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Caught in the Net: Musicians

YouTube made bedroom guitarists rock stars — sort of. The fad wouldn’t thrive without free sheet music, which is widely available online and helps put even the toughest guitar riffs within reach. But the era of free online sheet music may be ending. Since last summer, at least 21 Web sites offering it have closed ...

YouTube made bedroom guitarists rock stars — sort of. The fad wouldn’t thrive without free sheet music, which is widely available online and helps put even the toughest guitar riffs within reach. But the era of free online sheet music may be ending. Since last summer, at least 21 Web sites offering it have closed shop after the U.S.-based National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) threatened legal action against them for copyright violations. "The music community consists mainly of… little-known songwriters" who need all the money they can get, the NMPA says. Sound familiar? A similar "starving artist" argument led to the battle over Napster seven years ago.

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