[Harp-L] Re: Mr Shoji's Jam Tracks


I agree with you in principal, but I may have misrepresented Mr. Shoji's offerings. It was only my assumption that the reason he retitled the songs was to avoid copyright restrictions. He may very well be paying royalties to the heirs of the songwriters, I don't know. A big difference in what you describe happening with the unauthorized distribution of your tracks and these is that these are different performances than the originals, played by Mr. Shoji himself, somewhat like karaoke tracks. And I haven't listened to his tracks side by side with the original recordings so I don't know how close he is hewing to those. He does request on his site that his tracks are for individual use only, not to be copied or distributed.

I'm very interested in your take on the ethics of purchasing them, because as a harmonica student and enthusiast, I would love to have some of these songs to play along with, without the harmonica parts!


On Aug 31, 2011, at 6:16 AM, Steve Baker wrote:

David wrote:

I'd never heard of these before Frank pointed them out out, but
they're all classic harp songs, minus the harp tracks. They've  been
retitled, I think to avoid copyright restrictions, with titles like
Sonny Boy's "Buy Buy Bird", Little Walter's "Joke" and Slim Harpo's
"Got Laugh If You Want It".

They're $1.50 apiece and the sample sounds very good.

Steve comments:

The purpose of what you refer to as "copyright restrictions" is to ensure that the composers or their legal heirs get a royalty for the use of their intellectual property. Here Mr Shoji (whoever he may be) gets your money for ripping it off, by simply changing the name of the song, while making it very obvious who the originator was.

I've experienced this with my own playalong tracks, which have surfaced on a variety of online platforms with the titles changed for this very reason, but those downloads were being offered for free on file sharing sites and I was able to block most of them. Here someone is stealing the work of great blues artists and reselling it for personal gain. Do you really want to support this?

Steve Baker

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