How much for charts?

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Bach5G
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How much for charts?

Post by Bach5G » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:54 pm

The leader of our band is leaving the country. It might be possible for those of us who wish to continue to buy the charts.

Assuming a new cost of $75/arrangement, what would you pay? Original, commercially available stuff, like, say, a Mintzer chart.
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Kingfan
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Re: How much for charts?

Post by Kingfan » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:50 pm

Are you buying the originals, or just copies? The guy who sold me the big band I am half owner of had donated all the originals to a local high school for the tax deduction and wanted way too much for just copies. He agreed to 25% of what he originally quoted us. If I somebody was selling a complete original chart on eBay, used, I might pay between 25% and 50% of new. That is just my opinion, though.
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are still missing! :D
Bach5G
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Re: How much for charts?

Post by Bach5G » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:24 pm

2nd paragraph.
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ghmerrill
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Re: How much for charts?

Post by ghmerrill » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:24 am

Kingfan wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:50 pm
... wanted way too much for just copies. He agreed to 25% of what he originally quoted us.
He wanted way too much for the sale of copies, but agreed to 25% of the original quote for the sale of something that clearly violates copyright law? What a deal. :shock:
Gary Merrill
Wessex EEb Bass tuba
Mack Brass Compensating Euph
Amati Oval Euph
1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba
Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/110 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)
AndrewMeronek
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Re: How much for charts?

Post by AndrewMeronek » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:50 am

Bach5G wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:54 pm
Assuming a new cost of $75/arrangement, what would you pay? Original, commercially available stuff, like, say, a Mintzer chart.
Commercially available? I would think the cost shouldn't be more than to buy them freshly printed out from a commercial source, unless they have a lot of special notes written in that improve their value.
“All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.”

- Thelonious Monk
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Kingfan
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Re: How much for charts?

Post by Kingfan » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:47 am

ghmerrill wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:24 am
Kingfan wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:50 pm
... wanted way too much for just copies. He agreed to 25% of what he originally quoted us.
He wanted way too much for the sale of copies, but agreed to 25% of the original quote for the sale of something that clearly violates copyright law? What a deal. :shock:
Yep. That is why we paid $500 for the folders, 16 stand fronts, keyboard amp, mike stands/cables/cheap mikes, wired stand lights, and hand percussion equipment plus the music. We ended up buying the equipment and got the copies of 200 complete charts and another 40 or so that were missing some parts for free. We are working on acquiring originals of what we play. We will keep them in a file cabinet and keep the copies in the books so if a book gets lost we can just make other copies.
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are still missing! :D
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ghmerrill
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Re: How much for charts?

Post by ghmerrill » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:15 am

But you do realize that those copies you "got" still violate copyright law?

"Just make other copies" is also a violation (except in those circumstances where the publisher has explicitly given that permission). For older (printed) editions, I don't know of cases where publishers grant such permission, and the proper approach to replacing lost parts is to purchase them from the publisher. Even in the case of "out of print" materials, my experience is that it's impossible to get reprint/copy permission from a publisher. There are some thorny legal issues involved, and reasons why they take this approach -- however irritating it may be.

With some publishers and some digital editions nowadays, I've seen permission granted to retain "backup copies", but that isn't close to being universal. In one place you say you bought equipment "plus the music" and in another you say you got the music "for free". From the point of view of copyright, that doesn't really matter since the copies were violations anyway. And retaining "backup copies" of publications that you don't actually own in the first place is incoherent.

Composers and arrangers (in addition to the publishers) tend to get really testy at the idea of people making copies of their published materials. They seem to think its their property that's being taken, and that this is affecting their property rights and income.

At least I'm happy to see that there's been no attempt here to invoke the "fair use" doctrine.

I'm really not meaning to lecture you, but I've spent a lot of time (as an academic many years ago, and then later in both the software and pharma industry, and in community bands) dealing with copyright, patent, and performance license issues. The situations are generally a lot clearer than people like to admit. Whether anything ever comes of them depends on a number of circumstances.
Gary Merrill
Wessex EEb Bass tuba
Mack Brass Compensating Euph
Amati Oval Euph
1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba
Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/110 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)
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BGuttman
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Re: How much for charts?

Post by BGuttman » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:13 pm

Gary, the Copyright Police are not coming after everybody who makes a copy and keeps the original in a safe place. They are really testy when you buy one copy of the arrangement and then make several sets of parts to distribute to different bands. They also get upset when you are a famous band touring to big ticket audiences and making big money from their arrangements. Far and away more music publishers and arrangers prefer you buy several arrangements rather than replacement copies because a part went missing.
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
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ghmerrill
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Re: How much for charts?

Post by ghmerrill » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:35 pm

So ... (a) Person A buys a set of charts, and (b) later donates that set of parts to a school, and (c) then either "gives" or sells copies of that set of charts to person B. Person A committed outright copyright violations for an entire set of parts (which Person B can't avoid knowing), and person B has received what in the eyes of copyright law and the publishers is stolen property (which he can't avoid knowing). This is really indisputable. All that seems to be in dispute is whether this use of stolen property is okay (in some sense). To pretend that it's not stolen property is to deny the facts and the law.

Sure, you can finesse your decision to accept and use a set of stolen material, but there are two things to be said about that.

The first is that at the end of the day you have to decide what legal and ethical principles you're going to follow -- or not. And that's a personal choice. You may care only about the likely consequences of getting caught at it. That's a personal choice.

Second: If your point is that there are some things you can get away with, then, sure, that has to be conceded. Shoplifters and tax cheats do it all the time -- and we admire them, right? We should equally admire copyright violators for striking a blow for the right of musicians everywhere to have free sheet music.

As for what publishers and arrangers would "prefer", my guess and experience is that they prefer you to honor their copyrights. That's why they have them. Golly, why do you suppose the Tuba Christmas site contains the phrase "NO ILLEGAL PHOTOCOPIES!" standing alone in big capital letters? Wouldn't it be easier to just have people digitize the book and pass it around? You might get more participation in your events and save people a lot of money.

But really: is someone here suggesting that it's okay to run a musical organization based on pirated copies of charts? Really? Or to use pirated copies of charts as long as you aren't the one who did the copying? Really? It gets very tricky to draw those lines once you start trying to. Again, there are personal choices here. Like I told my kids when they were growing up: You have to look at yourself in the mirror every day and be able to say you did the right thing.
Gary Merrill
Wessex EEb Bass tuba
Mack Brass Compensating Euph
Amati Oval Euph
1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba
Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/110 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)
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BGuttman
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Re: How much for charts?

Post by BGuttman » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:05 pm

We are not advocating use of pirated charts. Even Greg (Kingfan) is buying a set of originals to legitimize his copies. Originally he had refused to buy the set of copies from the old band leader but they were included in a sale including a bunch of other goods.

The original post was that someone was going to sell a pile of used originals. Fair market value is probably half the new prices; less if parts are missing.

I can't count on all my digits (21) how many bands I've played with that have folders choked with copies of parts. Often without originals. It's not the way I operate; I generally buy a chart and make a set of working copies. I ran this past Jack Gale and he was OK with it. I ran it past another publisher and he was not (but most of the stuff he published I'd probably never have bought anyway).

I have not experienced a raid of police taking all the illegal copies from the Big Band book. I doubt I ever will.

I am all for protecting the copyright of a person who spent hours creating a musical work. I am not prepared to constantly buy the work in eternity (as the rental agencies seem to prefer).
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
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ExZacLee
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Re: How much for charts?

Post by ExZacLee » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:22 pm

This isn't about what musicians find acceptable.

It's about fair recompense for work.

Selling your tattered originals is basically the same as selling copies. Bob Mintzer doesn't make a whole lot of money on those charts, but he deserves every penny. If you want a Bob Mintzer chart, buy it. It's readily available.

Everytime I show up on a gig and find stuff I wrote in the book, knowing full and well it wasn't purchased, I seethe.

Do you know why rental agencies exist? Precisely because of this behavior. Sorry you don't like it... but if everyone could be expected to do the right thing, it wouldn't be an issue.
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Kingfan
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Re: How much for charts?

Post by Kingfan » Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:43 pm

I resold my college textbooks when I was done with them. I buy a novel and when done with it I can legally sell it on eBay or at a garage sale. If I am done with a trombone music method book, I can resell it - I see them for sale on this site. If I have a big band arrangement (original) and when I no longer need it, I can resell it for what the market will bear, can't I? I never bought bootleg copies of cassettes or CDs or DVDs, and don't buy bootleg copies of music. I told the guy selling the band to me that the copies he seemed to think were worth something were worth only the paper they were printed on. ExZacLee, if you show up at a gig and find illegal copies of stuff you wrote, you have every right to take it and rip it up in my opinion.
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are still missing! :D
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ghmerrill
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Re: How much for charts?

Post by ghmerrill » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:36 am

BGuttman wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:05 pm
I am all for protecting the copyright of a person who spent hours creating a musical work. I am not prepared to constantly buy the work in eternity (as the rental agencies seem to prefer).
I think we're all in agreement about most of the basic issues, but what you've just said exposes/suggests a fundamental difference in view within the community and also a fundamental difference between the copyright law as written (however out of date it is -- and it is) and what people "think".

So what do you think is the "work" you've bought from a publisher when you buy a printed copy of a piece? You seem to think that what you've bought in that case is a kind of abstract object that's "realized" on a particular set of physical pieces of paper. Or maybe you think you've bought a "right" to reproduce the "work". And since you've bought that abstract object (we can ignore its exact nature at the moment), then you are free to "re-realize" it (or parts of it) -- in particular, to print a copy page, to get a copied page or part from somewhere other than by purchasing it, or maybe even to make a complete "backup copy" of the "work" on paper in case something should happen to the "original copy". You think, perhaps (and I know of others who do), that the original copy is just one copy, indistinguishable from others you might make; and that it's "just a copy" of "the work". This is what's suggested (if not explicit in) your comment that you're "not prepared to constantly buy the work". That remark makes sense ONLY if you think that "the work" you've bought is something different from the set of physical pages the publisher sent you.

This is a completely reasonable view of things, and a lot of people share it. But it's WRONG -- at least in light of current copyright law. What you bought was a SINGLE COPY of a piece of music. THIS (and not some more abstract thing) is "the work". This is VERY clear in copyright law and in case law and court decisions. Don't get me wrong: there are very good reasons for changing this orientation of copyright law, and it is changing slowly. It HAS to change in the digital age because that old model of publication and reproduction is now completely inadequate -- in part because, when you now buy a piece online and take "digital delivery" of it, in fact you HAVE bought an abstract object and not a physical thing. If you do this, you may notice some very careful wording publishers insert concerning if/when/how/under what circumstances ANY copies may be made.

But right now -- certainly for any paper publications/copies, and certainly for "legacy" copies -- the old model is still the law. You bought paper. You own that paper. If you lose it, barf on it, or your dog eats it, then too bad -- that paper is gone. You can buy a replacement for that paper from the publisher, but when you do, you're buying a NEW piece of paper. You are not constantly buying the same work in eternity. The "work" you buy from the publisher isn't an abstract "composition" or "arrangement". It's a piece of paper. That's ALWAYS been the publishing model. In days before copy machines (50s? 60s?), there was no problem -- no confusion. Since then, things have become progressively more problematic with that model, and a newer solution is still being (somewhat painfully) worked out.

I'm perfectly aware that -- regarding the sort of copying and copies we're talking about -- "people do this all the time". That doesn't make it legal, it doesn't make it right, and it doesn't make it wise. It's also possible (I think, and I can do it) to provide pretty solid ethical/pragmatic justifications for making copies under certain circumstances -- and ones that a court might find compelling on grounds of "equity", if it got to that point. And while I'm prepared to do that on a personal basis (in situations of copies for my own private use, for example), I'm not prepared to do similar things in the context of an organization such as a band, orchestra, or other group -- particularly if I'm a member of the administration or management of that group. But we each have to make our own choices in these confusing times.
Gary Merrill
Wessex EEb Bass tuba
Mack Brass Compensating Euph
Amati Oval Euph
1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba
Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/110 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)
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