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#1
I was wondering, why does this website comply with MPA/NMPA's ludicrous notion that guitar tabs, in essence describing how to play a song, is copyright infringement?

You do realize that they don't actually make the law? Just because they say it is copyright infringement, does not mean it is. They have to take that to the court and get a verdict and pass a law.

This website of all, should have more integrity and not bow down to these crooks.
#2
This site pays a bunch of fees just so they can keep their tabs online. In case you didn't notice, this is not some indie site who will post a handful of tabs to "have more integrity". We're talking about a website turning 13 years old, with a massive user base and hundreds of thousands of tabs.

The website doesn't think that guitar tabs are copyright infringement. If they did, you wouldn't be able to have a single tab on the site. There are a few tabs which are blocked - Dethklok comes to mind, which bothered me as well, but they did post a formal complaint to have their tabs taken down from the site.

So this is a page which plays by the rules. Which, massive as it is, would be stupid if it didn't. It wouldn't survive past the first week of cutting ties with legality. And no user, despite theoretically being able to save every tab, would be hard pressed to upload them again to a site which can handle the bandwidth that UG does.

So that's the price. You get an incredible bunch of tabs, but some of them are blocked. Big fucking deal. I'd say this site has an amazing amount of integrity being able to provide tabs whereas others have just ceased to exist, playing its cards well. That's pretty much all there is to it.

Look!

Learn how to spell, grammar is your friend

Member #11 of the Les Paul owners club, pm Waterboy799 to join.

Blues player of the Laney Cult
#3
"It wouldn't survive past the first week of cutting ties with legality."

Uhm, Piratebay is still up and they're hosting a lot more than tabs.

UG are just pussies.
#4
You do mean outside of paying over 3 million euros in fines and shutting down their tracker, don't you? Besides, no one is forcing you to get your tabs from this site full of "pussies", as you name us. You're more than free to go ahead and get your tabs in that lovely indie site of yours which has much more tabs than this and "sticks it up to the man".

Oh wait, sorry, such a site doesn't exist. My bad.

Really, you aren't paying a single cent to access this site. And you're actually complaining that the people running this site are paying so that they can keep the site up. For free. Available 24/7. On a scale that other tab websites don't even dream of. That's what you call being a pussy?
Look!

Learn how to spell, grammar is your friend

Member #11 of the Les Paul owners club, pm Waterboy799 to join.

Blues player of the Laney Cult
#5
tabs can count as an adaptation of a work and thus can be counted as copyright infringement in many jurisdictions.

UG will have consulted a lawyer before taking these actions and any lawyer worth their salt will have told them that they're likely to be held liable for copyright infringement if they don't comply.

So it's not a case of the MPA or whoever thinking they can make the law, it's more a case of the law is pretty shit and the website would have to comply if it wants to continue existing. Especially as, as part of the ToS, the applicable law is US law (specifically Californian jurisdiction).
Rhythm in Jump. Dancing Close to You.

Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
#6
I am quite disappointed by this though.

Last week, I could access tabs for David Bowie, and now I cannot.

I have been using U-G for countless years (but getting on for at least 8).

One reason U-G has a large user base is precisely because of the amount of tabs they handle, but if access to them is going to become limited, it is not going to promote the site.

Is there somewhere with some sort of official notice about which tabs are blocked, the reason behind why etc? This is the first time I have come across it and I have no idea how long it has been occurring, but as I said, for David Bowie, it has to have happen in the past week or so.
#7
I'm finding a lot of the blocked tabs on other sites.. They manage ok, UG has had its day methinks.
@dbostwick
#8
Actually that been said blaming UG is not the right thing to do.. They afterall have to comply with certain legal criteria.. The blame has to land on music publishers here.. Do the users of UG use these tablatures for financial gain? Do they spend hours writing tabs in order to 'steal' music? Or do they, like me, simply want to learn and play some of their favourite tunes by their favourite artists? Whichever way you look at it it is the record industry been petty and shitting on their core fanbase from a great height.. I have to wonder if the musicians involved, the songwriters, would actually mind their songs been placed on a site like UG, specially when it aids people actually learning the guitar and therefore is good for the future of music itself....
@dbostwick
#9
Hi..
Take this for example
http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/e/eric_clapton/wonderful_tonight_crd.htm
it's Eric Clapton's song, wonderful tonight.. and I get this message..
This tablature contains content from a third party publisher and has
been blocked by the Music Publishers Association in your country.

Would like to inform those unaware that:
1. this isn't a tablature, it's the chords
2. under the current law (no matter which country) chord progressions cannot be copyrighted!!! (its only logical as there are at least 100 other songs with the same chords.. that would be like copyrighting the ABC and filing lawsuits against everyone who uses them in typing)
3. the lyrics under the chords might be subject to copyright, but as long as the author is credited for it they can be freely posted.

Hope this will be taken in consideration next time anyone chooses to block chords...
Cheers
#10
Quote by imfsimon
3. the lyrics under the chords might be subject to copyright, but as long as the author is credited for it they can be freely posted.

not really.

Whilst the end user may be using the infringing material in a way that's outlined in fair usage provisions, UG is hosting them on a commercial basis meaning that the hosting itself is an infringement.
Rhythm in Jump. Dancing Close to You.

Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
#11
Quote by Lemoninfluence
not really.

Whilst the end user may be using the infringing material in a way that's outlined in fair usage provisions, UG is hosting them on a commercial basis meaning that the hosting itself is an infringement.


Why wouldn't this qualify for fair use?.. Imo it goes under teaching no?.. I wouldn't see why anyone would check for tabs / chords who doesn't want to learn how to play them..
and isn't UG a free website?.. they do have ads to cover their costs but user registration and use is free, they aren't actually selling the tabs.
I agree that the fair use scenario isn't THAT obvious and it's prolly better to get permission but anyway like I said it's only the lyrics..

Anyway doesn't it make you mad that music publishers want to make money even from stuff like this?.. :P the law is kinda crappy in some ways indeed...
It's annoying enough that my youtube cover vids get flagged :P now even chords..

Cheers
#12
Quote by imfsimon
Why wouldn't this qualify for fair use?.. Imo it goes under teaching no?.. I wouldn't see why anyone would check for tabs / chords who doesn't want to learn how to play them..
and isn't UG a free website?.. they do have ads to cover their costs but user registration and use is free, they aren't actually selling the tabs.
I agree that the fair use scenario isn't THAT obvious and it's prolly better to get permission but anyway like I said it's only the lyrics..


as I said, the end user is using the tabs for education but UG is using them for a commercial purpose. The fact that the revenue doesn't come directly from the tabs is irrelevant.

And it's not that the chords are copyrighted, it's the music that's copyrighted and the chords are an adaptation of that music. Although the alphabet cannot be copyrighted individually, a book made up of words consisting of letters from that alphabet can be copyrighted.

Think of notes as letters, chords as words and songs as books.

Anyway doesn't it make you mad that music publishers want to make money even from stuff like this?.. :P the law is kinda crappy in some ways indeed...
It's annoying enough that my youtube cover vids get flagged :P now even chords..

Cheers

yeah it does. It's got to the point where copyright is about wealth generation rather than encouraging people to create artistic works.
Rhythm in Jump. Dancing Close to You.

Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
#13
Legally, they are an existing representation of copyrighted material, which makes them copywrited material.

You can call UG whatever names you want. If you don't like it, run your own website for tabs and see how long it is before you get sued for infringement. Instead of doing that, you're choosing to waste your time bitching and whining because you can't find a tab you want.

Try learning to play the song without it.

Instead of complaining about what isn't there, be thankful of what is. The UG legal department works damned hard, just like everybody else in the Office, and they know better than you do what their website can and can not do.
#14
Quote by Colohue

You can call UG whatever names you want. If you don't like it, run your own website for tabs and see how long it is before you get sued for infringement. Instead of doing that, you're choosing to waste your time bitching and whining because you can't find a tab you want.

Try learning to play the song without it.



What a great way to look at the situation.
I'll come to the site to look for tabs for songs, but once I can't access the tabs i'll just go ahead and learn the song myself.
Yes we are wasting our time by complaining in the 'Site Feedback' section. I was a fool to think that we are supposed to post problems here.
#15
Quote by rko
What a great way to look at the situation.
I'll come to the site to look for tabs for songs, but once I can't access the tabs i'll just go ahead and learn the song myself.
Yes we are wasting our time by complaining in the 'Site Feedback' section. I was a fool to think that we are supposed to post problems here.


Consider how a complaint is given.

imfsimon for example has given a helpful piece of Feedback that the Office will find helpful.

eosteric has been nothing short of insulting and childish.

One was the target of my post, the other was not.
#18
Common For F sake Music Industry now im def gonna downloade massive amounts of music online.. for F sake cant get tabs anymore what is this frikking world becoming...
#19
That seems a wholly unreasonable approach to the situation. The UG office is working to re-obtain the licenses needed to display the tabs online. All the red tape takes a while to clear.
#22
Copyright infringement? Really? Does this mean that any local cover band should be sued for performing a song by someone else without their permission? How far is this going to go? We all remember the biggest musical blunder in recent years with the whole Metallica vs. Napster bit in 2001. After the band's comments, ticket and album sales dropped off, and many fans may not be as devoted as they once were. I use another tab site and they have been shut down for at least a year. Lets get back to what it's all about...the music. Sure, there's people who play for a living, but when you make millions of dollars does it pay to complain about losing a few thousand? But here's what seems to be the general consensus with many local bands I've spoke with: Completely in favor of open-network fileshare. It levels the playing field and gets us noticed more than just playing local bars.

On a different note, here's a question for the admin. I recently purchased an android phone and love the apps, but why when i try to view a tab from ultimate-guitar does it appear? I only get a notice saying I have to purchase a different app to view the tabs. Sure, I could bookmark it on my web-browser, but my location doesn't always get reception so I can't view it anyways. It would be more convenient to just allow all tablature apps to access what I feel is the most useful site I've ever used.
#23
Quote by playin25years
On a different note, here's a question for the admin. I recently purchased an android phone and love the apps, but why when i try to view a tab from ultimate-guitar does it appear? I only get a notice saying I have to purchase a different app to view the tabs. Sure, I could bookmark it on my web-browser, but my location doesn't always get reception so I can't view it anyways. It would be more convenient to just allow all tablature apps to access what I feel is the most useful site I've ever used.

Not an admin but I can probably answer that.

It'd be more convenient, yes, but it wouldn't make business sense to allow the competition to use the site's major asset when the site's owners have their own app.
Rhythm in Jump. Dancing Close to You.

Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
#24
Well, we pay the royalties, we pay for servers maintenance, we try to develop new functionality. And each additional tab opened from third party android apps costs us money. As they remove ads from tabs pages, we get nothing in return, while some of those apps are not for free and gain income, which they don't want to share.

That doesn't seem fair.
#25
Screw it.

UG just lost my vote.

I'm in agreement, this was a go to site. Now it's just another shell of a site with bupkiss of value.

Chord progressions blocked, tabs blocked, lyrics, etc.

Hey! Let's just lock up all the freakin music and ideas and NEVER let anyone enjoy it.

Yeah...I think that THAT was the intent of the artist.

Speaking of which... I notice all Clapton tabs and such are blocked.

DID ANYONE BOTHER TO READ HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY??????

THE LAST PAGE????

See what he says there about copyright!

This has NOTHING to do with the artist and everything to do with the leeches that feed off their work!

UG YOU SUCK!

Spineless!

Take a lesson from PB!
#26
Quote by Grizzlydog
*crybaby rant*



k bye

Sorry this free service didn't meet up to your highly enlightened expectations.
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LET'S GO BUCKS
#27
I really don't understand, why someone (artist, or whoever the owner of the song is) would bother that a fan took his time and figured out how the song is played. It's not really stealing anything. It's helping others to play this song. Except if the artists don't want anyone to play their songs.
That would be kinda dumb IMO.
#28
Quote by Guodlca
I really don't understand, why someone (artist, or whoever the owner of the song is) would bother that a fan took his time and figured out how the song is played. It's not really stealing anything. It's helping others to play this song. Except if the artists don't want anyone to play their songs.
That would be kinda dumb IMO.


I'll try to explain how it works. Artist still want's to get some money so he asks some company to represent him and gather revenue and this company ask bigger company to act as a mediator and gather revenue money for the share of it and in the end no one cares what were the original intentions of the artist towards tabs / chords and other user-generated content, they just want their profit.
#30
Quote by Richey
a tabsite with tabs blocked, haha. /removes bookmark

Yeah, go to some of the other sites with all of the same tabe which are immune to copyright laws.
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LET'S GO BUCKS
#31
Are the tabs only blocked in the UK, or in every European country ? I'm living in Germany and i have the same message...
thanks for your answer.
#32
Quote by AeroRocker
Yeah, go to some of the other sites with all of the same tabe which are immune to copyright laws.


i do. weird that they show up there unlike here thanks for that awesome hint!
#33
Quote by AeroRocker
Yeah, go to some of the other sites with all of the same tabe which are immune to copyright laws.


No tab site is immune to copyright laws. They are simply operating illegally until such a time that they get caught, again.

UG has survived and grown to become the biggest music resource in the world by complying with the law. Any tab hunter who goes to other sites for those particular tabs will be back sooner rather than later.
#34
Just wanted to offer a more balanced point of view. the site does a great Job. I can find most things that I want and if its blocked so what! We knew this was going to happen for years. the closing down of sites and blocking of tabs. its amazing that you are still operating at such a great level.
Kudos to you guys. you work very hard. my husband ran a file sharing server once and it was really hard work. take no notice of the winers. they can go somewhere else.
and if they really want a tab that bad learn it or buy and tab book simple. thats what I do.
Lili
#35
question: I'm sure the Office has thought of this before, but what about a micropayments system where you actually purchase the tab that you want? Because one thing that bothers me about things like the Dethklok incident is that instead of finding a middle way that will benefit everybody and be useful to the users as well, the solution is just "we won't let UG offer the users anything". I know that Dethklok wanted to push their tab book, but wouldn't a more feaseable solution be to allow the copyright holder to sell official tabs via UG? I mean, sure, people come to UG for the free tabs, but if I had a choice between paying 1$ for a tab or having to pay 13$ + shipping for a book out of which I'm only interested in a single song, I'd definately take the 1$ choice.
Last edited by CoreysMonster at Apr 19, 2011,
#36
Quote by CoreysMonster
question: I'm sure the Office has thought of this before, but what about a micropayments system where you actually purchase the tab that you want? Because one thing that bothers me about things like the Dethklok incident is that instead of finding a middle way that will benefit everybody and be useful to the users as well, the solution is just "we won't let UG offer the users anything". I know that Dethklok wanted to push their tab book, but wouldn't a more feaseable solution be to allow the copyright holder to sell official tabs via UG? I mean, sure, people come to UG for the free tabs, but if I had a choice between paying 1$ for a tab or having to pay 13$ + shipping for a book out of which I'm only interested in a single song, I'd definately take the 1$ choice.


Unfortunately, many companies are unwilling to negotiate, or, as is more often the case, appoint a spokesperson incapable of negotiating to handle negotiations.
#37
Quote by playin25years
Copyright infringement? Really? Does this mean that any local cover band should be sued for performing a song by someone else without their permission?

Technically they should be sued or at least have to pay a royalty for it if it is played in a public area but it is too hard to keep track of this so it doesn't happen...
* If my punctuation seems off, it's because my shift button is broken *
#38
^ actually not. most places that make their money from playing music already pay licenses, so the artist doesnt have to. some places though, yes, you should be paying a fee. Chris explains it better than i can though, so check here:
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1053221
#39
No offense but the reason everyone rages about this could be because there is not one single news item topic or bit of information dedicated on the subject of blocked tabs.

And the fact this is for free (well it is not because we watch ads for it) is irrelevant in the question of whether people should be allowed to complain. This is a forum people can complain, whine as long as it's not insulting and yadaya (unless you live in Russia or Belarus or other nice democratic parts of the world).

90% of the people come here because of the tabs, when the tabs are blocked it gets rendered practically useless. I wonder if it would be possible to strip the tabs from their lyrics and publish them as such, because as long as there are no time signatures it is nothing more than just a chord. Tabs could be looked at the same way, perhaps by transposing it to a different key.

What would also be nice is that someone would elaborate on the fact of blocking the tabs geographically. What countries are blocked, which countries are not and why is this so?

Also does anyone think it could be necessary to save tabs or will they never be deleted from one day to the next? Because regardless of how noble and true the idea is of tabbing everything yourself by ear, in the day and age we live in, I actually need to time how long i take a dump in order to get everything done. Let alone that I got enough spare time to tab out the darkside of the moon album on my own.
#40
Sorry UG, this will prob be my last visit. The value of this site is the tabs. Now I can't see half of them what is the point? Like OLGA.net before you, you will be replaced by someone else, because the information will find a way to be free.
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