cconsaul’s Techdirt Profile


About cconsaul

I am a semi-retired Folksinger, Full time retired Army Bandsman, Full time music teacher, and song writer by trade. All that other stuff just supports my habit. I am older than dirt and twice as crusty, and determined not to let the big bullies at the RIAA tell my little songs where they can go to play. I fully intend to be famous approximately one hundred years after I die, and am not much interested in moving that time table up. You can find my little folk songs courtesy of the good folks at

and you can find the sheet music that I write for my students at Sheet music digital dot com, courtesy of Michael Daly:

If you really like his site, consider becoming a member please. He's been very good to a lot of people, including myself, and we need to keep him in business.

cconsaul’s Comments comment rss

  • Sep 3rd, 2011 @ 12:04pm

    I got nothing against commercials

    Way back in the day, when the TV corps (Ironic how that sounds) used to gnash their teeth and wail over the fact that we were actually recording our favorite shows on VCRs, we used to leave the commercials in all the time. It was kind of like a time capsule of bad taste and we could always fast forward them if they were too stupid. Why would anyone object to anyone doing the same thing that they used to fight tooth and nail against, if only to get their viewer base back? Silly silly tv companies!

  • Mar 28th, 2011 @ 7:39am

    Let Me Go One Step Further

    When Jib Jab created their funny little parody of "This Land Is Your Land" they were sued by the Guthrie Estate. Now the last thing the Guthrie Estate needed was more money. Arlo does quite well on his own and Woodie's songs are chunking up revenue like popsickles in the Amazon, thanks to Wilco and all of the Guthrie revivals going on. I guess it was the principal of the thing, right? Jib Jab won their case however, and they didn't do it by proving that the parody fell under the fair use clause. They simply found a songbook with Woodie's song published on a date that was older than the copyright date that it was grandfathered under. At that moment, educators like myself could use this song in our classrooms without all of the usual gobbletygook we always go through when we want to use anything that isn't already in the outdated or nonexistent textbooks we keep cobbled together from year to year. (I buy my own, but that is another story) I will go so far to say that extending the copyright out further than the artist's own lifetime, or that of the immediate spouse, is actually detrimental to the well being of the next generations that benefit (along with the publishing and distribution companies and which is why this was really enacted in the first place)

    Education is under an unfair yoke when it comes to copyright and considering the fact that we are grooming the next generation of consumers, the publishers and distributors are really shooting themselves in the foot by holding us to this onerous standard. Literary content, and especially songs should be considered fair use for educational purposes; period! I know that this would mean a revision of the whole textbook industry, but the textbook industry is doomed anyway, unless they get up off of their bloated carcasses and produce affordable content for schools. Universities and Colleges across the country are adapting digital textbooks, and in many cases are writing their own because the existing product is too expensive, has a hidden ideological, political, or cultural agenda, and has to be replaced entirely too often to keep up with current trends.

    Anyone should have a right to be paid for their labor if they want that pay, I wholeheartedly agree. How about the small fish in this very large ocean who are content to share our content with other teachers. I was actually removed from a site because the RIAA determined that I had to be protected against myself whether I wanted to be or not. I currently share over four hundred piece of sheet music on and over a hundred original MP3 files (and one parody) on (just look under Charles Consaul) and no one charges anyone a cent for any of this content because I could not sell it to save my life! It is also more important for me to get this material out where it can be used, just as I look for every scrap of material I can get to supplement my student's supply of useful material to use in my classroom. I spend two hundred dollars a month to get published content and that is not enough. By extending copyright, we are extending the amount of time a publishing and distribution company has to use the same content over and over again with a minimal to zero amount of innovation. We are also stifling the genes of creativity for the poor sons and daughters of the composers, lyricists, and authors who created this content in the first place. So, how does that help us to be more creative and keep up with the rest of the world?

  • May 6th, 2010 @ 12:17pm

    When a DVD movie is less expensive than the CD, Something's Wrong!

    The recording industry has traditionally put a lot of filler in their product, and even the most principled artists who insist on nothing but pure content, find it hard to compete with the fact that their CD often costs up to twice as much as a DVD movie, and often six to seven dollars less than the concert DVD with most (if not all) of the same songs on it, plus encores!

    I can still get used CDs for a reasonable price, and I can always support local artists who don't have porcine distributors inserting themselves noisily between my wallet and their feeding trough. I would be quite happy to support a business model where I pay the artist's royalty directly. Goodness knows the distributor never bothers to. What artists get percentage wise for downloads as compared to CD sales is shameful and that's not even addressing the fact that the legitimate download is usually recorded at a much lower rate than the average fan mp3 / ogg / ect.

  • May 4th, 2010 @ 3:05pm

    Hasn't anybody heard of Citizen Band Radios?

    Honestly, people have been driving while performing other tasks ever since the wheel. The most blatant examples I can think of is the radio, both AM/FM and Citizen's Band, still beloved by long haul truckers who breaker breaker all over the USA! You've also got shortwave, sideband, skip tracing, bird watchers complete with binoculars, and even () Tourists!

    There are even those who can text without looking at the screen! There are also those who can't drive safely at fifteen miles an hour with blinders on! For unsafe drivers there are already laws on the books, for safe drivers who are offended by the trampling of their first amendment rights by those who just want to take the easy way out, (they may not want to pay to put in new "No Cell Phones In School Zones" signs) there are class action lawsuits similar to the ones that were brought against communities that tried to ban CB's when they first became popular. A few people will get very very rich and the rest of us will get one more lesson in why we should never pass one extra law, simply because every law diminishes the effect of all other laws and makes people question why they follow laws at all!

  • Apr 30th, 2010 @ 3:36pm

    The Guthrie Estate Tried This With Jib Jab

    Jib Jab posted clever little flash animation on You Tube, using a parody of "This Land Is Your Land" by Woodrow Wilson Guthrie. Now Woodie would probably have laughed himself silly over the thing, but his estate decided to sue instead. The outcome was rather unsatisfying though, since Jib Jab found a published version of the song that was written early enough in Mr. Guthrie's career that it literally took the song out of copyright altogether! This is good for Jib Jab since it meant that the Guthrie estate didn't have a leg to stand on. It's even better for educators since we now have carte blanche to use the song for educational purposes without being harrased by the RIAA, the Musician's Union, or apparently now by the AFL-CIO (Ouch, that one hurts, my dad belonged to that Union and it is the Union that I currently belong to as a certified teacher!)

    So there is another danger here. Not only does all of this spurious litigation dilute the so called protections of copyright (protect the distributors and retailers and the heck with the poor schmuck who wrote it!) the litigants might actually find out that their precious creative work is no longer under copyright at all. You might even say that Jib Jab proved once and for all time that "This song was made for you and me!"

    Was a great high wall there
    That tried to stop my
    A great big sign said
    "Private Property"
    But on the other side
    It didn't say nuthin'
    Except, This land is made for you and me!

    Woodie Guthrie

    They never put this verse in the text books. I wonder why?"

  • Apr 30th, 2010 @ 3:23pm

    A Word About Congress

    During World War II, at the behest of the Knights of Columbus, Congress decided to coopt an oath written by a Methodist Minister who was defrocked for being a Christian Socialist. They added the words "Under GOD" to the oath, and decided to use it without attribution, probably because parents who found out it's origins would be mildly horrified! It has been used that way ever since, without the permission of the Author's Estate, and our students stand up and invoke this oath every single day. If Congress doesn't have to follow Copyright law or give proper attribution (display the Author's name) when it isn't convenient, what good is the law in the first place?

    So, who is the author, what is the oath, and since this is the second time it was changed without the Author's or the Authors estate's permission, what was the first time? Incidentally, the author objected the first time and the Estate also filed a complaint, to no avail! So much for Democracy in action, so much for the separation of Church and State, and so much for the Federal Government following the same copyright law they put on the books in the first place!

  • Apr 30th, 2010 @ 2:27pm

    So The Leprachaun wants all of the gold at the end of the rainbow

    I guess they've forgotten that we can, have and will continue to keep writing our own music. If they are that miserly and mean spirited, they aren't really Irish anyway! They are just another version of the RIAA in leprechaun suits. Just remember, we are not above throwing a pair of overhauls in their chowder and starting our very own pot of nail soup! I've got the nail if you've got the errr ummm, cauldron! Didn't want any unfortunate double entandres sticking out there. Honestly, don't they know that the Unicorn was written by a Bald Jewish Guy (his own words) anyway? (Shel Silverstein) Unfortunately the only thing they truly have a monopoly on is Blarney, and this is one more example!