[rumori] Re: pho: Can copyright be bad? [was: OT (slightly): BSA "Truce Participation" letter]

From: Don Joyce (djATwebbnet.com)
Date: Sun Feb 04 2001 - 21:39:20 PST

Yes, (and THANKS for all this!) but radio's scanning method can EASILY (?)
be updated for Net music because I believe there is the (easy?) potential
of monitering ALL sends from all aggrigated music sites 24-7. Thus we could
institute radio's benevolent (only because they couldn't establish the
usual unbenevolent methods?) form for the compensation of music in bulk,


> ; margin-bottom: 0 } -->S That's an interesting (and unfortunate) case
>study. Hopefully Dean can sort your brother in law out : ) What is
>interesting to note is that copyright law is clearly antiquated. It was
>created at a time when the compositional process was typically someone
>sitting at a piano and writing notes on a piece of paper and someone
>writing lyrics on a piece of paper.
> The "product" was sheet music. Because there wasn't really a way to
>record rythm this way, rythm was (and still is - can you believe it!!!!)
>NOT part of the technical definition of a song in copyright law.
>Supposedly, according to law, music is defined by melody, harmony and
>lyrics. This doesn't help out drummers very much. (See - Clyde
> Copyright law originated before the concept of "recorded music". This,
>therefore doesn't take care of many electronic music artists who - since
>pretty much the beginning of tape based recorded music itself - compose
>their art using this "instrument" instead of the piano or guitar. I'm
>talking about the vast history of electronic music - from early century
>"musique concrete" to Stockhausen to Throbbing Gristle and Negativland to
>the current widespread use of digital sampling and experimental electronic
>artists like Oval that are increasingly popular today.
> The protection involved in recorded music was grafted onto copyright law
>and as a result the industry evolved in such a way that we are sitting now
>on a time where it is rare for the artist to own his or her recorded art,
>which, for many of us, is synonymous with the composition.
> Now, it is still possible to register non-chord/melody based music with
>performance rights agencies, but technically - if push came to shove -
>these compositions wouldn't have much protection in court. If I understand
>this right, if there are no chords or melodies, it's technically not a
>musical work. (Maybe some of you IP lawyers out there will correct me if
>I'm wrong).
> Another big problem with copyright today is how it is administered. I
>have seen some pholks suggest that ASCAP and BMI could apply their
>gathering methods to the realm of streaming radio with some small
>tweaking. Tweaking? How about OVERHAUL!!!
> To get a different perspective on these agencies methods check out the
>following article (written by a musician, by the way : ) )
> http://www.woodpecker.com/writing/essays/royalty-politics.html
> Here in Canada, the performing rights agency is called SOCAN. The US is
>one of the only countries in the world that has more than one. Healthy
>competition? Hardly.
> Here's a quote from SOCAN's FAQ regarding their radio station sampling
> http://www.SOCAN.ca/en/about/faq/member_royalties.asp
> "Q: How does a radio survey work? A: SOCAN conducts a survey of all
>private commercial stations four times annually and processes all
>programming we receive to a maximum of 14 days per station. This survey
>applies to local CBC broadcasts as well as to college and community
>stations paying over $2,000 annually in licence fees. At this time, a
>sample is the most cost-effective way of monitoring radio programming."
> So, they take 14 days out of a radio stations' entire year and if your
>song isn't played in that puny window, that's it - try again next year.
>Sorry, but I'd hardly call that efficient! If this method is applied to
>streaming radio, they would actually have to steer away from the existing
>streaming radio station's databases, and come up with their own, costing
>even more money.
> These are some of the reasons why the "new economy" of the internet
>should be the vehicle for the "new copyright". Copyright law itself is
>flawed and so is the method in which it is gathered and distributed. If
>these concepts aren't addressed, we will lose the opportunity to right
>some wrongs during this massive shift.
> Ideally, a system could be developed that could really limit the need for
>Performing Rights Agencies or SoundExchange or all the other attempts at
>intercepting the flow of 1's and 0's. How hard would it be to develope
>some kind of "internet music registration" system to have the payments go
>directly to the artist?
> I better stop now - I'm ranting....and may have drifted off topic.....oops,
> D-Neu
>On 3 Feb 2001, Dean Kay argued, in response to Don Joyce:
> > There is nothing
> > in copyright that prevents ANY new art form from being made.
> Dean:
> Let me give an example of what I think Don is talking about and
> see what you think.
> My brother in law is a composer of classical-type music that uses
> electronic instruments. He's successful -- his stuff has won a
> Grammy and been played all over the world. (I cite this not to brag
> but in an attempt to show that he's a serious, well-respected guy.)
> A few years ago he wrote a long piece that has something to do
> with the history and development of music. It has been performed
> all over the world, including at Lincoln Center. That's the
> background. Here's the example.
> In the middle of this roughly 90-minute piece is a 1-minute section
> that is full of samples. The samples are of recorded music,
> arranged roughly chronologically from the '20s to the '90s, going
> from Ellington to hiphop. The longest sample is six seconds long
> and I believe that none of them are repeated. They are piled atop
> each other in a kind of sonic collage to show the development of
> 20th century music.
> My brother in law releases his music on Bridge, a small
> independent classical label. He has been trying to get this piece
> issued for three years on CD -- bear in mind that it has been played
> all over the world -- but simply cannot get clearances for the
> samples. It's not that he's been refused -- he can't even get the
> estates and publishing companies to answer his letters. (He has a
> stack of correspondance an inch high.) Even though the equivalent
> samples in the print world would be clearly equivalent to fair use,
> and the impact of his sample of, say, Take the A Train on the
> market for Ellington would be zero, the record simply can't come
> out -- Bridge is rightly terrified of proceeding without clearances.
> The reason for the stall, my brother in law thinks, is not the evil
> intransigence of the rightsholders so much as the fact that clearing
> this kind of sample is not worth their time and energy. In other
> words, it costs them too much to write back and say "okay". I'm
> not saying that this example proves that copyright is wrong, but it
> does seem to me to show that excessive zeal in enforcing
> copyright is preventing the appearance of at least one valid piece of
> music in the form desired by its creator.
> Respectfully,
> Charles Mann
> ---------------------------------------
> Charles C. Mann
> T: 413.256.3504
> F: 413.256.6619
> E: ccmannATmediaone.net
> S: PO Box 66 Amherst MA 01004-0066
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