Bye-Bye, Miss American Pie|
by Brian McWilliams, PC World News Radio March 17, 1998
Next time you think about posting a MIDI file of your
favorite pop song on your personal home page, better
run it by the folks at the Harry Fox Agency first.
HFA, a subsidiary of the National Music Publishers'
Association, is evidently being more aggressive in
protecting the copyrights of the 18,000 musicians and
publishers it represents.
The company today announced a licensing agreement
with America Online in which AOL planned to revise its
guidelines for members who post MIDI files to its
While it's still okay to create and upload MIDI files to
AOL, if the tunes were written by artists represented by
HFA, AOL members will have to disclose that when they
post the file. And each time someone downloads the file,
AOL has agreed to pay HFA a royalty fee of 7 cents.
According to AOL's Rich D'Amato, the agreement didn't
result from any formal legal action from HFA.
Unlike formats such as MPEG3, MIDI files are not
actual duplications of original recorded material, but
instead are computer-generated music files. And while it's
okay to create a MIDI file on your PC of say, a favorite
Rolling Stones tune, HFA spokesperson Margaret Drum
says you can't distribute it on the Internet without paying
a royalty to the original artist.
[by Brian McWilliams, PC World News Radio March 17, 1998]