Sign the Anti-Piracy Pledge and take a stand against sheet music piracy!

Rob
Broadway Legend
joined:5/3/03
I'm very proud to be supporting this worthy cause...

Details @

http://www.broadwayworld.com/anti-piracy-pledge.cfm
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jimmycurry01
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/05
This would likely be an easier thing to get behind if a sort of iTunes existed for sheet music. The same rings true for these publishing companies as it does for Hollywood and the music industry. If you make your product readily available and at a reasonable cost, you cut down on the problem of piracy. It can never be eliminated, but it can be reduced.

There are both pros and cons to the issue of the piracy of intellectual material. Neither side is strong enough to get me to sign a pledge for one side of the debate or the other. I think having a discussion or debate on the subject is far more productive than a pledge.
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
It does seem like this is in need of better technology behind it. The suggestion to search the composer's website, and the publisher's website, or any of these other 11 sites that sell sheet music legally... I don't have any need for sheet music, but if the illegal sheet music is all available on ONE site, you're not going to win this battle. Part of the success of iTunes was making it ridiculously easy to buy a piece of music.

I am behind people being paid for their work, but the more hoops you require to make that happen... the less successful it will be.

I didn't take the pledge, since I don't buy legal or download illegal sheet music, but coming from the software industry, you have to make it easier for people to do the right thing than it is for them to do the illegal thing.

I am a fan of standup comedians, and if their specials were only on some weird website that I didn't want to join, or they were offering a lower-resolution DVD than the higher-resolution illegal download, I would get the illegal version, go on their website and PayPal them $5 saying thanks for the content, I wanted to make sure you got some money for it. A few wrote back and thanked me, saying they had no control where it appeared or the format it was available in, etc.
formerly oasisjeff on here.
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
Let's also consider this- since the 1970s and a few exceptions since, the only legal sheet music out there for shows has been "vocal selections" material, which is rearranged, edited and essentially "not" what is on the cast recording. Gone are the days when a fan of Sweeney Todd or the like could buy the Sweeney Todd score.

People are not pirating the vocal selection books because they don't want to pay for them. They are pirating the piano-conductor scores because that is the only way to attain this material. It isn't right, but it's a reality of the industry: something that was once readily available is no longer for sale, and people still want it.
HogansHero
Featured Actor
joined:2/26/12
I am delighted to see folks pushing back against this pledge. In the world we live in, copyrights are not as simple as "people should get paid for the work they do." Who should be paid, for what, by whom, under what circumstances and for how long? This pledge is a wrongheaded attempt to ignore the issues.
tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
One of the greatest pleasures in my life is playing songs/scores from shows that I love.

I ALWAYS buy the sheet if it's available, even at $10.00 per song. And I never trade any music that can be purchased.

I've even contacted several composers whose music I couldn't find online to see if they would sell to me personally and very often they will.

(In one amusing case the score was so obscure and old even the composer didn't have a copy!)

I strongly believe in supporting songwriters. As a composer I understand the frustration of having your music out there with no compensation.

Having said all that, there are scores that simply aren't available. Lack of demand, too old, and several other reasons.

It's these scores that I find are most frequently requested on trading sites.

I really wish there was a movement to digitize all those musical theater scores and make them available for purchase.
....but the world goes 'round
StickIt
Featured Actor
joined:8/29/08
I'm so glad we're rallying against the real menace...struggling composers who want money for the songs they've written.

Geez. Without these artists, we wouldn't have musical theatre at all. Pirating sheet music is wrong. Period. I agree there should be a more accessible way to access the entire oeuvre of musical theatre scores and I absolutely agree that what is in the conductor's score should be in the vocal/piano book (or as close to as possible) but that's no excuse to not condemn piracy for what it is: theft.
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
"I absolutely agree that what is in the conductor's score should be in the vocal/piano book (or as close to as possible)"

That kind of defeats the purpose of a vocal/piano score if it contains the same material as the Conductor's Score....
It's been my policy to view the Internet not as an 'information highway,' but as an electronic asylum filled with babbling loonies. - Mike Royko, Columnist & Pulitzer Prize winner
StickIt
Featured Actor
joined:8/29/08
What I mean is that as a musician, I do understand the impulse of wanting what's actually being played in the score and not a dumbed down rearrangement.
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
Part of the reason the vocal/piano score exists and is sold or circulated is to deter schools, theatre companies, etc., from producing an unauthorized version of the musical. The thinking is that if a Conductor's Score is easily obtainable, it will encourage this bad behavior because it makes producing the show illegally that much easier. It's just part of the reasoning behind a P/V score being sold rather than a Conductor's Score.
It's been my policy to view the Internet not as an 'information highway,' but as an electronic asylum filled with babbling loonies. - Mike Royko, Columnist & Pulitzer Prize winner
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
Liza,
To be fair, the conductor's score very often IS The p/v score.

Honestly, i agree with the intent of the pledge, but I can not support the pledge. I agree with what has been said here. I am all for fighting against piracy, but this is a group of composers ignoring what piracy of this type actually is.
Also, where does it stop? What are they counting? The musical theatre student making copies for their audition books from the school library? Transpositions? Transcriptions? Can we establish THAT at least...
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
"Liza,
To be fair, the conductor's score very often IS The p/v score. "

More often than not, a Conductor's Score is a basic reduction of the master score and all vocal parts. The P/V score is just the piano part and vocal line(s).
It's been my policy to view the Internet not as an 'information highway,' but as an electronic asylum filled with babbling loonies. - Mike Royko, Columnist & Pulitzer Prize winner
HogansHero
Featured Actor
joined:2/26/12
the "real menace" is that this anti-piracy campaign inures primarily to the benefit of large corporations, not struggling composers. If you buy sheet music for your own enjoyment, ask the composer what percentage of the cost he or she receives. Composers are being used as pawns for corporations that have caused most piracy by their own actions and by spending huge sums to buy legislation that benefits them long after composers are gone and forgotten.
Eris0303
Broadway Legend
joined:7/30/07
I found this from four year ago. I was looking for the podcast where JRB was discussing the issue when a girl and her dad called in to discuss their entitlement issues. I haven't found that one yet and since my lunch hour is almost over I'm going to stop looking for the time being.
FIGHTING WITH TEENAGERS: A COPYRIGHT STORY
"All our dreams can come true -- if we have the courage to pursue them." -- Walt Disney We must have different Gods. My God said "do to others what you would have them do to you". Your God seems to have said "My Way or the Highway".
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
I wonder how many of the scores in Brown's library were paid for by him at full price...

As usual, there are many very vocal people who adore reducing a complex issue to one that's purely black and white (it's really much easier to feel righteous about one's "stand" that way).

If the site to which Brown refers is the one I think it is, he's wrong that people there aren't actually trading; most of the users won't give anything without a trade.

Updated On: 4/22/14 at 02:12 PM
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
There is also speculation that Brown refers to a now-defunct Facebook page named after a kitchen implement.
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
Now I'm stumped... Juicr? Radarrange?
sinister teashop
Understudy
joined:3/5/08
"I'm so glad we're rallying against the real menace...struggling composers who want money for the songs they've written."

Agreed, and it makes no sense to compare a potential digital delivery system for American composers to one used by a company like itunes with a yearly revenue of 8 billion.
"Riches of the imagination, not the imagination of riches." - Charles Ludlam
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
Here's an anecdote. A friend of mine has done lots and lots of low-key successful work, but wrote one semi-standard which has been covered by all the great divas. Allegedly after hearing one diva (the composer's friend) do the piece, someone or other did up an arrangement of their own and they've used it for years. He has barely seen a cent on the piece. When I tell him to publish it on MusicNotes or the like, he seems reluctant.
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
musicnotes.com is actually kind of handy if you need to transpose a song before you purchase and print it, but I agree with others here that there are bigger issues than just the right people getting paid for their work and buying a song on musicnotes.com is quite a bit more expensive than purchasing a song on itunes. It's kind of shocking how much they charge for one song when you'd pay far less per song if you bought the actual vocal selections book.

When JRB made a stink over this issue a while back he went so far as to advocate going to the library and paying ten cents for a copy from the copy machine, which amused me because it sort of made his entire argument invalid. That is essentially what kids are still doing today. The technology has just changed and they don't need to leave their house to do it. The theft (if you want to call it that) is still taking place.
That's right! Underscore mother-fu@#ers!
chewy5000
Broadway Legend
joined:12/1/09
It's not trading if you give someone a copy of what you have and keeping your original. You're actually becoming an illegal dealer of copyrighted goods. You can't pretend that you're not doing something wrong in that situation.
IMHO I see Queenie as being more of a brunette...
Eurotrash
Chorus Member
joined:8/28/13
It is wrong, but the pledge is a dead end. It's as pointless as trying to outlaw someone taking a cutting from your geranium plant. The industry should focus on creating a better consumer offer when it comes to sheet music.
HogansHero
Featured Actor
joined:2/26/12
Euro-you are quite right. There is a divergence of interest between the typical composer and the corporations that are behind this marketing ploy that has obviously hoodwinked some composers and some others (like this website) into thinking they are aligned with one another. Corporations, however, make their money at the margins, whereas individual composers make essentially nominal money quite linearly. People are trying to solve 21st century problems with 19th century methods and it will never ever work. Today it is the delivery system that determines behavior. Copying is not a new phenomenon: it antedates copying machines much less digital technology. What's new is that copying is easier, and delivery costs are massively smaller. What's missing right now is a fluid facility for paying for those copies. What we have learned in other contexts, however, is that where those facilities are provided, people are more than willing to pay rather than going on a more precarious and time consuming search for pirated content.

Updated On: 4/23/14 at 08:37 AM
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
This picture that was widely circulated last year reminds me of this conversation...

It's been my policy to view the Internet not as an 'information highway,' but as an electronic asylum filled with babbling loonies. - Mike Royko, Columnist & Pulitzer Prize winner