Go Ahead, Sue Me For Humming! Royalty FREE Minds For Everyone!

I’ve had it with the lunacy and power of the song/music copyright industry.  The all powerful and never ceasing copyright machine recently caused the online web radio sites to be put on the “endangered species” list, Gracenote has found a way to monetize lyrics and the online tablature industry is being heralded to us as “coming back”  -complete with fees and payment structures (wonder who made them go away in the first place).  What’s next?  Imagine this all to possible scenario…

I was walking along, minding my business, humming one of the latest Top-Ten Pop Tunes when …someone heard me!  WHAM, BAM! I visually survey the surrounding area to see if anyone else noticed the egregious event. How could I do something like this?  I didn’t even acquire performance rights or the mechanical rights!  Maybe I was being recorded by a cell phone… if it was videod that’s even more infringements; I’ve crossed over the line and now I might have to pay!  Someone should develop a vocal chord immobilizer for situations like this!

What if that “someone” starts to hum the tune too (it was catchy)?   This really could go “out of control”,  it could spread exponentially: two more humming then another four, eight, sixteen -it’s wildfire!  Before you know it, the entire city is going to be ripping of the music-industry by humming their tunes and costing them billions, all because of me.  God forbid they actually start singing and dancing the electric-slide!  From now on, it’s only humming in the shower for me.  Now, first I’ll soundproof the door, then…

Is this where we are heading to?  Will the very act of reproducing a song by humming, whistling or singing constitute a felony?  Will the memorization of a song constitute a “chemical copy”? Don’t laugh, the industry would love to get the courts to allow the copyrighting of chord progressions.  Once they’ve accomplished it, there will be even more ridiculous law suits and court cases. 

Chords themselves will have derivatives: C Major will be copyrighted and C minor will be it’s derivitive; don’t even think about augmenting or diminishing a chord without proper clearances! It won’t be long before they start after rhythms and then -the notes themselves!

I’m sure it won’t be long before someone imposes a “music mind tax” on “we the people” based on a whacko study that finds the average person “plays”  copyrighted music in their minds for about thirty minutes a day (remember that “chemical copy” I was talking about). Five cents a minute sounds fair; “for under two dollars per day, you can”… At what point does this madness stop?

I’m starting a grass roots movement right now: ROYALTY FREE MINDS FOR EVERYONE!  Join me in protest to this possible, and don’t think they wouldn’t if they could, absurdity.  Someone come up with an awareness banner for the movement…we’ll take the industry by storm!

Fine Print: If you would like to join the ROYALTY FREE MINDS FOR EVERYONE! associates program, use our banner, become a sustaining member or simply have read this far, an umbrella-based pyramid fee structure will apply and be deployed…NOT!

[tags]emi, drm, copyright, tablature, gracenote, royalty free, music, industry[/tags]

Joseph M. Pisano, Ph.D. is the creator of many education websites, a lecturer, clinician, trumpeter, and conductor. He is currently the Associate Chair of Music and Director of Bands in the Calderwood School of Arts at Grove City College in PA. He been named a TI:ME Teacher of the Year, received the JEN Jazz Educator Award and the PA Citation of Excellence. He is a past Vice President of the Technology Institute for Music Educators and the current Vice-President of the PA Intercollegiate Bandmasters Association. He also writes for DCI Magazine, Teaching Music Magazine, and is the Educational Editor for In-Tune Monthly Magazine; he has contributed hundreds of articles to various publications. Find out more at his website jpisano.com.
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