sold the article for commercial gain.

Re:Not necessarily "Fair Use" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777975)

As far as I understood the guy not only taught a couple of riffs (which would come close to your quote analogy) but entire copyrighted songs; using your analogy that would be more like if I copied entire books, put them out in public places and slapped on a note "If you want to learn to write like this contact me at 555-767534 for lessons".

Still, I agree that there is something very wrong with the system; it's obvious that record companies et al will try to abuse their power wherever possible, being pissed off at them doesn't help. The only thing that could help would be revamping the copyright laws, but frankly with all the lobbying going on and so many different opinions on what would be best I doubt that the lawmakers will make unbiased laws that benefit the society as a whole.

Re:Not necessarily "Fair Use" (1)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 7 years ago | (#19778025)

What he should have said was one of the criteria for fair use is commerciality (commercial-ness?). Others include portion of the work used, educational value, etc. These criteria are all taken into account to determine if fair use applies.

Re:Not necessarily "Fair Use" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777765)

Speaking as a classical musician, musicians have to abide by the copyright laws we sometimes use to protect our works--written and recorded. Generally, it is much easier to use excerpts of print and audio when you are an educator in some type of school. For example, profit magazines and even non-profit, but non-academic magazines can include much less quoted material than an article from an academic journal. Musicians shy away from using material when the venue or the musician does not have a license to perform a work.

The law is strict, and, in my view, needs adjusting because, strictly speaking, this scenario is illegal, but is common practice: playing in a venue that buys an ASCAP license for a year, a soloist improvs an ASCAP work but includes in the solo a quote of a BMI-covered melody. If the concert is for profit, i.e. practically anything other than a free school or university concert by students, that is technically illegal.

If the guitar teacher is using part of a copyrighted melody in lessons, he should be wary because, though this is fairly common practice among guitar teachers, it is technically illegal. And, by using YouTube to distribute the lessons, he is introducing his works to the increased scrutiny which recently created such a mess with well-known mixers in the pop world. As I write a method book for my instrument, I am careful to do an extra check of the material I am placing on the Internet (under a CC license) for originality.

Ideally, copyright would be shorter, let more people use works with a simple attribution after x years, or be more permissive about using short quotations (printed or audio) in original works. Or, a slight improvement would be for the publisher to host on its site video lessons anyone can produce showing how to play the music. A teacher still can't freely distribute the video, but he or she could be more blatant about using the work in the lesson.

If the guy is making a substantial profit as a result of the video lessons and those lesson contain a recognizable portion of a copyrighted melody, he should, in the current system, pay a licensing fee. If you are making thousands a year, the licensing fee is doable. If you are making less, then the fee is impractical.

Yes, it is infringement (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777431)

This sort of thing (using copyright material for teaching) has long been established as infringement. Many (most) guitar tutors use transcriptions that "sound like" famous songs, but are not quite identical. The student is left to figure out the differences if they want to know how to play the real thing.

Some tutors and teaching books do use accurate transcriptions, but they have to pay royalties. For example, several of the major guitar magazines (Guitar Techniques etc) carry complete transcriptions of famous music, but they do pay royalties on those. Often they leave out lyrics because that reduces the royalty charges (GT for example does this).

No its not nice, but it is legally established fact.

Re:Yes, it is infringement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777567)

Wrong. (Though this does make clear the limits of fair use.) "...although performance is one of the copyright owner's exclusive rights, the special needs of music educators, and others, are recognized in the fair-use limitations on these. The relevant portions of the law are reproduced in Appendix A, and music educators should take special notice of the very limited nature of these exemptions: 1. The Face-to-Face Exemption: To qualify for this exemption, the performance must be initiated by instructors or pupils and must occur within the context of the "face-to-face teaching activities" of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction (e.g., a library, studio or workshop). It should be noted that there is no specific restriction, in this case, on the type or amount of a copyrighted work that may be performed." from http://www.menc.org/information/copyright/copyr.ht ml [menc.org]

Selling Songs (1)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777479)

I'm no expert on music law or anything, but it appears to me that the website in question is selling sheet music (in video form) of songs that he does not own the rights to.

I don't believe you can listen to someone else's song, figure out the notes, and then sell that to someone else. It seems to me that the original composer aught to be able to control that.

The kinda reminds me of the websites which were offering music lyrics for free, and earning revenue from advertising. I remember a number of those websites were shut down (some by police force). Although now it seems like they're everywhere, so I don't know what changed.

1 Song = 100 Videos? (3, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777503)

Was that same, single song in all 100 videos taken down? Either this guy REALLY likes this song, or somebody has WAY OVERREACTED.

Baby Seal Analogy (2, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777523)

Every time a record company issues a takedown notice like this, God downloads another song to all the P2P networks.

I'm waiting... (2, Funny)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777623)

I'm waiting for the RIAA to turn on its own artists and sue them for playing at a party or something where they didn't collect revenue from the attendees who witnessed them playing RIAA copyrighted material.

Guh!? (2, Interesting)

sunami88 (1074925) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777647)

Maybe this has been mentioned already, but I feel like speaking up.

How about asking the fscking artist if it constitutes copyright infringement? If they say yes, will they still pull ALL of his vids because of a misstep like this? God damn the RIAA.

covers (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777707)

what he plays is effectively a cover, as far as i know it's not illegal to play a cover since it's not the same as the orginal anyway?

Re:covers (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777929)

when a cover is recorded and sold, royalties are paid to the original songwriter. When a cover is merely performed live, as I understand it, the licence paid by the venue covers it. But make no mistake, there is legal acceptance of the fact that the original songwriter should be compensated when their song is performed for money by other people.

Awesom3 fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777777)

fly...don't fear Many users of BSD similar7y grisly Of 5playing your what they think is

RIAA sink to new lows yet again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777825)

The RIAA really are bastards. Now I have to ask, it is more moral to 'pirate' music than to pay this rancid scum for it.
I know that I could never stoop to paying this scum for music ever again - not that they make any music that is worthy of my attention anyway.

That is nothing (2, Funny)

houghi (78078) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777841)

My roommates have called in the RIAA to stop me singing under the shower.

They have even videotaped it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTp7UrhCOmk [youtube.com]

However I was singing my own song and I am now have asked the RIAA to sue THEM for putting my nusci on line.

You know, those people realy are there to protect me, REALLY!

The Future Of Life..... (4, Funny)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777849)

Given the amount of power that media industry organizations have been given, I predict:

1. The Red Cross will copyright blood, an prohibit its usage without written consent.
2. The SAG will trademark all acting, including lying to your parents about where you were last night.
3. The MPAA will claim ownership of all video recordings.
4. The RIAA will claim ownership of all audio recordings.
5. No work, of any type, will be allowed without the explicit approval of the Teamsters.
6. No one may participate or watch baseball, despite it being the national sport, without written consent from the MLB.
7. Everyone must change their name to John or Jane Doe, becuase all other names will be trademarked.
8. Sexual intercourse will be classified as "Unauthorized Genetic Experimentation", and prosecuted as such.
9. ASCAP will copyright the concept of the "Birthday Party".
10. The AKC will trademark the term 'Dog'.
11. All colors will be trademarked.
12. All smells will be trademarked.
13. Someone will patent 'Oxygen' and all of its allotropes.
14. You will have to pay a royalty fee for waking up in the morning.
15. Languages will be copyrighted/trademarked.

I hope I die before people in the United States are forced to wear neutral gray clothing, live in neutral gray colored houses, speak in monotone voices, and communicate using hand gestures because everything else will have been copyrighted, patented, or trademarked.

I wonder why they are called 'royalties'..... Is it because the rights-holders like to feel as if they are kings over everybody else?

Re:The Future Of Life..... (1)

vertigoCiel (1070374) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777943)

Unfortunately for you, they'll probably also copyright tin foil hats.

Oh, the humanity!

Bomb the bastards (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19777941)

RIAA headquaters should see 1000 pounds of TNT and nails on it's parking lot. Assholes.

Jihad to RIAA. 9mm Parabellum will stop any lawyer from this world.

Time to free the music (1)

ShakaZ (1002825) | more than 7 years ago | (#19777963)

When will it stop?
Everyday we get more examples of how outdated current copyright laws are and how they're spawning negative effects in multiple ways, be it by outlawing many people who are naturally using the capabilities of current technology, possibly ruining their lives by legal action, limiting creativity and access to knowledge created by humans for humans. This knowledge should benefit all humans equally considering that all human knowledge is the product of society as a whole, present and past.

It is time to free the music in the same way as opensource software frees software from being detained by ever more avid companies trying to lock down knowledge.
A GPL-like license for musical creations would be a good step forward, making music free for personal use, while still permitting fees to be collected for the commercial use of the creations. Artists could also be credited a part of ISP's revenues in function of how many downloads there would be of their creations, be it in the form of songs, partitions, etc...

Also the organisms the are supposed to redistribute the money they are collecting for artists should be reformed to be better retribute the artists.
I'm thinking of this example i read yesterday concerning the Sabam (artist revenue collecting association in Belgium). The owner of a little restaurant/concert hall/bar reported that in order to play music he had to pay money to the Sabam, as much as other much bigger places. Also he noted that the small bands that performed there never received any money from the Sabam, eventhough he had to pay artist rights to the Sabam every time there was a concert.
So to distribute the money they collect from many sources, the main criterium used by this organism are records sales & so well known artists get almost all the money & little known ones get close to nothing in many cases if they even have the chance of seeing any money at all.
Apparently doing their job correctly which would mean considering what artists are actually played or perform in these places is not an option. I think it should be and current technology allows to collect this information pretty easily.
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