IMSLP under attack by Music Publishers Association (UK)

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Irishmaestro
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Re: IMSLP under attack by Music Publishers Association (UK)

Postby Irishmaestro » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:50 pm

mbywater wrote:I confess I'm a little surprised. Not very. Just a little.
Hah! Isn't that just perfect? The IMSLP attack just happened to co-incide with some convenient holidays. :P

One can understand a company or an association contacting someone at IMSLP to ask the removal of a work that genuinely is in copyright. However, to actually force a take-down like that (and over a work that's actually PD in some places) is just outrageous. I'm glad that the public won out here. =]

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Re: IMSLP under attack by Music Publishers Association (UK)

Postby Carolus » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:13 am

Now that things are calming down some, I wish to thank the Music Publishers Association of the UK for retracting their DMCA complaint to GoDaddy. GoDaddy's standard response to a DMCA copyright complaint of this nature is to freeze the domain for 10 days, instead of referring the complaint to the site owner. Thus we all owe the MPA-UK sincere thanks for their retraction. I also want to take the opportunity to point out that IMSLP in no way advocates the violation of copyright laws, either now or in the past. As our disclaimer - which must be acknowledged before any visitor is allowed to download a file - explicitly states:
Please obey the copyright laws of your country and consult the copyright statute itself or a qualified IP attorney to verify whether a certain file is in the public domain in your country or if downloading a copy constitutes fair use.

In many cases where a given work is most likely still protected in one or more of our three territorial divisions - 50 pma countries, the USA, 70 pma countries - we have provided direct links to copies of the item available for sale at Sheet Music Plus or at Amazon. Full Disclosure: IMSLP does receive commissions from both concerns if someone actually purchases a copy, which go to fund our operating expenses - which have never stopped increasing as we've grown.

Thus, if Rachmaninoff's The Bells, Op. 35 is still under copyright in your country, you should be purchasing the score from its lawful copyright owner unless the fair-use provisions of your country's copyright statutes permit the download of the score and you are operating within those exemptions. It might not be legal for you to download the score from this site, so please be certain it is before you do. This, of course, was the one of the main issues of the cease and desist letter Feldmahler received back in the fall of 2007 from Universal Edition. They were demanding that IMSLP set up some sort of automated blocking system based upon the users IP address. There are a number of reasons that such a scheme is simply not feasible, but I'll just address a single major one here: the lack of uniformity about what constitutes a fair-use exemption to copyright among the laws of various countries.

One reason our copyright tagging system works as well as it does is that we have divided copyright laws around the world into two major groupings according to term length: life-plus-50 years (Canada, Japan, China, and a majority of countries in the world outside of Europe) and life-plus-70 years (Europe and a few other countries - like those in the former USSR), plus a major exception to the general rule. The monster exception is of course the USA, whose copyright law is probably the most complicated morass of rules and exceptions found anywhere on the planet. The fact that our parent company is headquartered there - despite the main server's Canadian locale - means we absolutely must pay very close attention to US law. Thus we have three major copyright classes under our tagging system: 50-pma / USA / 70-pma. That's why you see a three-part indication for every file. A tag reading V/V/V should be free almost anywhere in the world.

There are approximately 180 different laws in force worldwide at present. It is simply not possible for anyone - not even a major commercial concern like Amazon - to keep daily track of 180 or more different copyright laws, each with different exemptions for fair use and other purposes, etc. - many of which are also frequently subject to changes, from either legislative amendments or judicial interpretations.

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Re: IMSLP under attack by Music Publishers Association (UK)

Postby m.kowalski49 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:31 am

Who's YoDaddy now...... its terribly inconvenient for those odious b....rds to file a spurious underhanded whatsit... was it just one work or was it several? i wonder who charlie murphay'd that junior workman at mpa uk, i sure would have.

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Re: IMSLP under attack by Music Publishers Association (UK)

Postby mbywater » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:19 am

It seems to me that the logical extension of the MPA's (and others') reasoning would be for designers to prevent their stuff being sold on open display because people might steal the ideas.

And for how many years have people been saying that a free download does NOT equate to a lost sale? I imagine that I'm not in a minority of one when I say that ~100% of the stuff I download is for curiosity or to check a point in scoring. Usually I don't even save the PDF to disk. If there's something I want to learn, I buy or hire the score.

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Re: IMSLP under attack by Music Publishers Association (UK)

Postby Philidor » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:20 am

Something which has always got my goat about music publishers profiteering from PD scores is the exploitation of music students. They tend not to be wealthy. They live in attics and parp or scrape away for 8 hours a day. Okay, there are worse activities - digging the roads or serving in the army in Afghanistan - but it's still hard. It's also lonely and requires great self-discipline.

Then some wretched music publisher comes along and tries to charge them £35 for a PD score - a score the student must possess because it's core repertoire. And then the publisher hits IMSLP - who provide the score lawfully, free, and embedded in a wonderful community project - with a takedown notice.

Don't forget that this particular takedown notice arose from ONE score. Yet they attacked the entire project. They wanted IMSLP permanently off the internet. And would have succeeded if people hadn't kicked up a stink. They did succeed for almost 24 hours.

They demanded the right to exploit music students within a monopoly which they sought to create. So they're not even normal capitalists competing, within the law, in the market place.

Not all music publishers are like that, of course, and living composers should have their copyright protected so they can put food on the table. But old-style, arrogant, litigious, bullying, exploitative music publishers need drumming out of the industry. It's great that this incident - MPAGate - has highlighted the problem.

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Re: IMSLP under attack by Music Publishers Association (UK)

Postby Philidor » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:02 am


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Re: IMSLP under attack by Music Publishers Association (UK)

Postby daphnis » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:26 pm

See also the story I submitted to tech. news aggregate, Slashdot: http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/04/22/0144213/IMSLP-Taken-Down-By-UK-Publishers-Group.
Some comment highlights:

Distributing things for free is a crime against the sellers' divinely granted right to profit in perpetuity. If any commodity's price is allowed to reach its marginal cost of production, there are precious, precious rents going unextracted!


Can the DMCA be used to take down whole domains immediately now?
Does that mean I can find one infringing film on youtbe and disable youtube for a week or two?
What exactly is the legal basis for what's happening here, and what technical method was used to stop access to the site? The article doesn't make it clear.


Friends don't let friends buy domains from GoDaddy, they put your details straight on WhoIs.


Look at the bright side of this. Now I know this site (with the very interesting content it has) exists! Thank you MPA of UK.




The general consensus among the readers, who, many are IT professionals and other members of the electronic industry, is that GoDaddy is crap and IMSLP needs to host itself to prevent this type of folding up front.

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Re: IMSLP under attack by Music Publishers Association (UK)

Postby Philidor » Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:08 pm

Background on the Rachmaninoff estate and copyright. Crikey!

Alexander Temple Wolkonsky Rachmaninoff Wanamaker is the great-great-grandson of Sergei Rachmaninoff. And the 21-year-old University of Arizona student is about to take over Rachmaninoff's legacy—and that includes rearranging Sergei's works so they can be re-copyrighted....

Source


Alex Ross on Mr Alexander Temple Wolkonsky Rachmaninoff Wanamaker:

What an obnoxious little twerp! He can't really get away with this, can he? Stravinsky of course kept his works in copyright by fiddling with them, but this kid ain't no Stravinsky...

Source


Thanks to R3OK for the reference

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Re: IMSLP under attack by Music Publishers Association (UK)

Postby Melodia » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:51 pm

Wouldn't it mean only the arrangements he did would be in copyright and not the originals? After all, the 1910 Firebird is PD in the US, but not the 1940s one.

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Re: IMSLP under attack by Music Publishers Association (UK)

Postby Carolus » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:43 pm

An interesting thing about the 2007 article on Rachmaninoff's great=great grandson was the revelation that his music was generating 50 million USD in royalties, presumably mostly from performances, broadcasts and recordings in the EU. Most of his works are free in the USA - though I wonder if ASCAP is still trying to collect there as it seems to operate under a life-plus-70 rubric. As for the EU, it strikes me as a rather thin reed (Gutheil's headquarters location in Berlin and Paris) to be leaning upon. I am a little surprised some enterprising orchestra hasn't challenged his copyrights on this basis of his Russian citizenship, US residency and (ultimately) US citizenship. In any case, it mostly evaporates on New Year's Day 2014, as irishmaestro pointed out. I imagine that a sudden fall-off in a 50-million-a-year golden goose is a painful prospect indeed. As for "arrangements", I think they were trying to describe the production of a "critical edition" under the estate's control as a means of perpetuating the revenue-stream. This is the type of thing those who crafted the first copyright laws surely never envisioned - de-facto monopolies in control of things for centuries on end.

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Re: IMSLP under attack by Music Publishers Association (UK)

Postby mforbes » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:12 am

It appears that Mr Alexander Temple Wolkonsky Rachmaninoff Wanamaker perished in a fire in 2009:
http://en.classica.fm/2009/12/06/in-tucson-fire-was-kin-of-prominent-russian-composer/

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Re: IMSLP under attack by Music Publishers Association (UK)

Postby npsimons » Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:06 pm

Thus we all owe the MPA-UK sincere thanks for their retraction.

Why? Because they tried to clean up the mess they created, after being called out on it? No, what the MPA deserves is helping heapings of scorn for being shiftless layabouts who sue people for work they didn't do. They are also probably responsible for pushing through laws that enabled this takedown in the first place. As for GoDaddy, I STRONGLY recommend you dump those frauds before something like this happens again. A quick search for GoDaddy on Google ought to open your eyes. I switched from GoDaddy to http://www.gandi.net (a French company) years ago, and haven't been happier. I say this as an American (I'm ashamed to admit that GoDaddy is an American company).

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Re: IMSLP under attack by Music Publishers Association (UK)

Postby Philidor » Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:55 pm

npsimons wrote:
Thus we all owe the MPA-UK sincere thanks for their retraction.

Why? Because they tried to clean up the mess they created, after being called out on it? No, what the MPA deserves is helping heapings of scorn for being shiftless layabouts who sue people for work they didn't do. They are also probably responsible for pushing through laws that enabled this takedown in the first place. As for GoDaddy, I STRONGLY recommend you dump those frauds before something like this happens again. A quick search for GoDaddy on Google ought to open your eyes. I switched from GoDaddy to http://www.gandi.net (a French company) years ago, and haven't been happier. I say this as an American (I'm ashamed to admit that GoDaddy is an American company).

Point taken... :lol: but I suspect it's wise, strategically and tactically, for IMSLP to behave like gents even in the face of extreme provocation. Let IMSLP's enemies rant and rave... while IMSLP displays coolness under fire. Better for the blood pressure too.

Of course, being courteous doesn't mean being a pushover. "Talk softly and carry a big stick" is what my mother always told me. My dad preferred: "Iron fist in a velvet glove." Both work for me.

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Re: IMSLP under attack by Music Publishers Association (UK)

Postby ananth » Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:06 pm

I think IMSLP should seek a slightly better Registrar, who wouldn't take down the entire site without getting some clarifications first.

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Re: IMSLP under attack by Music Publishers Association (UK)

Postby Croax » Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:46 am

This is a link to the board of the Music Publisher's Association:

http://mpaonline.org.uk/About/MPA_Staff ... shers.html

The quickest way to influence the actions of the MPA officials is by targeting the Board members with an e-mail campaign using music social media sites. The executives and companies on the Board will not appreciate having their names associated with internet censorship and being made to look foolish, which is exactly how they look now. Remember, the issue is about the heavy handed behavior and not whether Pachminonov is or is not public domain. By taking down the entire website they infringed on music lover's rights to enjoy public domain sheet music for no good reason.

MPA Board

MPA Board classical publishers

Chris Butler Music Sales Ltd
Leslie East ABRSM (Publishing) Ltd
Sally Groves Schott Music Ltd
Richard King Faber Music Ltd
John Minch Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd
Ben Newing Universal Edition (London) Ltd
Shirley Ranger United Music Publishers Ltd
Nicholas Riddle Peters Edition Ltd

MPA Board pop publishers

Mark Anders Bug Music Ltd
Peter Barnes Pink Floyd Music Publishers Ltd
Paul Connolly Universal Music Publishing International Ltd
Peter Cornish Fairwood Music Ltd
Jane Dyball Warner/Chappell Music Ltd
Crispin Evans Cote Basque Music Publishing Ltd
James Fitzherbert-Brockholes Kobalt Music Group Ltd
Nigel Elderton peermusic (UK) Ltd
Andy Heath 4AD Music Ltd
Stuart Hornall Hornall Brothers Music Ltd
David Kassner Kassner Associated Publishers Ltd
Andrew King Mute Song Ltd
Paulette Long Westbury Music Ltd
Guy Morris Blue Mountain Music Ltd
Simon Platz Bucks Music Group Ltd
Rak Sanghvi Sony/ATV Music Publishing UK Ltd


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