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   Author  Topic: Copyrights and DJ's  (Read 1911 times)
Josh B.
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Copyrights and DJ's
« on: Dec 11th, 2007, 2:25am »
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I have a question regarding a DJ at a club or bar.  
 
I know it is illegal for an average person to buy a CD and then play that CD in a public place for money. Just as it is illegal to charge people admission to come watch a movie at your house. Or start a movie theatre that plays DVDs. They call it Exhibition in the FBI warning on the CDs and DVDs you buy. You own a license to view/listen to the copyright material privately but not to display it publicly. I also know that unless its a very small portion of the copyright material (and even then its iffy) you cannot use an artists copyright protected song to create your own song (with the exception of parody, etc) to put it another way I could not record myself singing over the top of Paul McCarthy in The Beatles recording of "Yellow Submarine" and sell it as my own song.  
 
I can't even perform, record and sell my own version of that song without written permission from the copyright holder. In fact if an artist really wanted (and could prove it causes them harm) they could sue an independent band that simply covers their song live. Rappers and HipHop artists even have to get permission to "sample" other peoples music in their songs when they wish to do so. So my question is how do DJs get away with taking an artists copyright work, not just a piece of it the entire song, in most cases entire ALBUMS of the actual copy protected recordings, screw them all up by altering it, adding loops and samples from other copy protected material and then call it their own "mix"?  
 
They even CHARGE admission to listen to these mixes, as well as unaltered versions and some how get away with it. Meanwhile 12 year old girls downloading MP3s get arrested and fined hundreds of thousands of dollars. Is there a special loophole or exception for DJs that bands don't have? Or does the RIAA simply ignore the blatant disregard and abuse of artists copyright being perpetuated by DJs because they'd rather go after consumers? It really doesn't make any sense if you think about it. DJ's hurt record/ticket sales way more than downloads ever could.  
 
DJ's distract from the artists actual performances by creating an alternative place to listen to their music for less. Why buy a ticket to a show or even a CD when you can hear that song at the club? DJ's violate the artists intellectual property as well as alter the artists work without permission. This is tantamount to drawing a mustache on the Mona Lisa.
 
The DJ's then STEAL the artists material by calling the new "mix" their own despite the fact that without the original copyright material the new mix would not exist because the DJ didn't really create anything, but simply distorted an already existing product. DJ's are notorious "music pirates" often downloading their entire arsenal of music to their iPods or Laptop so as to not have to BUY and carry Boxes of CDs with them to every gig. They simply plug in and start "spinning" I could name names of dozens of DJs who do this where I live.
 
And worst of all DJ's take venues away from touring bands. Bars and clubs book DJs instead of live music because its easier (in some cases) cheaper and if the crowd doesn't like whats being played the DJ can just select a different pirated album. The downside is of course less places for independent music to flourish means less chances for independent bands to grow and eventually be discovered. Leading to a stalemate in the industry (as we are currently experiencing) and reduced record sales due to poor quality of music being released.
 
So whats the deal? Legally speaking how do they get away with this?
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