Well, for one, I think Neal is right to do what he's having to do; and yet, I can't help but wonder. I fear the time will soon come when we are so worried about copy right law violations that ALL creativity is stifled. Indeed, it may become so badly stifled that even the simple act of singing "happy Birthday" at a child's birthday party would be enough to get you sued. "but," you will doubtless protest, ""Happy Birthday" is in the public domain; so, how could that ever happen?" Well, the answer is quite clear. It could happen because the more violations of copy right law there are, the stricter those laws will become. They will become so strict that you can't even sing "happy Birthday" at a party anymore. Now, "How will they know if somebody does that anyhow?" you may well ask. We are being monitored so much nowadays that it doesn't take much of an effort to imagine the copy right police planting little microphones in everybody's heads at birth just so they can listen in. Some people are already having computer chips implanted in their bodies (no thank you) and that's scary enough. "BUT SURELY," YOU SAY, "THIS IS ALL exaggeration. Surely the government would NEVER do anything like this." Don't you believe it. How about the time when the IRAA went after a poor eighty-four-yera-old lady and accused her of downloading songs illegally? She didn't even have a windows machine. She was using an Apple. At the time of this episode, Itunes didn't even exist. How about that? Sincerely yours, The Constantly Barefoot, Ray Home phone and fax: (985)853-0139 E-mail: rforetjr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Skype Name: barefootedray Blog: www.raysworld.blogs.com God bless President George W. Bush! God bless our troops! and God bless America ----- Original Message ----- From: "The Scarlet Wombat" <coconut@xxxxxxx> To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> Sent: Friday, March 03, 2006 5:51 AM Subject: [bct] Copyright issues and the talent show DJD, not all of the talent show files came with introductions, Neal may not have known who was performing. I did some extensive legal research last night with my wife, in her 3rd year of law school, and was surprised at the results. It seems that current copyright law restricts even gratis performances of works still in copyright. For example, Neal mentioned the song "Cheek to Cheek. Performing this song, even if for no remuneration, is a violation of current copyright law, unless there is permission from ASCAPk, BMI or whomever owns the copyright. I find this to be extremely narrow and stupid, but it is the law and we cannot afford to violate it. Awards are growing for copyright violaters and companies are becoming more willing to prosecute the small fry. The notes are considered a formula, and like a recipe in a cookbook, are uncopyrightable. This means you can perform the music to Cheek to Cheek, but you cannot sing the words in a public performance without permission. You can, however, change the words to make a parody or satire of the song, that is allowed. For example, you could modify the song to be about the other cheeks. [big grin] This copyright stuff is enough to give everyone a headache, but Neal is protecting us all by his insistance upon doing the right thing. Dan The words of a song are what are copyrighted, the notes are not.