Hello from the colonies...

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Hello from the colonies...

Postby jellyroll baker » Wed Jun 05, 2002 6:24 am

The colonies being Australia, a place that used to be a dumping ground for British criminals (ie: the Irish).

I actually registered a while ago under the name Bluesfrog because that was the best I could come up with at the time. Never got around to properly introducing myself so I decided to change my username to something slightly more amusing.

I PLAY:
Acoustic guitar
Slide guitar, both electric and acoustic
Harmonica

I LISTEN TO:
R.L. Burnside (and other Fat Possum)
Lighnin' Hopkins
John Lee Hooker
and all the rest of the useful suspects.

I am currently working on a blues themed webpage and have hit upon an idea. Like any blues fan my CD collection is full of songs of dubious legal status, no one really knows who owns the copyright. Seeing as how no one with anything to do with the original artist receives money from most of these recordings I am considering ripping these songs into MP3 format and posting them on the web. Obviously this is a funny legal area made even more confusing by the fact that while I'm in Australia the files will probably be stored on a web server in the states. Anyone got any advice? Anyone got any songs that they know are not protected by any copyright?
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RE: Hello from the colonies...

Postby howlnwoof » Wed Jun 05, 2002 7:40 am

Another Aussie !!! Just fabulous !! Hey,welcome to the asylum . Anyone that quotes T Model right off the bat is OK by me....and please remember to signal before changing lanes.......
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RE: Hello from the colonies...

Postby ricochet » Wed Jun 05, 2002 1:18 pm

I'm not a lawyer, and I don't play one on TV, either. Can't tell you what trouble you might run into posting MP3s.

But I do share your musical tastes. I like that Fat Possum stuff, especially R.L. Burnside, even the controversial studio remixes over the techno line. :)

I didn't see anything wrong with Bluesfrog. Made me think of "Miss Maybelle." :7
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RE: Hello from the colonies...

Postby badfinger » Wed Jun 05, 2002 3:35 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Jun-05-02 AT 11:39 AM (CST)]There's no legal problem here - recorded music is owned by somebody, and copyright laws forbid copying for any reason whatsoever!

Certainly the distribution of copies without the owners' permission is a no-no, and you go to jail, or hell or somewhere where they'll take your guitar off you! Which is why Napster is now bankrupt.

This would also apply to my copying a cd and sending it to you thru the post, the difference here being that someone would have to catch me, and then decide I was wealthy enough to be worth suing!

Other file swapping arrangements, like KazaA, Bearshare, etc, get away with it because there is no-one to catch, there being no central server, just a load of compatible software installations around the net that can talk to each other, allowing the individual persons to send stuff on a peer-to-peer (the phrase is) basis. At least that's how I understand them to work.

A lot of work is going into trying to code cd content to stop it being ripped to, eg, mp3 format other than by 'licensed rippers', this being the only way to stop this traffic.

I don't think your website would last long with unlicensed mp3s on it!


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RE: Hello from the colonies...

Postby jellyroll baker » Mon Jun 10, 2002 11:29 pm

I know all about the file copyright issues, but here's the problem...

I'm not a lawer either but a lot of Blues copyrights don't seem to belong to anyone.

Lightnin' Hopkins recorded cash up front for any number of now defunct record companies. Nobody seems to own John Lee Hooker's Vee Jay recordings or, if they do, they sure as hell aren't enforcing it. Anything recorded before 1928 predates copyright laws which gives us access to a lot of good blues (Blind Lemon!).

Some people are making money of these blues recordings but they aren't people who have anything to do with the original artists. I'm not trying to compete with the good people at Yazoo records, just make some music that I love easily and cheaply available to those who want it without getting fats off some guys blues.

That's the plan. Any comments?
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RE: Hello from the colonies...

Postby blueswriter » Mon Jun 10, 2002 11:50 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Jun-10-02 AT 07:55 PM (CST)]This pertains somewhat to the Steve LaVere issue we discussed in another forum here on the Big Road, so I'd like to jump in if I can. As far as Lightnin' Hopkins recording for any number of now defunct labels, odds are that someone paid to purchase the existing tapes or masters from those sessions you mention. With that being said, whether or not copyright laws are being enforced, they are owned by someone and not property that belongs to you to make available in any format. If you purchased masters or tape reels from old blues sessions, then you'd have the right to do whatever you wanted with them... run them over, resell them, use them for decorations, or put them on the internet. Since you haven't bought any session tapes or masters, there's no area open to question.

The Steve LaVere issue we discussed here was him making himself a deal where he'd garner 50% of income generated from Robert's recordings, pictures, likeness, etc. He did pay for that material, and although I doubt it was a substantial figure, he still paid for those rights.

For you to take someone else's material that you have no ownership of, regardless of whether you want to make it available and affordable on the internet, is a crime. That's merely the legal issues. We then get into moral issues and that's a whole 'nother can of worms... ain't it? Considering this great music was written by someone, it's unfair to make it available in any format, whether your thoughts are based on the love of the music or not, without slicing up the pie and offering a piece to the person whose music you're thinking of stealing...

If you want to make things available and affordable, do it the right way... buy the masters, start a record company, and issue product that's affordable. But then the pie looks a lot smaller that way, don't it?

I'm all for things being available, but the love and respect I have for this music and the people who created it is far too great for me to see this any other way.

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RE: Hello from the colonies...

Postby jellyroll baker » Tue Jun 11, 2002 2:22 am

Thanks for your comments,

Based on what you people have said I have decided against placing such material on a web page. That's why I posted the suggestion in the forum, to get some kind of idea about the moral/legal issues and where people stood in regards to the matter. The can of worms is just to large and squirmy for me to deal with.

That said I still am working on a webpage, I just won't be stepping on anyone's copyrights to do it. I'll let you guys know when it's ready.
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RE: Hello from the colonies...

Postby blueswriter » Tue Jun 11, 2002 2:48 am

Good decision JRB. And your asking for suggestions before doing anything was a prudent move also. The gang here is a great bunch with loads of knowledge and they're always willing to help. I'll be interested to see what you come up with for your webpage, so definitely let us know when it's ready.

Leave the can of worms in case anyone here decides to get the "Fishin' Blues" and needs bait...

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