|Me on my Martin. Photo by Curt Isakson|
I think the title says it all. Copyright on both sides of the wall is both a confusing and an important issue. The creator needs to protect their art and be able to make a fair living, and user should have access to the work to be informed and inspired and be able to use these ideas for their work too. Sometimes I feel this is a deeper and more complex subject than arguing Politics!
As a musician that has written, recorded, and performed many forms of music, I have been on both sides. I have appreciated payments for my personal writings and performances, and I have had no problem paying for the rights to use others work. Just last year I wrote a check to Hal Leonard for $100 that paid for the right to arrange and perform an Aerosmith song at graduation. So Steve Perry and Neil Schon received a few bucks from the kids at Shelby. Do many high school bands do that? I doubt it. Why shouldn't the publishing house and the writers gain from their work and their art? No question there from me.
When talking to my students, they all believe that what ever is out there on the Internet is theirs for the taking. This is where the concerned parties should be investing their efforts: in education. This could probably save a tremendous amount of time and money in court if we could change and/or educate the students and the public early.
A valuable resource on copyright issues as it pertains to the music industry is at the Hal Leonard website.