As the saying goes, if you don't like the law, let's work to change it. I know, there is little that BCT folks can do to change the way things are, but the point is, laws are laws and need to be kept. Otherwise, we would have a very frightening society. I was kidding when I talked about Larry doing a podcast from jail. Oh Heck, they may take both of us and we can spend a long time talking about many things as we eat our bread and water. Actually, I could think of more pleasant surroundings. The bottom line is this. People can complain about the copyright laws all they want, but so long as I am putting together anything that doesn't have copyright permission or is in the public domain, it won't fly. And it will fail to fly for two major reasons. 1. Because I feel a responsibility to Larry, APH, and to this list to make sure none of us are sued no matter how unlikely that is. 2. There are lots of struggling artists who write their own music. Am I willing to say, "Oh, we don't have to support them by buying their Cd or paying them for the times we use their material. It doesn't matter if they starve as long as we can sing their songs and hope we don't get caught. I think not. I think too much of the people who put their life's work into something only to have me fail to recognize their efforts. And recognition doesn't just come because you announce the fact that you are singing their song illegally, it comes from the fact that we are willing to support their efforts by buying their cds instead of ripping them and that we are willing to pay the fees for using their music. Otherwise, I an others will simply stop making cds, and we'll go back to the musical crap we hear each time we go to the shopping maul. Neal -----Original Message----- From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of The Scarlet Wombat Sent: Friday, March 03, 2006 5:52 AM To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 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.