Please use these links to purchase music. Buying songs will support the artists. These direct links are our way of giving something back to the artists, and is provided without any profit to Chordie.
I doubt if there exists any guitar player that did not learn to play the guitar by playing other people's songs. In the most hardcore interpretation of the copyright law, this constitutes a criminal act if the budding guitar player so much as took notes or consulted a friend while practicing these songs - if he did not first buy the official tablature book.
Few artists would fight someone initiating a fan club on their behalf or creating a fan page in their honor, although, in some sense, this is someone profiting on the artist's name. However, as long as it is all in good-taste and informational, it is just free PR. In my opinion, the same goes for tablatures on the Internet. Most artists would love that people use their songs in order to learn to play the guitar. It is the best PR an artist can get. And it is free.
In the three years Chordie has been open, I have been getting tons of e-mails every day. I've gotten lots of e-mails about errors in songs (including from the songwriters themselves), I've gotten lots of e-mails about songs being attributed to the wrong artist (from people wanting their names to be mentioned). I've gotten lots of e-mails from artists wanting their songs to be added to the archive.
I've gotten a few e-mails from transcribers wanting songs they've transcribed to be removed, but I have never gotten a single e-mail from an artist wanting to remove a song from Chordie. Even if I do state that all songs would be removed immediately if someone asks.
Chordie does not host songs locally. It is merely a search engine that does some magical on-the-fly formatting. Like other search engines, Chordie is relying on the sites that are hosting the material to check if the material is compliant with their country's copyright laws.
Chordie indexes lots of sites; the majority is fan sites, but there are also some large archives. Some of these archives have recently been threatened by the music publishers association for copyright infringements. Since most of them are non-profit, they have no chance fighting a multimillion-dollar organization with tons of lawyers. They have had to close down, and so far no such cases have been tried in court.
The main argument for the music publishers are that the artists are loosing money when people are finding songs on the Internet instead of buying their books. There are several reasons this is a very thin argument:
- The publishing costs for tablature books are high, and the numbers of sold copies are fairly low, the earnings are almost negligible for the individual artists.
- Official tablature books and the tablature sketches you will find on sites like Chordie, fulfills different niches. If you want to browse through 50 songs in an evening, you visit Chordie. If you want to consult a tablature for a professional performance, you buy the book.
- Internet tablature sites makes learning guitar a lot more accessible. This will lead to more guitar players, and also more potential customers for the music publishers. Most likely this more than compensates for any lost revenue.
- More people playing the songs mean more fans. You need to listen to the original song to be able to play it. This is where the artists earn their money.
So why give away free ads that advertise for the songs? It is primarily to show that Chordie is supporting the artists. If publishing this song on Chordie should lead to one less sold official tablature book, the revenue from these links would compensate many times for any lost income.
Chordie builds upon great songs by great artists. I am hoping that by making guitar playing more accessible to lots of new potential artists; it will lead to more great music.