Re: [Harp-L] plagarism

While copying solos note for note without attribution is not the mark
of a first-rate player and certainly not of a self-respecting
professional, it probably doesn't violate copyright laws.

I approached a music publisher a few years back about doing a book of
transcriptions of the solos of a famous harmonica player. They asserted
that the solos themselves are not copyrightable and that this position
had been backed by a court decision; the only thing protected by
copyright was the underlying song. In essence, for the creator of those
solos to make any money, the publisher would either have to pay a
name-and-likeness fee to put his name on the book, some of the
soloists's own compositions would have to be included in the book, or I
would have to share author's royalties with the soloist. But if the
book included a solo played by Musician X on a tune written by Musician
Y, only Musician Y would make money from the use of copyrighted
intellectual property.

So, while copying someone else's solos in the manner you describe may
be contemptible, there are no likely legal consequences. Unless perhaps
an injured soloist can make a case that they have suffered a financial
loss as a consequence and make new case law.

By the way, was this in a live performance or on a record?


--- Glenn Weiser <celticguitar1@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> I heard a well known harmonica player last weekend and found that
> this 
> person was taking solos note-for-note from Sonny Boy II and Little
> Walter 
> and inserting them into other songs without attribution, therefore
> passing 
> them off as original improvisations. I consider this musical
> plagarism, 
> probably commited to cover up a deficiency in improvising. Does
> anyone 
> agrees that this would constitute plagarism? It is almost certainly a
> copyright violation. I don't want to name this person at this point.
> -Glenn Weiser
> _______________________________________________
> Harp-L is sponsored by SPAH,
> Harp-L@xxxxxxxxxx

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