So for my audition Friday night I decided to buy the sheet music for the song I sang, Somebody’s Baby by Jackson Browne. An outfit called sheetmusicplus.com sold me the song’s sheet music for $5.
After thinking it over a bit I realized just how absurd a price that is. I can buy the song in MP3 form for a buck with Jackson Browne singing and playing it (far better than I can), or I can spend five bucks and do all of the singing and playing myself. Seems a bit backwards that with the sheet music I’m paying more and getting less.
And here’s another quirk with copyright law. Buying the sheet music required me to install a separate application which limited how many times I could print the sheet music. That’s right: I was only allowed to print the music one time. If my printer’s toner cartridge streaked or some other technical catastrophe struck I’d be out five bucks. On the other hand, owning the MP3 lets me legally copy it and play it on any and every device I own. How does this make any sense?
Copyright law is often way, way behind the technology and social curve. I’m all for paying people for their work but it seems to me that copyright law is in need a dose of common sense.