The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

Many Thanks to Bill Black!

The four volumes of "Music from Ireland" series - totalling 345 tunes - have been transcribed and added to the webABC site. The folder for each volume contains:

There are also PDFs of Nigel Gatherer’s and Bob Taylor’s great background info on the tunes. These resources will provide additional alternate names, tune sources, etc. that I didn’t have room for in the ABCs.

You can access the project page directly:

http://www.capeirish.com/webabc/collections/bsmi/bsmi_project_home.html

… or via the Collections home page (which will give you a chance to see what else is currently available in webABC):

http://www.capeirish.com/webabc/collections/coll-index.html

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

Let’s just hope Mr Bulmer and Mr Sharpley (former practising lawyer) either know about it and are OK about it, or don’t know and don’t find out.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

Exactly my thoughts, Bulmer has a reputation that is not one I would like to have, I understand Sharpley was struck off as a lawyer, if i was jeremy, i would be very worried about this.

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

While I appreciate your concern, this website isn’t hosting any of the content in question. The capeirish.com domain may indeed have cause to worry about legal action, but simply linking to a resource is not the same as hosting it.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

If the tunes themselves are traditional and therefore public domain, and they have been transcribed onto the website, not reproduced in facsimile from the books, is there any copyright infringement? There may be moral issues, but I have a feeling that from a legal point of view he might not be doing anything wrong.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

People have been ripping them off for a long time.

Have I got that the right way around?

Well yes I have in this instance. When I arrived in Canada a quarter century ago it seemed that everyone had a copy of "The Black Book" - a ring-bound photocopied version of Volumes 1 -3. This was back before the internet seemed to undermine everyone’s notions of what was kosher and what wasn’t, and I was mildly shocked.

I refused the offer of one, I hasten to add. And surely would have done even had I not already got volumes 1 and 2.

An old girlfriend of mine had lived in the same house as Messrs. B & S in Leeds in the 1970s, and remembered the printing press rumbling in the cellar at all hours of the day and night, churning out copies of these little gems.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

I have no ethical qualms about downloading and making use of ABC files derived from out-of-print tune-books. Now if the available files were scans of the actual book’s pages I would feel different.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"If the tunes themselves are traditional and therefore public domain, and they have been transcribed onto the website, not reproduced in facsimile from the books, is there any copyright infringement? There may be moral issues, but I have a feeling that from a legal point of view he might not be doing anything wrong."

Well, one of the things about the Bulmer/Sharpley transcriptions, is that they are highly regarded in the way they are set out. It could well be argued that they are "arrangements". The copies don’t have to be facsimile copies. Moreover, they are blatantly taken from those books, and submitted note for note, with the authors’ names clearly displayed in several places.
It might be venturing into grey area (I somehow thing it is clearer than grey), but you don’t want to give those guys so much as an inch of leverage.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"I have no ethical qualms about downloading and making use of ABC files derived from out-of-print tune-books."

Maybe you don’t, but there is a distinction between "out of print" and lapsed copyright.
Quite frankly, the more people ripping off B&S the merrier, IMO. They do have a habit of biting back, however.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

As the original poster, I have to say I have not a bad feeling about this link as I’m a proud owner of the original printed books anyway. As somebody said before, back in the years when I started to play Irish trad this 4 books were the bible of the actual settings of the tunes while "The book" was a source of out of fashion versions, but also of hidden gems.
I guess some of the settings found here in the mustard zone are not transcriptions from any recordings or memorized tune learned in the aural tradition, but just abc version of printed sources.
The argument of the tune settings as arrangements is something which is true for any transcription of traditional music.
Most of the people involved in IRTRAD still believe it should be an open source project!

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"I guess some of the settings found here in the mustard zone are not transcriptions from any recordings or memorized tune learned in the aural tradition, but just abc version of printed sources. "

Aye, but there is the "10%" rule, and, at any rate, most of the printed sources are now out of copyright. I don’t think anyone should feel bad about it. It’s just that there may be repercussions, and it doesn’t involve a pair of pussycats.
The heading of this thread alone is enough to bring it to the attention of those involved.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"I guess some of the settings found here in the mustard zone are not transcriptions from any recordings or memorized tune learned in the aural tradition, but just abc version of printed sources. "

"Aye, but there is the ‘10%’ rule, and, at any rate, most of the printed sources are now out of copyright."

In what way are transcriptions of commercial recordings more legal than transcriptions of commercial tune books? And if someone plays a setting from B&S, would it be more legal to transcribe their playing then? Just a nitpicky thought…

However, I love to browse sources like IMSLP (which is obviously public domain) and the like, out of historical interest and sometimes still finding a few gems. I’ve submitted quite a few transcriptions from these, and I’m always kind of excited when someone offers a link to/transcription of an old source newly discovered.
Now my point is: as far as I can tell, B&S transcribed only tunes being public domain anyway. Do they cease being public domain then, just because it’s a particular setting? B&S can’t pay royalties to tradition or something.

I’m only speculating… isn’t there a lawyer around here? This all seems to be very marginal indeed.

What is the 10% rule BTW?

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

N Sharpley did write The Beech tree of course but apart from that it’s a free-for-all

BT

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"In what way are transcriptions of commercial recordings more legal than transcriptions of commercial tune books?"

I would have thought that was somewhat obvious. Transcribing someone’s playing of a traditional tune is well into the grey area. Transcribing someone’s transcription - their "arrangement" or "edition", note for note (even as a coded version that can readily be transferred to staff notation) is a lttle more straightforward.

"And if someone plays a setting from B&S, would it be more legal to transcribe their playing then? "

"More legal" is a bogus conception. There are grey areas, where things might be, or might not be legal. The example above, would be as much in the grey area as the earlier example. Think back to the case of Martin Carthy versus Paul Simon.

"This all seems to be very marginal indeed."
It’s actually fairly straightforward. If you arrange a piece of music (a piece that doesn’t infringe someone else’s copyright), then you have rights over that arrangement - or likewise if you edit a piece of music in some way.
What is involved here is a blatant copying of "arrangements" even to the point of naming the source, and the "authors" or "editors" of the book being copied.

"What is the 10% rule BTW?"

Certain provisions in copyright laws allow up to 10% of a chapter to be copied for study or reseach. However, when it comes to a book of tunes, each tune might be considered the equivalent of a "chapter", so only 10% of the tune could be legally copied. Back into the land of grey.

"N Sharpley did write The Beech tree of course but apart from that it’s a free-for-all"

It’s not a "free for all" when it comes to a particular "arrangement" - unless you can provide evidence to the contrary. However, you have now pointed out something that B&S could have a field day with.
It’s quite possible that permission was obtained. However, owing to the nature of the beast(s), I would be surprised.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

I was signed to a certain label once - a recording and publishing contract - and one of the tunes recorded was well known to be written by someone else. I gave the correct copyright details of the tunes to the publisher, but when the record came out, the blurb said I’d written it. Very embarrassing. You’d maybe understand that it could be a mistake if the publisher didn’t know diddley … however …

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

""In what way are transcriptions of commercial recordings more legal than transcriptions of commercial tune books?"

I would have thought that was somewhat obvious. Transcribing someone’s playing of a traditional tune is well into the grey area. Transcribing someone’s transcription - their "arrangement" or "edition", note for note (even as a coded version that can readily be transferred to staff notation) is a lttle more straightforward."

I wouldn’t be convinced by this argument, Weejie. Here below is a random enough tune taken from the above mentioned website and presumably a direct copy of the ‘arrangement’ that B&S published - the well known Sligo Maid. Now this bare version looks exactly like it might have been played and might still be played up and down the country. The fact that B&S wrote it down as an arrangement of such and you then argue, can claim copyright of the arrangement, sounds like the other form of BS to me!!

I’d agree that photocopying their books, for what they’re worth and reprinting/ selling, that would constitute a breach of their copyright. But you don’t breach copyright by repeating tunes well known in a traditional idiom - these existed factually long before B&S. They don’t own them.

X: 5201
T: Sligo Maid (reel) % bsmi<bb
B: "Music from Ireland 1" (Bulmer & Sharpley) #3
Q: 360
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Am
A2BA Bde^f|gedB AGE^F|G2BG dGBG|DEGA BAdB|
A2BA Bde^f|gedB AGEG|B3G A2GE|DEGA BAA2 :|
eaag ~a2ga|bga^f gfed|egg^f ~g2ge|dega bgag|
eaag ~a2ga|bga^f gfed|eg~g2 edBc|dBgB BAA2 :|

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

That’s like saying you can copy out a novel and say that it’s OK because all the words used predate the book. I know it’s nothing like copying out a novel, but the law deals in principles, and it’s the same in principle. i.e. B&S’s arrangement is a certain number of specific tunes in a specific order with their names attached to it.

The words in a novel might not be copyrighted, the tunes in a tune book might not be copyrighted, but the books are.

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

Suppose there’s a well known nursery rhyme, say ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ and messrs B&S or whoever, listen to it, write it down and publish it. There can be no copyright attached to their transcription of this ditty. Common law generally follows common sense and common sense here says that someone else writing out this ditty, even following a published version, cannot be breaching anyone’s copyright. All the original publishers have done is to record a fact and you can’t copyright fact.

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

Yes, but say a publisher collected a hundred or so nursery rhyme and published them in a book called "The Wounded Hussar English Nursery Rhymes Collection". And someone got a web site and called it "The Wounded Hussar English Nursery Rhymes Collection.com" and copied out every rhyme exactly the same and in the same order.

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

In that instance, if I was that publisher, I mightn’t be very pleased because my name would be associated with a concern over which I had no control etc. But if this imaginary website has taken my collection of facts, re written them within their own resources, then I’m not convinced that there’s a lot I could do about it. Perhaps at best, I could oblige them to remove my name from their project..

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

Of course as the cliche goes, imitation is often the sincerest form of flattery.. so if the publishers here had their day on their works, squeezed whatever money was to be made out of it, they might conceivably be quite happy to see their names credited and quoted?

To be perfectly honest, I’d don’t really give a toss - it looks like just another collection of standard tunes. Two a penny, these days..

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

I don’t give a toss either. It’s just that these two people have a reputation.

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>>"Of course as the cliche goes, imitation is often the sincerest form of flattery.. so if the publishers here had their day on their works, squeezed whatever money was to be made out of it, they might conceivably be quite happy to see their names credited and quoted?"

Never underestimate the power of greed.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

One thing which "bugs me" is the practice of some book publishers including many of the "bog standard" traditional session tunes and…"claiming"… that it is their own or a contributor’s arrangement. In most cases, there’s no discernible difference from the versions which we have all been playing for years unless they include a "trick note" somewhere.

I don’t believe that the transmission of traditional music should be all about making money although I DO have sympathy with the actual authors and composers of tunes where their identity is known. Of course, their work ought to be protected to a certain extent and they should receive royalties.
Also, if it is actually a unique or significantly different arrangement, then this should be recognised too.

Now while these arangements aren’t those of Bulmer and Sharpley, they did go to the trouble of collecting and publishing these. So, reproducing them as they have been published within the book, and in the exact order and, perhaps, with other comments and notes from such a book is a bit naughty to say the least.
In these sort of circumstances, I would say that they are entitled to some recognition for their work and that their permission would be required before the book or large excerpts thereof was copied or redistributed in any form.

Having said that, if one or more individual tunes were made available that would be a different matter especially if they had previously been in general circulation or formerly regarded to be traditional. After all, who would be able to prove they had been sourced from the book or not? In fact, by stating that they were taken from this volume, is actually making an acknowledgement that the said gentlemen may have some entitlement of ownership.

That’s the beauty of learning and passing on tunes by ear though. Just think of the money you save and they can’t touch you for it.
🙂.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

The great Church Music Sausage Factory has made this its stock and trade for years. Take a traditional tune, change a verse here and there. Or if they’re really creative, have one of the Tuba Players in their stable write all new lyrics and change a note here and there. Copyright, Copyright, Copyright. Enforce enthusiastically.

No offense. People have to make a living.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"I wouldn’t be convinced by this argument, Weejie."

It probably doesn’t matter whether you are convinced or not.
All B&S would have to do was show that there is enough originality (and it doesn’t take much) in their transcriptions to render them as "arrangements". The word "derivative" has been used, and derivative works are subject to copyright:

[A “derivative work” is a work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications, which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a “derivative work”.]
http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#101

How that relates to diddley, is delving into grey areas (as I’ve been saying), but a quick read of this would put you more in the picture:

http://www.publicdomainsherpa.com/derivative-work.html


Mr Gill has it too when he mentions that the "book is copyrighted". This doesn’t mean that only photocopying, or producing a facsimile would constitute breach of copyright. Even rewriting the the compilation is breach of copyright.

[Well, just because a work is a compilation of public domain material, like the Dover book of 19th century designs we talked about earlier … that also doesn’t mean it’s free for the taking. Why? Because the compilation itself may be protected by copyright.

A compilation is a work created by selecting, organizing, or arranging previously existing material in such a way that the resulting work as a whole constitutes an original work of authorship. Types of compilations include:

Fact compilations (databases, directories, lists, etc.)

Collective works (anthologies, newspapers, magazines, encyclopedias, etc.)

Compilations made up of entirely public domain material may be protected by copyright, as long as they are minimally creative. ]

http://www.publicdomainsherpa.com/compilation.html

Now there may be parts of the B&S collections that could be reproduced, without breach of copyright laws, but when the whole collection is presented, it is coming out of the grey into the clear.
It only takes one piece of evidence to show that the authors’/editors’ work has been copied, to make a strong case in court.

I could provide much more - but I couldn’t really give a toss either. I was just commenting on the possibility that two people might not be too keen on seeing their publications put up for all to digest.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"Now while these arangements aren’t those of Bulmer and Sharpley, they did go to the trouble of collecting and publishing these."

It’s a lot of trouble indeed. Not to be taken lightly. If it weren’t for the actual characters involved, I would probably feel more strongly.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

I said this earlier:

"Certain provisions in copyright laws allow up to 10% of a chapter to be copied for study or reseach. However, when it comes to a book of tunes, each tune might be considered the equivalent of a "chapter", so only 10% of the tune could be legally copied. Back into the land of grey."

It was misleading. Should read "10% or one chapter" - and each tune could be considered a work in its own right, so only 10% of the tune could be copied.

Arrangements?
This one’s always a bit of holding & hoping you land on your feet. Enjoy the ride while it lasts.
A tune in the public domain doesn’t belong to anyone (or 2). You can write it out anyway you wish. But once you name it after a tune in the public domain it is in fact a *tune* which doesn’t belong to a single person. It’s public!
Personally I won’t be nipping off B&S. I’m not that naive. But if someone wants to go there…
Power to the printers (not pedantic lawyers)!

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"A tune in the public domain doesn’t belong to anyone (or 2). You can write it out anyway you wish. "

But when you write out a whole bunch of them, "verbatim" from someone else’s publication, you are copying "their" work - not "their" tunes. This is what would be at issue. It wouldn’t take much pedantry to see that the "book" has been copied - this has been clearly stated on the website.

If it had been someone like Christine Martin whose books had been copied - in other words all the tunes in bsome of her books had been copied as she had set them, with the website saying "Ceol na Fidhle - all six volumes added to the ABC collection", maybe some would see things differently. Then again, maybe not.
I’m not wanting to go into yet another "dots v ear" argument, but collections of tunes have been a major contributor to the spread of trad music on the planet. Compiling them takes considerable effort. Would anyone bother transcribing tunes, carefully transferring pipe settings to fiddle settings, proof reading, paying printer costs, advertising etc etc, if someone else could come along and copy them and then put them out on the internet for all to peruse for nowt? I doubt it. There would be no further compilations going to print. It would be left to a few gallant souls who would put stuff out for nothing - and often, when it gets put out for nothing there is less incentive to check for errors. Eventually, all the printed collections would be up there, and no more would be left to copy (hooray, the anti-dot/antidote contingent might scream).
Hey, why stop at music notation? All those folk making recordings are just playing "public owned tunes" anyway. Let’s just put them all into mp3 format and post them on t’internet so all can enjoy for nowt - oh wait, some people are already doing that. After all, the whole idea of these tune books and recordings is just a capitalist plot anyway. Free the world with ABC and MP3.
Of course, the mere notion that some of these "freedom sites" could be getting some kind of monetary return themselves is just ridiculous. I mean how can bringing people to your website be a capitalist venture? OK, you might also have some commercial interests at heart elsewhere on the site - like selling a one off composition, like "a lively jig for Aunt Nora’s 90th birthday" or "a rousing clan march for your son in the Marine Corps" - a bargain at $75.00 for a whole 32 bars - but that’s nothing to do with ripping off someone else’s compilations of "public owned" music and putting them up there. At least the site ain’t obviously getting those "Google hits".

I see Pat Mitchell’s book of Willy Clancy tunes is up there too. Without most of the ornamentation (that Pat captured with great skill - OK, not done as a norm, but when you are actually transcribing the playing of a particular musician - it is valid) and a claim that "I believe that what remains will provide accurate reproductions of Willie’s versions of tunes". Well, Pat Mitchell provided that - as best as he could. Painstakingly.
Things should perhaps be put into perspective here. Out of print does not mean out of copyright. There’s also that one about the free lunch.
I hope Aunt Nora has a happy 90th - and B&S don’t.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

I see from some of the comments here and in some previous discussions Mr Bulmer has a "reputation". So far there has only been innuendo as far as I can see, no specific accusations or such. My only experience with him was at a festival in 2007 where I recorded his playing ( with his knowledge) and amongst other tracks are a set of Shetland reels in E Major, marvellous playing. He gave me some guitar CDs, and I found his company and his music most enjoyable. So specifically, whats his crime/s?
As for his books I found them an invaluable learning tool when I was just starting out learning about Irish music. As for the online collection above maybe they got permission to publish. If so fine.
If not, well it’s pretty risky to say the least

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

I’ve never really understood the business of copyrighting ‘arrangements’.

Supposing traditional tunes were Borris-bikes, there for anyone to use. Joe Crook comes along, takes a Borris-bike, paints it a different colour and claims it as his own.

It’s still a Borris-bike, and anyone should still be able to use it. But if that Borris-bike is a tune, then Joe Crook can sue them for stealing his paint.

It just doesn’t seem right to me.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

>>"It was misleading. Should read "10% or one chapter" - and each tune could be considered a work in its own right, so only 10% of the tune could be copied."

But that assumes that the whole tune is copyrighted, surely the only thing that is original (and copyrightable) are the changes made to the original.

If you made an arrangement of tune by a known composer, which was still protected, the composer would retain the rights to the original work, the arranger would have rights to the changes he had made. If anyone used that tune, the composer would get the bulk of the royalties, with a small proportion going to the arranger.

And it seems to me that that is how it should work with trad tunes, but it doesn’t. As soon as someone writes down an ‘arrangement’ we assume they have rights to the whole tune. Surely in order to claim any rights at all as an ‘arranger’ they should have to prove that that what they have done is unique & original, and different from any version of the tune that has gone before, which would be very, very difficult in most cases.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

Weejie, we live in changing times and there are many people asking how journalists/ publishers/ music collectors can make a few quid and pay the bills if the work they undertake is inevitably made freely available on the web. Some things will hold up and others won’t - good quality original work has most likliehood of retaining value.

I’m not sure that old collections of folk tunes fall into the above. Just look at this site, where many individuals have done this sort of work freely, that is to transcribe tunes and make them available. Whatever about the legal niceties, times have changed and reality bites, hard.

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

Tony, if you really don’t know, and really can’t find the information on any of the God-knows-how-many sites that have threads about Mr Bulmer, the issue is this: he bought up the rights for many recordings, some of which are legendary, and has refused to release them for decades, depriving the artists involved of potential income from royalties and denying them the opportunity of having some of their most celebrated recordings issued in modern formats. This has been done to death many times. Just google *Nic Jones Bulmer* and away you go. Back to businesss…

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"But that assumes that the whole tune is copyrighted, surely the only thing that is original (and copyrightable) are the changes made to the original."

This is true to an extent. It assumes that the editor actually edited the tune to some degree.

An example would be some music by a Baroque composer, long since dead. An "arranger" might put in the bits that were not "put in" during the Baroque era - or maybe some bowing marks. This makes the whole published edition copyright by the editor/arranger. Anyone is free to publish their own arrangement from the original composer’s setting. If you put in the bits that were edited by the "editor/arranger", you are in breach of copyright.
If someone had put in a few tunes gleaned from the B&S books, perhaps with a tweak here and there, there would be nothing to substantiate any claim. In this case, the whole collections have been copied "verbatim" - blatantly. How would you know which bits were the tweaked bits by B&S anyway?

"Supposing traditional tunes were Borris-bikes, there for anyone to use. Joe Crook comes along, takes a Borris-bike, paints it a different colour and claims it as his own.

It’s still a Borris-bike, and anyone should still be able to use it. But if that Borris-bike is a tune, then Joe Crook can sue them for stealing his paint. "

That’s twisting things a bit. The "Borris-bike" wasn’t stolen. It was an old bike built by a long since dead engineer. It was lying in someone’s garage, Joe Tweak came along, asked about it and was told it was going for free. Joe re-designed some part of it - it’s now a "Borris-Tweak-bike".
The owner and re-designer is alive and kicking. Has everyone the right to copy that bike, including Joe Tweak’s re-designed part?

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

Mr Hussar, you make it sound like the world is moving towards some sort of Star Trek utopia where one acts all sort of quizzical at the quaint old fashioned notion of money and everyone works for the good of mankind. It’s pure fiction

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"Weejie, we live in changing times …" As far as copyright laws go, we don’t. That’s a cop-out.

"Just look at this site, where many individuals have done this sort of work freely, that is to transcribe tunes and make them available. "

That’s true, but I’m not sure how Jeremy would feel if someone copied the whole lot of a book currently in copyright and submitted it here.

Moreover, there are a heck of a lot of tunes here that don’t quite qualify as "verbatim" copies from tune books compiled by living editors. There is often a glaring error or two, but that’s beside the point.

"Whatever about the legal niceties, times have changed and reality bites, hard."

Not anywhere near as hard as Mr Sharpley is able to.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"So specifically, whats his crime/s?"

Apart from the Nic Jones episode, you’ll find many others.

The title of this album relates to the man:

https://thesession.org/recordings/2892

I believe the late great Michael Marra composed a wee song in his honour, too.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

Steve Shaw’s comment on unreleased material concurs with what I’ve heard. But in the Seventies the B-S tunebooks were an important resource for people who could read dots, wanted access to fairly uncomplicated transcriptions of tunes that were actually being played in sessions and on albums at the time, and felt that looking for such in O’Neill’s was a bit too much like looking for needles in a haystack.

I think I had three of them. I won’t get into the ears/dots thing here…🙂

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"good quality original work has most likliehood of retaining value."

Oh aye. When you can get a tune composed for Aunt Nora for 75 bucks:

http://www.capeirish.com/jrh/index.html

I paid less than that for Pat Mitchell’s book on Willie Clancy’s music.

I can guess that Pat put a lot more work into his publication - even if it was someone else’s music.
I can’t see that the book being out of print gives anyone the right to put it up on their website.
Perhaps it was done with Pat’s permission, though I don’t see that mentioned.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

A bit of thread drift here but Nic Jones is performing in Glasgow on Monday next. I last saw him live in 1981 before his accident and I’m really looking forward to this gig. I’m also a very lucky man who managed to purchase the (now) lost vinyl albums back in the day.
Coincidentally, there’s also a Michael Marra tribute gig on the same night which is now sold out.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

As it happens, I have more experience of these type of copyright issues than you might think.. it is a brave new world, Michael and the publishing landscape is changing very quickly.

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

weejie, I accept your version of the Borris bike in some situations - if someone takes a 16 bar tune and turns it into a symphony it’s pretty obvious that they deserve the credit.

But that isn’t really what we are talking about here, we are talking about people taking 16 bar tunes and writing them out as 16 bars on a single stave. To me that is a ‘version’ not an an ‘arrangement’ of the tune, and in that case I think the onus ought to be on the writer to prove that their version is sufficiently different from anything that has been played before if they are going to claim credit for it. Traditional tune exist in the wild in multiple versions, and all B&S were doing is writing down tunes as they were currently played, rather than the sometimes dubious transcriptions in earlier works like O’Neill’s. Nothing original in that.

Outside of the tunes I can see your point. Initially I though that if you publish a book of trad tunes, about the only thing that would be copyright is the knotwork round the pages. But I can now see that things like the ordering and grouping of the tunes could rightly be claimed as original and copyrightable.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"To me that is a ‘version’ not an an ‘arrangement’ of the tune, and in that case I think the onus ought to be on the writer to prove that their version is sufficiently different from anything that has been played before if they are going to claim credit for it. "

Those B&S books, when they came out, were some of the best out there. This is acknowledged, ironically, in some of the notes on that website. The way the transcriptions were structured, compared to the likes of O’Neills, was streets ahead. It’s more than "the way they were currently played". On that basis alone, there was some originality. Far better than Miles Krassen’s "currently played" transcriptions in his reworking of the 1850 book (which would also give Krassen copyright).
Moving on to Pat Mitchell’s transcriptions of Willie Clancy’s tunes - they are very skilfully done, and obviously involved a considerable amount of work. Without doubt, there was originality there. Not just the basic skeleton, pulled out of another book.
I wouldn’t say that the conversion to ABC was particularly skilfull.

" it is a brave new world, Michael and the publishing landscape is changing very quickly."

As I said before, copyright laws aren’t really changing very rapidly to compensate.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

Since when did the letter of the law ever keep up with the times? But it’s like language, it doesn’t matter if pedants insist that the spelling of a particular word is such & such. If the majority spell it another way, then that is now the ‘correct’ spelling.

And so it will become with digital data and the ease of distribution of that data. In many ways, the internet is a most tangible measure of democracy. There’s a lot of data out there, a lot of rubbish sloshing around but slosh around it will and that’s about it. You can have all the redundant law you like, but it’s not worth tuppence in the face of changing habit.

People will always value new & original data and that’s where prospects best lie. Regurgitating, repackaging old information and claiming copyright on it is past it’s ‘sell by’ date.

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

Yeah, and there’s the rub. When the world used to distribute tunes by playing them, the better players saw their tunes and their versions of tunes gaining prominence. Now, the free for all "democracy" of huge data bases and their ease of distribution means sheer numbers gain prominence over quality.

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

Quality is like cream.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

… Scum also dwells at the surface.

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

The point of copyright is to protect the creative effort that’s been put in. If someone arranges and transcribes a traditional tune, they don’t own the copyright of the tune itself, but they do own the copyright of the work they’ve done themselves ie the arrangement or transcription.

The PRS website explains this, and in particular says this about transcriptions of folk music:

Folk music – the transcription holds the copyright

Copyright law states that if you write down a traditional song, this transcription becomes a copyright work. The copyright lies in the transcription and not in the traditional song.

This means the transcription is copyright. It may not be copied, reproduced, published, publicly performed or adapted unless permission is obtained from the transcriber. However, this does not prevent people from transcribing from the same source. By doing this they create their own copyright - even if their transcription is note for note the same as an existing transcription.

http://www.prsformusic.com/creators/memberresources/how_it_works/arrangements/page/arrangements.aspx

If you have copied Bulmer & Sharpley’s transcription of a tune, you are in breach of their copyright. This does not prevent you from making your own transcription of the same tune.

The PRS advice applies to the UK. The law elsewhere, in particular the US, may be different.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

Howard, thanks for clarifying! This was kind of too obvious for the mustard ethics commission…

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"This was kind of too obvious for the mustard ethics commission…"

It’s all been said. Even to the point of quoting from the US Code.

It might be a bit much for the "mob rule" contingent who feel they can form their own spellings, though (strange how they tend to be inconsistent among themselves, though - look how many different spellings of "definite" crop up).

Brave new world, meet consistent old world.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

" You can have all the redundant law you like, but it’s not worth tuppence in the face of changing habit."

Not quite how the law works though is it?

"And how do you plead?"
"Not guilty your honour, I don’t really like the look of that particular law today."

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"Copyright law states that if you write down a traditional song, this transcription becomes a copyright work. The copyright lies in the transcription and not in the traditional song."

A fundamental criterion in copyright law is that of "originality". Although "typographical arrangements" qualify for copyright, this could no longer be claimed in the case of those B&S books, as they were first published more than 25 years ago. What would be at issue here, is the level of "originality". It would need to be shown that a certain level exists. Not really difficult when the source of these copies are boldly anounced on the website, and that Sharpley composition would be enough to make things uncomfortable for the site owner - should B&S see fit.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"COPYRIGHT
—————————
If any of the entries in this collection are either composed or copyrighted and proper attribution has not been made in the file, this fact should be brought to my attention. (Thanks to the many musicians who have allowed me to include their compositions on this website.)

In cases where tunes are clearly shown as composed/copyrighted, authorization should be obtained from the appropriate party prior to any intended commercial use."

http://www.capeirish.com/webabc/

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

Meanwhile, my B-S volumes are falling to pieces. Any suggestions about re-binding ?

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

How about taking it apart, putting the pages in sheet protectors, & going with a binder?

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

Given that the current collection being discussed is written out in abc notation it could (seriously) be considered a body of work in itself despite it’s obvious use of Blumer-Sharpley; with much praise for their work by the way. The real credit, of course, should go back to any musicians who actually played the versions/arrangements being transcribed. If we’re discussing "rights".

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"Given that the current collection being discussed is written out in abc notation it could (seriously) be considered a body of work in itself…."

Indeed, and this is much like transcribing old lute manuscripts into staff notation. There’s a major difference, however, in that those lute manuscripts are not copyrighted, and the authors are not alive and sitting in an office in Harrogate or Louth, with a training in law.

Moreover, it can take no more than a click of a mouse to convert those ABCs back into the staff notation they were ripped off from.

I would agree that credit should be given to the musicians who played the versions ( I believe some of those tunes were from Bulmer and Sharpley’s own playing btw). Nevertheless, "rights" are being discussed in context of those actually in existence and one of those is not the sum of two wrongs.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"Meanwhile, my B-S volumes are falling to pieces. Any suggestions about re-binding ?"

Is there enough undamaged paper left in the margins? If so, you could chop the pages with a guillotine and put in a new comb - or better still, a wire binding.

Then again, you could always download those ABCs, convert them to staff notation, use a trendy uncial font for the titles and make yourself a new copy.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

""COPYRIGHT
—————————
If any of the entries in this collection are either composed or copyrighted and proper attribution has not been made in the file…."

Does this suggest that "proper attribution" is a get out of jail card for blatant copyright infringement?

I notice that elsewhere on the site there are MP3s of the Shanachie recording of Kathleen Collins, and there is an acknowledgement that the CD is still in print. After some "explanation" that the submission of the MP3s is to rectify the errors in tune listings on the album (this could easily be sorted out in text) comes the statement:

"Naturally this kind of screw-up can’t be of any help to musicians trying to learn the tunes, so I’m going to take a chance and include this recording in the Tune Vault. If it suddenly disappears, you’ll know that somebody has suggested that I remove it!"

The phrase "take a chance" is apt indeed.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

Steve and Weejie, thanks for the explanation.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"Meanwhile, my B-S volumes are falling to pieces. Any suggestions about re-binding ?"

Surely, if that’s the state of the books one would have thought you’d have learned the bloody tunes by now?

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

Not necessarily. Swatting flies can take its toll on tune books.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"" You can have all the redundant law you like, but it’s not worth tuppence in the face of changing habit." Not quite how the law works though is it?"

Perhaps not always, but it’s reality. I dare say the average person transgresses the law several times each day. I’m driving into town later, doubtless I’d be at fault here & there. Everybody I know routinely views and/or downloads copyright material on the internet. I’ll bet the vast majority here do so as well, so don’t give me that ‘holier than thou’ attitude 🙂

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

A chairde! Greetings!
Michael and Weejie, that’s so funny. The following hornpipe might be suitable given your comments. I’ve always known this as "The Fly in the Night"

https://thesession.org/tunes/3122

Quite a nice tune, and I’ve heard it, and play it, in a number of keys.

All the best

Brian x

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"Everybody I know routinely views and/or downloads copyright material on the internet. "

I know someone who is quite careful not to (to the extent of being very boring).

I think the point I originally tried to make here is that the two people who own the copyright are perhaps two people not to be taken lightly. There has been quite a response from inverse "holier than thou" types.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

It’d be pretty difficult to avoid downloading copyright material, even unwittingly, I should think.

I agree that it’s silly in this case for the website in question to list B&S as the primary source.

But I always tend to object when people raise issues like this, someone mentions ‘copyright’ and ‘lawyer’, and everyone is expected to tremble at the knees etc. There can be a lot of posturing and threatening by people with a commercial interest in intellectual property rights. And they are often not behind the door in exaggerating their rights.

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"someone mentions ‘copyright’ and ‘lawyer’, and everyone is expected to tremble at the knees etc. "

I’m not sure that was the case. I think it was mote like:

"someone mentions ‘Bulmer’ and ‘Sharpley’, and everyone is expected to tremble at the knees etc. "

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

Maybe not so much tremble at the knees as use a bit more discretion.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"It’d be pretty difficult to avoid downloading copyright material, even unwittingly, I should think."

There is much copyrighted material that is quite legal to download, though. Given that "typographical arrangements" have automatic copyright on publication in this part of the world, this would include freely downloadable material like leaflets, government papers, research papers, newspapers etc.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Projec

Re the suggestion by Na ėisc above about rebinding in sheet protectors, I did exactly that a few years ago when my copy of the "1001" disintegrated into individual sheets. It now occupies two ring binders. I strongly recommend using 4-hole binders instead of 2-hole - it gives a more stable result, especially when upright.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

I strongly recommend playing sets of tunes in alphabetical order. That way you avoid the need to remove sheets from your 4-hole binders. (Though there’s always that irritation when you want to play a set from M to N and find that half the tunes are in Vol 1 A-M and the others are in Vol 2 N-Z)

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

I shall think earnestly on that recommendation.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

I strongly recommend the importance of being earnest.

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"I strongly recommend the importance of being earnest."

And it’s no longer under copyright.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

But are you being Frank?

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

It’s just as important to be Frank?

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

It’s just as important to be Frank

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

Shutup Gobby

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

Not that two wrongs make a right, but I see that Bulmer and Sharpley included numerous modern compositions in their books, many of them under incorrect titles, suggesting that they didn’t know the authors or obtain permission themselves. At a very quick glance, I see compositions by Junior Crehan, Sean Ryan, Paddy O’Brien, Tommy Peoples, Martin Mulhaire, Richard Dwyer, Finbarr Dwyer, Father PJ Kelly, Paddy Fahy, Josie McDermott, Charlie Mulvihill, and Brendan Tonra. This might make Bulmer & Sharpley think twice about aggressively defending the copyright on their own work.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"This might make Bulmer & Sharpley think twice about aggressively defending the copyright on their own work."

If they do get wind of it, nowt would stop them They have the upper hand. They probably know only too well that those musicians are not likely to do owt about it.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

"When the world used to distribute tunes by playing them, the better players saw their tunes and their versions of tunes gaining prominence."

When was this Golden Age? Was it during our lifetime? Did the better players travel to Edinburgh for example to play their versions of tunes to the inferior players there? What happened the next day when the better player had moved on to the next town, and the Edinburgh lot were left to rely on their fading memories?

Or did the Golden Age happen in more isolated rural communities? I know that in those circumstances one fiddler would learn tunes from the playing of another, but then how did those tunes achieve prominence, how were they distributed to the wider world, and how was it ensured that each inferior fiddler had a better fiddler to learn from?

Is it not in fact the case that since the time of Michael Coleman, the main route for the distribution of tunes and better versions of tunes around the wider world has been recordings, supplemented by tune books?

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

A distant cousin, perhaps.

Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

The golden age didn’t suddenly stop with Coleman. And the better players continue to get the majority or their repertoires from people they know and meet. It’s one of the defining things that make them the better players.

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

Is it necessary for the people to know one another and meet?
Are they not able to improve by listening to other good players on the net?

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Re: The Bulmer-Sharpley MUSIC FROM IRELAND Project

If you want to be the best player you can then yes, it is necessary.

Sure, you can improve by listening to recordings, but you have to sit with people and experience how they play tunes over and over. Absorb all the different things that can happen with the tunes. Three times through on a recording just isn’t enough to learn the music

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