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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings (Read 33535 times)
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #35 - 03/08/14 at 17:46:46
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I think Eric is pretty much right about the scope of music copyright.
I don't think music is helpful as an analogy because music is solely aesthetic while chess is constrained by a function of "correctness" or achieving an advantage (or for Black, equality).  The functional aspect of chess is intrinsic to the rules of the game.  Music has no such intrinsic objective.
  

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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #34 - 03/08/14 at 17:28:39
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melody, rhythmic progression of single notes, chord progression, etc ... all protected

sampling, the technique of digitally encoding music or sound and reusing it as part of a composition or recording, is subject to many legal debates, but is by and large illegal



  
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #33 - 03/08/14 at 15:19:03
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barnaby wrote on 03/08/14 at 14:08:44:
led zeppelin did not escape legal repercussions ... chess records sued them and it was settled out of court  ... they also paid out to richie valens on a separate court issue and were sued successfully by willie dixon and several others ... almost ALL of their recordings now show the names of the real writer and give credit to real authors and list page and/or plant as arrangers  ... they are one of the all time worst plagiarists in pop music history and have lost many a legal battle over their antics



Absolutely true, and I didn't mean to suggest that they escaped all repercussion.  I don't want to go through their entire catalog song by song, but there are some cases where they clearly copied both lyrics and melody ("Dazed and Confused"), others only melody, others only lyrics, others chord progression, etc.  I was interested in their case, and it was largely from speaking to a long-time lawyer in the music industry that I discovered that only lyrics and melody are copyrightable.  In his opinion, much of their crediting others was done to silence critics and would not have been necessary by law--though of course they are absolutely guilty in other cases.

In any event, I believe that my overall point stands.  You can't copyright a I-IV-V chord progression, or a ii-V-I, or a twelve-bar blues.  Neither can you copyright a minor fall or major lift, nor harmonies, nor tempo, "feel" of a song, guitar "tone," vocal "style," or anything of the sort.  Otherwise every blues song, or blues/rock song, or metal song, or any other genre piece would be a violation of copyright.

There is probably some overlap where an arpeggiated chord sequence can be considered a melody.  But this is my understanding, which I admit could be completely wrong and I would welcome correction from a knowledgeable person. 

There is also a tradition of homage in music, where bits of lyrics or melody are "stolen" from a seminal song or work, but done so with the intent to celebrate the source.  I suppose that some of this is actually against the law--though in some circumstances might be considered a form of "quoting?"  I'm not sure. 

Anyway we're a bit off topic from chess.
  
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #32 - 03/08/14 at 14:08:44
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ErictheRed wrote on 03/08/14 at 13:19:29:
TalJechin wrote on 03/08/14 at 13:11:28:
Thanks for some clarification, I don't know much about music apart from listening...

Just came to think that there's also "the crowd's judgement", for instance, on Dylan's first album he borrowed an arrangement of House of the Rising Sun from a friend of his. This friend could then not perform his own version as the crowd started booing over him stealing Bob's song. And later that happened to Bob as well, after the Animals had their hit with it...  Grin


Many famous bands (I can think of Led Zeppelin in particular) have escaped legal repercussion because while they've completely stolen chord progressions, arpeggios, tempo, style, feel, whatever else you want to call it, they've made their own melody and that's good enough for a song to be legally original.

In fact music has a long history of plagiarism/stealing licks, chords, styles, etc; that's sort of how all genre music works, isn't it? 


led zeppelin did not escape legal repercussions ... chess records sued them and it was settled out of court  ... they also paid out to richie valens on a separate court issue and were sued successfully by willie dixon and several others ... almost ALL of their recordings now show the names of the real writer and give credit to real authors and list page and/or plant as arrangers  ... they are one of the all time worst plagiarists in pop music history and have lost many a legal battle over their antics

the majority of musical plagiarists get dragged into court and they lose


  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #31 - 03/08/14 at 13:19:29
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TalJechin wrote on 03/08/14 at 13:11:28:
Thanks for some clarification, I don't know much about music apart from listening...

Just came to think that there's also "the crowd's judgement", for instance, on Dylan's first album he borrowed an arrangement of House of the Rising Sun from a friend of his. This friend could then not perform his own version as the crowd started booing over him stealing Bob's song. And later that happened to Bob as well, after the Animals had their hit with it...  Grin


Many famous bands (I can think of Led Zeppelin in particular) have escaped legal repercussion because while they've completely stolen chord progressions, arpeggios, tempo, style, feel, whatever else you want to call it, they've made their own melody and that's good enough for a song to be legally original.

In fact music has a long history of plagiarism/stealing licks, chords, styles, etc; that's sort of how all genre music works, isn't it?
  
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TalJechin
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #30 - 03/08/14 at 13:11:28
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ErictheRed wrote on 03/08/14 at 13:02:40:
TalJechin wrote on 03/08/14 at 12:43:06:
I'm a bit curious what happens if you change the issue to music, instead of chess. Let's say that there are engines for composing and their algorithms are based on harmonies from previous humanly composed music. Someone uses this to write a new tune and in effect comes up with "Für Elise" plus some lyrics. Not being interested in musical history or other genres, the artist claims to have written Text & Music. Beethoven fans get upset but there is no copyright on old music. Does this mean that it's okay for anyone to claim to have composed it because it was the product of their composing engine?

Of course there will always be a grey zone where the engine could produce something with sequences from several other composers, but all parts being roughly the length that's considered okay to use - this scenario is close to the current trend of sampling I think. Legally speaking, in current practice are the artists sampling bits of other's music required to acknowledge it somewhere or is it up to each to find their own practice on sharing non-copyrighted credits?


As an amateur musician who has done a fair amount of recording and playing in smaller venues, etc, it's my understanding that only melodies are protected (I'm ignoring lyrics, which I assume are treated like poetry). 

Chord progressions are not copyrighted, harmonies are not copyrighted, nor is the key a song is played or written in, tempo, etc.  Melody, however, is--though of course we can all find numerous instances of melody plagiarism in songs.  There's only so much you can do within a I-IV-V chord progression or 12-bar blues, for instance. 

This is my limited understanding as someone who has recorded and distributed original music.

I would change your Beethoven example slightly: what if your "composition engine" created an identical melody to a completely unheard-of 17th century composer?  Does that make it more or less "right" to claim it as your own?  There are probably a lot of melodies that have been duplicated by happenstance.

One common exercise in music theory classes is to take famous old melodies and construct your own counterpoint.  None of the counterpoint you write can be copyrighted in any way. 

I hope I didn't obfuscate the issue even more; again I think this is very well-trodden ground in the courts, even if I'm not familiar. 


Thanks for some clarification, I don't know much about music apart from listening...

Just came to think that there's also "the crowd's judgement", for instance, on Dylan's first album he borrowed an arrangement of House of the Rising Sun from a friend of his. This friend could then not perform his own version as the crowd started booing over him stealing Bob's song. And later that happened to Bob as well, after the Animals had their hit with it...  Grin
  
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #29 - 03/08/14 at 13:02:40
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TalJechin wrote on 03/08/14 at 12:43:06:
I'm a bit curious what happens if you change the issue to music, instead of chess. Let's say that there are engines for composing and their algorithms are based on harmonies from previous humanly composed music. Someone uses this to write a new tune and in effect comes up with "Für Elise" plus some lyrics. Not being interested in musical history or other genres, the artist claims to have written Text & Music. Beethoven fans get upset but there is no copyright on old music. Does this mean that it's okay for anyone to claim to have composed it because it was the product of their composing engine?

Of course there will always be a grey zone where the engine could produce something with sequences from several other composers, but all parts being roughly the length that's considered okay to use - this scenario is close to the current trend of sampling I think. Legally speaking, in current practice are the artists sampling bits of other's music required to acknowledge it somewhere or is it up to each to find their own practice on sharing non-copyrighted credits?


As an amateur musician who has done a fair amount of recording and playing in smaller venues, etc, it's my understanding that only melodies are protected (I'm ignoring lyrics, which I assume are treated like poetry). 

Chord progressions are not copyrighted, harmonies are not copyrighted, nor is the key a song is played or written in, tempo, etc.  Melody, however, is--though of course we can all find numerous instances of melody plagiarism in songs.  There's only so much you can do within a I-IV-V chord progression or 12-bar blues, for instance. 

This is my limited understanding as someone who has recorded and distributed original music.

I would change your Beethoven example slightly: what if your "composition engine" created an identical melody to a completely unheard-of 17th century composer?  Does that make it more or less "right" to claim it as your own?  There are probably a lot of melodies that have been duplicated by happenstance.

One common exercise in music theory classes is to take famous old melodies and construct your own counterpoint.  None of the counterpoint you write can be copyrighted in any way.  In fact, writing counterpoint is essentially exactly as you describe, i.e. "algorithms [sic] based on harmonies from previous humanly composed music."  Once you know how to write counterpoint, it's not too difficult to fill out an entire score around a melody, otherwise you'd never get complete scores for television, films, etc., done in a reasonable time.  It might not end up sounding groundbreaking or original or "inspired," but much of composing (at least when done quickly and for films when you just want to set a mood) is this sort of "filling in the blanks according to known algorithms."  The melody you work with is original; often everything else is done nearly by rote.

I hope I didn't obfuscate the issue even more; again I think this is very well-trodden ground in the courts, even if I'm not familiar. 

Edit: Though if you started with a famous melody and wrote a counterpoint for it, I suppose it would be possible to copyright your counterpoint without the original melody as your own.  But the two together?  No, that's never been done, as far as I'm aware.
  
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #28 - 03/08/14 at 12:43:06
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katar wrote on 03/08/14 at 00:13:17:
There are legal precedents, but not for chess specifically.  The issues are usually fact-specific, so lawyers have the job of arguing why precedent cases should apply or not. Tablebases, for example, simply cannot be copyrighted at all in my opinion, no matter the "hard work" required to compile them.  They are simply glorified multiplication tables.  Same result if I wrote out pi to a billion places and tried to copyright that.  Opening analysis is a closer call, but I am inclined to think that a repertoire "tree" based on Houdini's overnight analysis cannot be copyrighted.  Human editorial discretion would be a factor militating in favor of copyright protection, however.  These issues are usually not crystal clear.


I'm a bit curious what happens if you change the issue to music, instead of chess. Let's say that there are engines for composing and their algorithms are based on harmonies from previous humanly composed music. Someone uses this to write a new tune and in effect comes up with "Für Elise" plus some lyrics. Not being interested in musical history or other genres, the artist claims to have written Text & Music. Beethoven fans get upset but there is no copyright on old music. Does this mean that it's okay for anyone to claim to have composed it because it was the product of their composing engine?

Of course there will always be a grey zone where the engine could produce something with sequences from several other composers, but all parts being roughly the length that's considered okay to use - this scenario is close to the current trend of sampling I think. Legally speaking, in current practice are the artists sampling bits of other's music required to acknowledge it somewhere or is it up to each to find their own practice on sharing non-copyrighted credits?
  
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #27 - 03/08/14 at 10:59:07
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Thank you Katar, very informative.  For what little it's worth, I agree with your second to last paragraph.
  
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #26 - 03/08/14 at 07:04:48
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katar wrote on 03/08/14 at 00:13:17:
I don't see how the novelty "debate" implicates any copyright issue at all.  Failing to give attribution, similarly, strikes me as an instance of authorial discretion or bad manners depending on one's personal point of view.

QC used novelties in their KG book while they have in possession older documents which contain many of their novelties already mentioned. It is clear that some people are believing that the novelties from the documents are wrongly copied if you don't correctly attribute.

The defense consists of that although QC has the documents, they didn't look at them. Also they have a different definition of novelties which makes the attribution unnecessary. A novelty can not be owned by somebody but is just a simple check in the database to know if it has been played or not earlier.

It is impossible to know how they found the novelties which are also popping up in the older documents. I would tend to believe if this is a very high amount then at least it becomes very doubtful that they never looked at the documents. The definition of a novelty is not officially defined but to avoid problems it would be good to tell in the beginning of the book which definition is used and certainly to list all sources consulted.

A completely other discussion would be if one can/shall expect that for a book of that size and content, a proper research of the older documents is automatically done.
  
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #25 - 03/08/14 at 00:13:17
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ErictheRed wrote on 03/07/14 at 12:50:00:
So Katar, is my assumption correct that there is a mountain of legal precedence concerning this sort of thing?  A bunch of chess players can have an interesting discussion about what constitutes a novelty, etc, but in the end I suspect the legal matters are all very well defined.

What constitutes a "novelty" is more of a semantic question rather than a legal one.  I don't see how the novelty "debate" implicates any copyright issue at all.  Failing to give attribution, similarly, strikes me as an instance of authorial discretion or bad manners depending on one's personal point of view.  Copyright would only be an issue if a work lifted the exact text and editorial markings (!, +-, etc.) or the "selection and arrangement" of a prior work.  Regarding text and editorial markings, a new author may change a few words around to avoid any violation. 

Selection and arrangement protection can be rather thin where the individual elements (like chess moves/variations, phone numbers, or raw facts) are not protected.  GabrielGale or Mr. Buecker noted above that telephone books are protected by copyright.  In general, I do not agree with that and neither did the US Supreme Court in Feist v. Rural Telephone (1991).  For residential phone books, the selection is "every resident of the geographic area" and the arrangement is "alphabetical."  Sorry, no originality or creativity there.  The YellowPages is a different story-- every business is classified under a heading, which involves editorial discretion in the "selection and arrangement".  But a simple alphabetical business directory wihtout headings is the product of hard work rather than any modicum of creativity.

There are legal precedents, but not for chess specifically.  The issues are usually fact-specific, so lawyers have the job of arguing why precedent cases should apply or not. Tablebases, for example, simply cannot be copyrighted at all in my opinion, no matter the "hard work" required to compile them.  They are simply glorified multiplication tables.  Same result if I wrote out pi to a billion places and tried to copyright that.  Opening analysis is a closer call, but I am inclined to think that a repertoire "tree" based on Houdini's overnight analysis cannot be copyrighted.  Human editorial discretion would be a factor militating in favor of copyright protection, however.  These issues are usually not crystal clear.

In this particular case, my personal opinion is that Shaw did nothing "wrong" besides spelling Kaissiber (sp?) incorrectly in the bibliography and misquoting Buecker's evaluations in spots.  It seems to me this was more or less innocent or at the worst "careless" if one can even use that word to describe a 680 page cinder block of a book.  But I also do not think Mr. Buecker committed "libel" or "defamation" as a certain Grandmaster with four A's in his name has been throwing around rather casually.  The facts are what they are-- trouble arises when folks use legal conclusions in lieu of describing the facts.

Anyway, I happened to have scored my highest law school grade (97/100) in a copyrights course ten years ago, but I am not a copyright lawyer and certainly not any kind of expert.  My copyright ELO is maybe about 1200.
  

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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #24 - 03/07/14 at 15:37:14
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That's the problem with the legal system: that chess players are not enjoying special treatment.  Smiley
  
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #23 - 03/07/14 at 15:21:34
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I wasn't putting forward any argument, I was asking whether the law was extremely clear and well worked-out regarding similar endeavors: publishing analysis in other fields.  That doesn't necessarily have to be limited to science.

You say that you are doing journalism--that's fine.  I presume that there is a ton of legal precedent here as well: the US Department of Energy releases a report, then journalists jump into it and use some of the data, diagrams, etc., to illustrate their ideas.  I make no claim to understanding any of copyright law, but I suspect that to the legal system, this is all well defined.  I doubt that the legal system cares if the subject of a journal article is chess or anything else. 

Of course I could be completely wrong, which is why I asked the question (if phrased poorly).
  
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #22 - 03/07/14 at 15:11:00
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ErictheRed wrote on 03/07/14 at 12:50:00:
So Katar, is my assumption correct that there is a mountain of legal precedence concerning this sort of thing?  A bunch of chess players can have an interesting discussion about what constitutes a novelty, etc, but in the end I suspect the legal matters are all very well defined.

Okay, there is a close connection between chess and mathematics. Your scenario: a scientific article based on hard data. Let's say, these hard data are coming from a robot on the moon, are not copyright-protected. Two scientists could independently write two different articles, based on the same data. Now you argue: some overlap in two such articles cannot be a rare event, there must already exist precedences. These cases should help to decide copyright issues in chess texts, because chess can be described, in its core, as computable data = numbers.

But as someone who is looking from "inside", I wouldn't say that my profession is pure science, and I guess neither would John Shaw or Jacob Aagaard or Tony Kosten. What I am doing is journalism. However, chess texts covering openings are very specific, and it seems to me that precedences from other fields of journalism are not too useful either, to decide copyright issues in chess texts. 

The end result of theoretical work will typically consist of lots of variations, but the main lines are clearly more relevant than the side lines. And there are verbal comments. Are these perhaps more relevant than the sidelines, or even more important than the main lines?

It is possible to invest 1000s of hours into the analysis of one line. And when you are lucky, you'll hit the jackpot and detect a forced sequence which refutes From's Gambit. Your article will be, say, 30 pages long, but the key idea may be short and pretty forced. All this is highly unusual and I don't think that analogies from other fields can help too much.

In a given copyright quarrel involving chess authors, a justice might still come to a plausible decision, based on his interpretation of the copyright law. But I'd think that this imaginary justice would have to think hard about all these specifics. If an author copies 99% of a given article, but finds an incredibly strong, game-changing novelty in the main line, would a justice see the merit?
  
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #21 - 03/07/14 at 12:50:00
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So Katar, is my assumption correct that there is a mountain of legal precedence concerning this sort of thing?  A bunch of chess players can have an interesting discussion about what constitutes a novelty, etc, but in the end I suspect the legal matters are all very well defined.
  
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