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  1. #1

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    I have a long time friend who plays different styles of music. We have been invited to jam at one of his associates' home.

    He warned me that the guy who invited us to the jam loves to jam with folks and steal their ideas. My friend says when you play something he finds interesting, he will ask you to repeat it and encourage you to explore it. And then, lo and behold, you might hear that idea on his next CD. Both my friend, and other professionals that he knows has had this happen to them through the years with different artists.

    What do you think of this? Is this the normal order of things in the music business?

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    I have a long time friend who plays different styles of music. We have been invited to jam at one of his associates' home.

    He warned me that the guy who invited us to the jam loves to jam with folks and steal their ideas. My friend says when you play something he finds interesting, he will ask you to repeat it and encourage you to explore it. And then, lo and behold, you might hear that idea on his next CD. Both my friend, and other professionals that he knows has had this happen to them through the years with different artists.

    What do you think of this? Is this the normal order of things in the music business?
    I think it's common. I've always been wary of putting in much time playing with singer songwriters. You help them develop their songs and can wind up with nothing. Supposedly Sheryl Crow (whose music I like) (and I don't know the details) got a bad rap from when she was starting out in LA and worked up her act with the help of her band but left them when she started to move up. I personally don't hold it against her and feel it was largely an unjustified rap as that's just the way show biz is a lot of the time. If I was playing in some lame ass band and Mr. Big with the big cigar in the Cadillac car wanted to sign me I'd be gone.

    I knew a guy from 60s garage band days that turned into good drummer. He moved to the Pacific NW and started playing with a successful local rock band that had a self produced regional hit. Some LA producer heard it and went up and signed them. He changed their name, their clothes and their hair styles and brought them to LA to record. But they told my friend, the drummer, that they weren't going to use him. They preferred to work with a studio guy they were familiar with. They paid my guy and let him hang around the studio though. So they cut the album but they used the original track of the regional hit that my friend was on. They may have remixed it but it was the only track that had my friend as the drummer. And it was the only track off the album that ever did anything. It was a huge national hit and the band had their minute of fame. They headlined some big festivals and the hit is still in rotation on classic rock stations. They cut another album or two but nothing happened and they are just a forgotten footnote to hard rock history with one big hit that they had recorded with my friend in a semi pro environment.

    The music business is like the car business in a lot of respects. It isn't the Peace Corps and you've got to watch your back and your own self interests. On some levels my motto is "what's in it for me".

    We could start a thread on all of the well known rip offs etc that have occurred.

  4. #3

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  5. #4

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    Thanks for the reply, and for any others that follow.

    I watch a lot of those "Behind the Music" and "Unsung" episodes. I can see a theme in many of them. Many of these songwriter's are driven folks and work long hours writing and producing while many of their bandmates just party and enjoy the fame. Often is it seems when those royalty checks start to roll in for a band's writers, it can be the beginning of the end as petty jealously arises and people start to feel disrespected or slighted.

    in my case, I don't know if a person would really owe me anything because they took one of my ideas that I freely played for them and developed with them in one informal jam session.

  6. #5

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    I'm not saying that I totally buy into this notion, but some people think that

    THERE ARE NO ORIGINAL IDEAS IN MUSIC

    so you can't steal musical ideas. Or everybody does all the time, if you prefer it that way.



    Y'know, I'm using the same notes as John Dowland, and he was a lot more creative with them too.
    "Don't worry about that. Everybody talks about finding your voice. Do your homework and your voice will find you." - Branford Marsalis

  7. #6

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    yeah - dig john dowland man

    bet that's the first reference to him on here - and he came up with so much stuff

    (scrub that - christian77 MUST have referred to him a few times by now)

    - thanks for all the riffs john.....

  8. #7

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    not music but possibly related..

    im a designer/craftsman. i'm always encouraging people to share their ideas with me. i'm pretty sure i've never once taken one of these ideas and built them as the idea was presented. it's more about using other's ideas to get my brain on a different train of thought than my natural train.
    more often than not, it's the BAD ideas that work best for me. one little part of a bad idea might open up a world of possibilities towards a good idea.

    idk, a couple of times i've built something then told the person "i got this idea from you".. and they're like "huh? no you didnt.. that's not what i was saying" (or whatever)

    anyway, if dude in question is passionate about what he's doing and/or a 'real' artist, i wouldn't sweat it that he wants to hear your ideas.

  9. #8

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    And there's a big difference between copping a lick or two off of someone and building a song from it and stealing a whole tune that someone had written but hadn't copyrighted.

    In general it's a good policy to not play out an original idea, even if it's not a complete song, that you think has commercial potential unless you've got it under some sort of copyright wraps. Does anyone know the facts on how much a song is protected if it was recorded and has a time code on it? I've heard that these days that's enough.

  10. #9

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    Play something he can't.

  11. #10

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    So... do we have ideas? Or do ideas have us?

    The expression/articulation of ideas in a cohesive - and beautiful? - musical form matters.

    But, if the idea has substance and originality, so does its origin/source.

    Whoever conceives a (beautiful?) original idea of substance deserves recognition/credit - and, perhaps, money.

    Just a thought.
    Last edited by destinytot; 01-03-2017 at 04:22 PM. Reason: typo

  12. #11

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    Like anything else, once you start bringing money into the picture, things seem to start getting ugly. Whether its politics, religion, art, whatever...the innocence gets lost.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    My friend says when you play something he finds interesting, he will ask you to repeat it and encourage you to explore it.
    If that happens, I'd just politely decline and say that you try never to repeat the same idea. It keeps your playing 'fresh'...

  14. #13

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    So many examples of people not getting their dues come to mind...

    Pete Best...

    Vini Lopez (the East Street Band's first drummer)...

    All the black musicians who were coopted by white rock'n'rollers...

    The Alice Cooper band which got left behind when Vincent Furnier became famous as "Alice Cooper"...

    As far as stealing "ideas", I don't know. I tend to agree there are a finite number of licks/riffs/progressions. Unless you have a really distinct and fully formed thing, whether it's a tune, a riff, lyrics, etc., if it's out there in public it's fair to share.

    I guess as an artist in the situation you describe I would not put anything out there I didn't mind someone picking up and running with.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcee View Post
    And there's a big difference between copping a lick or two off of someone and building a song from it and stealing a whole tune that someone had written but hadn't copyrighted.

    In general it's a good policy to not play out an original idea, even if it's not a complete song, that you think has commercial potential unless you've got it under some sort of copyright wraps. Does anyone know the facts on how much a song is protected if it was recorded and has a time code on it? I've heard that these days that's enough.
    It is enough I believe. As long as there's some sound and date associated with it.

  16. #15

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    Ry Cooder related the tale of being called for a recording session for the Stones at which Keef never showed. naturally, the time was filled with some relaxed, off-the-cuff goofing off. Unbeknownst to Ry, tape was rolling. He waited to be called again to complete the cancelled session, so he dropped by the studio, and heard Richards playing his licks, note for note. The resulting song? A little ditty that went nowhere called... oh yeah...HONKY TONK WOMAN. Lawyers became involved, with "Jamming With Edward" eventuating. I don't think Cooder ever got songwriting credit, or Royalties for a song which someone, somewhere is right now playing in some dive. So yeah money....
    Best regards, k

  17. #16

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    If I would be good enough to play something that a pro would wanna copy I'll be opening a bottle of champagne :-)

  18. #17

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    I used to tour with an Americana/southern rock group. They hired me to be a sort of theory mad scientist and help push them in a new and different direction... all sounded cool and exciting to me. Toured with them for about 6 months, recorded a live album, and spent crazy hours in the studio throughout those 6 months working on their album. Writing horn arrangements, conducting, learning new instruments (banjo, lap steel, etc), producing sections of songs, writing melodies, improvising solos... I never wrote any of the tunes, so I knew I wasn't going to get ANY copyrighting rights. They had singer-songwriter type rock tunes, and they wanted them to be more Beach Boys Pet Sounds influenced.

    After half a year, we stopped seeing eye-to-eye. At the beginning of a 2 week run from NC out to Colorado, up to Chicago, and then back down to NC, it became evident that it would probably be the last tour I did with them. When we got back, they made it clear they wanted me out. So I walked. But I was super excited for the album to be released as I was really proud of my contribution. Some great production ideas I'd added, some beautiful melodies I'd added, some really tasty solos... I was excited to have my name on all of that.

    They gave me ZERO mention in the liner notes... though they listed like 20 other musicians who contributed... with roles as small as 'clapping'. O_o
    But all my ideas were still there. My solos, my melodic ideas, my background banjo work. Everything. I contacted them to ask what the deal was... they admitted in writing that they went into the studio, isolated every track I'd played (improvised and composed), figured out what I was playing note-for-note, re-recorded it as close to what I'd played as possible, then deleted my takes. One of the members then texted me to tell me I better keep my mouth shut and to let me know that he felt I had less to do with the recording then his girlfriend.

    What can you do?

    I just keep exploring, composing, and playing... constantly looking for new and beautiful ideas. If someone wants to steal some ideas here and there, it's mostly legal... but no matter how good they are at stealing, they will always be several steps behind musicians who become obsessed with innovation, creativity, and building their lives around the constant internal search for new ideas and sounds. That's my take anyway.
    :/

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Groyniad View Post
    yeah - dig john dowland man

    bet that's the first reference to him on here - and he came up with so much stuff

    (scrub that - christian77 MUST have referred to him a few times by now)

    - thanks for all the riffs john.....
    Ha!


  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by jordanklemons View Post
    One of the members then texted me to tell me I better keep my mouth shut and to let me know that he felt I had less to do with the recording then his girlfriend.
    God, what an absolute idiot. That's actually risible. Massive insecurity or what?

    I suppose that's what happens when hacks encounter actual musical ability. It sucks, but you can take it all as massive, twisted compliment.

    There are some arseholes out there sadly, not always easy to spot them coming....

    I just keep exploring, composing, and playing... constantly looking for new and beautiful ideas. If someone wants to steal some ideas here and there, it's mostly legal... but no matter how good they are at stealing, they will always be several steps behind musicians who become obsessed with innovation, creativity, and building their lives around the constant internal search for new ideas and sounds. That's my take anyway.
    :/
    It's always good to be able to find a way to monetise things. I'm hoping you got a fee at least for your arranging etc...

    Writing, publishing and copyright.... This is of course why jazz musicians were traditionally always fucked haha.

    But it's not just the untalented, mind. Miles was a SHARK at this, by all accounts. Martin Carthy is pretty sore at Paul Simon... and so on...

  21. #20

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    "Immature artists imitate, mature artists steal." That's what is said. It doesn't make it right. I think credit should be given when it is due.
    What can be done? Record your original work. Pay your fee and register with the Copyright Office. Join BMI or ASCAP. When necessary, lawyer up.
    Best regards, k

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by jordanklemons View Post
    I used to tour with an Americana/southern rock group. They hired me to be a sort of theory mad scientist and help push them in a new and different direction.
    i obviously don't know your actual contract/terms but this sounds like a paid_for_hire type situation..

    Work for hire - Wikipedia


    Quote Originally Posted by wiki
    if a work is "made for hire", the employer—not the employee—is considered the legal author

    • The actual creator may or may not be publicly credited for the work

    etc.



    idk, sounds like a crappy situation to be in.. pretty much -> f those guys and learn what you can from it in order to avoid similar down the line.

  23. #22

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    I think there are a fair number of songs that Miles is "credited with" that he may not have written. I surmise what happened is that he probably said to people let me have that song, and I can make it a hit, and if it hits big...don't worry, we'll take care of you.

    The truth was...Miles could be sold, in ways that others could not.
    He reminds me a bit of Diana Ross...not the best voice in the MoTown stable, but she had style and was distinctive... and had presence and hauteur--"Call me Miss Ross." They were each talented, and had star quality.

    Fletcher Henderson sold a suitcase of arrangements to Benny Goodman for what...$400 or something ridiculous. Benny became the "King of Swing" after being about a week shy of breaking up his band. With the Fletcher H sound, they became a smash, though most people from the time say that Chick Webb's band could stomp them flat. (But Chick Webb was a hunchbacked, funny looking black man who was a great, great drummer, but in that day and age...they were not going to cross over to commercial success with a mostly white audience.)

    John C. Fogerty signed a contract saying all his rights would revert to Jerry Wexler, if he didn't product an absurd # of albums....something like 4/yr. for 5 yrs. or something ridiculous....so Fogerty who was 90 % of CCR (Creedence Clearwater) got taken big time...young kid gets offered a chance to record and signs the 1st contract that gets stuck in front of him...naïve and foolish. I think Paul Allen (?), the Microsoft billionaire heard about this, and bought them back, and gave them back to Fogerty.


    I know all this 2nd hand, from reading it in books. And it is a depressing topic, and could be repeated endlessly.

  24. #23

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    It's been said that the first thing an artist or act should do before signing is understanding what the word "recoupable"
    means.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    It's always good to be able to find a way to monetise things. I'm hoping you got a fee at least for your arranging etc...
    They asked me to arrange the horn stuff for them before they asked me to join the band. And I offered to come in and conduct because I was friends with the guys and knew that someone would need to be there to keep things together. They originally offered me liner note credit when asking me to do it... telling me it would be good exposure! hahahaha
    I said no.
    I negotiated them up to $50 haha... what a joke. Good thing I took the bread though. They ended up cutting the section and rerecording it with strings... probably so they could keep my name off of it.


    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    God, what an absolute idiot. That's actually risible. Massive insecurity or what?

    I suppose that's what happens when hacks encounter actual musical ability. It sucks, but you can take it all as massive, twisted compliment.

    There are some arseholes out there sadly, not always easy to spot them coming....
    Yep. I could go into detail here. But probably best to keep stories like this off the internet. But... yep.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74 View Post
    What can be done? Record your original work. Pay your fee and register with the Copyright Office. Join BMI or ASCAP. When necessary, lawyer up.
    Yeah... with this given situation, I didn't contribute any of the actual songs. They'd written the tunes long before I came into the picture and had started the recording process months before I entered the studio. I sort of came in and started acting more as a producer and a hired-gun (instrumentally). But I wasn't under contract for that. I was just friends with them and was asked to join the band. It was very much a 3 musketeers mentality. All for one and one for all. They hired me to be a bit of a mad scientist, and the better I made the album sound and more I contributed, the better it would be for me as an individual musician and for the group as a whole. So I had no reason to hold back... even though none of the material was my own.

    But I learned A LOT from the experience. Besides learning to fuse the complexity of jazz with the simplicity of folk music, and how to be creative in the studio... I walked away from the experience with a new drive to start my first original project as a leader, put together a trio, wrote and arranged all the music, recorded an album, copyrighted everything. Ultimately, I am where I am today in large part due to the fact that I got screwed pretty badly.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    I have a long time friend who plays different styles of music. We have been invited to jam at one of his associates' home.

    He warned me that the guy who invited us to the jam loves to jam with folks and steal their ideas. My friend says when you play something he finds interesting, he will ask you to repeat it and encourage you to explore it. And then, lo and behold, you might hear that idea on his next CD. Both my friend, and other professionals that he knows has had this happen to them through the years with different artists.

    What do you think of this? Is this the normal order of things in the music business?
    Another Doc story:

    I was doing a recording session mid 80's for Bobby Womack at Crystal Sound in Hollywood. I had my gigantic Fairlight CMI which was the sequencer, drums, bass and percussion.... whatever 8 mono tracks could be programmed to do. The drums and trippy percussion samples on the Fairlight were killer, which is why it got so popular.

    There was also a big pile of white powder on the console for the musicians. It was a sociable gathering, with lots of snifling.

    Myself and the engineer started to come up a cool feel to serve as the bed track. Dance tunes back then were built up from the drum track mostly, and the rest of the 'track' was added like toppings on a musical pizza. We didn't need any other musicians either. I had lots of samples of squealing guitars even, if I needed them.

    Then we started to throw around ideas for a hook line and a tune began to develop.

    At a certain point, out came this piece of paper from the manager's briefcase. It stated that any ideas recorded that day were the property of so and so, this or that production company or this or that publishing company. It seemed vague at the time as to what they wanted me to sign the paper for, so I politely said nope. Then I said "where is the damn straw" snifle, snifle? When the rights to the music were never secured by the manager guy, the straw never reappeared either.

    Hmmmmmm

    The point is that the vultures were everywhere back then. A paper to sign was weird, but the session was more of a drug binge for the participants than a record date per se. In a $150 an hour studio no less. I had the track saved on the Fairlight, and the recording engineer, my roommate at the time, squirreled the 2" master off somewhere in building, safe from the clutches of this manager.

    It was a 'spec' date, meaning you'll get paid when we get the tune 'happening'. Right. Fat chance. However the party favors were generous and 'visions of sugar plums danced in my head.' Or something like that.

    So, the intellectual property remained ours, we, the minions who created it.... and this nebulous dance track laid down in Crystal Sound Studios never saw the light of day anytime, or anywhere else.

    We sure showed them.

    Bottom line, when the manager guy seemed to want to insure that he or the artist got full credit for that song, whatever the song was or ever would be, and the paper appeared to conveniently relegate the creators of said song from the possible monetary windfall of songwriter and publishing rights, a slight air of suspicion arose.

    I had a few other unsavory situations, but this one took the booby prize.....


    PS... I don't recall if I ever told this little gem of a story before. If so, I apologize. My memory seems a bit fuzzier than it used to be. I found myself in the hallway of my building recently, trying to open the front door of my apt with my garage door remote. Oh, nooooooooooooo
    Last edited by docdosco; 01-03-2017 at 11:30 PM.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Sherry View Post
    I'm not saying that I totally buy into this notion, but some people think that

    THERE ARE NO ORIGINAL IDEAS IN MUSIC

    so you can't steal musical ideas. Or everybody does all the time, if you prefer it that way.



    Y'know, I'm using the same notes as John Dowland, and he was a lot more creative with them too.

    ...and now he wants his lute back.... er ....I mean he wants his loot back. There, that is more in keeping with the theme of the topic. However, I am not sure how much loot that performers got back then. It was certainly modest in comparison to now.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by docdosco View Post
    ...the vultures were everywhere back then...It was a 'spec' date, meaning you'll get paid when we get the tune 'happening'. Right. Fat chance...So, the intellectual property remained ours, we, the minions who created it.... and this nebulous dance track laid down in Crystal Sound Studios never saw the light of day anytime, or anywhere else.
    There's also a negative side...

  30. #29

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    I think you, a musician, should get educated in matter, if you really think you have something to offer. You'll stand better chance not to get screwed and won't think you were when (legally) you were not. Rules are set in advance, you should know them like you know your "secret 2 - 5 licks".
    Royalty, intellectual property, mechanical rights ... they all are different terms with specific meaning. Owning one one does not give the right over another.
    For example, someone may own your recording, but does not automaticaly gain over your intelectual property.
    Some band recorded your " work", but did not mention you in notes on a CD? Why would they, if you were not involved in recording? On the other hand, you should get royalties for your intell. prop, unless you worked for a set fee, but only if it is legally yours, ie. you have a hard copy proofs, registered copyright, contracts ... paid taxes reports ...

    When such things happen ammong friends, in a band, where all are supposed to share? Well, you are screwed, take care when chosing friends, next time.

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  31. #30

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    Didn't George Benson say, and I paraphrase "If you don't want me to steal it, don't play it."
    "Ahhh - those Jazz guys are just makin' that stuff up!" - Homer Simpson

    "Anyone who understands Jazz knows that you can't understand it. It's too complicated. That's what's so simple about it." - Yogi Berra

  32. #31

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    Then there's "You Can't Steal A Gift" (Gene Lees quoting/reporting what Dizzy told Phil Woods when the latter was feeling despondent over criticism that he was copying Bird). "If you can hear it - it's yours!"

    Notes are just data/facts, which seem to be more readily available than ever before - so much so that they can overwhelm and paralyse anyone who tries to use them without the right know-how.

    If you 'hear it' - if 'it's yours' - you have to tame it to own it. Slay the dragon!

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by edh View Post
    Didn't George Benson say, and I paraphrase "If you don't want me to steal it, don't play it."
    Yes he did, in his "Art of Jazz" DVD. This thread has given his saying new meaning, at least in my mind.

  34. #33

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    Assuming that the time tag on a recording puts the composer on strong legal footing is true another thing to consider if one wants solid legal protection is to just go ahead and actually copyright it. It's not a big deal. And you can actually copyright a number of songs (maybe as many as thirty. I can't remember) as a "folio". I did this for several songs ten or so years ago and the cost at that time was around $30. This was in the US. There's been an on going opinion among songwriters for years that a person just needed to send a recording (cassettes back in the day) by certified mail to themselves and keep it, unopened, in order to be protected. This has been called the "poor man's copyright" and appears to be a myth and not in fact providing much if any real protection. It's been said that a person would be better off just performing their songs for an audience including friends that could act as witnesses if push ever came to shove.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    Yes he did, in his "Art of Jazz" DVD. This thread has given his saying new meaning, at least in my mind.

    I like the Benson story about how he got off the bus from philly/KC??? in NYC and in the first bar he sees a young kid on the bandstand playing blistering savant like jazz guitar lines. He worries that if this is the average, off the street level of the NYC jazz city guitar guy, he'd just as soon to back where he came from. And the skinny young kid was, guess who? (no, not Randy Bachman)

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by docdosco View Post
    I like the Benson story about how he got off the bus from philly/KC??? in NYC and in the first bar he sees a young kid on the bandstand playing blistering savant like jazz guitar lines. He worries that if this is the average, off the street level of the NYC jazz city guitar guy, he'd just as soon to back where he came from. And the skinny young kid was, guess who? (no, not Randy Bachman)
    ha! ha!

    Was his first name "Pat?"

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcee View Post
    Assuming that the time tag on a recording puts the composer on strong legal footing is true another thing to consider if one wants solid legal protection is to just go ahead and actually copyright it. It's not a big deal. And you can actually copyright a number of songs (maybe as many as thirty. I can't remember) as a "folio". I did this for several songs ten or so years ago and the cost at that time was around $30. This was in the US. There's been an on going opinion among songwriters for years that a person just needed to send a recording (cassettes back in the day) by certified mail to themselves and keep it, unopened, in order to be protected. This has been called the "poor man's copyright" and appears to be a myth and not in fact providing much if any real protection. It's been said that a person would be better off just performing their songs for an audience including friends that could act as witnesses if push ever came to shove.
    mrcee,

    We all did the poor man's copyright dance when I was a youngster. (as a rock band of 13/14 year olds, we were not very business savvy) but it was easy.... cassette, brown envelope, stamps. If we had had to use the legal protection of this poor man's copyright method, I don't know if it would had any water at all....

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    ha! ha!

    Was his first name "Pat?"
    Yep. Imagine getting off the bus from nowhere and hearing Pat first thing? Wild.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by docdosco View Post
    mrcee,

    We all did the poor man's copyright dance when I was a youngster. (as a rock band of 13/14 year olds, we were not very business savvy) but it was easy.... cassette, brown envelope, stamps. If we had had to use the legal protection of this poor man's copyright method, I don't know if it would had any water at all....
    I used it once myself when I was a lot older than 14. It seems to be of little or no value except just another piece of evidence to throw on the table in any legal proceedings. I've known songwriters who were so paranoid of getting ripped off that they would barely perform their songs. I'd tell them that if they were trippin' that hard on it to just get them copyrighted. It's easy and cheap.

    But, I'll tell you, that if someone really wants to steal your stuff, be it music, an invention or whatever, just having it protected with a copyright or patent may not stop them. Inventors have told me that someone will go ahead and steal your idea and manufacture it knowing that they probably will loose a legal case. They figure that whatever fees and penalties are involved would just be a cost of doing business (and saving of R and D expenses) and they would still walk away net positive. In music the same could be true, I would think. The famous George Harrison/My Sweet Lord case is one of the most well known examples. I think he got a raw deal but I'm sure he made money on the song overall.

    If some fledgling songwriter has a tune stolen and someone else charts with it they might still be in for some money if they can provide at least some evidence that they wrote it. Maybe the poor man's copyright or the testimony of some witnesses could tip the scales in their favor and get them something even if just being thrown a bone. And part of a pie is better than none at all. But there's no excuse not to copyright it. And a hit's still a hit, anyway you can get it.
    Last edited by mrcee; 01-04-2017 at 12:59 PM.

  40. #39

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    I wouldn't worry about it at all. I've posted a lot of stuff on youtube. Being an amature musician, what's my risk? I see the chance of me profiting from any or my material at close to zero. I'd actually like to see someone use my material, if someone could find some use for it that would make me happy (as opposed to my music never seein the light of day). Regardless, I see the chance of anybody else profiting from my material close to zero. I'm more likely to get hit by lightning.

    For someone active in publishing, recording and selling compositions/recordings and relying on that to make a living; in that case I could see ones concern.

    AlsoRan, haven't you posted your playing here or on youtube? That puts your material at much more of a risk than that of going to a jam session.
    Last edited by fep; 01-04-2017 at 01:39 PM.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  41. #40

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    I'm not sure about this stealing thing. Taking someone's whole tune is one thing - that would doubtless be plagiarism - but licks and lines? I wouldn't say so.

    After all, everyone here is talking about what other well-known players do all the time. That's not stealing, that's learning.

    If you have got a tune of your own you think is good then write it down, record it, and date it. Simple. Put all that material in an extremely well-sealed envelope, post it back to yourself, and leave it unopened. The postmark will prove the date. Or you can post it to a lawyer etc to keep in his safe. And these days, naturally, anything left on a computer will be time/date stamped.

    Of course it helps if it doesn't sound like somebody else's tune too :-)
    Last edited by ragman1; 01-04-2017 at 02:58 PM.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    Like anything else, once you start bringing money into the picture, things seem to start getting ugly. Whether its politics, religion, art, whatever...the innocence gets lost.
    It needn't be so, of course - but you can find yourself in the middle of a game called 'I Drink Your Milkshake':

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    I'm not sure about this stealing thing. Taking someone's whole tune is one thing - that would doubtless be plagiarism - but licks and lines? I wouldn't say so.

    After all, everyone here is talking about what other well-known players do all the time. That's not stealing, that's learning.

    If you have got a tune of your own you think is good then write it down, record it, and date it. Simple. Put all that material in an extremely well-sealed envelope, post it back to yourself, and leave it unopened. The postmark will prove the date. Or you can post it to a lawyer etc to keep in his safe. And these days, naturally, anything left on a computer will be time/date stamped.

    Of course it helps if it doesn't sound like somebody else's tune too :-)
    Apparently that doesn't work. In the UK it's easy. Join the PRS and register your compositions. If you can be bothered to do the paperwork they pay you money for playing your own tunes. Cool huh.

  44. #43

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    I'm guilty as charged for having stolen bebop lines from everybody I could find. So sue me.

  45. #44

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  46. #45

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    Some years ago I had the fortune of studying with Joe Diorio -- hanging at his apartment in So Cal, talking for an hour, and then playing for an hour! He would have me work on some exercises/etudes from his books ("Fusion," and others), so I was getting used to his parallel 4ths ideas, etc. One time when we were playing through a tune, I threw in some of those 4ths lines. Joe smiled and laughed a little; he did not charge me for those lines, nor did he slap me, nor did he call his attorney and sue me.

    A couple years later I recorded a CD with my band. On a four-bar section of one solo on one tune, I happened to throw in a parallel 4ths line -- it came out organically on the first take, and we kept it. I (humbly) gave Joe a copy of the CD; he said he listened to it, so he likely heard the phrase; he did not charge me for those lines, nor did he slap me, nor did he call his attorney and sue me.

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcee View Post
    I used it once myself when I was a lot older than 14. It seems to be of little or no value except just another piece of evidence to throw on the table in any legal proceedings. I've known songwriters who were so paranoid of getting ripped off that they would barely perform their songs. I'd tell them that if they were trippin' that hard on it to just get them copyrighted. It's easy and cheap.

    But, I'll tell you, that if someone really wants to steal your stuff, be it music, an invention or whatever, just having it protected with a copyright or patent may not stop them. Inventors have told me that someone will go ahead and steal your idea and manufacture it knowing that they probably will loose a legal case. They figure that whatever fees and penalties are involved would just be a cost of doing business (and saving of R and D expenses) and they would still walk away net positive. In music the same could be true, I would think. The famous George Harrison/My Sweet Lord case is one of the most well known examples. I think he got a raw deal but I'm sure he made money on the song overall.

    If some fledgling songwriter has a tune stolen and someone else charts with it they might still be in for some money if they can provide at least some evidence that they wrote it. Maybe the poor man's copyright or the testimony of some witnesses could tip the scales in their favor and get them something even if just being thrown a bone. And part of a pie is better than none at all. But there's no excuse not to copyright it. And a hit's still a hit, anyway you can get it.

    Composer Bill Conti (Rocky etc) told a seminar once that anyone there could use his cues as a demo to get a scoring gig. They couldn't use his cues in another movie, of course, but to get the gig it was OK with him. He then said, if you get the gig with my cues and then pull it off with your own score, no one is the wiser. However if you get the gig with my cues and and blow it, it's on you...... it's your ass that will be in sling (or words to that effect).

    I always thought that was an interesting POV.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Apparently that doesn't work
    What doesn't work? Proving beyond any reasonable doubt that you had the song written, recorded, witnessed, etc etc before the PLAGIARIST came along? Why not?

    (You're probably right. If it's got to the paranoia stage - join the PRS and be professional about it!)

  49. #48

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    Someone already mentioned the quote attributed to the genius Igor Stravinsky - "good composers borrow, great composers steal."

    I am a firm believer in not being bashful about wearing your influences on your sleeve as a composer and improviser. We all owe a debt and stand on the shoulders of those that came before us. It's all part of the tradition and continuum.

    Some really get hung up on thinking they won't have any real integrity unless they've created work that is totally original.... what a waste of time that fantasy is. If you go there and get some credible feedback on your work from folks you respect...they will just be honest and tell you who else you sound like. May as well just pay homage to your heroes than waste time trying to erase them from your creative output.

  50. #49

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    Accepting (and also ) blocking 'offers' is central to improvisation. It generates confidence, personal growth, mutual understanding and trust.

    Obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception destroys all that. "I Drink Your Milkshake" may well be the norm.*

    *I'm not suggesting that (conscious) malicious intent is the norm - but I'm interested in the ethical dimension of self-expression (or the lack of it).

    PS Decades ago, I got to see many legendary names (Art Blakey, Johnny Griffin, Sun Ra Arkestra) at festivals in Spain - for free, which I (and many others) experienced as a Very Good Thing.

    But (leaving aside the politics of propaganda), there's a sinister side to this. (Obviously) those musicians didn't play for free. As they were paid from the public purse, other musicians demanded equitable treatment - and got it.

    And I can say from (ahem) experience that some of those who benefited from public funding were entirely without merit. The chain of corruption extended from the Festival Committee to the performers, who - knowingly or not - benefited from inflating their fees.

    Actions have consequences, but perhaps intent matters more than outcomes?

    I now find that part of the game involves having strategies for dealing with clever predators who openly drink other people's milkshake - learn to spot them, and neutralise them. (Thank you, Marty Grosz, for teaching by example.)
    Last edited by destinytot; 01-05-2017 at 08:20 AM. Reason: clarity & PS

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    What doesn't work? Proving beyond any reasonable doubt that you had the song written, recorded, witnessed, etc etc before the PLAGIARIST came along? Why not?

    (You're probably right. If it's got to the paranoia stage - join the PRS and be professional about it!)
    I'm going by MU advice.