Do we live in a world without copyright law?

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Postby Yagan Kiely » Tue Oct 23, 2007 4:15 am

But they do lose some money, that's why they sent the letter.
No, it is to uphold the rights of the composers. ;)

To decide if a warning message without even the attempt to block an unauthorized user is adequate legal security is left to the judge and to the details of the legal system where the trial is taking place. It may not be enough.
It has been adequate to date, and legal to date. Why assume because IMSLP is doing it, it is suddenly not good enough?

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Postby PI » Tue Oct 23, 2007 4:31 am

I'm playing the devil's advocate here.

To decide if a warning message without even the attempt to block an unauthorized user is adequate legal security is left to the judge and to the details of the legal system where the trial is taking place. It may not be enough.

It has been adequate to date, and legal to date. Why assume because IMSLP is doing it, it is suddenly not good enough?


A "please click here if you are older than 18" button at least makes an attempt to make sure that the user understands what is there. IMSLP did indicate if a certain piece is still under copyright in Europe, but did it only in English and did not implement any method to block an unauthorized user from downloading the score. English is not the official language of any country in question (I think British copyright law is different from the rest of the EU). Therefore IMSLP did not provide adequate barriers.

Moreover, the fact that IMSLP did know the copyright status but did nothing to prevent unauthorized downloading could be turned against them at a lawsuit.

It would be a pretty strong case for UE in Austria. IMSLP has its points, but as soon as a judge rules that copyrighted works were distributed in the EU, it's over.[/quote]

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Changes of legislation

Postby Odin » Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:02 am

Hello Kalli and the others

Kalli wrote:My English isn't very good, too. But I think it is just fair to translate the meaning of the message by Odin:

Odin says, that the copyright is too strong. He thinks, that it should be distinguished between commercial use and non-commercial use of the protected pieces.

I agree with him, but the copyright can't be changed by us.


The copyright legislation of today has not been created by Godfather on the mountain Sinai. It has been implemented by normal plain people sitting in national governments and parliaments or in corresponding institutions of legislation in the EU. In the same way the copyright legislation can be changed again by political processes. The Pirate Parties claim that the next changes will have to make the copyright not even harder and more restrictive than today but softer and more generous to the public. The rule which protects copyrighted works during 50 or even 70 years after the creator´s death is simply a fraud of the public, let be it is a part of the valid legislation. But it is an unacceptable part of this legislation and needs to be changed as soon as possible. During waiting for this change, the executives in the European countries should declare some type of a "cease fire" or "armistice" instead of filing and prosecuting all the plain common people who are no longer willing to accept this mad rule.

According to UE and their actions against Feldmahler and IMSLP:

I think they will have to yield. They should apologize to Feldmahler and to all his friends and users and they should declare that they withdraw their two C&D-letters and all claims on IMSLP. If not - we should try to persuade other music-interested people like us to join a total boycott of UE. Other publishers interfering with IMSLP should meet the same resistance.

Sincerely
Odin

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When the composer is dead .....

Postby Odin » Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:04 am

Hello

ArcticWind7 wrote:
But they do lose some money, that's why they sent the letter.
No, it is to uphold the rights of the composers. ;)

To decide if a warning message without even the attempt to block an unauthorized user is adequate legal security is left to the judge and to the details of the legal system where the trial is taking place. It may not be enough.
It has been adequate to date, and legal to date. Why assume because IMSLP is doing it, it is suddenly not good enough?


The right of the composer dies with the composer. How can you reward a dead man ?

Sincerely
Odin

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Exactly !!

Postby Odin » Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:11 am

Hello

neb wrote:
djtoast wrote:
Universal Edition Vienna wrote:As a publisher we wonder why the owner of this website did not ask for a cooperation instead of acting as living in a world without copyright law by giving away for free things that he simply does not own.

...

Universal Edition AG Vienna


The answer to your question is simple if you look at the threatening tone of the letter your lawyers sent.

I wonder why you as a publisher, rather than sending a letter from a lawyer, didn't merely send a list of composers whose works you would like removed? I'm sure that you could even have arranged together to replace the "offending" scores with links to "legitimate" places to purchase the music either in electronic or printed form.

As things stand, the upshot is that rather than losing POTENTIAL sales due to (arguable) copyright infringement, you're likely to lose ACTUAL sales due to the incredible bad feeling that your company has now attracted.

It's easy to lose focus due to emotion, but form a purely business perspective I urge you to play an active role in seeking to resolve this amicably if you want to sell more music rather than less.

Alec.


Actually they just lost two such sales. This evening's committee meeting decided to boycott UE works and not include two works in forthcoming orchestral concerts being planned for 2009. we're also considering removal of another work in 2008.

Answer Yes we live in a world of copyright law, and that cuts both ways. UE have no rights of enforcement where copyrights have expired and should not seek such through bullying and intimidation.

When an ultimatum such as that is delivered in such a way by a stronger force to a weaker one, the weaker has no choice but to capitulate irrespective of the merits of their case. Whether IMSLP are right or wrong I do not know, equally whether U-E are right or wrong I do not know since I do not know the full facts of the case.

To act in such a confrontational manner is hardly likely to illicit sympatheic or cooperative diaglogue.

U-E - you should perhaps consider more carefully how you set about dealing with YOUR customers since after all, that's who you're dealing with here. We chose to vote with our pockets and deprive you of PRS/MCPS hire fees etc.


Bravo bravissimo ! Ancora !!

And on that reason we should claim that UE surrenders without any more claims on IMSLP. They should apologize and draw back both C&D-letters unconditionally.

"Unconditional surrender" (bedingungslose Kapitulation) is what we should claim as a compensation to Feldmahler and as a comfort for all his troubles. When they open a war they will have to stand or yield.

Sincerely
Odin

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Living composers are not the problem

Postby Odin » Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:14 am

Hello

Richard Black wrote:It seems to me it is the attacks on Universal Edition which are outrageous. The letter from UE's lawyers, reproduced on the imslp website, seems perfectly reasonable. Many publishers, UE certainly included in my experience, provide excellent support for composers living _and dead_ and have a perfectly legitimate right to expect some recompense for it from those who wish to avail themselves of the scores.

Whether you think the copyright laws are correct is another matter. Obviously the 70 years rule is to an extent arbitrary and that's a completely separate discussion.

The IMSLP intention, to make available out-of-copyright scores, is also perfectly reasonable and indeed admirable, but it was obviously cheeky (at best) to rely on Canadian copyright laws and hope no one noticed. I have some sympathy for Feldmahler but think he was probably a bit naive.

I will expect all those musicians who take issue with UE's stance on this subject to do all the following:

Perform for minimal fee and no question of broadcast or recording royalties;

Steal their instruments from suppliers;

Contact UE's living composers and explain why they think said composers have no right to earn a living.


Nobody - not even the Pirate movement - is questioning the copyright for composers who are still alive and need an income from their work. The trouble is about the works of composers who are already "late and lamented". So the living composers have no reason to worry about their income.

Sincerely
Odin

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Change the rules

Postby Odin » Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:20 am

Hello

WJM wrote:
emeraldimp wrote:
audsie81 wrote:I have a really stupid question, but are the copyright laws in the US stricter or more lenient than Canada's?


Yes.

:-D

The short answer is that they're different, at least for works published before 1978.


The slightly longer answer is that while the US has a longer baseline term for copyright (life+70 being the general rule; life+50 in Canada), the pre-1923 rule means that there are works that are PD in the US, but not in Canada, while the life+50 rule means there are works that are PD in Canada, but not in the US.

Then there are other complications, such as the treatment of foreign works, government works, unpublished ones, etc.

But the short answer is, indeed "yes"! ;)


Let us all help together to change these silly rules to "lifetime+0" worldwide, and all trouble will cease by itself.

Sincerely
Odin

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Postby Vivaldi » Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:25 am

Either that or just have a uniform copyright law which is the same, equal and enforcible for each and every country in the world, which, sad to say, is not going to happen anytime soon.

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Postby Yagan Kiely » Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:43 am

A "please click here if you are older than 18" button at least makes an attempt to make sure that the user understands what is there. IMSLP did indicate if a certain piece is still under copyright in Europe, but did it only in English and did not implement any method to block an unauthorized user from downloading the score. English is not the official language of any country in question (I think British copyright law is different from the rest of the EU). Therefore IMSLP did not provide adequate barriers.
IMSLP IS multilingual, and English is the international language. Pornography studies provide no methods either.

There is NO difference between Telling the person that if they click here it will be illegal in their country (as in a Porn studio) and telling a person that if they click here it will be illegal in their country (as in IMSLP) we do exactly the same thing, exactly, yet you see a difference? I can't fathom your opinion, it is without reason.

Moreover, the fact that IMSLP did know the copyright status but did nothing to prevent unauthorized downloading could be turned against them at a lawsuit.
We did. See Gutenberg or libravox aswell.

It would be a pretty strong case for UE in Austria. IMSLP has its points, but as soon as a judge rules that copyrighted works were distributed in the EU, it's over.
I assume you are not the judge in question? You have no reason to believe that what you are saying is the only option a judge can pursue, it is a very limited understanding.

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Postby Richard Black » Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:00 am

The trouble is about the works of composers who are already "late and lamented". So the living composers have no reason to worry about their income.


On the contrary, they most certainly have. Part of the point of extended copyright is that it recognises that publishers will use it to subsidise the publication of material by new authors/composers, who in turn, decades down the line, will subsidise..... So Boosey and Hawkes (the publisher whose catalogue I know best) subsidises young composers writing now out of the proceeds of selling Richard Strauss (d.1954) and Benjamin Britten (d.1976).

As for the country business, UE's lawyers are absolutely correct to state that it is possible to check the country of origin of an internet request for download. A site from which I was trying to puchase an MP3 download yesterday blocked my request because was not in the USA. I'm sure dedicated hackers can get round this but the block is basically in place. A decade or so ago, before the USA introduced the 70-year rule just like Europe, people brought back Dover scores of Strauss and Bartok into the UK and this was also illegal.

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Tis is war, this is not a game of cricket

Postby Odin » Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:20 am

Hello

Richard Black wrote:
The trouble is about the works of composers who are already "late and lamented". So the living composers have no reason to worry about their income.


On the contrary, they most certainly have. Part of the point of extended copyright is that it recognises that publishers will use it to subsidise the publication of material by new authors/composers, who in turn, decades down the line, will subsidise..... So Boosey and Hawkes (the publisher whose catalogue I know best) subsidises young composers writing now out of the proceeds of selling Richard Strauss (d.1954) and Benjamin Britten (d.1976).

As for the country business, UE's lawyers are absolutely correct to state that it is possible to check the country of origin of an internet request for download. A site from which I was trying to puchase an MP3 download yesterday blocked my request because was not in the USA. I'm sure dedicated hackers can get round this but the block is basically in place. A decade or so ago, before the USA introduced the 70-year rule just like Europe, people brought back Dover scores of Strauss and Bartok into the UK and this was also illegal.


My headline is a quotation of the japanese coronel in the old movie about the bridge over River Kwai.

I guess UE´s lawyers wrote in a correct way - but anyhow the way they did had a taste of threatening and bullying, of a "Besserwisser"-attitude and was not polite at all.

Also the possibility to track downloads of material in countries where this material today is under protection is an open threat, not to Feldmahler but to many of his users.

I do not accept this harsh method, how correct it may be in legal terms.

About the time of protection for "late-and-lamented" composers:

The publishers will sooner or later have to find out other ways to promote ans support young skilled and "promising" composers and book authors.

Model 1:

If the protection is limited to the artist´s lifetime (my suggestion) then the publishers will have a great interest in the health of their artists in order to give them a long lifetime.

Model 2:

Another way to solve the problem would be to connect the protection not to the life of the creator but to the time of the first publishing of the work. This is common use in the patent area. Treat an artistic work according to similar rules as an invention.

Let us say - 30 (or maybe 50) years from the first publishing every work of artistic character should be the property of its creator or of a person or institution legally entitled by this creator. During that time all performance or copying is limited and requires the permission of the artist or the publisher as today. When this period is expired, the work becomes public domain for all future.

This is - so far - my opinion. But it is not my duty to have the perfect solutions which will satisfy all parts.

Sincerely
Odin

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Postby nikolas » Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:19 am

I've been following this thread and the forums rather closely, and I'm sadden to se IMSLP closed for differnt reasons than those of the letter (Which was rather simple to implement actually).

No man should be bothered with any wording from any lawyer. Lawyers are scums! End of story! (and I have relatives that are lawyers actually).

Wording, no wroding, threatening non threatening, when we are talking about IMSLP and such size sites and project, these are irrelavent.

I'm sorry to say but all responsible for IMSLP should just remove the score, send an e-mail "yes we will deal with it asas, to comply with copyrights" and get it over.

copyright discussions do NOT bellong here. I'm all for threads being alive, and discussions getting off topic etc, but all this is almost irrelavent.

Right now the public (And we're talking about millions per month) are missing all public domain scores which are CLEARLY public domain. And it's a shame!

What is more, irrelavent parties (in the general sense of the word) have jumped on the gun to take advantage of the situation! I can understand this and certainly I can see the opportunities, but I find this unfortunate to say the least.

UE hired lawyers as any firm would do! big deal! I said it before: Laywer treat their mothers with suits. Get over it.

You are discussing copyright laws???? Ridiculous! There might be reason to change. I'm a composer, I'd like to leave something to my kids but I turn to the toilet to vomit when I see 68 years after the death of Holst Zimmer getting sued! (for example), and anything simmilar. Copyright is there for a reason. But of course I wouldn't like to see it getting to my grand grand children! It is highly ridiculous, I agree! But now? here? In IMSLP?

It's a pity that UE is getting bashed SO heavily (I'm bassing this on the 2nd letter, and know nothing about 50,000$ or euros or whatever) according to a letter which they had to send! Copyrights, are copyrights, IMSLP had NOTHING to do with piracy or P2P or anything, and now it's been almost being treated as such!




Everybody seems to be stalling time.

For what I ask?

I'm the interested part: I gave my own scores on IMSLP, and I also got scores from it. A useful resource and a great site, for which I was impressed by the professionalism approached. Any score which was between the 50 and 70 year gap, was noted. As it should have. The industry is bothered? Big deal! It would be! no reason for the industry to care abuot the public.



richard Black: You appear to know rather little about how things work. your initial post was an insult to any musician and composer! (including me). Your later post is defending a case, which for me is done and complete. You are being dragged into this for no reason.



I would honestly want IMSLP reopened. There is little room for debate really. Bartok is still copyrighted material? boo hoo hoo! Allow only Canadai IP and problem solved, or remove Bartok. In 10-20 years it will be public domain. Problem solved. Same with any other composer. There are MILLIONS! MILLIONS of composers loking to get promoted! Use them! You need Bartok? You need Malher? I can promise you that there are millions of composers who wouldn't mind getting their scores on IMSLP (as I didn't). Why not approach those?






This thread is SO MUCH OFF TOPIC. :(

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Postby jhellingman » Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:52 am

Project Gutenberg (a US based organization) has a number of stock replies on-line to similar checks (see http://cand.pglaf.org/), that simply state that the work complained about is in the Public Domain in the US, and that US copyright law nowhere places people under the obligation to implement IP blocking, etc., just as a book publishers in the US is not required to check copyright status of works somebody is ordering from abroad (the person ordering from abroad is importing the book, and has to deal with the copyright issues). I don't know how this works out in Canadian copyright law.

Further, it is highly troubling that the C&D letter includes names of composers that are also PD in the European Union, such as Janacek (1928), Mahler (1911) and Respighi (1936). This demonstrates the bad faith or total ignorance of copyright law of UE.

I think the threat that European copyright injunctions are enforceable in Canada in this case is empty, as that would go behind the public policy that copyrights in Canada last for 50 years after the death of the author. Typically, countries exempt enforcement of injunctions that are against public policy.

It may actually hurt you in a possible case that you give so many warnings about copyrights outside the US. Project Gutenberg actually (apart from one general remark and one historical case) tries to avoid saying anything about non-US copyright law, as this may actually raise the impression that you are aiming at a foreign audience, in which case foreign courts may decide that they have jurisdiction.

An Geo-based IP filter is a futility. I regular consult Google book search (which implements such a filter) using a US based proxy. I am breaking no laws doing so, as downloading from where I am based (The Netherlands) is perfectly legal.

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Postby PI » Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:19 pm

Imagine you print loads of scores from IMSLP, drive you truck to Vienna and put up a big sign saying FREE SHEET MUSIC. Then people start coming.

- Do you have BWV 565?
- Yes.
- Can I have it?
- There you are.

And similarly:

- Do you have Bartok's Piano Concertos?
- Yes, but it would be illegal if I gave it to you.
- I don't care, can I have it anyways?
- Sure.

Now ask yourself: are you distributing copyrighted material? This is exactly what is happening now. The internet is only the distribution medium, so that you don't have to print the scores and drive your truck there.

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Postby Yagan Kiely » Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:42 pm

Okay, that is just completely wrong, and an unjust unrealistic analogy. What your saying has nothing to do with IMSLP. Maybe you should be talking about p2p software, but that has NOTHING to do with IMSLP, and is just libellous accusations which are, to be frank, BS.


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