You're Wrong About Copy Right
Every piece of original music I upload here to share is mine. I own it. I get to say what I can do with it. This is what "copy" "right" means. When I upload here, you make me promise that it's not copyrighted. Thus either I have to violate your terms or else am releasing my own material to public domain just because you say so. And your say so is inaccurate, misguided, and just plain wrong as a football bat.
What you SHOULD be saying is that people are not allowed to upload songs for which they do not own the rights to. By default every single original work is owned by its creator unless they sell the ownership in part or all. They own the rights to say who can make a copy -- they own the "copy" "rights".
For an outfit that portends to associate with so much of professional musicdom, you have an exceptionally amateurish idea of what copyright means. Yes, yes, everyone known what you mean. That means they know you don't know very much about what you're talking about.
I am not a lawyer. But you don't need to be to know your rights. I was in fact an expert witness in a copyright violation case against a major ISP, working for a group of intellectual property lawyers, so I know I know my rights To serve the music community, you should learn this as well. Liability protection, covering your asses should someone violate an owners copy rights, is no excuse for misrepresenting an important law.
I can understand what they mean with that, all it takes is a little common sense, how is it "exceptionally amateurish" to not write like to a 4-year-old child? Seriously, cry m0ar.
Although TS puts it rather bluntly, he may have a point. Common sense has less value in a legal dispute than the law.
If you have taken out a copyright notice on your own work, then UG can not legally host it on their servers, even under your own username. It's a blanket rule, since proving that the person on the other side of the screen is, in reality, the copyright holder, is extremely difficult and time consuming.
So I'm afraid you're wrong on this one. The fact that you wrote a piece of music does not mean that you are the copyright holder.
I understand the blanket rule as it stands and will comply. However, it is flawed for the reasons stated and should be changed.
No, I'm not wrong. If you write a work, you most certainly are the copyright holder, unless you transfer all rights (sell as opposed to license).
A copyright notice is a mark on the work. You can place it as part of the creation process or later, or not at all. The law covers ownership
What you "register" for is copyright protection. It is the most certain way to prove ownership and/or transfers of rights. There are other ways to do so but are the responsibility of the owner to produce in a form beyond reasonable doubt.
Proving one to be the copyright (using UG's definition, which should more properly include the term "published" and/or "commercially available") holder is not difficult, time consuming or the responsibility of UG. Works available for purchase can easily be confirmed if the copyright notice and/or owner's name is affixed.
One can prove that one is that person in the generally accepted way, by providing a verifiable credit card number under that same name. UG trusts this to get peoples' money, they ought to be able to trust it in the less stringent sense of proving identity, using a means already in place. Unless, of course, they don't care if credit card fraud is being perpetrated as long as they get their money, but want to dodge possible liability issues when they don't stand to profit.
Liability is the issue here, and a perfectly valid one. However, UG goes to such extremes that it cuts off its own nose. I should think they'd be utterly delighted to have users posting material from their published CDs in order to show just how many professionals participate here. By simply requiring a link to a publicly available source with the owner's name affixed, plus ID verification just as used to sell things, UG would be more than adequately protected from liability. Without such protection, despite all the disclaimers, if someone uploads copyrighted material they don't own and it gets found out by the owner, UG *IS* liable, as it has not made a reasonable effort at verification.
With this level of protection, acceptable in any country that prescribes to the copyright law in US Code Title 17, UG is covered and protected and need not make any effort to investigate or enforce further. It becomes the responsibility of the copyright holder to notify UG of infringement and provide evidence of ownership. This is typically done via the relevant entry of infringement contacts (mostly attorneys) listed in the US in the Library of Congress's web site.
Publicly available copyrighted works can be verified. What UG can't verify is whether or not someone's MP3 upload was swiped from someone else's long defunct page, a covert recording of a concert, local garage band, etc. These receive the same consideration under the law, and although harder to prove can in fact be proven, and UG remains wide open to liability.
So, no I won't. I wish I could, and if UG thought about it, so would they. In such a case, rather than simply checking a box saying it's not copyrighted, one could simply fill in a box providing a URL to a public source with name affixed, and fill out the self-same credit card form to run an automated verification. Then UG users with things published could share them on UG making it look better, thus attracting more users to sign up, including for UG+.
If one creates and affixes (ie. writes or records) something, one owns it. Ownership confers the right of control over one's possessions regardless of any overt marking naming the owner. Control over affixed material means control over who may use it and in what form, and with what permission from the owner. This is the very essence of the nearly globally accepted copyright law. Unless there is a verifiable (there's that pesky problem again, but worse this time) statement by an owner of donation of a work to the public domain, every single recording posted on UG is either pilfered or copyrighted (despite the checkbox and the sadly flawed UG definition of "copyrighted"), or both, and anyone who ever posted these should be banned and the material removed. I've removed mine and won't be uploading 10 cuts from my three albums to share here, as I was just about to.
Side note: Where "liability" is mentioned, try inserting "scandal". Even if there's no legal action taken there can be a hell of a lot of bad publicity.
I'm not a lawyer, but I do have a law degree. Those instructions are for the common user whose understanding of 'copyrighted work' is usually 'professional recording made by a famous person'. Considering the jurisdiction of the site, the wording you're objecting to creates an impossibility. As soon as a work is fixed it is copyrighted, as such there is no such thing as non-copyrighted music unless you make an explicit statement that you release the work into the public domain (which is not on that page).
Given the context of that page, nobody could argue that you, as a creator of an artistic work, put the work into the public domain by uploading it to UG. There is even an explanation of what is meant by 'copyrighted music'.
The Terms of Service go into more detail on this matter.
I believe these are the relevant clauses in relation to your points.
Disclaimer: I don't speak for the UG office on this matter, my username is a different colour because I volunteer to moderate the column section.
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