June 23, 2017

BC newspaper takes p|d story and photo

The seemingly credible Surrey Now-Leader has lifted copyright content without permission from or credit to pipes|drums Magazine.

Shortly after pipes|drums published its news story, “SFU drummer ripped off,” the Surrey, British Columbia-based outlet published a strikingly similar piece, using verbatim text and accompanying photo from pipes|drums.

The June 20th story, “Langley pipe band leader pleads for return of drums,” infers that the article is original. pipes|drums editor Andrew Berthoff has contacted the publication’s editor and publisher requesting that the piece be removed.

“We have always adhered to a code of ethics that our content is original, and that we use material only with the permission of copyright owners,” said Berthoff. “Virtually every credible online and print publication struggles to make ends meet, and to see a seemingly trustworthy media outlet pass off our content as its own is just plain sad. The irony that it’s a story about a theft is not lost on us.”

Lifting content is nothing new in the piping and drumming world, which has traditionally tolerated the theft of recorded and live music and publications, and routinely shares copies of tunes with disregard to ownership and fair compensation. pipes|drums content is often used by other piping publications without permission granted or even credit given.

Recently, a new tutor book by Ontario piper Gail Brown was offered for sale online, only to have digital copies traded freely between scofflaw pipers. Grade 1 ScottishPower Pipe-Major Chris Armstrong, who released a digital collection of his music in 2012, has reportedly seen counterfeit copies of his work circulating. Shortly after the online pay-per-view or paid download release of the reunion video of the 1987 78th Fraser Highlanders “Live In Ireland” concert, illegal copies reportedly started to circulate.

+ New Chris Armstrong collection debuts Aug. 6th in digital-only format (video interview)

Subscriptions to the non-profit pipes|drums Magazine, which cost only $14.99 for a year or $24.99 for two years, are often shared, like a group of people sadly sneaking drinks from the same two pints of lager.

“Every time we steal the work of others, we reduce the chance that they will continue to keep creating the material that we enjoy,” Berthoff added.

The publication deleted the story a few hours after being contacted by pipes|drums. No reason or apology was given for the use of the copyright material.





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