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Bar Performer Arrested For Copyright Violations 282

Edis Krad writes, "An elderly Japanese bar manager and performer has been arrested for playing copyrighted songs on his harmonica. From the article: 'Investigators accuse Toyoda of illegally performing 33 songs such as the Beatles' songs "Here, There and Everywhere" and "Yesterday," whose copyrights are managed by the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers. He allegedly performed the songs on the harmonica with a female pianist at the bar he operated between August and September this year.' This is for all those kids who are learning chords on their guitars — be ready to pay fees for practicing 'Smoke On The Water.' This story seems to be legit, though it reads like an Onion piece. It's only being reported in the Mainichi Daily News via MSN.
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Bar Performer Arrested For Copyright Violations

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  • Serves him right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaveCar ( 189300 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @10:21AM (#16784407)

    Stealing from poor, hardworking, underpaid, struggling artists like mulit-multi-millionaire Sir Paul.
  • by HikingStick ( 878216 ) <<moc.liamtoh> <ta> <remeir10z>> on Thursday November 09, 2006 @10:21AM (#16784417)
    The difference here is that this guy plays the tunes in his business establishment. One could reasonably argue that he does derive financial benefit from having music as a perk for his patrong.

    Unless the guitar-playing kids are imposing a cover charge when playing for Aunt Sally, I think they are free from worry...

    ...for now.
  • by twofidyKidd ( 615722 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @10:25AM (#16784491)
    I have noticed (to much LOLing this morning) that nearly every article on /. is tagged with "itsatrap"... what gives? Doesn't this kinda defeat the purpose of the tagging system in the first place? At the very least, it was highly amusing to see every article tagged with "itsatrap." Maybe we should lobby slashdot to legitimize it with an admiral ackbar icon.
  • Crazy... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by linuxci ( 3530 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @10:26AM (#16784513)
    What exactly was he 'stealing' here? An idea?

    It's not like if he recorded what he's playing and then sell it on it would risk losing sales to the original artists.

    His actions had zero impact on sales for those artists/labels in the unlikely event it had any impact at all it would have been slightly positive (e.g. someone gets tune stuck in their head and seeks out the original).
  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @10:39AM (#16784761) Homepage
    As the conviction rate in Japan exceeds 99% [], we can be almost certain that this dangerous international economic terrorist is going to be kept off the streets for a long time. At last, Japanese listeners can be assured of hearing only 100% approved covers by the latest Pop Puppet of the Hour!
  • by tgeller ( 10260 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:59AM (#16786311) Homepage
    O.K., I give up. Man breaks law, man gets arrested. Happens every day.

    Is this somehow different because he's Japanese? Elderly? Using a harmonica? Someone clue me in here.

    Oh, right, it's because of some vague, imagined connection to DRM or some other fantasy of /. editors. You believe that, since you're entitled to make a copy of your legally purchased CD, that means no musicians anywhere should ever get paid. Got it.

    ASCAP is almost 100 years old, and BMI is nearly 50. They have *thousands* of court cases, based on hundreds of years of precedent in common law, that solidify their rights. The right, for example, to collect fees for performance of its members' works. You have a problem with that? Go live somewhere it ain't so. Somewhere like... well, nowhere, really.

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright