Part I of this note will specifically address guitar tablature and how it differs from more traditional methods of copying musical works. Part I will also discuss derivative works and fair use in detail, setting out the statutory provisions and the relevant case law establishing and analyzing both these claims. Part II addresses the lack of legal precedent for copyright infringement in guitar tabs and devises a possible solution to the question of whether or not guitar tabs infringe copyrighted musical works. Specifically, this note concludes that the appropriate answer to that question is that guitar tabs are infringing derivative works, but that they are protected by the defense of fair use.
Laura E. Gary,
A Reason for Musicians to Fret: Copyright Infringement in Online Guitar Tablature,
9 Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/jetlaw/vol9/iss3/8