Welcome to the third installment of Cowboys In Cybersp@ce. Each month we will try to cover a different topic, as well as bringing you the latest Country Music happenings on the Internet.
By Bob Howe © 1997
"It's free, but is it legal?"They say there's no such thing as a free lunch (virtual beans for us cyber-cowboys!) but once you are connected to the Internet there seems to be an endless wealth of freebies to be downloaded. So what's the catch? Well, some things really are gratis. Software comes in various varieties including "freeware" which is donated to the world by generous programmers who just want to share their work in exchange for a rosy glow or words of encouragement. If they supply an address, send them an E-mail or postcard to say thanks. Other software may be "shareware" for which you are honour bound to send money if you continue using it after the free trial period expires. Sometimes it will stop working until you do!
Sound files and even mini video clips are plentiful on the Internet and copyright rules are the same as in the real world. Lots of material is provided for personal use only so don't try distributing it for profit. You'll be surprised how sharing the on-line community is, with the exception of a few trouble-makers who unfortunately seem to attract the attention of the popular press.
A great example of co-operation is the "Cowpie Song Archives" . Here you can search for (and find) the words to thousands of country songs and also sign up for their electronic newsletter that contains requests (and replies) for new lyrics. Amongst their contributors, "Sharon" is an Australian fan who makes sure that songwriters such as Lee Kernaghan and Fisk & Cristian don't get overlooked. Under certain conditions specified in U.S. law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction of copyrighted material. One of these specified conditions is that the copy is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." For more on copyright issues, including Australian laws, Brad Templeton's on-line essay "10 Big Myths about copyright explained" provides more information and links to all the "fine print" you could ever want.
Before we close for this month, a quick round-up of new and interesting sites. Cowboys in Cybersp@ce recently chatted on the radio airwaves with Belinda Miller of Murri Country , 4AAA –FM (98.9 in Brisbane). We spoke of how lucky Brisbane was to have the Country Music Store to buy their favourite CD's and Videos. Now the store has expanded their mail-order service into a full-blown Web site for the world to enjoy. As well product lists, the site also contains details of their USA tour packages, a good selection of links to other country music sites and Rosie's album reviews. Merv Romeo is another popular FM radio personality (3BBB-FM in Ballarat) and a country music singer who has made the leap into cyberspace. Merv's site contains a profile of himself as a performer, his own newsletter "Country Communicator" and promotions for independent releases. His site includes many useful links including details of 3BBB's programming.
Record company BMG Australia has a very classy looking site under construction at the moment. Amongst the selections that are already available is a section devoted to all things "Elvis". The King is often sighted in the virtual world so we can be sure that wherever he is, Elvis is logged-on! The National Country Music Muster at Gympie also have an impressive site although you need to be prepared to wait for the large images to appear. They have a selection of excellent live performance sound clips on offer. These are full length songs, not excerpts and also take some time to download but are worth it if you're a fan of J.W., Slim, Lee, Mark O'Shea or Tina Martyn.
If you want to share the location of an interesting site you’ve seen or request a topic for discussion in future columns, why not E-mail me. Until next month, happy surfing.
CHARTS & SERVICES ||
PRODUCTIONS, SESSIONS & RESUMÉ ||
BOB'S CABARET SHOW ||
WHERE TO SEE BOB ||
PRESS QUOTES ||
WEB DESIGN ||
MUSICAL JOKES ||
PET PUZZLE ||
WHAT'S NEW ||
FRANK IFIELD & THE BEATLES ||
LENNON - THE MUSICAL ||
ZEN & THE ART OF GUITAR PLAYING ||
© 1997 Bob Howe Productions
BOB'S CABARET SHOW || WHERE TO SEE BOB || DISCOGRAPHY || PRESS QUOTES ||
WEB DESIGN || LINKS || MUSICAL JOKES || PET PUZZLE || WHAT'S NEW ||
FRANK IFIELD & THE BEATLES || LENNON - THE MUSICAL || ZEN & THE ART OF GUITAR PLAYING ||