Proposals, Ideas, Suggestions, etc

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Yagan Kiely
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Postby Yagan Kiely » Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:55 pm

I dislike the rule, and since it currently stands in Sweden, I don't believe it is (currently) best for IMSLP, since it still stand where elsewhere it may need not.

My nick:

I used to play a Computer game called Age of Mythology, to play online you need a name, I had no idea so I used the name given to an upgrade in the game, ArcticWind. The 7 came because it is my favourite number and a little random misunderstanding on my part. I use the name for Almost everything now for sheer simplicity. I also love the cold. :P

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Postby WJM » Tue Oct 23, 2007 2:02 pm

ArcticWind7 wrote:[q]And the only agreeable term for the future is "lifetime+0".

Sincerely[/q]While I think a majority of people agree with this, we are not going to change anything with regard to IMSLP and I believe it is more important to focus on the issue with IMSLP not with copyright law in every country.


Actually, beyond the immediate IMSLP issue, this is a very good example of why there need to be additions to international treaties on copyright to put a stop to copyright maximalism and copyright abuse.

Treaties provide copyright minimums. They should also provide maximums.

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Postby redslider » Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:01 pm

First, I have sent my proposal for a Public Domain Foundation (see my other posts) to some institutions which may find it of interest, such as EFF and the Berkman Center (Berkley, Standford, Harvard, et al.). I still think it is the best direction to begin to challenge what is certain to be a growing threat to all public domain distribution efforts.

Second, I would offer the following personal perspective on the matter of 'public domain' and intellectual property rights, for what its worth:

Our remote ancestors did not have any notion of owning 'ideas' or their abstract products. Someone made the first flaked tool, the first fishing net, an original design for the wheel, or just a pleasing tune that was whistled, and others simply copied it to suit their own needs. That was the origin of human culture. One simply did not own copies or distributions of an original object or concept.

The benefit cut two ways. First, the culture receiving these ideas was enriched, made more resiliant and better assured that it would survive through the contributions that were thus made by its members. Second, the life of the originator was also thereby enriched and their survival, comfort and enjoyment enhanced as reward for their own contributions (remember, this was before their work was defined as the property of a few, to be traded in the marketplaces of cash, rather than ideas). That's how societies and cultures worked. That is why they worked. That is, until the economics of 'mine' and 'how one makes a living' comes along to insist that direct entitlement replace shared benefit as the tabula rosa of all social transactions.

Like it or not, that's the world we now live in. But, it is good to remember that it wasn't always so, and we've been a fairly successful species on a bases of shared ideas and offerings a whole lot longer than we've been one of owned ideas. The defense that's usually proposed for the later mode is that it is to protect and secure benifits for the inventor or creater of the artwork or idea and that they are due fair remuneration for their work. On its face, that defense is not even the practice of those who propose it. Artists, for example, are among the worst paid workers on the planet, except for a very small handful of "superstars". Its the Ayn Rand's straw man, about as bogus an argument as one can offer for their excuse to get wealthy from the work of others. They are the so-called 'commercial distributers' who time and again mask their own greed as some imaginary philanthropy to the arts and its creators.

Once, these middlemen may have had some role in producing and distributing important cultural artifacts, but in the relm of visual and textual materials, the internet has made most of their activity obsolete. They may have other roles yet to do, but distribution of textual and electronically reproducible materials is no longer required. Their main activity, now, is to claim abstract rights to materials for the purpose of making profit. Artists are catching on to this and, in time, it is doubtful if composers, writers and other artists will even consider using such middlemen to handle their materials. That doesn't mean it will be free, but it does change the notion of who owns what and for how long. Certainly, some remote relative or publishing house of some long dead artist will have little function or reason to attempt to filter the artifacts of public domain through their cash registers. Like the Berlin wall, the walls of closure and control of our common heritage must come tumbling down, sooner or later.

Still, we must keep in mind that the battles are likely to get fiercer, not more accomodating or cordial, in the foreseeable future. Those who feel most threatened by the narrowing and redefinition of their commerical perrogatives will strike back hardest with whatever legal or extra-legal tools (such as bullying with 'Cease and Desist' letters) are at hand. Money is what they know, and it is the advantage they have. Any legal or extra-legal battle they win will be modeled as some kind of "precident" as if it were written in stone that what they are, in fact, stealing belongs to them. The public commons which is glad to leave the material in the hands of its originator until they and their immediate families had passed on has, in their view, no rights at all.

But, the line which must be drawn is that those matterials, which any artists will admit are produced by standing on the shoulders of many others and many generations of others, must eventually be returned to the common storehouse of knowldege and appreciation, that others may stand on their shoulders and make their on contributions in turn. That is how culture works.

- red slider
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In a world where so many have abdicated
all sense of sanity and reality, it is to the arts
that we must depend upon its safe-keeping until their return.

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Postby CPDL guy » Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:22 pm

Hi,

This is Raf Ornes (Choral Public Domain Library/Choralwiki). I am sorry to hear what has happened, and I am willing to help out in some way. I have been busy with other projects lately, but I really think that IMSLP istoo valuable a resource to simply disappear!

Best regards,

Raf Ornes
Manager, CPDL
http://www.cpdl.org
ornes@cpdl.org

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Whoa, just one moment please...

Postby redslider » Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:46 am

This talk of what rules, what duration or other criteria should attach to intellectual property rights is a pond of thin ice. 0 years? 70 years? lifetime + something? There is much discussion and thought that needs to proceed even contemplating such arbitrary numbers.

For one thing, whose to say the scale of time is even an appropriate measure for the transfer of rights from an originator to the public domain? There are other measures that might be used. For example, if the purpose is to see that the originator is fairly compensated, then perhaps a wage-calculation would be more to the point? That is, the public domain could fairly claim possession only after an artist realized a fair return for their offering. How long would that take? how much would that be? I'm not saying that should be the scale, or even that there should be one, in the ordinary sense of the term. Only that a lot of serious thought needs to done on the whole purpose and relation of intellectual production to its future acquisition. Before that is done, such speculation only serve to cement notions based upon 'how it has always been done', which I think is precisely what is wrong with the present state of affairs.

There are many such complex and puzzling questions that bedevil the matter. Much of the conversation has already been shaped by the interests of business and an economics that frames matters to its own advantage. No matter how we might pride ourselves on making fair and equitable judgements, we should all keep in mind that our own thinking on the matter has been preconditioned and shaped by those same forces. It will take a good deal more work to see past our own conditioning to estimate what is really at stake and how matters might be resolved to the best interests of all.

I vote on thinking about that, rather than trying to grab for some instant rule that makes it seem like something has been resolved.

best to all,

Red Slider
------------------------------------------------



In a world where so many have abdicated

all sense of sanity and reality, it is to the arts

that we must depend upon its safe-keeping until their return.

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Canadian Heritage?

Postby samcinty » Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:53 am

Out of curiosity, has the Minister of Canadian Heritage been alerted to the invasion of European Union rights-seekers with regard to their demands on IMSLP's Canadian operations?

While there have been some Canadian setbacks with regards to the sharing of performed music on the public internet with unclear origin, specifically this:

http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/ac-ca/progs/ ... cent_e.cfm

it is not indicated in what capacity Canadian ISPs are responsible with regard to print availibility of music.

From the FTAA agreements page of http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/tna-nac/IP-P&P-en.asp:

The Government agrees that Canadian positions in intellectual property (IP) trade policy negotiations should represent all Canadian interests. An international framework for IP rights provides certainty and transparency that encourages trade. It also encourages innovation and investment in research and development, both at home and in export markets. It facilitates licensing arrangements (such as the transfer of technology) to establish or expand business opportunities. Finally, such a framework for IP rights allows for the balancing of national objectives, such as the protection of public health, and the promotion of the public interest in certain key sectors.

Since pretty much anyone who had ever visited IMSLP can attest that IMSLP promoted the public interests of Canada in the field of music, and the sovereignty of Canada's copyright laws, can we assume that the Canadian government therefore supports the actions of IMSLP in its current conflict with overbearing lawsuit-bringing EU-rights-seekers?

No, I suppose we can't. But at least we have the Canadian government's position available to us on the internet. Policy negotiations should represent all Canadian interests. The (Canadian's) public interest should be promoted in key sectors (like music?). As a U.S.-ian and neighbor of Canada, I firmly believe in Canada's sovereignty in determining national copyright terms on their own ground.

I sincerely wish all Canadians good luck in fighting off uninvited EU intrusions on the national sovereignty of their copyright laws.

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Postby Carolus » Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:32 pm

Redslider,

I think your idea of a Public Domain Foundation is a good one. I would highly recommend that one of your initial projects should be the scanning and coversion to a searchable online database of all the US copyright registrations and renewals for works published between 1923 and 1950. An organization connected with Project Gutenberg has already started this, but confined their work only to books - omitting Class E (musical works) and others.

As it stands right now, it's very time-conuming and expensive to conduct an extensive search of these records, which exist only in Book form (The Catalog of Copyright Entries) and at the US Copyright Office itself as a card catalog. It will probably be decades before the Copyright Office adds all of the old records to its present database, in light of the glacial pace at which they operate.

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Postby emeraldimp » Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:17 pm

On the bright side, however, we do have access to the (more or less current) copyright database.

http://bulk.resource.org/copyright/

And Redslider: I think the Public Domain Foundation is a good one (although maybe a different name, so folks don't get confused with Adobe's file format) and would like to keep informed of its progress.

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Postby Blouis79 » Thu Oct 25, 2007 9:05 pm

If there is any suggestion of hosting with Gutenberg, I would be unhappy. Gutenberg claims to *only* have to operate under US law. I think it is more sensible for an international site to respect international requirements while strictly complying with the law. Until Gutenberg attempts to describe international requirements, I feel hosting IMSLP material at Gutenberg would make Gutenberg a bigger target for international legal action.

From what I have been reading on lawyers commentary on IMSLP, the prospects of UE winning an action in Canada seem slim. The only dubious composer is the one not PD in Canada and hosted in USA.

From what I have read, IMSLP would not be breaching law if it went back up intact, but would get a greater degree of protection making prominent things much of which I am led to believe it did do already:
1. Providing explicit information about copyright law in each country - and with more work letting users nominate their country and providing country-specific information.
2. Having users specifically agree to site terms and conditions, and registering that.
3. Maintaining a membership register and requiring membership to download - would facilitate site management knowing which countries users claim to be in and numbers of downloads.

Ultimately, FeldMahler needs his own legal advice to ensure his own personal interests are secure - and he may well find a canadian IP lawyer to do this pro-bono.

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Postby jhellingman » Thu Oct 25, 2007 9:22 pm

Blouis79 wrote:If there is any suggestion of hosting with Gutenberg, I would be unhappy. Gutenberg claims to *only* have to operate under US law. I think it is more sensible for an international site to respect international requirements while strictly complying with the law. Until Gutenberg attempts to describe international requirements, I feel hosting IMSLP material at Gutenberg would make Gutenberg a bigger target for international legal action.


I think Project Gutenberg is not geared towards hosting page scans, although we are willing to help (I am a long time Project Gutenberg volunteer), and I would advise everybody to upload their scores to The Internet Archive (which is fairly easy, and based in the US). This would loose you the nice wiki organization, but keeps the scores available.

You should realize that the only sane position an organization can take is to *only take into account* the laws of their own country, and ignore any other. First, it is practically impossible to follow the laws of all countries at one time. Following the laws of your own country is difficult enough, following those of all the countries of the world is virtually impossible. Second. it would guaranty self-destruction, as almost any thing is illegal somewhere in the world. As I noted before, music was illegal under the Taliban in Afghanistan. Under your proposal, you would require us to follow that rule. Similarly, publishing Bibles and Christian religious music is illegal in Saudi Arabia -- which means a lot of Bach will have to go down the drain. Now start studying the area export control laws, where one country actually outlaws following the laws of another...

I cannot speak directly for Project Gutenberg, but I think PG is not afraid to attract legal action. It has the resources to defend itself, and the end result will only be stronger jurisprudence, protecting the public domain. If you have read Project Gutenberg's replies to cease and desist letters similar to the one IMSLP has received, these are just polite ways of saying "forget it, and if you think you can win in court, sue us."

It really is a pity Feldmahler lacks the legal backing to do just the same. However, as he announced, the material will return, but with stronger backings, and, if sanity wins, without any IP restrictions or other costly and non-effective technical measures.

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Postby Blouis79 » Thu Oct 25, 2007 9:31 pm

Absolutely agree the technical measures asked for by UE are a waste of time. (sheetmusicdirect.com has IP filtering that can't figure out correctly where I am and I'm not even trying to hide.)

BTW i read on another forum that people wanted to write to UE and complain. UE has a lot of email addresses on its web site and I defy their spam filter to defend against real email from concerned citizens of the world.

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Future & Possibilities of the IMSLP

Postby Lem » Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:29 pm

hello folks,

i haven't been contributing neither to the project nor to the forum yet, but i hope this is about to change. although i have been accessing the imslp quite rarely, it was always slumbering in my bookmarks as a crucial resource and backup for times the appropriate score isn't at hand.

when i ran into this mess two days ago, i was baffled & irked as mostly all off you. having read the basic information and realizing that community support for this project is much too strong for letting it persih, i started thinking about the options this project has. and they turned out to be much more than i had thought in the beginning. in order to keep track of them, i prepared a sketch. and while rummaging the forum i found many issues already adressed, some however might still be new.

when i signed up yesterday, i couldn't find the option (is there one?) to upload the draft-file, so i searched for an external filehoster. you can access the file now from there:

http://www.webfilehost.com/?mode=viewupload&id=1534591

*the host turned out to be rather unhandy, accepting only archives and nagging with download delay. maybe an admin could host the .svg-file somewhere on this site.
due to the technical delay and my little spare-time to update it (& myself), the sketch doesn't take into consideration what has been going on in the past two days. however it might still be of use with regard to the coordination of community-efforts.

i'll check back as soon as i can...

[edit]*
there's a new topic which displays the draft, please see here:

http://imslpforums.org/viewtopic.php?p=3807#3807

..
Last edited by Lem on Sat Oct 27, 2007 2:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Richard Black
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Postby Richard Black » Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:01 am

OK, I have a concrete suggestion for a way out of this impasse.

IMSLP had copyright warnings on the pages of works in copyright in some territories, but they were relatively small and also unspecific. Supposing this warning was very much stronger? I'm thinking of a page which pops up when you click on 'Download file' along the lines of the following:

WARNING: this work is still under copyright protection in some territories of the world, including the European Union and the USA. If you live in these territories you will be breaking the law by downloading it! Please click on the appropriate text below.

I am in a territory in which this music is no longer under copyright protection. Please proceed to download the file.

I am in a territory in which the music is still under copyright protection. Please return me to the IMSLP home page.


I guess that can't be too difficult to program. But is self-incrimination a strong enough safeguard? That's really a question that UE and its publisher colleagues must answer, and it's understandable if they want to give it a little thought. It's likely that legal precedent will be set here. Apart from anything else, music publishers are considerably more keen than most to enjoy the benefits to them of extended copyright terms. The Gowers Review makes the interesting point that in the world of literature, the difference in revenue between life+50 and life+70 copyright terms is really minimal, because literature by living or recently-deceased authors outsells that by authors who died 60 or so years ago. Music is very much more backward-looking and Schoenberg, Bartok and Strauss almost certainly outsell any living composers.[/img]

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Postby dolhuis » Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:53 am

I am in a territory in which this music is no longer under copyright protection. Please proceed to download the file.

I am in a territory in which the music is still under copyright protection. Please return me to the IMSLP home page.


There is of course also the following problem: I am in a territory in which the music is still under copyright protection, but the interpretation of the fair use clause in our country means that I am allowed to download it for private and study purposes (such is the law here, that I still would be allowed to do this even if IMSLP would illegally host non-Canadian PD scores.)

This simple two-way choice would mean that I would need to lie, or would forfeit my rights on fair use.

It would be a pity for IMSLP to give up that right for me by installing IP-filtering, but offering a third possibility could open up a loop-hole which publishers won't like.

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Postby Richard Black » Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:12 am

There is of course also the following problem: I am in a territory in which the music is still under copyright protection, but the interpretation of the fair use clause in our country means that I am allowed to download it for private and study purposes


If anything is clear, it's that no single solution is going to cover all eventualities. One size won't fit all, but if a way can be find to get one size to fit the vast majority with only minimal inconvenience it'll be useful. Similarly, I doubt publishers will object strongly to little loopholes, it's glaring great gashes in the fabric they don't like.


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