The recent thread on banjo tabs reminded me about somthing that I've been trying to get a handle on for some time.
I own several of Joe Ayers reproduction banjo instructions. First, I want to say that if it weren't for Joe reprinting these, I doubt we could be as far along as we are with authentic music. He has done an invaluable service for authentic music, and for helping to keep alive an almost "extinct" form of playing.
One thing that I found rather odd, though, was his copyright statement at the front of the manuals. Unfortunately, I don't have one available right now as I type. Basically, he says all reproduction, including electronic and even recording the music is illegal.
I have to question how he can claim this, especially the recording aspect. From my understanding, the tunes and the arrangements would essentially be public domain. I've thought about tabbing some of the tunes out and posting them so people can have access, but I don't want to get in trouble. I understand not being able to just photocopy the pages and nilly-willy pass them around.
Any copyright lawyer types out there that can answer these?