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    Monday, May 15, 2006

    Tabbing music is now illegal!!!

    Stardate 5769.17

    As a hobbyist musician, I was eternally thankful to find a free site called and the Guitar Pro software that you use to read the music as tabbed by fans all over the world. To me, it is another extremely handy and friendly way that the internet helps out, especially amongst hobbyists like myself. This software shows you the music, the tablature, and *plays* it while you read and learn it. Very cool. Basically, a guy like me can listen to their favorite Priest song, write out all of the music score for guitars, bass, drums etc with the guitar pro software, and share it with thousands of other musicians around the world. Mindbogglingly useful if you ask me. However, it is suddenly not cool to tab out other band's music and share it...

    Today I decided to go and check for some Alice in Chains tunes, and suddenly, I could not download the tabs anymore. There is a disclaimer on their front page that wasn't there last week.
    "Providing some tabs - even made by ear - of copyrighted music is illegal. In order to respect the law, downloads have been limited to the [composition] and [competition] files..."

    Fair enough... the greedy rock stars *do* have intellectual property rights to their recorded music. Sadly though, most bands have few, if any tabs at all available on their own sites. So now, not only does this effect musicians like me, but how about the company that sells Guitar Pro? How long before all of the tab sites on the web are shut down? How long before the FBI comes and takes me away for simply *playing* another artist's songs without permission in my garage?

    I can understand how downloading Metallica's latest crap is copyright infringement and illegal. I can understand how recording and selling their crap without permission is copyright infringement... but this is crazy. Maybe it's just me and others can disagree, but if you haven't seen how slick guitar pro is, then you probably wouldn't understand. After all, guitar tab magazines don't have drums to play along with, and cds don't have the music to read...

    All opinions shared on this site are strictly my own. Some people may disagree and that is fine, but rude comments or overzealous debate will be curtailed. I enjoy civil discourse, and encourage independent thought. I oppose George W. Bush and his Wars based on lies.

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