Thank god! There is still hope!

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Young ‘prefer illegal song swaps’
So, the question of file sharing and illegal music sites is coming up again. One consequence is that dylanchords is temporarily down. “Sam Spade” first posted a note in a different thread, about the record industry being intent on stopping sites like this one. Fair enough, perhaps. I took a consequence of that. An overreaction, perhaps, but that was my decision.
The post also contained a link to a report about a study that Jupiter Research has undertaken, about the music habits of young people. One conclusion is that illegal file sharing networks are used three times as much as the legal ones.
I don’t know what to say about this: of course artists should be paid for their work, but according to artists like Roger McGuinn, there isn’t much that gets past the record company. Then again, they also need to make some income to run the whole apparatus of production and distribution.
All in all: fair enough, and I do pay for my music.
But there was another line that caught my eye:

[The report] also warns that file-sharers, particularly young people, have little concept of music as a paid commodity.

That’s the most vulgar, obscene, inhuman expression I’ve heard in a long time: music as a paid commodity.
Here’s the dictionary definition of “commodity”:

That which affords convenience, advantage, or profit, especially in commerce, including everything movable that is bought and sold (except animals), — goods, wares, merchandise, produce of land and manufactures, etc.

At least animals are excluded…
Raise your heads, clap your hands, sing hallelujah or Allahu akbar! “Young people” have little concept of music as a movable item that is bought and sold. There’s still hope.

13 thoughts on “Thank god! There is still hope!

  1. It would be a crime to have this site shut down. If a place like Ultimate Guitar Tabs and the hundreds of others can still run, surely this one can too…?

  2. “I’d rather have a hundred people listen to my song than have a hundred dollars.” – Ian Mackaye (Fugazi, Dischord Records)

  3. That’s the attitude! Or Woodie Guthrie’s version of the same, which Tedd pointed out in another thread:

    When Woody Guthrie was singing hillbilly songs on a little Los Angeles radio station in the late 1930s, he used to mail out a small mimeographed songbook to listeners who wanted the words to his songs, On the bottom of one page appeared the following: “This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright # 154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don’t give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that’s all we wanted to do.” W.G.

  4. Before you know it they’ll be sending swat teams into the homes of fans for playing/singing an artists song without the record companys permission. Ok a bit melodramatic, but what’s happening is almost just as stupid.

  5. I’ve never been able to understand the magic of Bob Dylan until this website had showed me the light, this site is what Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie had imagined what music would come to be, to get rid of this site would be the same as getting rid of Bob Dylan and his beautiful words

  6. I have always, from a bit of a distance, enjoyed Bob Dylan. I was knocked as an eighth grader while playing in a band in a college club called the Penguin’s Roost, when I 1st heard ‘Please crawl out your window’ over the PA. loved the hits over the years, but just lately rediscovered Dylan’s massive output of music. The No Direction Home CD and DVD was a key player in all this. I’m glad to have been privilaged to live at a time such as this–great history of music and lyrics. Thanks for the site. I appreciated the words posted. Sorry they took that away!

  7. I think you have to strike a balance. I make most of my money performing, and I post PDF’s and MIDI’s (And soon MP3’s) on a fileshare page that folks can download to their heart’s content. If they make money off of my efforts, I ask for some modest compensation (Often just a credit), otherwise, rock on. Oh: I met Bob Dylan at Montana Rehersal Studios in NYC in 1987 (I can just FEEL you turning green).

  8. the sad thing is i only just discovered this site a few monthes ago. u gotta put the tabs back up, if u get caught just move to australia and i’ll hide u in our basement. people at my local pub are getting bored of my playing the same old songs.

  9. Of course, it is very easy to get hung up on a rather innocuous word like “commodity”. Strictly speaking, it’s foolishness to argue that a CD, a tape, even a digital MP3 file is NOT a ‘commodity.’ All three can all be bought, sold, traded, just like anything else on ebay or any market. Even the fact that you have a CD in your hands is due in large part to a series of markets. (Try buying CDs in Northern India, or Saudi Arabia, or Siberia, or any of several spots in the world. Heck, try buying CDs outside of a major city.)

    One other big problem with artistic whining about royalties is that without the huge music machine of record companies, record stores (and now Best Buy and Wal-Mart) and radio stations (and now MTV, the net, movies, and even popular TV shows) no one would even know about an artist like Roger McGuinn or Nick Drake or hundreds of other artists. I really don’t know if artists earning $1 a CD is a fair price or not, but I’m REALLY not sure that work that artists did 30 or 40 years ago should still be making them millions of dollars in 2006. McGuinn, Don Henley, and hundreds of popular writers from the 60’s and 70’s really hit the jackpot, compared to today’s musicians who are highly unlikely to be making millions on radio play royalties 30 years from now.

    Also, it’s real tough when so many want to be on stage, at the same time that fewer want to be in the audience. How much value does a band like Creed have when there are so many other bands that sound almost exactly like them lined up right behind them?

    At least musicians do, in the Woody sense, do have the pure love and enjoyment of music, and no one can even prevent someone from playing a song live–even if the vast majority of musicians aren’t likely to make big money playing music today.


  10. Oh, and btw, I hate the effort to shut down tab sites, since I think that tab sites do help promote people to play music, but the other side is that the book of complete tab of Dylan is worth $30. So each song is worth roughly $.50 in sheet music form. I’m not sure anyone would argue that they should be allowed to buy a current best seller and type it onto a web site, so why, necessarily, should we be allowed to essentially type in tab from a book onto the web. It’s one thing if the tab isn’t available, or if it was overpriced, say, $3 a song, but $30 for 60 Dylan songs, some of the best songs of all time, is pretty reasonable.

    So I’m conflicted. I love tab sites, cuz I’m cheap and I have a huge appetite for music tab (and, too, like mp3 files, much of the tab is more like a first pass at the song, hardly the last word, a perfect work), but I certainly see the other side.


  11. This is a cry for help, The other “survivor chord sites” are careless, please, if you want send me the contents of your page and I will publish them, Im in Perú, I think it would be difficult to get me here. Well this is just a Joke, but If you dont think of the idea as tu ridicolus, I will go on with it.

    Please lets do something, this is a great site, with a whole lot of personal work put in by Eyolf, this is more than simple tabbing, this is personal tabbing.

    I’ll stand by you man.

    from Peru,


  12. What’s all the talk about a zip file? If available, will you send it to me? I definitely respect your tabs – some of the best. I have bought legal versions (books) that were totally wrong but your site has always been consistently correct. Anyway, sadly a great resource gone. Zip file?

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