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Canadian's supporting free online music education!

Recently there has been an intimidation campaign by the MPA (Music Publishers' Association) which has scared most guitar websites with tablature into either shutting down entirely or removing their tablature sections. The website owners have been accused of copyright infringment and have been threatened with legal action. It's a very sad situation for all of us - the online musician community. The MPA is working hard to deprive its customers of the effective, inspiring and sometimes indispensable resources they use to improve their guitar skills! There is no way to dispute the fact that free online tablature resources have fostered an explosion in the popularity of guitar-playing worldwide. Without those resources, there would absolutely be fewer guitarists which would mean a smaller market for the MPA-made products!

Regardless of how illogical and myopic their planning is, there is a much more important reason why this campaign must not and can not succeed. In every country we know of, there exists no law prohibiting people from teaching eachother to play guitar for free using tablature. The MPA is counting on portions of the U.S. Copyright Law to lend their outrageous demands credibility. The problem for them is that they have failed to acknowledge the 'fair-use' exception in that same law. The exception, in these cases, provides protection from prosecution to free online tablature websites when threatened by groups doing such things as what the MPA is attempting.

To learn more about this issue, check out this Wikipedia entry containing information as to what's going on.

Also, the newly formed group 'MuSATO' (the 'Music Student and Teacher Organization') has the mission statement "Fighting for the freedom to fairly use tablature in online education.". WE FULLY SUPPORT MuSATO AND ARE DOING ALL WE CAN AS INDIVIDUALS TO HELP THEM FIGHT THIS RUTHLESS MPA CAMPAIGN AGAINST FREE MUSIC EDUCATION. There will be many terrible consequences if the MPA succeeds. For instance, the MPA would not even allow volunteer-made tablature to be shared for free on any website EVEN WHEN NO 'OFFICIAL' TABLATURE FOR THAT SONG EXISTS FOR SALE ANYWHERE!!! Especially for people who are often physically very far away from any music stores because, perhaps, they live in small towns or developing countries... how will they be able to educate themselves unless there are websites where they can study, teach, and collaborate?

None of the tablature at this website is for sale anywhere, including this website itself. All access here is completely free, and that's the way it should be.

Please recognize that the ability to preserve these highly-effective and insipiring (as well as indispensable, to many) learning resources lies with YOU and the choices that you make now and up until the MPA realizes their mistake. It is difficult for individual website owners and tablature enthusiasts to fight the MPA alone. Our power lies is our numbers and our passion for learning as well as sharing knowledge with eachother as musicians. We must unite with the objective of protecting our rights. We cannot afford to have anyone be intimidated by the size of some legal fund the MPA has set aside for running these communal knowledge eradication efforts.

Check out the MuSATO Website for more info and seriously consider joining (sign-up is free, your privacy is protected, and 'spam' is forbidden, etc.)

We hate to be the bearers of bad news here but public awareness of this massive attempt at exploitation of aspiring musicians worldwide is crucial! Please share the information here with any other musicians you know, as well as anyone you know who could possibly get this story more publicity.

Regardless of these gloomy current events, there is still very much hope! Keep a positive outlook! Also, keep rocking... so keep playing guitar... as well as learning more and more each and every day!

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