Guitar Tab Archive Shut Down Due to Copyright Issues

OLGA, a venerable and very popular guitar tablature archive, received “take downnotices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Guitar tab archives are such a gray area for working musicians. For up-and-comers on a budget, guitar tabs are a simple, free way to learn songs. However, sheet music is a traditional way that songwriters have earned money — even at a few cents per copy.

While OLGA was essentially a non-commercial effort, I imagine that the message is loud and clear for the hordes of commercial sites offering guitar tabs — pay a royalty or get sued.

Like song lyrics on the web, this is a very sticky situation that only artists can solve. I don’t ever think that there will be a blanket agreement over what you can and cannot legally do with guitar tabs and song lyrics online — the community is too divided.

What do you think should happen, and what are you, as an artist, ready to do about it?

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One response

  1. This is really short-sighted by the copyright holders. What better exposure for your recorded music than somebody playing it live?

    Finally got around to posting some comments on my blog…

    OLGA has has problems since the beginning. Thought that the industry was finally going to accept them, but I guess not. 🙁