"When you are jamming with a friend and you show him/her the chords for a song you heard on the radio, is that copyright infringement? What about if you helped him/her remember the chord progression or riff by writing it down on, say, a napkin... infringement?"That's a tough one.
I believe showing a friend some chords is not a copyright infringement, but teaching a million friends the same chords while running ads on the site does constitute a kind of infringement.
Am I right?
Isn't profit really at the heart of this copyright battle? Would the accusation of infringement disappear if these websites were to stop making profits, however meagre, from their effort? (Any lawyers?)
For reason I cannot quite articulate to myself, it has become more and more difficult for me, with each passing day, to view these battles in "old-fashioned", Slashdot-style "Suits Vs. Fans" terms. Sure, amateur guitarists may think they have a right to read and post new guitar tabs and chords. But don't song publishers also have a right to a livelihood? (When was the last time I bought a real chordbook? 1994, maybe.)
I support both sides (gasp!) and I am sure I have lost most of my credibility for just saying that.
BTW, anyone got good tabs for the Robert Johnson songbook? ;)