IP

When I was at George Mason, my mentor suggested I interview someone he’d met socially. “He might be a bit of a crank, but then, he seemed calm and rational. Grist for the mill, eh?”

This is the man’s story.
Notebook 3, page 77

What we have here is a failure to communicate. 80% haven’t a clue of the fine points of copyright; pirates are somebody else; 10% wish the discussion would just go quietly away, as they are the con artists.

And the final 10% who were paying attention, people like me who know that 280 honest years of copyright law was trashed by “that damn mouse”.

One of the ugly secrets about DCMA is, it opened the door for a new type of abuse, the phony claims. I had four reports of violation, four different alleged outfits, their details were completely opaque. I did nothing and haven’t even been back to the channel to see if YT removed them. Here’s how stupid this whole picture is:

The claim on one, a Scott Joplin ragtime number written in 1917, was, it took 38 seconds to find a match. Of what? No explanation. If it was Joplin playing his own composition, by listeners of his day, he played painfully slowly.

Hollywood has certainly ruined many things including early jazz era music.  And even Maple Leaf Rag dates to 1898 and is allegedly copyright. Is there a limit to how far back some ambulance chaser may go? Aristophanes?  Disney’s head would surely opine: “2100 B.C. the Sumerian epic of Gilgamesh!”

Joplin never had tempo in numerical terms, if anything, he’d write “not too fast”. I had to make educated guesses based on early records of similar styles and using MIDI software, Noteworthy Composer, to transcribe notes from the sheet music.

Even approaching 70 in 2003, I could not play like I once did. But I could certainly interpret the music in a new way. Sometimes, layering tracks yields a richer sound than one simple instrument.

Now, MIDI is just code describing notes and parameters. It takes a special player and a sound font to produce music.

To match the tempo, one or the other signal would have to be altered. So how valid is this thought experiment? It is to laugh.

Occam’s Razor suggests the only valid explanation is a con. I believe if I had responded to any of these claims the response would have been “You can have a licence for X dollars.” Pull the other one.

I wonder if these ‘copywrong kids’ are a growth industry?


Well, I did a little digging to confirm his story or not. Even on 4chan, the spectre of “the mouse” tends to throttle comments. But I wrote up the experience for an academic journal. “Not useful.” Maybe history in the making is not enough to challenge the mouse?

Then I rewrote it for the popular press with my other persona and bank account. Gotta figure a way to diminish those student loans!

Sketch

Notebook