Sunday, October 26, 2008

Copyright Controversy on YouTube Creates Unlikely 'Guitar Heroes'

A legal dispute between two major record labels and an upstart guitar duo has helped redefine how music is now taught around the world.

It began two years ago when laid-back surfer Tim Gilberg and San Diego garage band rocker David Taub caught the ire of two major record labels after teaching viewers how to play popular songs on the video website YouTube.

Teaching favorite songs in a fun, easy-to-learn style that attracted a large worldwide audience, the pair was forced to remove more than 100 videos from their YouTube channel because of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a United States copyright law.

Not to be deterred, Gilberg and Taub, who had grown their collaboration from a garage studio lark to the creation of Next Level Guitar Inc., decided to form partnerships with the publishers rather than do battle in the sometimes gray area of copyright law. Gilberg procured licensing rights to reproduce many of the hit songs found in the popular Guitar Hero(R) & RockBand(R) games in DVD format.

"Even though we felt teaching popular songs for free on YouTube would benefit the original artists, a few labels felt otherwise," said Gilberg. "Moving forward in the last year, though, we have produced over 200 additional free guitar lessons for our YouTube fans, all copyright-free."

The guitar lesson DVDs include some of the most popular songs requested by guitar students. They include: "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Black Magic Woman," "La Grange" by ZZ Top, "Barracuda," "Detroit Rock City" by KISS, "Smoke on The Water," "Dust in the Wind," by Kansas, "You Really Got Me," "More Than a Feeling" by Boston, "American Pie," and "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" (a No. 1 smash by Aerosmith).

Taub and Gilberg's innovative approach to teaching popular guitar songs is a perfect fit for the growing number of visually orientated video gamers.

No music theory is needed to play Billboard Top 40 guitar hits. By using multiple camera angles, along with simple, step-by-step guidance from the instructors, even beginning guitar students quickly gain the ability to strum their favorite tunes.

When Guitar Hero(R) & RockBand(R) game fanatics decide to make the jump to real instruments, they now have a less expensive, more effective path than traditional instruction., is the ultimate online destination for guitar lessons and guitar lesson DVDs. allows students to choose from a broad spectrum of guitar styles, including rock, blues, jazz, metal, fingerstyle and reggae.

Website: Next Level Guitar (

No comments: