by Mike Masnick
Wed, Apr 15th 2009 8:40am
We recently posted about Frank Zappa's early recognition of where the music industry was heading, with fans taping and sharing music. That story got a lot of attention, but we'd forgotten how incredibly protective Frank's widow Gail has become of Zappa's own music. In the past, she's tried (and failed) to stop a music festival of Zappa's music called Zappanale, and Karl alerts us to the fact that she's been going around threatening any cover band who doesn't agree to pay up. This is, as any copyright lawyer will tell you, ridiculous. So long as the venue where the music is being played has paid its blanket licensing fee, then anyone can play whatever music they want there. Many musicians (and their widows, apparently) falsely believe that copyright allows you to completely control all uses of your work, but that's simply not true. And, it's a shame that Zappa's "legacy" is being treated this way, whereby people are being told that simply playing and sharing Zappa's music is somehow illegal without first paying up to the Zappa family.
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