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It's gone. We lose. Or do we?

Posted by MrNatch3L on Sunday, November 4, 2007

One recent thread in the forums led me to look closer at the BHO's copyright policy for uploaded music. I pointed out on that thread that the current wording can imply that as long as one owns the copyright to the recording, it;s OK to post the song. I had posted several tunes on that understanding. As a result of reading various posts, and going and checking the copyright law for myself and it seemed pretty clear to me that the law says it's not the rights to the recording that matter unless you own the rights to the song (or have permission/license from the owner). I realized that I had several tunes posted that didn't pass muster on those grounds, nor could I really argue that I (and by extension the BHO) had made "fair use" of the works according to the basic criteria the law specifies (and which are summarized here.

So I have regretfully pulled those tunes from my music page (after printing PDF copies with which to remember the kind commends s number of you made and which I always appreciated). A couple of those tunes got some extensive play, which tells me that a lot of folks liked them enough stop a listen to me pick a t least for a short while. In fact, with one exception, all of the zapped tunes had the highest play counts.

So what's left here is either 100% original, or I have made a good faith effort to determine that the tune is PD, or I think based on research that I have made "fair use" of a portion of the work. Some of the tunes that have gone away may come back one day as short excerpts of the tune to demonstrate certain musical concepts in an educational, non-profit vein - arguably "fair use".

I took this step not so much because I was worried Hugh was going to spot the offending tunes and lock my account - I'm sure that would only have taken place after discussion and fair warning. No, my main motivation here is simply, that in this day and age of big mega-corps sending in big pinstripe guns after even the smallest of the small whom they believe to be infringing on corporate intellectual property, I simply value this place being here more than I value music that I have recorded being here. I for one do not want to have anything on the site that could encourage the music industry sharks to come after the BHO. I encourage other members to look at it in this light. I also encourage you to learn all you can about "fair use" and try to keep any non-original, non-PD music posts within arguable confines of that. I also encourage you to explore Creative Commons licensing, and write some cool new tunes that you can share with all of us through that means.

It saddens me that music has come down to this. It's a shame that the music industry has been so slow to adapt to the changed paradigm of the digital age and find new ways for creators of music to prosper, and that it generally has found no more creative means than to resort to strong arm tactics. But since they have, and still do, it behooves us, the members who value to BHO highly, to help insure that what we post to the site doesn't expose it to potentially damaging legal liabilities.

For what it's worth.

1 comment on “It's gone. We lose. Or do we?”

stanger Says:
Sunday, November 4, 2007 @5:53:22 PM

Hi, Natch... I agree completely! It's very sad, but you're right. The music industry is still living in the past far too much, but as long as there is money to be made, they'll always take the easiest route in making sure they get what's coming to them. Enjoy the jukebox tunes while you can.

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