Tonight Joel Tenenbaum tweeted:
The link is to a page containing links to .mp3s of songs that Tenenbaum himself performed at a March 27, 2006 piano recital at Goucher College:
Most of the songs Tenenbaum performed are by long-dead composers such as Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin. Their compositions are in the public domain, and Tenenbaum is free to perform, record, and "share" them all he wants. Another of the songs is called "Pop Songs without Words No. 2," composed by Jeffrey Chappell. Chappell is Director of Jazz Studies at Goucher (from which Tenenbaum graduated), and I'll assume he doesn't mind Tenenbaum posting his song.
But the last song on Tenenbaum's list of .mp3s is "The Piano Man," written and composed by Billy Joel. That composition is owned by Billy Joel's publishing company "Joelsongs":
Generally speaking, unless one has a proper license, making a recording based on a composition, and posting such a recording to the Internet, would infringe the composer's copyright. I'm not aware of any publisher ever suing an individual in such circumstances. (Though publishers certainly don't consent to unlicensed Internet distribution of their works; publishers were active plaintiffs in the Grokster litigation.) And I have no idea how Billy Joel would feel about this use of his song by Tenenbaum; perhaps he'd be flattered and thrilled. (Though note that Joelsongs is listed c/o Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman LLP, a firm that specializes in tracking down missing royalties.)
But if you were Joel Tenenbaum, having just been ordered to pay $675,000 for your infringements, wouldn't you be making sure you were purer than Caesar's wife on copyright issues, rather than tweeting about the music you're still "sharing"?