The greatest rock song ever? Is it Legal on Linux?

Story: Beware of Those Calling Themselves Open SourceTotal Replies: 17
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Mar 30, 2006
9:28 AM EDT
I'd have to give Led Zepplin's Stairway to Heaven the nod on this one. Now, the question we all have to ask: Is it open source, free or proprietary?

Next, I want to know the best duet. I have to give Beyonce and Luther the nod on "The Closer I get to you". So, when I hear it on a radio station in Belton, Texas and it's being broadcast over the air is it free, open source or proprietary?

Next, I want to know which song hits the top as far as love songs. OK. In "The Family Man", Nicholas Cage sings a Delphonics number called "La La I Love You". The original puts electricity in the air. So, if you can find the MP3 on the Internet, is it free, open source or proprietary?

If you decide to buy it on one of the legal download services and you figure out how to play any of these tunes on Linux - are you legal?

I guess this is the best question. If you hear any of these tunes in your head or sing them while taking a walk, do you owe the RIAA 9 cents?

Is that free, open source or propietary?

"Oohhhhh, it really makes me wonder".


Mar 30, 2006
10:08 AM EDT
> I'd have to give Led Zepplin's Stairway to Heaven the nod on this one.

Free Bird, Lynyrd Skynyrd.

> ...which song hits the top as far as love songs....

Unchained Melody. The Righteous Brothers.

> I want to know the best duet...

Hmm, that's a tough one. There are a lot of good ones from a number of eras, and none really stands out for me. Your pick is a good one. So is "The Core" by Clapton and Levy. There was a song on "The Last Waltz" which had a number of artists joining in. From memory, it was "The Weight", but I'm not certain. That's not a duet, but it deserves mentioning. If we don't limit it to rock, "Louisiana Woman Mississippi Man" by Lynn and Twitty is pretty good, and if nothing else the legendary status of the performers makes it worth listening to.

> Is that free, open source or propietary?

Trying to spark discussion again Tom? You know the answers as well as I do. Now, whether those answers should be true or not is another discussion, as is the fact that the laws governing the matter are almost completely unenforcable. You also should realize that such a discussion could rapidly move in directions which violate the TOS. :)

Mar 30, 2006
10:22 AM EDT
I don't know. Free Bird doesn't make it but Sweet Home Alabama would give Stairway a run for the money, but how do you dup the guitar when Page takes off and the voice goes falsetto and everything starts to rock. I still have to go with Led. You might want to give Sultans of Swing an honerable mention.

I do agree about Unchained Melody. What happened to my memory on that one? That's truly a "haunting" song. Note the subtext. Are we doing honorbale mentions then anything by Karen Carpenter.

The duets are tough. I'm staying with Beyonce and Luther.

But you didn't answer my question and I don't think it involves religion or politics unless you want to pick on Judy Collins for Amazing Grace.

If I hum the song and hear it in my mind, is it still someone's intellectual property. If not, then suddenly the wheels are in motion.

Mar 30, 2006
10:45 AM EDT
If you sing the tune, that's a new performance of an existing composition. You won't owe those who recorded the performance you heard anything. However, you may owe the composer (or his assignee) something. The music industry (I know you know about the music biz, Tom ... "No Easy Answers") has it's own licensing complications. Depending on the music and the circumstances, you may have to license through ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, or the Harry Fox Agency. I sure hope we don't go down that road with with Libre Software. But software licensing is still quite a mess, even if agencies are not involved. More on that in a future episode of LXer.

Mar 30, 2006
12:53 PM EDT
> If I hum the song and hear it in my mind...

Well, IANAL, but as far as I can determine: Humming the song counts as a performance, though I don't know if it counts if there's no one to hear it. Hearing it in your mind doesn't count, at least not until the RIAA starts hiring telepaths.

Oh, and having some time to think about duets: Paradise by the Dashboard Light. Meatloaf and Ellen Foley.

> ...Free Bird doesn't make it...

We obviously have different tastes in music. :) What do you think of Christine Perfect's version of "I Would Rather Go Blind" from "The Legendary Christine Perfect Album"?

Mar 30, 2006
1:12 PM EDT
First, I think you would owe the writer publication royalties but you wouldn't have to pay the mechanical rights if you either hummed the music or listened to it in your mind regardless of whether the RIAA could detect it or not. They would have to go on trust.

On the duet, I'm going back to the Closer I Get to You but I want to change artists. I'll go with Roberta Flack and Johnny Hathaway.

Free Bird is definitely up there . I keep remembering the scene from Forrest Gump where Jenny wanted to jump, but I just can't imagine anything matching Stairway. They are different genres for sure - English rock vs Southern rock. I give Stairway an inch.

You were joking about Meatloaf - right?

I have to admit "I Would Rather Go Blind" is top of the list. Awesome.

I was just sitting here thinking about it.

Mar 30, 2006
1:52 PM EDT
> You were joking about Meatloaf - right?

Not really, though it's Foley's vocals which make the song. It simple, elementary rock, but as long as you don't expect too much of it it's pretty good.

Mar 30, 2006
5:44 PM EDT
Diamond and Streisand - "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" hands down for best duet.

And no...I am not particularly drawn to show tunes.

Mar 30, 2006
5:59 PM EDT
> am not particularly drawn to show tunes.

I was thinking that one of the musicals might have the best duet, but it's not my genre, so I can't actually think of any. The problem for me is that none of the ones I can think of actually stands out as being significantly better than the others. There are a bunch of duets that are approximately equal.

Mar 30, 2006
6:29 PM EDT
Quoting:Diamond and Streisand

You were so joking, absolutely. ROFL. When you were still in the service did you stand next for those fifty mils without head gear?

Mar 30, 2006
9:53 PM EDT
Eek, what is "the greatest ever ..." debate.

Time by Pink Floyd from Dark Side of The Moon. I think you'll find Mr Gilmour is a slightly better guitar player than Mr Page. (Dave "wrote Shine on You Crazy Diamond" Gilmour vs Jimmy "bum-notes" Page? hmm no contest!)

Pink Floyd are just better all round really. (And I speak as one who as a teenager had bedroom that was a bit of a Led Zeppelin shrine).

Best love song... Too many to choose from, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face sung by Roberta Flack. Joni Mitchell has written some powerful stuff. Since I've Been Lovin You from Led Zeppelin 3 , Tea For One from Presence.

Best duets for me are (discounting classical which is where the best voices tend to be) Simon and Garfunkel.

Is it a performance to hum a song? No. It's a performance to get some instruments and do a cover version. It could be argued (and probably will be at some point) that to play a new record to friends is a performance. You could argue that when a song has been released in sheet music form that it's been open sourced (though you still can't copy it without problems).

Expecting people to buy a copy of something they want to listen to is not unreasonable. And even though most of the music industry is shot through with greed and rip-off merchants this doesn't mean that it's a free for all with regard to copying. The problem arises when customers are treated as having lost all rights because they copied something when those doing the prosecuting are even more guilty of ripping unknown artists off, making huge profits and rigging the market with regard to prices.

Sound familiar?

A certain software company that squeals like a stuck pig when anyone tries to even suggest they might abide by the law. The same law they demand is applied to their competitors.

I think mostly people are sick to the heart with the double standards employed by these industry types. No one minds having to pay for a CD unless 95% of the money you're paying is clear profit for the record company who already ripped the original artist off. No one would mind paying a reasonable sum for an OS, but not if the OS is full of holes and bad code and certainly not if the maker treats you as a stupid criminal and seems more intent on getting himself off the hook than supporting you.

Enough with the hypocrisy already!

Big business is trying to dictate everything. They have (allegedly) clever lawyers and attack funds and they want to control your thoughts as well as your desires and habits. It's one thing to try to persuade people via advertising, quite another when they begin to ask for the law to formally back them up in setting the market place to their advantage.

We have the power because we have the money and the numbers. But that power only works if we stand up to them and refuse to buy from the worst offenders. So, when Nestle flood Africa with powdered baby milk and run campaigns designed to make mothers question the value of breast milk in order to sell more powdered milk and the result is more babies dying due the powdered milk being crap and not boosting their immune systems the way mothers milk does. We stop buying from Nestle. And if that means we have to change a habit or two then get on with it. The market would have you believe that there's no point in objecting, no point in refusing to buy, no point in resisting because their victory is inevitable.

I disagree.


Mar 31, 2006
7:05 AM EDT
If you read the book - Hit Men : Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Business - you will discover that Pink Floyd played to full audiences in the LA Coliseum for four nights in a row. But, not a single radio staion in the LA basin played on second of their music for weeks before and after. Why?

Sony decided not to pay off the manfia. Big business Sal? How about organized crime.

Mar 31, 2006
11:59 PM EDT
I'm sure there are links as you suggest. Where there's money there's sure to be greedy corrupt men. The more money, the more greed and corruption.

Also, most Pink Floyd songs are about 15 minutes long and consists of awesome music while Roger Waters whines about what a crap life he's had. This is not a commercial radio, 3 minute "feel good" ditty band.


Big business and the Mafia.

What's the difference between "pay us or your pc is at risk" and "pay us or something might happen to your lovely wife"?


Apr 01, 2006
3:18 AM EDT
Quoting:did you stand next for those fifty mils without head gear?.....

Headgear,,,? We had headgear?

huh, go figure.

Apr 08, 2006
10:22 AM EDT
Tom: Best love song ever:... Led Zepplin... ya again... Thank you ( that's the title)

Apr 08, 2006
10:26 AM EDT
Oh damn.. gotta love Zep... best blues song EVER.... Since I've Been Lovin' You

Apr 08, 2006
11:13 AM EDT

It is the greatest Led Zepplin song EVER!!!

Hands down people, hands down.

Apr 09, 2006
6:28 AM EDT
Since I'm from the "Northeast liberal elite" I prefer Southern Man by Neil Young to Lynyrd Skynyrd (ducks for cover)

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