August 22, 2006
Another Sign of the Download Times
There is another type of music piracy going on via the Internet that's just beginning to get noticed: tabulature sites. These are sites where musicians have figured out the chord sequence of a song and upload that information in tab form for other musicians, guitarists in particular. Chord sequences allow other people besides the original artist to perform the song either for their own amusement or the amusement of others. The Music Publishing Association says that this hurts musicians and publishers.
Tab sites are beginning to remove the offending material although as sites go blank others pop up to take their place. The intellectual property issues aren't disputable although the marketing is certainly different. There are no legitimate sheet music download sites comparable to online digital music stores. Physical stores selling sheet music are even harder to find than those selling CDs and DVDs. Sure, places such as Borders, Barnes and Noble, and Guitar Center sell sheet music, but the selection is extremely limited. Other stores dedicated to sheet music generally are few and far between, even in large metropolitan areas. The only place left is web stores such as Amazon.
It gets even more curious here trying to measure demand. The Neil Young Guitar Anthology sells for $15.72. It ranks at 303,842 in book sales. That compares to 4,282 for Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History by Sidney W. Mintz, at a tidy $9.75. There you go, the history of sugar is more marketable than knowing how to play Sugar Mountain.
The New York Times has the details of this latest intellectual property struggle.
August 22, 2006 | Permalink
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