Do we live in a world without copyright law?

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Matthieu
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Postby Matthieu » Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:22 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.


Sounds like you love comparisons... will you appreciate this one:

Yesterday, I discovered that pushing the accelerator pedal of my car drives me easly to 110 mph. Unfortunately, in my country speed is limited to 80mph on the highways, and a police gave me a ticket. But in fact, I don't really care: I decided to use UE's argument and sue my car dealer. Obviously, by selling me a car that can reach 110mph in a country where speed is limited to 80mph he objectively favors speed limitation infringement.

Absurd, isn't it ?

In such a case, the car dealer is not responsible, because I took the decision to push on the pedal. As well, if I take the decision to click and download illegal material I my country, I'am the only responsible.

Regards,

Matthieu

jhellingman
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Postby jhellingman » Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:33 pm

Richard Black wrote: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).


This is an outright lie. Publishers sometimes invest in new authors, when they think that makes sense business-wise. That the money comes from copyrights proceeds is incidental. Other sources could have been used instead, if the investment made business sense.

It is not the purpose of copyright law to subsidize new authors, the purpose is to correct a market failure, such that those new authors have a chance to earn back their initial investment in their work. If this had been the purpose of copyright, it would have included a clause forcing publishers to use their private tax privilege (which copyright has become) for subsidizing new talents. However, most money raked in by estates of long decomposed composers does not go into subsidizing new talents.

WJM
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Postby WJM » Tue Oct 23, 2007 2:07 pm

PI wrote:To all those, who still don't get UE's point.

Let's agree on one thing: there are works on IMSLP which are still under copyright in Europe. It is irrelevant where the server is located.


No, it is not irrelevant.

It is entirely relevant.

EU law applies in the EU.

It does not apply in Canada.

Not in the US.

Not in Japan.

Not in China.

Not in Nigeria.

Not in Argentina.

Not in Nauru.

Canadian law, and only Canadian law, applies in Canada.

If EU law applies in Canada, then Canadian law must also apply in the EU... right?

The only thing that matters is that IMSLP is providing service in Europe and as such it has to abide European law.


Does this mean, then, that Canadians, and everyone else in the world, have to abide by the Domaine public payant regimes which are in effect in some European countries?

WJM
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Postby WJM » Tue Oct 23, 2007 2:08 pm

ArcticWind7 wrote:No, it is to uphold the rights of the composers. ;)


Dead composers have no rights.

WJM
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Postby WJM » Tue Oct 23, 2007 2:11 pm

Richard Black wrote: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).


That's true, in theory. However, there is also good argument to be made that overlong copyright actually inhibits the growth of new talent by taking away the incentive of those companies which have a stable of long-term, popular works to rely on, to develop new talent.

Why bother fostering new talent, if you have Elvis's back-catalogue in perpetuity?

Yagan Kiely
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Postby Yagan Kiely » Tue Oct 23, 2007 2:15 pm

Dead composers have no rights.
I was being sarcastic because UE claim to be for the composers "rights" but PI claimed they where there for money. Can't remember details... They are in this thread somewhere

PI
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Postby PI » Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:04 pm

I was being sarcastic because UE claim to be for the composers "rights" but PI claimed they where there for money.


They have the right to sue in Austria because they own the copyright there. Of course, this is not enough for motivation. There must be some money at stake. This is why noone cares that certain porn sites don't actually block minors. Or at least noone sues them.

PI
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Postby PI » Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:15 pm

In such a case, the car dealer is not responsible, because I took the decision to push on the pedal. As well, if I take the decision to click and download illegal material I my country, I'am the only responsible.


At the same time you click and download, the owner of the website distributes the work. Both are illegal, but it is easier to go after the distributor than the end user. There are fewer of them and they are the big fish. At least that's what copyright owner chose to do.

The reason you can't sue the car manufacturer is that sometimes it is necessary to speed, to avoid an accident. Or just go to Germany. If your odometer is faulty, then you can sue.

On the other hand there is public discussion in Canada right now to install speed limiters on trucks.

PI
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Postby PI » Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:19 pm

I've got the perfect solution for you: find a country where the copyright dies with the composer, move the server there and wait.

dschulen
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how to get professionals involved

Postby dschulen » Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:21 pm

Plenty of music professionals have been using IMSLP too. I just started using it in teaching at the college level.

There are professional organizations such as the American Musicological Society and the College Music Society whose members would undoubtedly support IMSLP through financial contributions. An organization such as the Music Librarians Assocation might well be interested in supporting it as well, and its members could probably provide perhaps technical or even legal advice if they knew about it. However, it would be necessary to make professionals aware of IMSLP, which like Napster and other file-sharing devices/methods/cultures, has operated largely out of sight of professionals.

Since I'm new to this, I don't know who actually runs IMSLP or how it is organized. A first step would be for the responsible person(s) to contact the leadership of the organizations I've mentioned above.

I'm sorry the site is down at the moment. Whatever issues it may raise for publishers of recently issued editions (i.e., things currently under copyright or published since 1918 or so), there can be no possible legal objection to reproducing such things as the old 19th-century editions of works by Bach, Beethoven, and other classic composers. Publishers like Dover and Kalmus have been profiting for years from the work of the long-dead editors who originally prepared those editions. There's no legal reason not to keep those things online.

Melodia
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Postby Melodia » Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:30 pm

WJM wrote:
If EU law applies in Canada, then Canadian law must also apply in the EU... right?



Just to give this a bit of an extra push: If EU law applies in Canada, then Canadian law must also apply in the EU... right?

I'd love to see PI (or anyone else who thinks that Canada's laws don't matter here) give the answer to that.


-Lala-

PI
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Postby PI » Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:32 pm

ArcticWind7 wrote: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.


Just show me where the analogy is wrong. Apart from the distribution medium it is the same case. P2P is another kind of distribution. The point is that distribution does happen.

The correct response would be: I'm sorry, but I can't give it to you, because the work is not public domain in your country and I don't have the right the distribute the work there.

PI
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Postby PI » Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:41 pm

If EU law applies in Canada, then Canadian law must also apply in the EU... right?


EU law applies in the EU and Canadian law applies in Canada. What's legal here might be illegal there. When you are in a foreign country, do business there or offer some service, you have to respect the local law.

IMSLP distributes sheet music. It does that worldwide. You have to abide the laws of the country where you are distributing. If the work you are distributing is not in the public domain in a certain country then you simply can't distribute it there. You may still be able to distribute it somewhere else.

Just to show that it works both ways across the Atlantic, consider that demonoid (one of the largest bittorent tracker sites) had to block traffic from Canada due to a threat from Canadian Recording studios. Even though (to my knowledge) the server is still located in Canada, it can not be accessed from inside the country! Now they don't offer service in Canada and the Canadian labels are happy.

Richard Black
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Postby Richard Black » Tue Oct 23, 2007 4:13 pm

I've got the perfect solution for you: find a country where the copyright dies with the composer, move the server there and wait.


Or even a country which basically doesn't honour copyright at all (either because there's no law on it or because it's simply never raised as a practical matter due to more pressing stuff like staying alive - Turkmenistan, North Korea, DR Congo all seem offhand likely candidates), put the most godalmighty server there loaded with the entire artistic and original output of mankind and give the lot away free forever.

Matthieu
Copyright Reviewer
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Postby Matthieu » Tue Oct 23, 2007 4:31 pm

Quote:
I've got the perfect solution for you: find a country where the copyright dies with the composer, move the server there and wait.


Or even a country which basically doesn't honour copyright at all (either because there's no law on it or because it's simply never raised as a practical matter due to more pressing stuff like staying alive - Turkmenistan, North Korea, DR Congo all seem offhand likely candidates), put the most godalmighty server there loaded with the entire artistic and original output of mankind and give the lot away free forever.


Quite insulting post for Canada.


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