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YouTube Guitar Lessons Pulled in Copyright Spat


A few months ago NPR told you about people teaching guitar on YouTube. Now one of them has had all his videos pulled from the site amid complaints of copyright infringement.

NPR's Frank Langfitt reports.

Mr. DAVID TAUB (Founder, NextLevelGuitar.com): So your verse is going to be this: D to A to G. Dag.

FRANK LANGFITT: That's David Taub. Until last week he was the most popular guitar teacher on YouTube, with more than 100 instructional videos. Then he got an e-mail saying a music company had accused him of violating copyright. The offending tune: the Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar." Taub's business partner, Tim Gilberg, responded with a song of his own.

Mr. TIM GILBERG (Co-Founder, NextLevelGuitar.com): (Singing) Explaining a few chords, talking about a song, please let me know how that could be wrong.

LANGFITT: Well, legal scholars say that using even a few notes from a song can constitute copyright infringement. Interestingly, you can still watch videos from another big YouTube guitar teacher, Justin Sandercoe.

What's the difference? Taub taught on YouTube for free, but he used those videos to market a paid teaching Web site called NextLevelGuitar.com. Sandercoe, on the other hand, didn't charge for any of his Internet lessons.

Mr. JUSTIN SANDERCOE (Justinguitar.com): All of these stuff from my site is free, so therefore maybe people will see it more as a public service.

LANGFITT: Taub plans to post new lessons on YouTube but he says they will feature original material.

Frank Langfitt, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Frank Langfitt
Frank Langfitt is NPR's London correspondent. He covers the UK and Ireland, as well as stories elsewhere in Europe.
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