[bct] Re: Copyright issues and the talent show

  • From: "Neal Ewers" <neal.ewers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2006 09:09:12 -0600

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.


-----Original Message-----
From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of The Scarlet
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
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
works still in copyright.  For example, Neal mentioned the song "Cheek
Cheek.  Performing this song, even if for no remuneration, is a
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
growing for copyright violaters and companies are becoming more willing
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
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

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.


The words of a song are what are copyrighted, the notes are not.   

Other related posts: