Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

I quote from Henrik’s copyright note "This file (or parts of it) may not be made available on a web page for download without permission from me".
We recently had a long discussion regarding posting tunes simply lifted from other sources. Why are people still doing it?

Why?

Because it’s the easiest way to become a famous Thesession Tunestud.

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

More like a tune pimp, eh?
I appreciate Norbeck’s archive of tunes, but rarely do I end up playing settings from there—I’d much rather go to the aural source, and then I almost always find something going on different from the abcs. Plus, even when variations are shown, it’d be silly to play it just as written—that’s no more than a snapshot of what an experienced player would do with the tune.

So in my book, copying Norbeck’s abcs into thesession’s archives doesn’t make much musical sense, beyond being illegal and redundant.

Posted .

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

There are a lot of very good transcriptions here in thesession. With practice one learns which transcribers produce playable scores. Jeremy is one of the best, but i don’t want to start naming names now. :-)

When i need a score quick, i look here first, then i go to J.C.’s index. Then i take whichever one is most similar to the setting i want, and tweak it.

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

Although I really like Henrik Norbeck’s index, the settings there are often quite different to the ones I hear played. My favourite source for tunes to transcribe and post is my own recordings of sessions. In any post, I’d always offer other versions which differ from the Norbeck settings.

Incidentally, Milesnagopaleen, if you’re trying to have a go at any of the people who post tunes on this site, I’m sure it won’t be working. I for one am not listening. Despite the fact that you know how to transcribe tunes well, you have only contributed 4 tunes to the site, 1 of which is your own composition, and another of which is almost an exact duplicate of another tune on the database. I hardly think that you’re in a position to criticise the tunes other people decide to post. As Jeremy has said before, if you’re not happy with it, stop whinging like a spoilt child and post a tune you *are* happy with. Give us a chance to slag you off for a change. I rest my case.

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

I was merely pointing out that
a) Henrick’s has copyright on his transcriptions ( although whether this would be enforceable is a moot point)
and
b) What’s the point? We all know about Henrik’s site by now.
But we’ve been through all this before and I’ve no intention of rehashing it.
To be frank, Mark, I don’t give a toss whether you listen to me or not. I will continue to comment as and when I see fit and if you don’t like it, don’t read it.

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

*sigh* D’you know, I really think extremes have a lot to answer for.

Zina

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

If you’ve no intention of rehashing it, why are you starting another discussion thread which is a dig at the people who post tunes disguised as something else? I know exactly what you’re trying to point out, and it’s needless.

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

You guys pipe down, i’m trying to copy some Norbeck tunes, and i can’t work with all this racket.

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

LOL sorry :-)

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

Has anyone seen my salt shaker?

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

I know where your spoons are — bb’s hidden them. :)

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

Mark , I’m not having a dig at you or anyone else. I was simply reminding people that the consensus seemed to be that lifting transcriptions from other sources was not excouraged. A recent posting with the comment "I’ve just stolen this abc from Henrik Norbeck’s collection" provoked my reaction. I have no wish to discourage people from posting tunes or to criticize people just for the sake of it. If you think I have some ulterior motive, please let me know what you think it is. Apologies for my "don’t give a toss" comment. Let’s shake hands, have a pint and get on with the session.

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

If we post ABC’s "clean", without any ornamentation, as Jeremy prefers, that would go some way to avoiding possible copyright problems, however remote they may be in practice. Or ideally, transcribe a tune from a "live" session - not always practicable, and anyway it often happens that nobody has any clear idea what the tune’s called!

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

Also, it is important to avoid posting a direct transcription of commercially available printed music, such as tunes from teaching manuals which are often arranged by the author specially for the manual, or a band’s "tune book".

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

Milesnagopaleen, you’ve beaten me to it. I apologize for jumping to conclusions. I had a bad day yesterday and took it out on you unneccesarily :-( Please diregard my previous comments.
Mark

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

OK The drinks are on you! :-)

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

Now if we could just send Miles to Baghdad and Mark to the Whitehouse, maybe we’d get somewhere….

Posted .

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

I reckon there is a way of posting "copyright" tunes without copying them directly. It is similar to the "clean room" procedures used in the computer industry when a company wants to clone a chip or software without running foul of copyright laws.

Suppose there’s a tune "The Blind Stag" which is known to exist in published form only in XYZ Band’s tune book, and the printed notes are therefore presumably covered by copyright. But you’d just love to see it in ABC format. First, what you must not do under any circumstances is to actually see that tune in print. What you do instead is to remark casually at a session "I’d love to see the ABC of The Blind Stag, and I reckon I could transcribe it if someone could play it to me", or words to that effect. Your friend, the banjo player next to you who is famous for his prodigious memory, then becomes aware of a fresh pint of beer that appears mysteriously in front of him, and nothing more is said. Next week, your friend turns up at the session and plays The Blind Stag. Your tape recorder happens to be on at the time, as it always is in sessions, and so you go home and transcribe the tune from the tape. Of course, your friend, being the excellent musician that he is, has put his own spin on the tune, and what you hear and transcribe isn’t note for note identical to the printed tune. And of course it couldn’t possibly be since you’ve never seen the tune in print, and the ABC has not been transcribed from the printed notes, so no copying of the printed tune has taken place. In fact, do you now have your own copyright in that ABC transcription?

Anyone see any problems with this scenario?

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

I’ll get my coat.

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

LOL. Will I wouldn’t send me to the Whitehouse if I were you. There are issues there that I can get much more in a tizwoz about than Henrik Norbeck’s copyright, believe me :-)

Milesey, don’t get your coat yet, I’ve just bought you a drink goddamit!

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

Trevor, If the tune appearing on XYZ’s cd was composed by a member of XYZ, (not a public domain traditional tune) and copyrighted by him/her/them, then your scenario has a big problem. It’s an absolute infringement of copyright. The original composition is copyrighted in any form, indeed many original tunes are copyrighted with no sheetmusic at all. The published (for sale to the public) recording is all that is necessary to obtain the rights. Changing the tune in some minor way does not get you off the hook. You would be accused of plagiarism as well as, or possibly instead of, copyright infringement.

If the tune appearing on XYZ’s cd is a traditional tune, and the copyright refers only to the arrangement of the tune then your scenario is much less dangerous. XYZ only owns rights to their arrangement of the tune, not the tune itself. Even the slightest changes to the arrangement, I would think, would establish a ‘new’ arrangement of the tune, and copyrightible if you so desire. But what would be the point??

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

Thanks Tusong! That’s cleared up a point for me!

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

Technically, a copyrighted tune from someone’s CD shouldn’t even be PLAYED in a session, right? Or does playing a tune at a session (not writing it down) constitute fair use?

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

Playing live is ok, even when for profit. Imagine if any time someone wanted to do "Imagine" he’d have to call Yoko first? :-) The payment of royalties applies only to albums sold or playings on the radio or tv. There’s a battle going on now to decide how to apply this to streaming music over the Internet.

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

Glauber, that’s not the case, at least here in the U.S. Performers who "cover" other people’s copyrighted music must report that and pay royalties. This applies to theater companies who perform copyrighted musicals (they typically pay rather large fees for the right to perform them) down to bar bands. Of course, most of this goes on under the legal radar screen, but people do sometimes get caught.

It seems to be much less of an issue with various trad music forms, especially ones so heavy into public domain tunes such as Irish trad is. For me, it’s disappointing to see so many bands moving to copyright their arrangements of public domain tunes—seems to coincide with artists signing to big-time record labels (e.g., Altan). That’s just silly—now no one can play John Mhosey McGinley’s just the way Altan does without their permission and a fee? I wonder what Mr. McGinley would say about that, were he with us today?

All that said, playing music at a session for fun—not money—is wide open. It basically constitutes "personal use," even if it is in public. I’m sure some lawyer will get ahold of this eventually and chew it to smithereens (arguing that the pub is making money off the session, so perhaps they should pay the royalty), but as long as you’re not taking any money for the tunes, you can play whatever you want.

Posted .

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

Thank you for the clarification, Will. I suspect that except for musical theather, large bands or large venues, most live performance slips under the radar.

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

Will, unless things have changed within the past few years (say 5 or so) you’re not exactly correct. The royalties owed for the performance of copyrighted material in a live venue (bar/ restaurant, etc.) are paid by the venue owners. Any venue that offers live music as a means to attract customers is required by ASCAP to pay an annual fee. ASCAP is not about to try and chase down every barband, lounge singer, session player, but they still want their money. The payment of the annual fee is in lieu of collecting the fee from the performers. The size of the fee is based on the type and size of the venue.

A fee is required by ASCAP even if the music at the venue is ‘canned’, that is, being played off of CDs. A lot of bar-owners have moved to digital/satellite feeds for their ‘canned’ music. The ASCAP fee is then paid by the satellite service and the barowner doesn’t have to deal with it anymore.

Another phenomonen that has become more conspicuous is the inclusion of more original tunes on trad band CDs. Of course there are many reasons for this but I have been told by a very high profile player that all of the top performers are well aware that they make more royalty money on original tunes than trad tunes (obviously). Not a criticism, just an observation.

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

Tusong, that’s more like what i remember, about live music. And as for original tunes, i recorded a CD once, which had a mix of traditional and copyrighted tunes; if i ever record another one (have a couple in the works, but it’s very slow going), it’s going to be all original. The pain of dealing with royalty payments discourages me to record copyrighted stuff. Plus, it’s a cost: not as much as the printing costs (typically 75% of the cost of a CD goes to the printed insert), but it’s still money that you’re giving away. Paying royalties to ASCAP or whatever, i don’t feel like i’m helping struggling musicians as much as supporting a bureaucracy.

Hmmm, let me clarify: 75% of the cost of a CD, not including the studio costs, is what i meant. Thinking of things like duplication, jewel cases, inserts, shrink wrap, etc. Actually, it could be even more than 75%.

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

This copyright thing is giving me a …. let’s say headache, to be polite. The word Traditional derives from the Latin "tradere" which means to give or, more exactly, to hand over. Something that is proprietary and must be bought and sold can not, by definition, be traditional. So these guys worried about copyright protection are attempting to end the traditional transmission of the music. I can’t muster up much sympathy for them or their cause.

Posted by .

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

= killjoys; I have to agree.

Going back to the original topic. Although I love Henrik Norbeck’s site for its easy navigation etc, I don’t understand how he can copyright the transcriptions, given that a lot of them are taken *directly off CDs*. If someone else were to transcribe the same tune off the same recording in ABC, it would probably turn out either exactly the same or very similar. If that were made available on another site: what then? Does he make a fuss? Do the original artists from the CD make a fuss? Don’t their record companies own the rights to transcription of their arrangements? And then there’s the fact that a lot of people learn tunes off his tune index. Is he going to take people to court in 10 years time who transcribe these onto the net? In that case what was his purpose in creating the index???

A very confused Dow

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

I don’t know HN, but the usual reason people "copyright" stuff that they’re giving away for free is to try to keep sleazeballs^H^H^H^H^H^H^Henterpreneurs from selling it for profit.

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

I guess I’m more used to one-shot performances, so the musicians cough up the fees, not the venue. But where music is a regular attraction, Tusong’s account sounds correct. Sorry to confuse the issue.

As for transcribing off of CDs, I agree with Mark that Mr. Norbeck is reaching a bit by copyrighting his abcs of someone else’s arrangements. Glauber’s guess at his motives are as good as any, and at least somewhat noble, so I hope that’s the case.

What a goofy world we live in….

Posted .

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

Yes… this copyright practice is common in the free software movement. Sometimes there it’s called "copyleft". The idea is to prevent someone from taking something that’s free and making it not free.

H.N.’s home page says:

================================
All transcriptions

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

How do we define "part" of an ABC file for "copyright" purposes? There are many note sequences, sometimes up to a bar or more in length, that are common to a large number of tunes. If I should quote such a sequence in a comment on this website, or should it appear in a tune I have submitted, whether or not that sequence came from a source claiming copyright, am I infringing a "copyright"? I think not.
One of the important features of trad music is that there is generally (with the possible exception of some modern compositions) no official version of a tune; there are almost as many variations as there are players. Databases of tunes are therefore just samples of an almost infinite diversity of versions. I think copyright cannot be effective under such circumstances.

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

He can’t copyright the tunes, but he can copyright his transcriptions of the tunes. The difference is subtle, and unless you’re looking into copying the material from Norbeck’s site and selling it, you don’t have to worry about it. If you’re losing sleep over it, you can challenge the copyright by suing Mr. Norbeck, and this will cause the terms to be defined in court, but i hope you have more interesting things to do with your money.

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

A philosophical point - does a tune exist only when it is being played? Does a tune in notation, ABC, tablature or whatever merely exist in potentiality and not actuality? Answers on a postcard please :-)

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

Here is where I depart from Rene DesCartes existentialism…. I think that YOU are Descartes’ evil demon, and that you are deceiving us…. :-)

"I fiddle, therefore, I am",… but I am not quite sure that you are…

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

Did Descartes address the possibility of exorcising me - sorry, the demon? I’m not sure that he did.

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

OK, so Henrik Norbeck is here in person now…
I put the copyright message on my tune collection because transcribing those >1900 tunes was a lot of work. First of all I wanted to prevent someone from stealing the whole bunch of tunes and printing them in a book to sell.
Secondly, I want to get credit for doing this work, so I don’t want people to mirror my abc files on other sites. I want it to be clearly visible who did the work.
There’s of course no way I can enforce the copyright. I can only appeal to people’s consciences. A couple of times it has happened that others have put up my whole abc collection on another site, and I have kindly asked them to remove it, and they’ve done it.
I know that many of my transcriptions have been posted on this site. I am sad that nobody bothered to ask me before posting them. I would gladly have given permission for the posting of individual tunes on such a good site as this.
I have given permissions like that to other sites, e.g. "Fiddler’s Companion".
BTW, don’t forget to register your copy of AbcMus. There’s a new version 2.0 available now too, if anyone has failed to notice it.

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

Thanks Henrik.

I’m sorry that people have posted your transcriptions here without asking your permission. I hope it won’t happen in future.

Just to clarify: I don’t want people posting transcriptions from *any* source verbatim.

Re: Henrik Norbeck’s Copyright

Sorry Henrik,
I’m the guy caused the whole discussions here.
I confess I was too lazy to transform my version of that tune from hand written sheet to abc and your version was about the same as mine.
Before this discussion started I thought your abc’s are kind of open source and publishing it here is ok.
At least I’ve paid for your program -it *is* the best one- and mentioned you as the tune source.

My understanding of this place here was that it should end up as a huge database with all ;-) tunes in it, maybe even in different versions/sytles and all IrTrad recodings.
Looks like I’ve got something wrong ?

Best Regards
Urs