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What are the legal issues surrounding free guitar tablature? I have some specific questions:

  1. How are companies such as guitar-pro selling software to read gpx(gp5, etc.) tabs - is that legal? Reason?

  2. Can some other developer create the software for reading gpx files and sell the same?

  3. Do guitar tabs hosted outside the US also come under such jurisdiction?

  4. Is there any benefit of being an education company or an education software to be able to use the freely available guitar tabs (have seen this strategy used by some players attacked by MPA)?

There is a lot of confusion around this topic, not many people have a clear understanding.

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Legal issues are off-topic, since we're not law experts and it may be illegal in some places for us to give legal advice. See the FAQ. Please also ask one question per post! –  Matthew Read Oct 2 '12 at 22:43
    
Alright Matthew - will keep in mind. I put it here because i could not find any other relevant forum - any suggestions on where i can put this question? –  theoryPractitioner Oct 3 '12 at 4:58
    
Also, I think you are a bit confused. Your questions 1 and 2 have nothing to do with tab legislation. The tab viewer is just a tool. 3 is not actually a question. 4 - freely available does not mean legal- check licensing and copyright on each one. –  Dr Mayhem Oct 3 '12 at 7:07
    
Well, what country are you from? what country is the origin of the tabulature from? LAWs end usually at the border of the country issuing them;) –  rhavin Jan 25 at 12:12
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closed as off topic by Matthew Read Oct 2 '12 at 22:43

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1 Answer

Thats how I see it (Im not an expert or lawyer just programmer), please feel free to comment.

At 1. Yes, it is legal, if the filetype hasn't been patented (and I think it is impossible to patent such a thing). Think of gp5 as a filetype- like jpeg, mp3 etc, that is only way to organise and save data.

But using for example RSE from gp5, or reproducing such a thing is not allowed.

At 2, the answer is the same as above.

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