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Intellectual Property
#2733475 05/02/18 07:03 AM
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By chance browsing a few days ago I discovered this http://coltharppianoworld.com/the-myth-of-piano-restringing/ dated 14th April 2018 and it seems to me rather strikingly similar to a page I wrote for my website some six years ago http://www.davidboyce.co.uk/piano-strings-and-stringing.php

Of course it is perfectly legal to trawl through others' websites to see if there is any subject one would like to cover on one's own site.

But if the presentation of the information is very similar, with just tweaks of vocabulary, we enter the area of intellectual property theft, aka copyright infringement.

I emailed the gentleman straight away, but have not so far enjoyed the courtesy of a reply. All this strikes me as very different from the gracious attitudes I have experienced from USA piano people in the past.

Do others feel that the two pages are so similar as to represent a copying by one of the other?

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Re: Intellectual Property
David Boyce #2733482 05/02/18 07:26 AM
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If you describe how you tune using a lever and the motions you go through, most likely it would be very similar to what has been written a thousand times. Why? Is it because you copied what someone else wrote? More the case, it would be indicating what makes sense to you.

Similarly, to make a case against about other procedures possibly making more of an influence on sound than restringing, multiple people would probably come up with similar writings. I don't actually see this as a case of one technician copying your website, more likely just stating what is believed based on reading, or hearing, or learning from others.

Maybe the more basic question: is your work copyrighted? Are the laws between the two countries cooperative enough to make a claim of intellectual theft? I don't know!

Ron Koval

Re: Intellectual Property
David Boyce #2733486 05/02/18 07:37 AM
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I scanned through the two websites. I would say that one was paraphrased from the other because the order of the comments and the sentence structures are so similar. Is that an infringement of a copyright? Apparently it is tough to say: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraphrasing_of_copyrighted_material One way to look at it is "Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery."


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Re: Intellectual Property
David Boyce #2733487 05/02/18 07:37 AM
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Maybe the more basic question: is your work copywrited? Are the laws between the two countries cooperative enough to make a claim of intellectual theft? I don't know!


Copyright is not a thing that you DO. It is a right that IS, automatically, when you produce an 'original work'. (This is not always well understood in the USA but it is true).

US intellectual property law and UK intellectual property law are very similar (with one significant different being the duraction of copyright in sound recordings). The two countries have reciprocal recognition agreements, so that if I in the UK stole the intellectual property of someone in the USA, it is US law that would be applied to me.

Re: Intellectual Property
David Boyce #2733488 05/02/18 07:43 AM
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I would say that one was paraphrased from the other because the order of the comments and the sentence structures are so similar.


That's how it struck me too, Jeff. And it is how I believe it would strike any example of that important legal figure "the reasonable man (or woman)". In the event, a court would decide.

I am not interested in a lawsuit however. I am simply struck by the gracelessness of what has happened. If the guy had emailed me to say "I like your information, do you mind if I adapt it for my own website, with an attribution like "Adapted with permission from..." I would have been happy with that.

What's been done is not what I have come to expect over the years from USA piano techs, whom I have found to be gracious and kind.

Re: Intellectual Property
David Boyce #2733508 05/02/18 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by David Boyce
Copyright is not a thing that you DO. It is a right that IS, automatically, when you produce an 'original work'. (This is not always well understood in the USA but it is true).

This is my understanding as well, based on the research I've done regarding copyright law/regulations. For example, if I write an original song, or piece of music and make a video and post it on YT, it is automatically copyrighted based on current regulations and the date it is posted on YT. One can apply for a formal copyright, but that takes months or years, and can be cumbersome and confusing.

The problem may arise when someone infringes upon your copyright and you chose to challenge that infringement. It may or may not be worth the legal costs.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Intellectual Property
David Boyce #2733521 05/02/18 09:52 AM
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Comparing the two documents it looks like there is a lot of close paraphrasing going on and a general replication of the structure. Compare these sentences from both documents for example:

Coltharp: "A piano is different. The degree of deflection of a piano string is smaller. Strings are struck by the wool on a hammer instead of being plucked by a finger. They are much thicker and are connected with much higher tension."

Boyce: "The piano is different. The degree of deflection of a piano string is smaller. Strings are struck by compressed wool felt instead of plucking by finger or plectrum. They are much thicker and at much higher tension."

It seems probable to me that one was written using the other as a reference. That said, if Coltharp included a citation and link to Boyce's page there would be no problem with this. That would be the ideal solution in my mind.


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Re: Intellectual Property
David Boyce #2733528 05/02/18 10:20 AM
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I should say that I taught copyright law (along with Defamation and Restrictions on reporting) for some years, so have some knowledge of the subject. Intellectual property is an interesting area of law. In cases of dispute, it is of course up to the courts to make a ruling, if it gets that far.

If you buy, or make, a Coffee Table, you do not have to "theft-right" it. The law automatically gives you protection from theft and it is a crime for someone to come and take your Coffee Table and decide it's his now. Copyright law seeks to provide similar automatic protection for items that are 'intellectual property'.

Copyright law basically covers "works of art" which have been produced using your labor and skill. "Works of art" covers a broad range of things. (The USA Copyright Act and the UK Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 are very similar). Once you have produced what is recognised as a "new and original work", the rights pertaining to it automatically belong to you.

If the person who stole your coffee table claims that it was his all along, it will be up to you to prove that it's you who's telling the truth, not him. You might be able to show a receipt from the store where you bought it. It might have some special feature which you had requested, and you have documentation relating to that. Or the delivery guys might have a record of delivery on a certain date. Or it might be an item with a serial number, which you recorded. Similarly with a work of art - a novel, sheet music, sound recording, photograph, painting etc - if someone steals it by copying it and passing it off as his own, and enjoying revenues from it that should have accrued to you, it will be up to you to find some means of proving that the work is yours - perhaps you have a notarized copy of the song sheet, with a date on it. Cases in the UK have hinged on the definitions of both "new" and "original". Those interested might care to read up on the case Hyperion Records Ltd v. Sawkins. The judgement in that case was generally considered perverse, and if applied in future, has potentially very far-reaching consequences for the music industry.

A marvellous and appalling copyright theft which never came to court, but has been the subject of documentaries and a biopic, is the case of Joyce Hatto, just a few years ago, in which her husband, a recording engineer, simply copied the recordings of various top classical pianists, tweaked the recorded sound a bit, and passed them off as the playing of Joyce Hatto. This was by far the worst intellectual copyright theft in the history of commercial recording.

Anthony, I would have been very happy with a citation, had the guy made an approach to me. As it is, he has stolen my item and simply painted the 'coffee table' a slightly different colour to represent it as his.

Re: Intellectual Property
David Boyce #2733560 05/02/18 12:14 PM
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David,

I put the two websites side by side on my screen and read both. To my eyes this was a clear case of plagiarism of your published article.

Similarly claims for infringement of photograph copyright are assessed on the potential financial loss to the owner of the copyright (not necessarily the photographer). It might be the publisher, as also in the case of sheet music which, although in the public domain because of its original age, has been subsequently re-published.

This week, in the UK national news, is the situation where certain You Tube "stars" are being financially rewarded by two companies to promote the company's services to write exam essays, on students behalf, blatantly stating that it is a no-brainer offer.

I admire your pragmatism concerning this situation and were it my article I would not be a happy chappy. At least the other words are from across the pond and so unlikely to dilute the impact of your excellent website.

Ian

Last edited by Beemer; 05/02/18 12:16 PM.

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Re: Intellectual Property
David Boyce #2733568 05/02/18 12:36 PM
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It seems like a no brainer that Coltharp Pianos lifted that info from your site. They didn't seem to do a very good job at paraphrasing it, either. If they don't get back to you, you could lodge a complaint with their ISP.


Domain Name: COLTHARPPIANOWORLD.COM
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Registrar URL: http://www.wildwestdomains.com
Updated Date: 2018-01-19T13:15:55Z
Creation Date: 2007-01-18T20:18:45Z
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Re: Intellectual Property
David Boyce #2733569 05/02/18 12:38 PM
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It's just so different from the gracious attitude I'm used to from US piano people. I think he is an Associate Member of the PTG, as I have been, and they have a Code of Conduct.

I heard about the YouTube thing on Radio 4 yesterday - interesting.

In the case you mention, of sheet music: If you have an original sheet of a song, published and printed in, say, 1895, you can make multiple copies for your choir without any infringement of copyright. That would apply even if a music publisher had brought out a new edition with clearer typography. You could not, however, reproduce the new edition with the new typography.

As a specific example: My website has some tracks taken from a vinyl LP of classical pianist Shura Cherkassky. It is out of copyright as it is a 1961 recording made in the UK and the duration of copyright in sound recordings made in the UK is 50 years from the end of the year of release. However, this set of recordings has been re-mastered and reissued on CD by a classical label. I would NOT be able to put that re-mastered recording on my website, I do not think. One could always put it to the test of course, and see what a court would decide!

Re: Intellectual Property
David Boyce #2733584 05/02/18 01:25 PM
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David,

Even if you did put it on your website and you had used You Tube it would have blocked it.

Ian


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Re: Intellectual Property
David Boyce #2733586 05/02/18 01:31 PM
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Eh? I'm not talking about YouTube, Ian.

I am taking about ripping a vinyl LP or a CD track to mp3 and uploading to the mp3 player that you can see at the top of many of the pages of my site: Recordings by Shura Cherkassky, Fou T'Song and others, taken from old LPs in my possession. I would not legally be able to rip and upload the re-mastered Shura Cherkassky tracks from the commercial CD that I bought of them recently.

(Actually it's a grey area and could be fought in court, on the grounds that cleaning up an old track by re-mastering might not constitute the production of a "new and original" work).

Re: Intellectual Property
David Boyce #2733596 05/02/18 02:11 PM
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I sent them an email this morning, letting them know their website was being discussed here. Let's maybe give them a little more time to respond? It wouldn't be unreasonable to assume they missed the previous email (I ignore messages every day from people offering to help me redesign my website) or haven't had a chance to respond yet (it often takes me a day or two to get to some emails).


Anthony Willey, RPT
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Re: Intellectual Property
David Boyce #2733600 05/02/18 02:19 PM
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I did think it possible they might be on holiday or something. Thank you for emailing them Anthony; I wasn't looking for anyone to take up the cudgels on my behalf, but it can't do any harm.

Re: Intellectual Property
David Boyce #2733615 05/02/18 02:59 PM
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David,

Sorry, I got carried away ablut mentioning You Tube.

Ian


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Re: Intellectual Property
David Boyce #2733713 05/02/18 09:33 PM
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Your not the only one who's material oddly ended up on their site.

http://coltharppianoworld.com/benefits-of-piano-playing/

Benefits Of Piano Playing

The number of adults who wish they knew how to play the piano is more than ten times the number who actually do play. Yet, too many parents don’t encourage their children to take music lessons.

Most parents aren’t aware of how much more their children will get from piano lessons than just learning to play the piano. They don’t realize that, although most children won’t become professional musicians, every child will benefit in a variety of ways from time spent with the piano. Because they mistakenly believe that lessons will be enjoyable only to an exceptionally talented child, they deprive their children of an invaluable learning experience as well as the joy of making music.

Surveys by educators, government, and the music industry show that students develop social and academic strengths as their piano training progresses. These surveys find, too, that those who study music show more leadership skills, poise, vigor, and self-confidence than those who don’t.

Piano Playing helps a child develop a good personality and attitude. It strengthens the bond between parent and child. It is also a creative outlet that allows a child to share his accomplishments with family and friends.

Through the study of music, a child gains more self-esteem and more control over the intellectual, emotional, and physical aspects of life. These traits will remain with a child throughout his life, regardless of how long he plays the piano.

In a recent Good House- keeping survey, 74 percent of the mothers surveyed would like to make music a part of their child’s education; 63 percent selected the piano. This preference is not surprising since piano is the most popular musical instrument. Surveys by the American Music Conference show that 28 percent of U.S. households own a keyboard instrument and more than 18 million Americans play the piano. While instruments such as the ukulele, accordion and guitar have risen and fallen in popularity, the piano has remained a favorite instrument with performers, composers,

Students develop social and academic strength and amateur musicians for more than 200 years. Today the piano is the best choice for a child’s education.

Children learn best with the help of their parents. The relationship that develops around music can improve bond between parent and child. Parents can act as guides, teachers, or fellow explorers by learning more about music themselves. This caring and sharing improves the sense of belonging, responsibility to one’s self, and the ability to learn and to make decisions as the child imitates the parents’ attitudes.

“Learning music helps physical, mental, emotional, and social growth,” says Dr. Frank R. Wilson, a San Francisco neurologist. For several years Wilson has been studying the link between the brain and the ability to make music.




He has discovered that the study of music is effective in developing the mind and body and that everyone has the physical and mental ability to play a musical instrument. He started on the neurological trail of music after noticing the physical and mental evolution taking place in his daughter after she began music lessons. He even began taking lessons himself at age 40.

“My investigations point to a correlation between music study and muscular development, physical coordination, a sense of timing, mental concentration, the ability to hold up under stress, memory skills, and vocal, visual, and aural development,” says Dr. Wilson. “I believe that study can be started and enjoyed at an early age and that its value does not depend on the pursuit of a musical career.”

For most children, playing the piano becomes a form of recreation they will enjoy for a lifetime. Even the child who only takes lessons for two to three years and does not continue to play as an adult has achieved valuable skills. When a child shows more confidence in facing new experiences, an added willingness to stick with a job until it’s finished, an increased poise in social situation, parents see some of the indirect – but very important – benefits of music lessons.

As an adult, the piano student will have a fuller, more meaningful life because of the ability to communicate through music – either as a player or a listener. Music is a proven way to help a child excel – and the hidden benefits of piano playing are no longer a secret.


COMPARE TO http://kristinaspiano.weebly.com/uploads/1/3/1/5/13154590/hidden_benefits_of_piano_playing.pdf

Re: Intellectual Property
David Boyce #2733714 05/02/18 09:39 PM
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Re: Intellectual Property
David Boyce #2733715 05/02/18 09:48 PM
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Here's another one that seems to be lifted from David Bryce's website...


http://coltharppianoworld.com/a-jar-of-water-and-other-piano-myths/

As a piano technician, you see it all. People do all kinds of things to their pianos in hopes that they will sound better, play better, and last longer.

One piano myth continues to come to light in homes that have had a piano tucked into the corner of a room for years. A piano technician will find a long-forgotten dusty jar of water at the bottom of the piano.

A Jar Of Water And Other Piano MythsThe notion behind it is that low humidity is bad for a piano. A piano needs a certain level of humidity in order to keep parts in good working condition, and to continue playing at its best throughout the years.







http://www.davidboyce.co.uk/the-jam-jar.php


What’s that sitting in the base of that piano? It’s a jar of water. Why?



Quite often, the piano technician will find a long-forgotten dusty jam jar in the bottom of an old piano. Or an owner will ask about placing one full of water there, having heard that it’s a good idea.



The notion behind this is that very low humidity is bad for a piano and that by keeping a jar of water inside the piano you can maintain humidity.

As most of my piano tuning and repair work is in the west of Scotland, comments here are specific to this part of the world. If you live in the Atacama desert, seek additional advice.......

Re: Intellectual Property
David Boyce #2733728 05/02/18 10:21 PM
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Interesting that Coltharp has a copyright notice at the bottom of the website.....,,,,


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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