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Ukettante
06-04-2015, 05:38 PM
I'm sorry if this has been asked before, but I'm not adept at using the search function here. So . . . here it goes.

I'm eyeing Fred Sokolow's Beatles fingerstyle book for the ukulele, and I have a choice of a physical copy or a digital copy. I've never bought any digital book before, let alone a tab/songbook, so I'm wondering whether I should go traditional or digital. Any advice?

The one drawback of a digital copy I can think of is the screen of my tablet is set to go off after two minutes. But I can always set it so that it stays lit all the time.

Have you guys mostly gone digital?

Steveperrywriter
06-04-2015, 05:51 PM
Moving toward digital. OnSong on the iPad, and regular files on the desktop.

Hippie Dribble
06-04-2015, 06:06 PM
Never bought a digital book. I can't think of anything more impersonal. But then I've never even downloaded a song. I still write with notebooks and pens, read books, play vinyl and cassettes and use a transistor radio.

consitter
06-04-2015, 06:20 PM
Never bought a digital book. I can't think of anything more impersonal. But then I've never even downloaded a song. I still write with notebooks and pens, read books, play vinyl and cassettes and use a transistor radio.

Yeah, but in your part of the world, anything having to do with tech is hard to come by.

Do I detect a little bitterness? :)

Lori
06-04-2015, 06:20 PM
If you can get a preview of what it will look like on your tablet, that would be wise. Years ago when I first bought my iPad, I tried to get The Dailey Ukulele as a digital book, and was disappointed in that it only showed two lines of music at a time. I don't know if that is fixed now, but it made it two much work to have to change pages that often. So, I got the paper version and scanned it for digital use. I found I like to have the pages scroll, and I can do that in OnSong if I set up my files as one long document. I would be interested in hearing how other people are using their music on tablets now.

–Lori

consitter
06-04-2015, 06:21 PM
Yeah, but in your part of the world, anything having to do with tech is hard to come by.

Do I detect a little bitterness? :)

By the way, I use my ipad to look up music.

itsme
06-04-2015, 06:30 PM
The only time I've bought an ebook was when a physical copy was not available. I've noticed that some music books cost as much for the digital copy as the print edition. Sure, there's the instant gratification of getting it as soon as you buy it, but then if you want to put copies on your music stand, you have to "spend" more because of the ink/paper it takes to print it out.

I don't own a tablet and have no desire to read music from one.

Steveperrywriter, I tend to play music I've downloaded in front of my monitor to decide whether or not I want to print it out. But I can't imagine sitting in front of a screen just to be able to play.

Besides, what do you do when the power goes out? Mine went out this morning. It was only for a couple minutes, but a few years ago it went out for three days. I would have gone bonkers if I couldn't have played music, since there was no internet or tv to entertain me. Paper copies and a battery powered clip-on light for after dark and I was good to go. :)

Hippie Dribble, I think you're even more of a Luddite than I am! :p

itsme
06-04-2015, 06:41 PM
Years ago when I first bought my iPad, I tried to get The Dailey Ukulele as a digital book, and was disappointed in that it only showed two lines of music at a time. I don't know if that is fixed now, but it made it two much work to have to change pages that often. So, I got the paper version and scanned it for digital use.
Now, that's just silly. You bought a digital copy but it didn't suit you so you bought a physical copy and scanned it (which must have been a monumental task for a book of that size!) just so you could have it function how you wanted.

I'd say you were more dedicated than 99.9% of people, but unless and until digital publishers put out more editions that actually "work" for people, I can understand why they wouldn't want to buy wonky stuff. I'll just stick with my paper copies, thank you very much. :)

Mivo
06-04-2015, 06:43 PM
I buy both physical and digital ukulele books, depending on the kind and availability. Those interactive, enhanced iPad books (like the Dummies one) actually add quite a bit to the experience, but those are still uncommon. Diagrams-heavy materials, or tabs, I prefer as large format, physical books, ideally ring-bound.

With novels, I have switched to ebooks years ago already, though I read them on a dedicated e-ink reader, not on a backlit tablet. I tend to read two per week, and I don't really have the space or desire to keep so many paper books.

igorthebarbarian
06-04-2015, 06:49 PM
Quasi-tangent... I just read an article about physical yearbooks and that sales are basically holding steady... one quote said "It's the one tangible thing from high school that you can keep with you, and look back at when you're older"
Link: http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/glencoe/news/ct-high-school-yearbooks-met-20150604-story.html

The Big Kahuna
06-04-2015, 07:05 PM
Almost on-topic:

If you own a physical copy of a book, and want to also read it on a digital device, do you pay for it all over again, or download a pirated copy?

I mean, if you own a CD, you'd rip it to disk to put on an mp3 player rather than pay for it again on iTunes, wouldn't you?

#controversial

ps. This is about 30% of the books I own. I'm not about to buy them all over again.

http://www.thebigkahuna.co.uk/library.jpg (don't download on your phone, it's a big image)

itsme
06-04-2015, 07:26 PM
If you own a physical copy of a book, and want to also read it on a digital device, do you pay for it all over again, or download a pirated copy?

I mean, if you own a CD, you'd rip it to disk to put on an mp3 player rather than pay for it again on iTunes, wouldn't you?
If you own the CD, I believe you have every right to rip it for your own personal use on another device.

But to me, it's never okay to download a pirated copy of anything. You could do a Lori and scan it yourself. :)

First of all, many pirate sites are really dodgy, and downloads may give you a virus or malware. Secondly, if your ISP busts you for pirating, saying you already owned the book ain't gonna buy you a reprieve.

Hippie Dribble
06-04-2015, 08:02 PM
Yeah, but in your part of the world, anything having to do with tech is hard to come by.

Do I detect a little bitterness? :)

I don't own a mobile phone either nor have I ever had cause to use one. I do not want to be that contactable. Nor will I be a slave to technology. I don't know what twitter is and I have deactivated my facebook thingy awhile back. No bitterness whatsoever. These are deliberate choices I have made.

The Big Kahuna
06-04-2015, 08:07 PM
If you own the CD, I believe you have every right to rip it for your own personal use on another device.

But to me, it's never okay to download a pirated copy of anything. You could do a Lori and scan it yourself. :)

First of all, many pirate sites are really dodgy, and downloads may give you a virus or malware. Secondly, if your ISP busts you for pirating, saying you already owned the book ain't gonna buy you a reprieve.

My question was more to do with the moral question, rather than the technicalities, which can always be overcome.

Let's assume, for the purposes of this discussion, that your ISP can't bust you, and that piracy sites are totally free from malware, where do you stand now?

I'm hoping that Steve P, being one of the only people here who truly has a dog in the game, weighs in with his opinion.

kohanmike
06-04-2015, 08:26 PM
When I was with Lori in the Westside Ukulele Ensemble, I started using an iPad, OnSong and an AirTurn foot pedal, but I found the 9.7" iPad screen to be too small, so despite being a total Apple fanboy since 1986, I found a 13.3" Hannspree Android tablet for $199 on Amazon and MobileSheets Pro. I design my own PDF lead sheets on my Mac with a great graphics design program, Canvas. I do not use paper anymore, and I'm going to buy the digital version of Sokolow's Beatles book now that I know about it. I have all kinds of backups and battery charger systems.

kypfer
06-04-2015, 09:38 PM
A preview of the Kindle version of "Fred Sokolow's Beatles fingerstyle book" is available on Amazon ... I'd strongly recommend checking that out before committing to anything. For myself, the style of tab used in that example is not intuitive ... for that reason alone I'd probably not purchase it.

In a wider vein, paper every time, though that can mean a printable download, as supplied by some publishers in pdf format!

Just my tuppence worth ... YMMV :)

Tootler
06-04-2015, 10:47 PM
I bought the kindle edition of The Daily Ukulele. Big mistake. It's poorly laid out and the song index is not hyperlinked to the song - essential, IMO for a book of this nature. Going to a song is a pain as the page nos in the index do not correspond to the kindle location so you have to make a guess and then scroll back and forward to find the song. Even then you often find the song is split over two pages even though it's one page in the paper version. The kindle screen is too small but iPad or large Android tablets are OK. However, more thought and care needs to be taken in converting music books to ebook format if they are to be any use.

Scanning and formating pages from a physical book is very useful, though. I have most of my song sheets and my sheet music for ceilidh tunes scanned, converted to pdf and stored in dropbox. I can then upload them to ForScore on iPad. For playing for dances it saves me having to carry large files. I have the tunes arranged in sets so it's easy to call them up when needed. I find the iPad screen fine for that use. I also use a smaller Android tablet for songs though I tend to learn those that I'm going to sing out and use the tablet for reference.

Sheet music is a bit hit and miss. If you can get sheet music in pdf format it's great and it's usually fairly modestly priced and there's lots of free sheet music from the 19th and early 20th century available from the likes of the Lester Levy collection but some sheet music sellers insist on using the Sibelius Scorch format and that's no good to me. My PC runs Linux and Sibelius refuse to provide a Scorch reader for Linux.

kypfer
06-04-2015, 10:56 PM
My PC runs Linux and Sibelius refuse to provide a Scorch reader for Linux.
Have you tried the Scorch reader under Wine ... assuming Wine is available for the version of Linux you're running :)

ukulelego
06-04-2015, 11:04 PM
I've bought a lot of digital ukulele books and personally I'd go with the physical version. It will keep you more focussed and away from a computer/tablet where there's so many distractions

photoshooter
06-04-2015, 11:04 PM
I bought the Kindle version, no regrets. I have music in both forms, digital and paper, but I'm moving more toward digital.

caspet
06-04-2015, 11:17 PM
Nor will I be a slave to technology.

You do realise you're using the highest level of consumer grade technology to post on this forum :)

Hippie Dribble
06-04-2015, 11:51 PM
You do realise you're using the highest level of consumer grade technology to post on this forum :)

Yes I do. My point is that I choose to engage or disengage without being a slave to it. Yes, I use email and yes, I am a member of this forum. I have a small camera and make video clips playing uke sometimes. I'm not saying I'm better than anybody.

Tootler
06-05-2015, 12:05 AM
Have you tried the Scorch reader under Wine ... assuming Wine is available for the version of Linux you're running :)

Just checked with the Wine AppDB and it was rated silver which means there are issues. That's better than last time I checked. The most recent report was 2011 so it may be worth giving it a try should I need to use it.

Inksplosive AL
06-05-2015, 04:42 AM
Yeah, but in your part of the world, anything having to do with tech is hard to come by.

Do I detect a little bitterness? :)

Must be slow in the word games section of the forums today eh?

Well now on topic:

I prefer paper when reading music. I'll send myself a PDF of the music I want and do mass printings at my shop. Hell reading a book from a screen is much different on the eyes than paper. Ive had a second little brain in my pocket so long now I no longer remember phone numbers so yes technology can be dumbing us further.

Back off main topic:

Scan your own: My old Brother printer will scan and make multiple page PDF's so making a digital copy to get what you want is being proactive. The time of putting a bit of work into something you want or need is quickly fading.

Pirates: Good Q, B.K. I had 60 cd's stolen from my car but since they were in a case I still have the boxes (proof of purchase) I feel I should have every right to download CD quality versions of this music legally. Since we are really only buying the license to use the music for personal enjoyment the media shouldn't matter. Thinking of all the cassette tapes I bought of the same album due to the tape wearing out one might ask am I buying the license or disposable media.

Back to the topic: Again I like to print out music to read off paper. What stinks as I'm getting older my vision is again changing and some sheets print with very small numbers for the tab. I have a few of these I had to load the 11"x14" paper and print them larger and that's a pain in the butt having a few sheets folded over to fit with the rest. Sheets of paper everywhere...

~AL~

Jon Moody
06-05-2015, 05:18 AM
I've got a number of instructional books on my iPad, as well as a TON of sheet music, stored in either ForScore or SongBook ChordPro. I also have a two drawer file cabinet full of older sheet music.

At some point, I'd like to move nearly everything over to the iPad. Especially with ForScore, I can make notes and highlight things on music and immediately change that, instead of writing it in pencil, and then erasing it and dealing with that.

Ukulele Eddie
06-05-2015, 05:57 AM
First, it's a great book. I'm currently working on Yesterday. Be sure to also get the optional CD or digital music downloads, too.

I have it in paper copy. I LOVE the idea of using my iPad for music and even bought a Bluetooth foot pedal pager turner. But as much as I like the idea, I find myself using paper copies. I like the ease of making notes in pencil on physical paper vs. trying to annotate the digital version. Maybe someday digital will work for me, but for now I'm sticking with paper...

I can imagine the digital copy is great for people who regularly perform, especially if you just use the lead sheets.

janeray1940
06-05-2015, 06:10 AM
Never bought a digital book. I can't think of anything more impersonal. But then I've never even downloaded a song. I still write with notebooks and pens, read books, play vinyl and cassettes and use a transistor radio.

You are my hero, Jon :) I miss vinyl. Liner notes, especially.

Despite being an early adopter for much technology, sheet music is an area in which I remain strictly paper. Part of it is because I'm stubbornly staying true to my original reason for picking up an instrument in the first place - doing something *away* from the computer, since I make my living staring at one for hours a day. But there are some really practical considerations as well - between screen glare and the smaller size compared to sheet music, my middle-aged eyes can't see the digital versions clearly no matter what I try. Plus I like to make notes by hand and color-code stuff I need to pay attention to. If I played chords only I might consider the iPad route, but for the intricate stuff I play in which I need to both read the tab and the standard notation, I'm sticking with paper - at least until I give in to trifocals!

Coconut Willie
06-05-2015, 06:17 AM
I like the paper......not the same playing off an ipad

Lori
06-05-2015, 06:18 AM
Now, that's just silly. You bought a digital copy but it didn't suit you so you bought a physical copy and scanned it (which must have been a monumental task for a book of that size!) just so you could have it function how you wanted.

I'd say you were more dedicated than 99.9% of people, but unless and until digital publishers put out more editions that actually "work" for people, I can understand why they wouldn't want to buy wonky stuff. I'll just stick with my paper copies, thank you very much. :)
I was able to return the digital copy for a refund, so I didn't have to buy it twice.

I didn't scan the whole book, just the songs I need for a particular use. If I want to go to a strum uke group, I just bring the printed book. Having moved lately, I see how much of a burden it is to have lots of physical stuff, and what it does to your home. People that have a lot of interests, like books, comic books, musical instruments, photography, video, CD and vinyl records... well it becomes overwhelming quickly. Being able to put my sheet music onto a tablet has been great, but I still have paper back up of many things. If I could let go of that paper copy, I would have a lot more room to enjoy. My only issue with digital, is that sometimes the application will not work properly, and you have to restart. Not a problem if you are playing alone, but not acceptable if you are performing with a group.

–Lori

Mivo
06-05-2015, 06:50 AM
Part of it is because I'm stubbornly staying true to my original reason for picking up an instrument in the first place - doing something *away* from the computer, since I make my living staring at one for hours a day.

I need to remember this more consistently also. I've started using my iPad for recording my practice sessions (mostly just so that it's not as easy to skip days; I almost never listen to the low-bitrate recordings and just zip them) instead of my Zoom H6 field recorder in an attempt to reduce the number of devices that I "need", but I catch myself "quickly checking mail" or "taking a break and looking at a forum" (hours later...). On the flip side, the iPad is very compatible with my desire to cut down on the clutter in my life. One device that covers a lot of ground. (Wish I could do all my work on it, but we're not there yet.)

bunnyf
06-05-2015, 07:13 AM
I use to be exclusively paper, but as my collection of music got larger, it just seemed too unwieldy too continue this way. Occasionally, I'll still print up a nice big copy of something more intricate that I might be working on in standard notation or tab, but for the most part, I'm able to use my iPad. With onsong I can edit and transpose most things easily and adjust font size on the fly to suit my eyes. Some files can't be edited (depends on the format you downloaded them in) but even these I can change to landscape view and enlarge the frame as much as possible, of course you only get about half a page that way, but you can just set auto scroll. Not perfect but doable. With digital files I can find things much easier. I'm much more organized and it gives me more time to play. It also seems liberating to not have so much "stuff" around as well as more environmentally friendly. As I said tho, every once in a while, I find it very relaxing and at the same time, more focused to just sit down with my uke and a piece of sheet music (right now there's a copy of Europa on my coffee table).

katysax
06-05-2015, 07:22 AM
I like having music on a computer and on an iPad. Unfortunately, there are problems with the technology. When you buy a digital music book, you are going to confront a range of formatting issues. Some books work OK on a Kindle or iPad and some don't work well at all (like the Bruce Shimabukuro books). Most of them are designed to work at a particular size. The Daily Ukulele for example works pretty well on an iPad. If you look at books on a non-optimal screen - what you get might not be as readable. This is why I experimented with a 12 inch Android tablet and then gave it up - I did not like the way that it scaled.

I sometimes buy the Kindle version and change the format. This gives me the option to use other software and sometimes change how it scales. My business is computer forensics and electronic evidence. I have at my disposal some of the most advanced (and expensive) tools for working with data. If I buy a book that doesn't have a digital version, I am inclined to scan it and digitize it myself. Sometimes, if I don't like the way the digital version works I'll make my own digital copy. I have several books where i've bought two paper versions, one to use in paper and one to cut the binder off and feed it to a scanner.

Computers have changed my life in a very positive way. I don't feel that computers, or digital versions of books are impersonal. I don't feel that using technology disengages me from humanity. I don't feel oppressed by technology or that I want to get away from it. Computers have opened my world and allowed me to communicate with people on every continent about things I care about (like ukulele). They enable me to carry a massive library in my pocket. They make writing so much easier (I have horrid handwriting). They are how I earn my living.

kohanmike
06-05-2015, 07:41 AM
Computers have changed my life in a very positive way. I don't feel that computers, or digital versions of books are impersonal. I don't feel that using technology disengages me from humanity. I don't feel oppressed by technology or that I want to get away from it. Computers have opened my world and allowed me to communicate with people on every continent about things I care about (like ukulele). They enable me to carry a massive library in my pocket. They make writing so much easier (I have horrid handwriting). They are how I earn my living.

Same here, Sherry, I'm with you on all points. I've been using computers since 1986 and now I'm up to about 98% digital, paper is out. I manage my parents properties with a database I created, design all my own lead sheets for uke and bass, record rehearsals and upload them to my web site so the 90 member CC Strummers uke group I play with can practice to them anytime they choose, shoot and edit videos, graphic design jobs, on and on.

bunnyf
06-05-2015, 07:50 AM
Katysax, it's wonderful that you are so computer literate. I struggle with technology and was probably one of the last people in the world to get a computer. But after being dragged, kicking and screaming into the 21st century, I do find that I truly appreciate the access the computer gives you to sooo much info (like music,tutorials, research,shopping for stuff), how it connects you to people around the world (I can communicate regularly w/ my daughter in the PC in Tonga, for goodness sakes. How great is that!) and how I can carry my little iPad around in my bag, with my humongous library of chord/lyric sheets and play 1000s of songs (and if I didn't have it in my onsong library and had an Internet connection, I could go to Ultimate guitar and find it). Even this paper and pencil gal has to appreciate the supreme convenience of it.

Steveperrywriter
06-05-2015, 08:21 AM
Almost on-topic:

If you own a physical copy of a book, and want to also read it on a digital device, do you pay for it all over again, or download a pirated copy?

I mean, if you own a CD, you'd rip it to disk to put on an mp3 player rather than pay for it again on iTunes, wouldn't you?

#controversial

ps. This is about 30% of the books I own. I'm not about to buy them all over again.

http://www.thebigkahuna.co.uk/library.jpg (don't download on your phone, it's a big image)

Not to redirect the thread, but an answer for Niq:

You pay for every copy of a paper book you'd get at a store. if you wanted to keep one and lend one out, say, you'd have to buy a couple. It's the same deal with ebooks. Sure, if you buy a book, you can let your spouse read it, and I have no problem with sharing an ebook with immediate family.

What copyright does is literally grant the right to make copies, and to distribute them. Writers get this automatically, but many of us lease those rights to a publisher for a royalty on each copy sold.

If you have a paper book, it's yours to do with what you want, you can read it, lend it out, use it to prop up a wobbly coffee table, or as a doorstop, it's a tangible item you own. Ebooks are a little different, since they are so easy to duplicate and send out, and if you buy a hundred copies of one of my paper books and pass 'em around, I will be pleased. If you buy one ebook and send a hundred copies around, not so much. Each of those might be a sale I'd otherwise get, so giving them away for free costs me royalties.

As far as I am concerned, if you buy a copy of one of my books and you want to photocopy pages, or scan it for your own use? That won't bother me. You paid for the experience, and how you do it, your business.

And the concept of Fair Use, too. If you are a teacher and you want to show somebody good (or bad) writing in a class? You can use a chunk of a book as part of your lesson, perfectly legal.

To some degree, this how the music business works. If you want to put out an album of covers, and the music is not in the public domain, you are supposed to buy a mechanical license for each tune, and based on how many copies you sell, you pay x-amount to the songwriter. If you are performing the song in public and making money, the venue is supposed to collect this fee and forward it to the writer. Technically, if you are singing in your office at home, or at the park with friends, or jamming at the local pub, you are bound by this, but practically-speaking, none of the songwriters I know will get upset if you sing one of their songs to the dogs or the cat at your house and not send them their performance fee.

You can photocopy a song as part of a teaching experience, too, and pass out copies to your students.

If you download tons of stuff from pirate sites? Songs, books, movies? You are stealing from the folks who created those. If I want McCartney's arrangement of "Yesterday," I'll buy the sheet music or a book that has paid him for the right to publish it. If I am looking for the chords somebody decided will work with the song and have posted somewhere online, I don't feel the same pressure, because it goes to specifics, but generally, I try to patronize sites that pay for the right to distribute material. There are some that do.

I have recorded one song on guitar for SoundClick! that I bought a license for, "Ashokan Farewell." I wasn't charging for it, but I thought it was fair to pay the writer. It wasn't much, about thirty bucks, as I recall. When the license expired, I took the song down. Again, I suspect most songwriters don't get upset at a YouTube video or a SoundCloud recording of one of their tunes if no money is exchanging hands, but some do, and they will ask you to remove the vid. That is their right.

Intellectual property is a real thing, and folks who create things need some payment if they are going to be able to create more stuff. Some are happy to let you sing a song, use a picture, or share their stories, some aren't. Their choice.

itsme
06-05-2015, 10:06 AM
...my original reason for picking up an instrument in the first place - doing something *away* from the computer
That's a big factor for me, too. They say that you fall asleep easier if you cut out all screen time for at least an hour before going to bed. For me, that often means shutting down the PC or turning off the tv and spending a little quality time with a uke or guitar later in the evening.


I was able to return the digital copy for a refund, so I didn't have to buy it twice.
I'm surprised you can actually "return" a digital copy. If one were dishonest, they could simply duplicate it and keep it anyway. Though I suppose if this were Amazon and one was a frequent "returner" they would figure that out.


Not to redirect the thread, but an answer for Niq:

If you are performing the song in public and making money, the venue is supposed to collect this fee and forward it to the writer. Technically, if you are singing in your office at home, or at the park with friends, or jamming at the local pub, you are bound by this, but practically-speaking, none of the songwriters I know will get upset if you sing one of their songs to the dogs or the cat at your house and not send them their performance fee.
You gave a very good summary, but I must nit-pick some of the points above.

It doesn't matter if you're being paid or the venue you play is not charging admission. Many a coffee house has been hit up for licensing fees because someone at an open mic played a copyrighted song.

I do recall there was a dispute over the singing of "Happy Birthday" at Girl Scout campouts.

ASCAP/BMI/SESAC have strict criteria of what constitutes a public performance that requires a license, right down to square footage and the number of speakers in a venue. Small shopkeepers have been outraged at learning they needed a license to even play the radio or a CD they bought in their stores.

But, no, playing or singing in your own home does not require a license. :)

Steveperrywriter
06-05-2015, 12:24 PM
You gave a very good summary, but I must nit-pick some of the points above.

It doesn't matter if you're being paid or the venue you play is not charging admission. Many a coffee house has been hit up for licensing fees because someone at an open mic played a copyrighted song.

I do recall there was a dispute over the singing of "Happy Birthday" at Girl Scout campouts.

ASCAP/BMI/SESAC have strict criteria of what constitutes a public performance that requires a license, right down to square footage and the number of speakers in a venue. Small shopkeepers have been outraged at learning they needed a license to even play the radio or a CD they bought in their stores.

But, no, playing or singing in your own home does not require a license. :)

Yep, you can play for your spouse or SO (significant other) at home, but if you have a house concert and invite other than friends or family, apparently you do need the license ... goes to how they definte "public," apparently.

Rllink
06-05-2015, 12:33 PM
I wonder how this all affects busking? I suppose technically, someone standing on a corner should be paying to play, but I doubt any do. So where do we stand morally, or for those without morals, ethically, on that?

And just out of curiosity, Steve being a writer and all, where is the legal line in regards to reading children's books to kids at daycare? The thing is, all of these illegalities need to be investigated and adjudicated, and who is responsible to enforce that? When I read the FBI warning before the feature presentation, I have to wonder how many resources the FBI actually commits to tracking down a ukulele player belting out Margaritaville on a street corner? No doubt there are some, but I'm betting they are both working the bootleggers on Canal Street in Chinatown, not the buskers in the subways. So that sort of leaves it to each individual to set their own standards.

Steveperrywriter
06-05-2015, 12:57 PM
I wonder how this all affects busking? I suppose technically, someone standing on a corner should be paying to play, but I doubt any do. So where do we stand morally, or for those without morals, ethically, on that?

And just out of curiosity, Steve being a writer and all, where is the legal line in regards to reading children's books to kids at daycare? The thing is, all of these illegalities need to be adjudicated, and who is responsible to enforce that? When I read the FBI warning before the feature presentation, I have to wonder how many resources the FBI actually commits to tracking down a ukulele player belting out Margaritaville on a street corner? No doubt there are some, but I'm betting they are both working the bootleggers on Canal Street in Chinatown, not the buskers in the subways. So that sort of leaves it to each individual to set their own standards..

You can buy a book, or borrow one from a library and read it aloud to anybody you want; you aren't breaking copyright laws doing so. Public musical performances are different. You can read a Disney book to the kids, but you can't have pictures of Mickey and Goofy (trademarks) painted on the walls, nor can you sing them the songs from "Frozen" using your uke. ASCAP and BMI will hunt you down and sue you, but they want money, they don't want you in jail and not paying. Most of the time, these will be civil, and not criminal cases.

Steveperrywriter
06-05-2015, 01:07 PM
Buskers are harder to catch; they move around. The neighborhood coffee shop is stationary, and a rep from one of the licensing agencies can drop by during the music hour and write down the titles in the set, check it against their list, and nail the owner. Pay the license fee or get sued, and they have lawyers and money, they don't need guns.

If the BMI guy walks up to a busker and demands his name and address, what do you figure the chances might be he will be told where to go and what he can do to himself when he gets there? What does the BMI guy do past that?

Plus, and more importantly, everybody knows the busker doesn't have any money. Hard to get blood from a turnip. You gonna waste your lawyer's time trying to sue somebody who can't pay anything? Not good business.

k0k0peli
06-05-2015, 02:37 PM
I've been online one way or another since 1976. I built (soldered components to circuit boards) my first microcomputer in 1980. (My wife built the printer.) I've been laptop- and tablet-only since 1995. In no way am I technophobic. But I have a huge library of music on paper and I prefer that. Yes, I download much notation and tablature, and I read my own lyrics off my 7" and 8" Android tablets. But paper lets me annotate easily, draw in tabs and chord patterns and my own melodic interpolations and whimsies. On uke, mando and guitar forums, I capture and print song tabs and arrangements. Digital access is indeed great; but paper to palpate is necessary. And no, paper doesn't go away when the power is out for a week in my remote mountain hamlet.

itsme
06-05-2015, 02:47 PM
Yep, you can play for your spouse or SO (significant other) at home, but if you have a house concert and invite other than friends or family, apparently you do need the license ... goes to how they definte "public," apparently.
Few of us hold "house concerts" where we are inviting strangers into our homes and charging admission. Some years ago I do remember going to a chamber ensemble performance as part of an "in historic homes" series where attendance was limited and the tickets were pricey. But it was an all-classical/baroque performance with only public domain material, so any licensing issues would have been moot.

Likewise, if you order a pricey pay-per-view show like a boxing match and want to invite a bunch of buddies and their friends (that you don't even know), asking everyone to pitch in and share the cost (effectively charging for admission), it flies under the radar.

I believe your local sports bar can't even show a broadcast or cable game without proper licensing, even if they aren't charging an admission fee because presumably it's a draw to bring in paying patrons who will buy food/drink to watch the game.

There's been a big brooha about the Dodgers, who signed an exclusive with Time Warner Cable, when TWC was not even available to something like 70% of L.A. and other carriers refused to give in to TWC's pricey demands to allow them to carry the Dodgers channel.