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People stealing songs?


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Not true. Something don't have to be copyrighted to be stolen. Here's what I'm talking about: I take a song I like - could be a pop song. A friends song, or some unknown's on Myspace. I learn it. I keep the chord progression.. Maybe tweak it by dropping a chord or messing with the timing a bit. Maybe tweak the melody too. And then I scrap their words and replace them with my own. Like giving a ten-speed a paint job. Bada bing. I got a new song and did only half the work!



Chord progressions are generally considered open season and 're-using' existing progressions is a time-honored and widely accepted practice, particularly in the jazz world. Copping a melody or words, OTOH, is decidedly not an accepted practice. (And, of course, is potentially going to get you in dutch with the copyright holder.)



Good -- if unpleasant and somewhat sobering -- story from AndyZ.


Anyone who's followed my posts probably already knows that stories like this showing the utter sleaziness and moral, not to mention legal corruption of many of the 'suits' in the music industry are no surprise to me.


There is a reason I went back to my day job. Or rather a multitude of them.


When I was a totally naive kid, I had some wackazz notion that people in the regular business world were sleazy and that people in the music biz were cool.


By the time I was, like 22 or 23, I'd heard enough horror stories (and some pretty nasty ones -- my friend's band had a number two single in Detroit from their major label, big name producer album but ended up owing the label the equivalent of about $100K in today's money... they lost everything, including the band's 'tour van' which they had to buy when the label copped out on what they had thought was a firm promise of a tour bus for their second tour; all they had left were their personal instruments, they even lost their PA and most of their guitar amps -- and, of course, the ability to record or publish legally under their own names) -- that I started to suspect I had it backwards.


After playing in both worlds for a few decades I don't think there's any question in my mind:


The music biz is a cesspool of moral, ethical, and legal corruption.



PS... it's worth mentioning or mentioning again, I think:


If you submit multiple works as a collective work to the Copyright Office, make sure you file an addendum for each song you add on, otherwise the individual titles will not be searchable by the CO, which they say makes defending the copyright much harder. (The addenda apparently only cost two bucks apiece on top of the basic fee.)

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