Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Evil Lawyers Strike Again

Its been a while since my last update, but that's because every time I think of something to post about I veto it as 'unimportant' blathering. Last night I sat down to practice my guitar and out of the darkness of the internet pure evilness reared its ugly head. Yet another revenue stream was dreamt up by a group of lawyers 'representing' artists. When I went to my favorite guitar tabs site I was met with the following from the website manager:

"The company which owns this website has been indirectly threatened (via our ISP) with legal action by the National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA) as well as the Music Publishers' Association (MPA) on the basis that sharing tablature constitutes copyright infringement."

There's quite a bit more to the letter, which you are welcome to read, but the above sums up the problem. No tabs were available.

So I guess that Cliff's notes can expect a cease and desist? If I sum up the plot line to Snakes on a Plane will Samuel Jackson and the MPAA show up at my door?

Guitar tablature is rarely (if ever) pulled from a publishers song book or sheet music. Guitar tabs are interpretations of music by other muscians. Its not uncommon to find multiple, highly different versions of any given song. If, in the wildest dreams of the RIAA/MPAA/NMPA, tablature was copyright infringement, only ONE version could possibly be in violation.

This new sue early sue often by large groups of lawyers 'representing' artists is getting out of control. Its become a form of extortion and I hope it stops.

Maybe PirateBay will have to start hosting guitar tabs...