8B – Copyright

Copyright:  Does it really matter anyway?

The Scenario:

Your best friend is a singer-songwriter in their own band who writes their own songs, but they also like to record themselves performing other people’s songs for practice.  Then they upload them on to their Facebook page so that anyone can listen to their music and so that they can get some feedback.  One day they notice a great song you have written and take it without your permission and perform it and then they put it on their Facebook page.

You want to (respectfully) help them to understand why this was wrong and even illegal.

What will you say to them?

Writing Situation:

Write a one-paragraph blog to your friend explaining why uploading recordings of other people’s songs is wrong and illegal unless you get their permission.  In your explanation, be sure to explain how this type of “sharing” affects the original song writer and singing artist.  End by encouraging them to use their own music and why that would be appropriate.


Rod Hames  MrHames.org

22 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Carmen S. on January 15, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Recently I’ve seen that on your MySpace page you’ve posted covers of other artist’s songs. I hope you know this is illegal. You don’t have permission to post these songs, could post them. Of course, you don’t even know them, but that’s besides the point. Also, I don’t appreciate that you posted one of my songs. I never said you could do that. That is my song, and it’s private. Please think about what I’ve said, and please take down my song.

  2. Posted by Tim M. on January 15, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Dear Friend
    I think that taking my song without asking me was wrong. You have to understand that taking peoples work wether it be writing or a song without their permission is illegal. I really do encourage you to put you own music on your myspace so that people can really listen to the music you wrote. I really hope you are not mad but I really think you needed to know the way i felt.

    sincerely, Tim

  3. Posted by Michael R. on January 15, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Dear Friend,

    Playing my song on the internet is great and all, but that is unfortunantly illeagle. As soon as I wrote that song, it was copyrighted. Next time, ask permission from me and then it will be perfectly leagle. If you were caught doing this, you could be forced to pay a fee or could possibly spend time in jail.

  4. Posted by Garrett V. on January 15, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Copying other people’s work and uploading it to the internet without their permission is illegal. This is how millions of artists lose money every year. How would you feel if you spent your time creating something, and then someone stole it away from you and distributed it to millions of people without your permission. Thank you for listening, and I hope next time you ask me before you copy my song.

  5. Posted by Gerard A. on January 15, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Dear Friend,
    I am glad you have a love for music. I entirely support you 100 percent, but when you stole my song from me I felt kind of used. I don’t appreciate the fact that you took my song. I am asking you to consult me before you use anymore of my songs.


  6. Posted by DevinD on January 15, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Copyright means to make the story, song, or drawing yours. This says that no one can copy or steal your work. When you were performing my song, you were breaking the law. The prognosis for this is jail time or a fine. Be sure next time that you don’t take another person’s song and use your own.

  7. Posted by Luke S on January 15, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    You have no right to post other people’s songs on the internet without their permission. If you had asked me if you could record and post my song, I would have said yes. That song was my property and you took it and gave it to other people without my permission. You also shouldn’t share other people’s songs without their permission, because that person might want to make money off of the use of their song. Even though they are not an actual object, songs belong to their songwriters, and you shouldn’t take them without permission.

  8. Posted by Megan S. on January 15, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Dear friend,

    Did you know that uploading my song to MySpace without my consent is illegal? You can go to jail or get major fines because of uploading recordings of other people’s songs is wrong. You were suppose to get my permission. This affects me because I wrote it and you did not. It affects you because you could get into trouble. You can share your own music because you wrote it and it is yours.

  9. Posted by Sydni Tillman on March 20, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Dear Friend,

    I don’t know if you have realized, but the song that you put on your myspace is MINE! It took me months to think of that song, and now no one even knows that its mine. Did you know that taking people’s work is illegal. You can be fined for alot of money, or even arrested. So in conclusion, please don’t take others work. Not only is it unpolite, its against the law.


    Sydni Tillman(:

    Great job communicating to your friend in a nice but frank way.

  10. Posted by Nickolas S. on March 20, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Dear Freind,

    I have noticed that you took my song and preformed it for your own personnal gain without my concent. Did you know that that is illegal and that many people are arrested every year for this same offense? The only music your allowed to share and preform is music that you wrote. Please remove my song from your website or ask me for my permission to use my song.

  11. Posted by Madison K. on March 20, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    I think your recording of my song is very well done as is every song you do. However, I just wanted you to know that I don’t appriciate you posting it on your myspace. That is illeagl and in a severe case you could possibly go to jail or atleast be fined. Please just take it off your myspace and maybe in the future if you ask permission, we could enjoy recordings of YOUR songs.

    Nicely written. You did a fine job with your tone and style of writing.

  12. Posted by Justin D on March 20, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Dear friend,

    You know we have known each other for a long time. But I don’t think it is fair to take my song that I wrote, and post it on your website. I spent hours each day like you did polishing my work and the fact that you took it shakes my trust. Copying my work is illegal. I created it and you didn’t, and if this continues, well I don’t want to have to see you in stripes.

    You did a fine job clearing communicating your feelings while giving the facts about the law.
    Mr. Hames

  13. Posted by Taylor A on March 20, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Did you know that when you uploaded your version of MY song, you could go to jail? It’s wrong and illegal to do that! I didn’t give you permission to do that, and now people might think that you wrote that song, not me. You know I’m trying to start my writing career, and giving away my music for free isn’t helping. You have such a great talent, why waste it by posting other people’s music? Put your time and effort into creating a song of your own. You won’t be breaking any laws, and you never know who might discover it!

    Well written and very articulate. I appreciate the tone of your writing.
    Mr. Hames

  14. Posted by Edward L. on August 18, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    I see that you’ve posted one of my songs on your bands facebook page. Now I appreciate that you tried to help your band become more popular and all, but it is illegal due to copyright law, and aside that, its just plain rude. I know you were just trying to be a good band manager, but please take my song off the page, or ask if its OK with me. I dont want you to go to jail.

  15. Posted by Kimberly F. on August 18, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Dear Friend,

    I’m sure you didn’t know, but by putting my song on the internet without my permission, you broke the law. I didn’t appreciate how you did that. If you wrote a song, you wouldn’t want me to take it and just put it on my website. First, that makes it seem like I wrote the song myself, and secondly, it wastes both of our time. I hope this doesn’t happen again because I’d hate for you to go to jail or have to pay a huge fine.

  16. Posted by Michael H on August 18, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Do you know what you did by permorming and uploading my song? You violated the copywrite law, which is a serious offense. You could get fined, or even go to jail for doing something like that! What you did cost me a lot of time and money. copying someones work also limits their incentive to be creative. I hope that you now realize what you did.

  17. Posted by Maddie J on August 18, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    I must say that your song you’ve written was very well. Altough, I’ve noticed that your song has a lyric that I have written. And if you didn’t know, that is very illegal. Whenever someone writes something that is theirs’, unique, and has never been written before, it’s automatically copyrighted. Which makes the lyric rightfully mine and not yours. If you would have asked me, I most likely would have let you use it. I highly suggest you start writing your own songs, because it would make your songs very unique. And next time you can’t think of a few lyrics, fill free to ask.

  18. Posted by Josh S on August 18, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Hey Tom, how did you like the song I wrote? You sang it pretty well. There is just one little problem, you could pay alot of money or even go to jail for taking my song. If you wanted, you could have just asked for it. Anyway I would appreciate it if you did not do this again. Cya latter.
    Your best bud

  19. Posted by Charles Lee on August 18, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Hey Moe. I just wanted to say that you are singing my song and i dont appreciate it because you stole something that took work from me. Do you realize that this is illeagle and you can be charged with a fine? I’m sorry if you are offended, but i am just warning you now. Can you please take the time to see it from my perspetive and how i feel? I would very much appreciate it if you please take down the song. Thank you.

  20. Posted by Vidhi B on August 18, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Dear Friend,

    I have realised that you have put MY music on your personal facebook page. I am informing you that this is illegal and you can go to jail. So in conclusion please do not take anybodys work.

  21. Posted by Chandler M on August 18, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Dear Hanky,
    I really like your music. It is original, which is what I really like about it. I think your musical group will go far. I recently was looking at your page and I noticed that you performed the same song I wrote without my permission. I don’t mind, but other musicians defiantly will. They can file lawsuits, and create major problems for you and your band. Also, and original is always worth more than a copy. Thanks for giving the world great music, but remember to make sure it’s your own.
    Chandler H.

  22. Posted by Kelsey C on August 18, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Dear firend,
    I am so glad you are so enthusiastic about MY work but the key word in that scentence is that its mine!i just wanted to inform you that i do not appreciate this,and it is illigal, and i would like for you to take it off your facebook page immediatly! Possibly in the future you can post my work as long as you give ME the credit. I personally would love to hear your thoughts not my thoughts with your name on it!Please take this as a learning experiance!Thank you!

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