On Thu, Jan 22, 2004 at 01:07:50PM +0000, John P. Looney wrote:
> Which is no harm. You just buy stuff that's not licenced like that. We
> did it with software. Unfortunately artists aren't as altruistic as
> programmers seem to be, so it'll take a while.
Actually some are, and there are very similar comparisons to be made. In
the traditional and folk music world, we write tunes to be played. There's
a very strong tradition of sharing tunes between people, and you want and
encourage others to play, perform and record them. It's a great feeling
to hear a tune you've written take on a life of it's own and get played
by others. The paralells are very strong, and in the traditional world
the most important ability is the ability to make a derivative work.
To take a tune and ornament it in your own style, to make your playing
Now the only problem is, is that about 15 years ago, the labels,
IMRO and IRMA figured out that Artists signed to them write a lot of
tunes, and without asking the artists what they thought about it started
aggressively enforcing copyright, they would hunt down performances and
recordings and insist on royalties being paid, completely against the
tradition of the music. It got so absurd, that in 1997, Comhaltas were
threatened with legal for holding the Fleadh, an 80-year old amateur
music festival, without paying performance royalties on tunes that were
almost certainly going to be played.
It made the government sit up, and now there's a working group looking
into traditional music licensing. OpenSource-like licensing is making
it's way into traditional music already, and many people have the
facility to sign contracts which hand-over rights to the recording,
but leave the tune itself alone, so that others can perform and
modify it - keeping the tradition alive.
If you spend time looking at the sleeve notes for Traditional albums,
you'll see a lot of tunes listed as "Trad. Arr.", and you're supposed to
think - ah the tune must be eons old, the author long since forgotten. In
an increasing ammount of cases, that tune might be only a few years old,
but when time comes for the recording artist to put down who wrote it,
they'll claim it's as old as the hills before putting their own name down.
If you ask me, a lot of artists are even more altruistic than
Colm MacCárthaigh Public Key: colm+pgp at stdlib.net
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