Second U-E cease and desist letter (new topic)

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Yagan Kiely
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Postby Yagan Kiely » Sun Nov 04, 2007 9:26 am

I think some of those who replied to you may have over-reacted somewhat and upon reflection would probably want to temper the occasional ad hominem phrasing, and instead simply respond to the arguments.
Speak for your self... :P I have did not, nor did. It is very boring replying to the same argument that actually has no substance over and over again. Carolus is right, a lot of new-comers preach the same argument.

Most disturbing was the line "just because people in the US and Europe want the site back ..." ... I thought that the Internet was a state-less entity. And, the name of the site starts with the word International ... not Canadian. Such a response just reinforces my points about the futility of an attempt to reform copyright laws on an international basis.
People in Eu and the US are the people demanding IMSLP be brought back immediately they are also the ones that will not be damaged by IMSLP coming back up now with a lot of scores missing. A majority of the world IS the same as Canada so International means NOT giving in the European and US citizens wishes for it to be brought back. It is international, thus it is logical to (at least) follow the majority, not minority to make it international, which also gives more PD pieces.
Such a response just reinforces my points about the futility of an attempt to reform copyright laws on an international basis
We are not.

Copyrights are a matter of national sovereignty. They are not subject to any international overriding law ... the World Court? I can assure you that each country or entity will stand on its hind legs and bellow that you have no right to meddle in its affairs (that was why I used the metaphor of the territorial boundary lines). If you wait to get all countries to abide by the same life+ formula, we'll have the site back up in the next century, not this one.
If you had read the forums more extensively, that is very much an unimportant issue. Apart from the few who are arguing for that, the rest are finding ways of getting IMSLP up and running. I also do not believe in stopping people from discussing it (as long as it doesn't get overboard) because it is relevant (though only barely). It is an over-reaction on your part to believe we are even thinking about changning UE law.... ever.

As a citizen the US, I've had it up to here with "you're either for us or against us" thinking.
hehe

My posts have been an honest attempt to counsel reality in a bad situation.
It may be honest bit is not often real.

As a published author, I am very aware of copyright abuses around the world and I also know how much money and legal wheel spinning is involved. While each of those in countries with excessive life+ formulas might fight to get things changed, I would imagine the effect that my protest will have on my EU brethren if I asked them to reduce to the "standard" life+50.
You are again assuming we are putting any effort into this. We are not. Some forum members are, and we see no reason in stopping them.

I just beg for a reality check here and ask, what is owed to those who have contributed so much to adding to the site (having only been aware of the site for 3 weeks, I didn't get to contribute in any way) ... is all that effort to be held hostage because of the philosophical leanings of the leadership?
Please do not use loaded words into fuel your argument. They are not in hostage. They are waiting so a majority of the world you use +50 can have all the files, not just EU, US and a few others. As you said, it is international.

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Re: Dropping the "woulda-shoulda-couldas" and gett

Postby Leonard Vertighel » Sun Nov 04, 2007 10:59 am

mastro1 wrote:What is so difficult about removing the works in question from the site and bringing it back up? The good that the site was doing far outweighs any philosophical point, no matter how dear to the holder.


Dear Maestro1, I fail to see how this is a "philosophical point", considering that it has very practical implications. Apart from the fact that your suggestion in last consequence amounts to keeping up to date with the copyright laws of about 200 sovereign states (how much manpower would we need to ever be able to accomplish that?), and publishing only those scores that are PD in all of them (which I gather limits us currently to authors who died more than a century ago):

Assume one country decided to introduce perpetual copyright. And no, this is not "philosophical", for while this may not be the case in this exact moment, there are vociferous and influential advocates of perpetual copyright. I'm sure that all of us IMSLP users and contributors hope that this will never come to pass, but we cannot categorically exclude this possibility.

As has been discussed ad nauseam, there is no effective way to block users from a given country. Filtering based on IP geolocation is about as easy to circumvent as a locked door with no walls around it. So in that case, if we were to follow the copyright laws of every country worldwide, IMSLP would cease to exist instantly.

mastro1 wrote:By making a work, no matter how legal in one’s own country, downloadable in a country where it is still in copyright means that the act does facilitate the breaking of that copyright.


By this reasoning, access to any public library holding copyrighted works should be forbidden, since they certainly facilitate illegal photocopying (or even scanning and online distribution) of said works.

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A suggestion

Postby mastro1 » Sun Nov 04, 2007 12:47 pm

Thank you to Peter, Philip and ArcticWind7 for their much more moderated replies and some solid information.

Please understand that I have read a majority of posts and it is very easy for a newcomer to get lost in the varying approaches. So, I have a suggestion ― the model is your original copyright page on the IMSLP site that laid out, so clearly, what the situation is in the world regarding copyrights.

PROPOSAL --- AN IMSLP INFORMATION SHEET
It would be of immeasurable help those of us newcomers to have a place on the forum where the major points and solutions were listed in a form as easy to understand as the old copyright module.

> This section would be constructed by the moderators and would no be an open discussion (much like the present Announcement: ~~ Public messages from IMSLP's admins after the takedown ~~).

> In order to be of help, these guides should totally avoid the personal "I-don't-think-they-should-get-away-with" types of argument ... just the facts. Philip's reply to me containing that wonderful exposition his view of the copyright problem is a prime example of the kind of information that should be in that section. You helped me greatly, Philip!

> This area could be positioned on the site as one of the first thing a viewer sees and would be accompanied by an admonition for all to read it before jumping into the fray.

> The guides could also include a solution section where the various suggestions that have come in are listed (with an op cite to the post). There could even be some non-personal, unemotional commentary from the leadership as to why they don’t think the solution could work.

> With a forum section such as I propose, many of your replies could simply be op cite ... see IV/a/1 for example.

With such a well of facts and history, devoid of emotion, you might enjoy less frustration with us who are genuinely interested but who do not have your intimate knowledge of the history and technicalities.
Please remember that those of you who have been with the organization, especially as moderators, know all the ins and outs of the arguments because you've been through them so many times. It is very easy to get upset when one of us plays the same tune, or at best a minor variation of it.

A few more points ….

> Those of us calling for the site to come back up are not “demanding,” ― we are begging.

> As in politics, perception is reality. When I counsel “reality” it is my perception of what is happening based on what I read on the site (all the more reason for a fact section such as I propose).

> What is the status of the discussion with UE? What power does Mr. Irons have within that corporation (e.g., does he officially speak for UE in this affair)?

> How can we help? If bringing back the site means that all the works would have to be vetted by copyright compliance, how many of us are willing to take a block of that huge list and contribute the time?

Finally, nothing I have written or will write in these posts should be construed as attacks on Feldmahler or anyone else. I am indebted to him (them) for taking on a huge project that has such potential. No matter how disgusted, tired, burnt out you are, remember that we are with you even if we don’t agree with you on every point.

All best wishes,

G
:)

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Postby Yagan Kiely » Sun Nov 04, 2007 1:36 pm

PROPOSAL --- AN IMSLP INFORMATION SHEET
It would be of immeasurable help those of us newcomers to have a place on the forum where the major points and solutions were listed in a form as easy to understand as the old copyright module.
I would, if I knew how to find it.

How can we help? If bringing back the site means that all the works would have to be vetted by copyright compliance, how many of us are willing to take a block of that huge list and contribute the time?
It will be brought back full, somehow. The only thing we can all do (including me, I relied on the site to... live, given that I am a composer) is be patient.

What is the status of the discussion with UE? What power does Mr. Irons have within that corporation (e.g., does he officially speak for UE in this affair)?
I know that he was the CEO of sheetmusicnow.com which he mentioned in one of his posts. I have emailed UE, asking for his title/position.

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Thanks and a citation

Postby mastro1 » Sun Nov 04, 2007 1:58 pm

ArcticWind7:

Thanks so much for that reply. In your response to my proposal, you wrote "I would, if I knew how to find it." Did you mean the old copyright page from IMSLP? If so, it is the Google Cache page from: IMSLP - Public domain.

As for Mr. Irons status, obviously, any official negotiation between IMSLP and UE would have to be at a level of executive binding to both organizations. I pray that he is the person because he sounds like he is ready to be reasonable. Not like that attorney who wrote the C&Ds ... that's typical shark behavior ... they are trained (yea, perhaps even bred) that way ... state the most outrageous position so you can fall back and still look like you've won.

I will have patience .... but calm facts do help to shore up patient waiting, don't they?

Yours,

M1

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Postby Yagan Kiely » Sun Nov 04, 2007 2:16 pm

Yeh, they do. I'm waiting for UE's response.

http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:YUs ... =firefox-a

If anyone knows how to host it, or if Feldmahler can permit HTML.... um... I think you know what to do.

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Re: So sad

Postby jhellingman » Sun Nov 04, 2007 2:17 pm

mastro1 wrote:My posts have been an honest attempt to counsel reality in a bad situation. As a published author, I am very aware of copyright abuses around the world and I also know how much money and legal wheel spinning is involved. While each of those in countries with excessive life+ formulas might fight to get things changed, I would imagine the effect that my protest will have on my EU brethren if I asked them to reduce to the "standard" life+50.


Publishers serve two primary purposes, they take care of distribution, and provide some kind of "mark of approval" on a work, similar to the way "peer review scientific publications" have a position that enabled their publishers to charge ever higher outrageous prices.

As a published author, you too are in the stranglehold of the publishers distribution channels and "mark of approval", The first of these the internet is fairly easily able to bypass, the second will take some time until alternative ways of establishing authority and credibility on the web will be established.

Well known authors have some leeway in negotiating better terms, such as reversal of copyrights a few years after a work goes out of print, etc., but for most, it is just a take-it-or-leave-it contract proposal. Given this huge unbalance in the current publishing industry, there have been several proposals to make copyright non-transferable, or make the re-assignment of copyrights to the original author automatic. In the US a few of such provisions exist, but after fairly long terms only.

If your main aim is just to be published (instead of trying to earn some royalties as well), you may be better of getting things published through the alternative channel the internet now offers.

I am much in favor of your proposal of having a fact sheet on the issue, and having some fact sheets on copyright in various countries, they certainly need a place in a reborn IMSLP. However, much of what happens in copyrightland is all about how much can people get away with, and not based on actual facts of law -- and furthermore, the facts of law are in many cases not cast in stone, especially if it is about extra-territorial application of copyright, and related issues, you can see a range of conflicting jurisprudence. You have French courts ordering Nazi memorabilia to be removed from 100% US operated websites, and other French courts claiming lack of jurisdiction on libel cases with US sites. You have an Austrian company trying to enforce Spanish and French copyrights in Canada, which they probably cannot even enforce in Austria itself.

Finally, there is no such thing as international copyright law. There are a whole bunch of treaties, of which Berne is the most important, but each country gives its own flavor to them. The internet also is not a international phenomena, that somehow can bypass national laws. Internet sites have physical servers, and have to operate under the laws of the country they are located in. Other countries may try to regulate such things, which may or may not work, based on how desirable the country thinks that other countries regulations are, and countries themselves may filter, depending on how much they are willing to invest in filtering things once the internet reaches their shores. Requiring a site in one country to abide to the laws in another is unreasonable, and can only result in the total shut-down of the (cross-border) internet.

As we all understand, ISMLP will be back, with all contested but PD in Canada materials, and with sufficient backing to ward off unreasonable attacks from the copyright maffia. It may take some time.

It would be a big shame if universities are not willing to stand up to defend access to knowledge, as spreading knowledge is their reason of existence. Hopefully some universities better understand their mission, and will volunteer.

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Postby Yagan Kiely » Sun Nov 04, 2007 2:28 pm

It would be a big shame if universities are not willing to stand up to defend access to knowledge, as spreading knowledge is their reason of existence. Hopefully some universities better understand their mission, and will volunteer.
While this is the façade most unis put forth, I get the feeling that in the end, they wouldn't be much different from UE.

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Postby Carolus » Sun Nov 04, 2007 7:21 pm

It would be a big shame if universities are not willing to stand up to defend access to knowledge, as spreading knowledge is their reason of existence. Hopefully some universities better understand their mission, and will volunteer.


I'll second ArcticWind7's observation about that. Publicly funded entities of all types - ranging from University music libraries to institutions like Beethoven Haus, treat scans of manuscipts and early editions as if they were intellectual property (which they are not), and charge accordingly - if they even make copies available. Access to even microfilm of important manuscripts is often denied - unless one is independently wealthy and can afford to travel for months at a time to physically view items on site, even for published works of a composer who has been dead for more than a century. It's become really ludicrous, though to be fair there are a large number of libraries and other institutions that really do try to make things accessable.

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Postby imslp » Sun Nov 04, 2007 7:50 pm

Carolus wrote:Publicly funded entities of all types - ranging from University music libraries to institutions like Beethoven Haus, treat scans of manuscipts and early editions as if they were intellectual property (which they are not), and charge accordingly - if they even make copies available.


This is interesting also because for scans to have copyright would be to imply that the local copy center has a copyright claim on the copied and bound score that I requested. Which is rather silly in my opinion.

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Postby Archangel » Fri Nov 09, 2007 5:19 am

I never new you were only a college student. You have created an amazing website that musicians could go to, to find music. What the Universal Edition did is shameful. But, who knows, maybe the site will be back up :D
Through music, we experience a whole, new world.

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Postby Yagan Kiely » Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:08 am

It will be back up, not "who knows" about it!

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Postby Peter » Fri Nov 09, 2007 4:41 pm

Carolus wrote:I'll second ArcticWind7's observation about that. Publicly funded entities of all types - ranging from University music libraries to institutions like Beethoven Haus, treat scans of manuscipts and early editions as if they were intellectual property (which they are not), and charge accordingly - if they even make copies available.


In the case of the Beethoven Hause, I agree that the copyright they claim is pure copyfraud. But to be honest, if I would invest in expensive equipment and considerable work hours to scan these treasures without damaging them, I wouldn't give the result away for free and would like to protect it - so somewhere I can understand these institutions that scan to preserve.

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Postby Vivaldi » Sat Nov 10, 2007 12:52 am

While I feel that Beethoven Hause is not entitled to claim copyright for the manuscripts, it does have the right to impose a fee or charge to visitors to see the score. This is because like Peter said, they have invested equipment and manpower to scan the manuscripts, therefore it is only fair they charge a fee for it. They can even argue that they are providing a service to the public by maintaning the manuscripts and scanning them for posterity. Maybe from a purely business point of view, everything is normal.

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Postby Carolus » Sat Nov 10, 2007 4:50 am

Beethoven Haus has no right or claim to any sort of copyright in Beethoven's manuscripts. Such claims are perhaps the most egregious examples of copyfraud around. Beethoven is clearly public domain and the only thing they have a legitimate claim to are the actual manuscripts themselves - as physical property. Moreover, if Beethoven Haus is supported with public funds of any sort, the notion of making a profit for scans or images made of such manuscript material violates the whole purpose of funding such institutions publicly - namely to preserve the manuscripts and make access possible to as wide an audience possible.

While there are certainly legitimate issues regarding preservation and digitization of such treasures, as well as the considerable expense involved in such projects (planetary scanners, etc.), the notion that libraries or archives have copyright interest in works that are clearly public domain is one that must be fought. It's basically a back-door attempt at asserting intellectual property rights upon the public domain by limiting access to those with deep pockets, or membership in a secret club. Ownership of a physical object in which a work is embodied (like a manuscript) is distinct from copyright ownership. This is a concept found in most copyright laws around the world.


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