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Saturday, September 02, 2006

MPAA goes after guitar tab sites

With the fight against illegal downloading of songs starting to pay off, the music business has set its sights on a new enemy on the internet - websites which transcribe pop songs into musical notation.
The guitar may be enjoying a comeback among schoolboys and dad rockers alike, but beginners hoping to strum along with their favourite bands are finding dissonance online.

Having seen off some of the biggest networks that enabled free downloading of songs over the net, the music business is now calling the tune for websites aimed at guitarists.

Music publishers in the US say the guitar 'tab' sites illegally infringe songwriters' copyright, and have issued 'take down' orders to some of the biggest.

Tab, or guitar tablature, is a simple form of musical notation for the guitar - far easier to learn than traditional musical notation. Notes are depicted on a staff that represents six strings across a fret board.

Some of the sites targeted have all but closed down, provoking an angry reaction on guitar blogs.

Cathal Woods who runs, says quite pointedly;

"They're forcing everyone off the net but as far as I know they don't have anything [an iTunes-style equivalent] that would fill the need for guitar tab online.

"My other objection is that for the music publishing companies, it's as if the internet never happened. The internet changes everything and we need to think about what's permissible in the context of the internet."

Scum bags! Next thing you know, the MPAA will be claiming Shawn Hogan illegally downloaded Meet The Fockers and try to screw him out of $2500. Oh wait, they already have.

Maybe someone should sue the recording industry under the RICO statute (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970) since they are acting like gangsters? Oh wait, they already are.

What really irritates me about the guitar tab sites being targetted is the amount of cash I've spent buying music for my son in order that he can practice his guitar playing using a tab found on the internet. Without the tab, he wouldn't want the music and neither would I.

What further irritates me is that I only use the legal downloads from iTunes to purchase this music.

What's really getting under my skin is the way these organisations are going after the ordinary person on the street when their music / video / movies or whatever can be bought in any market in the world for a few pennies from the counterfeiters who mass produce them. It's scandalous.

Enough to make a person start blogging about Digital Rights Management (stripping) software, like this one discussed on Engadget (An application called Fairuse4wm) or this little gizmo called DVD43 that removes copy protection and allows you to make backup copies of those dvds you bought, if you use something like this dvd cloning software.



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