Do we live in a world without copyright law?

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jhellingman
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Postby jhellingman » Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:41 pm

PI wrote:Unfortunately, there is no universal "copyright" and "public domain". It changes from country to country, since countries are sovereign. Thus you have to respect the law of the country where you distribute the works. It's not that one country's law is enforced in another country.


It seems that the incorrectness of this assertion is still not drilled down with a lot of people here. Under Canadian law, nothing illegal is happening, and more important, Canada will only apply Austrian law if there are bilateral or international treaties to that effect, that is, only indirectly. However, if Austrian law contradicts Canadian public policy, no way an Austrian injunction will be enforceable in Canada. It has been quite recently that Canadian parliament has considered and rejected an extension to life+70.

UE could bring its case in Austria, but will learn the futility of trying to enforce any injunction it might obtain.

This reminds me of an injunction of a French court against various websites selling nazi trash in the US. They could only enforce it against those large sites that have a legal presence in the EU, such as E-bay or Amazon. The other way around, a US injunction against a UK based anti-spam tool provider was also completely meaningless.

Similarly the EU Vat on internet services (which Canadian or US companies by EU law should pay when doing business with EU residents) can only be collected from companies having a presence in the EU. Other companies will simply refuse to pay, since the EU has no means to collect it anyway.

Vivaldi
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Postby Vivaldi » Sat Oct 27, 2007 6:58 am

An paper written about the Public Domain by Robert Baron, might be relevant to our discussion:

http://www.studiolo.org/IP/VRA-TM-SF-PublicDomain.htm

tommi28
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Re: Do we live in a world without copyright law?

Postby tommi28 » Sat Oct 27, 2007 7:46 pm

Dear UE Austria.

1.) I would like to explicitely state that that legitimate copyright claims are out of discussion. However, it seems as if 65 out of 70 claims of UE where not legitimate under Canadian law.

2.) The maintainer of IMSLP did not act as if there would be no copyright existing. Quite contrary, he did his utmost to keep copyright in accordance with Canadian law.

3.) In various correspondences between me and your representatives, UE tried to give the impression that the maintainer of IMSLP refused to remove work that is copyrighted in Canada (the works of Joseph Marx). However, a close review of the first letter of
C&D,you yourself (i.e. Universal Edition as holder of the copyright) state that the works in question, including that of Joseph Marx, are public domain in Canada. Consequently, the maintainer of IMSLP refused - apparently in accordance with Canadian law - to remove the scores.

4.) According to Canadian copyright experts (e.g. Michael Geist) the Canadian supreme Court puts the responsibility on the downloader and not on the maintainer of a website. It appears that your legal counsel has tried the tactics "claim as much as possible, even if dubious".

5.) Some posters here have suggested that the acts of IMSLP are like IMSLP coing to Europe and offering copyrighted works. In my opinion the reverse is true. IMSLP is a public library. The situation is as if a European would go to the Juillard School, copy scores that are copyrighted in the EU but not the US and go back to Europe. The only one that can be held responsible is the European who imported (not copied !) the scores illegaly into the EU. I.o.W. the culprits that should be prosecuted are European users illegally downloading the scores.

In my opinion, correct way for UE to resolve this PR desaster would be:

1) Clearly identify the scores that are copyrighted under Canadian law. I am sure the maintainer of IMSLP will do his utmost to remove the scores.

2) Apologize for erroneous presentation of the situation caused by your first letter of C & D

3) Stick to Canadian law and don't apply the tactics "claim as much as possible even if very dubious"

Finally, let me say that IMSLP has done very valuable work to musicians and musicologists. For me personally as a hobby musician, I was able to obtain scores that have been out of print since almost 90 years and I also learned about works I ultimatively *purchased* (I think even from UE). which would not have happened without IMSLP. Thank you to IMSLP.

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Postby horndude77 » Sun Oct 28, 2007 6:56 am

3.) In various correspondences between me and your representatives, UE tried to give the impression that the maintainer of IMSLP refused to remove work that is copyrighted in Canada (the works of Joseph Marx). However, a close review of the first letter of
C&D,you yourself (i.e. Universal Edition as holder of the copyright) state that the works in question, including that of Joseph Marx, are public domain in Canada. Consequently, the maintainer of IMSLP refused - apparently in accordance with Canadian law - to remove the scores.


A minor correction here: The scores of Joseph Marx were not hosted on a Canadian server. They were all published before 1923 and hosted on a server in the US. The US server was becoming problematic anyway and was going to be done away with shortly from what I understand.

Kalli
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Postby Kalli » Sun Oct 28, 2007 7:12 am

A layman asks: is it possible to run more than one server in countries with different copyright? Or is there no point in that?

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Postby dolhuis » Sun Oct 28, 2007 8:16 am

A layman asks: is it possible to run more than one server in countries with different copyright? Or is there no point in that?


Although I am also no lawyer, I find that a tremendously interesting question. One that could be addressed when in a next life IMSLP is being run by some form of body, not only individuals.

It would certainly allow you to offer more scores -- for instance the Marx scores through the US, but it also would make the legal obligations more muddy. Because you're based in another country than that you're hosting in, it means that you need to know of the laws of two countries. Not only the copyright laws, but also liability laws: what are you obliged to do to prevent illegal download?

And it also might raise another issue. If you're in one country, host what is allowed in that country, and then open up a second server in another country to host what is not allowed in your own country, than it might in your own country be deemed that you are actively seeking ways to circumvent local copyright.

It would be an interesting showcase for an international organization providing PD to an international public. But it's beyond IMSLP in it's current form.

And it's my feeling that if you would set-up a network of servers that offer locally the maximum allowed amount of PD, that then the moral and even legal pressure would be to make certain that each one is only locally accessed.
Last edited by dolhuis on Sun Oct 28, 2007 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

Kalli
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Postby Kalli » Sun Oct 28, 2007 8:41 am

What's about the Antartica? I think there's no copyright (just for hosting the scores - I know that the location of the download is pertinent for the use of the copyright).

Vivaldi
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Postby Vivaldi » Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:03 pm

Interesting idea. But with its freezing conditions, how can a server be physically located in Antartica? Besides, isn't Antartica's resources supposed to be shared worldwide? How would this affect the legality of a server if it's located there?

Kalli
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Postby Kalli » Sun Oct 28, 2007 2:00 pm

Oh, I think the scientists will run a own server down there.

jhellingman
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Postby jhellingman » Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:27 am

Kalli wrote:A layman asks: is it possible to run more than one server in countries with different copyright? Or is there no point in that?


If a single individual or organization is doing this, this would establish quite clearly that you are playing the system to evade law. Although you might be able to get away with it, I would say it is saver to have people in the other country organize an independent organization, and let them operate a server in their country. This is the way Project Gutenberg does it, licensing (for free) their trademarked name to like-minded sister projects in life+50 countries.

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Postby Yagan Kiely » Mon Oct 29, 2007 1:23 pm

A layman asks: is it possible to run more than one server in countries with different copyright? Or is there no point in that?
We already have that.

If a single individual or organization is doing this, this would establish quite clearly that you are playing the system to evade law.
With the exception of the shareholders and the corporations (who would use any excuse regardless of morality or the truth), it is more likely to be seen as giving freedom of information to the countries that deserve it.

jhellingman
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Postby jhellingman » Mon Oct 29, 2007 1:54 pm

ArcticWind7 wrote:
If a single individual or organization is doing this, this would establish quite clearly that you are playing the system to evade law.
With the exception of the shareholders and the corporations (who would use any excuse regardless of morality or the truth), it is more likely to be seen as giving freedom of information to the countries that deserve it.


Of course, the whole point of running servers in multiple countries is to get the maximum out of the public domain without running into legal problems. I am much in favor of a complete overhaul of copyright law, reducing both scope and duration, but as long as we cannot have that (and the political mainstream is still far removed from the idea), we should work to get as much as we can. Unfortunately, running a server in one country from another still makes it too easy for people who claim rights to go after you, so you will have to insulate those operations to work within a single jurisdiction only, exactly as Project Gutenberg is doing.

Exactly for the same reason, I will argue against any attempt to block visitors based on their location. A generic warning is enough (for example, a choir was fined for playing Gershwin pieces, and not having bought all scores, in the Netherlands, not withstanding the fact that his works had been public domain from 1988 to 1995, when the steal-back copyright legislation came into force). This is to give people the maximum freedom to access their cultural heritage, not withstanding copyright laws that violate this human right, as provided in the Universal declaration of human rights.

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Postby cellopro » Tue May 27, 2008 6:53 am

Sorry to post on what seems to be a cold thread, but I really would like to point out a couple of things; a little of which was mentioned briefly.

IMSLP is a business or organization based in Canada. Therefore they are subject to Canadian law, and ONLY Canadian law. Being a resident of the US, I know for sure that Singapore law does not apply here. Therefore Austrian law does not apply in Canada. Plain common sense. There are absolutely no treaties regarding copyright between the countries.

Now, I decide I'm going to go to Singapore and spit out gum on the sidewalk. As a US resident I'm not going to get arrested. WRONG. The law applies to the country you live in.

When a tourist from EU walks into a music store and buys a Masters or Dover reprint that is illegal in his/her home country who is breaking the law? Is it the the music store's responsibility? No. It's perfectly legal to purchase that music there. The problem arises WHEN THE TOURIST RETURNS HOME.

That's where the music is illegal. Music may get confiscated and a fine is to be paid. Music store is justified since they broke no laws.

Simpler case in point is the "Coffee Houses" in a certain European country. Marijuana is legal. Smoke to your heart's content, but you better wait until it's out of your system before coming back to the good old US. You will get prosecuted just for having residual THC in your body. You've just imported or smuggled drugs. Is the US going to file criminal charges against said "coffee house"?? No.

Here's where this applies: IMSLP is an organization based in Canada. The files are stored in Canada. If you are in EU, and you access the site, you ARE CONTACTING THEM. They are NOT contacting you. When you hit IMSLP homepage, you are stepping on Canadian soil. It is the responsibility of the END USER to heed the warnings, and pay attention to the laws where you reside.

I'm sorry, all this BS babble in this thread is irrelevant. It is a user from EU's RESPONSIBILITY to adhere to the specific laws in his country, NOT every countries' responsibility to adhere to his.

Again, the user is contacting a public library in Canada. The library is not contacting him. Too many years of pussyfooting around pleasing everyone and it comes to a silly incident like this.

Kudos to all who have boycotted UE's bullying. In a seperate thread I ranted and raved all night long, finally resulting in a telephone conversation between Carolus and myself. I did what I set out to do.

Six orchestras have heeded my request to cancel pieces of music that come from UE. There will be more. It is simply too easy to play something else. I'm sorry, UE you really stretched a little too far on this one without any legal recourse other than the scarecrow tactics, and violations of US copyright code 506(c) and 506(e) as usual.

Can you spell "civil action lawsuit"?

Let's see you hike over to the US and appear before a Federal court.

Cellopro

aldona
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Postby aldona » Tue May 27, 2008 12:49 pm

Six orchestras have heeded my request to cancel pieces of music that come from UE. There will be more. It is simply too easy to play something else.


Wow. That's impressive. :shock:

My own efforts look rather pale in comparison. All I've managed to do is convince myself and my immediate family and friends not to buy UE music.

And I was in a music store just a few days ago, and saw a piece of flute music that I had been seeking for a long time, and I was just about to grab it and buy it...then I looked at the publication details and noticed it was from UE ...so I put it back. (a bit painful to do - but I'll just have to look for another edition. Or locate the manuscript or first edition somewhere on another website and edit it myself.)

I can think of another approach - look for UE editions that are unmistakeably, definitely PD without a shadow of a doubt and will stand up in any court (I can think of some old 1900-1920's editions, including a few Schubert first editions :wink: ) - and upload them to IMSLP as soon as it comes back up. :twisted:

OK, I'd better stop now.

But can I just say to Mr. Cellopro - you are a legend. And I am very impressed by your Dollar Sheet Music site, too.

aldona
“all great composers wrote music that could be described as ‘heavenly’; but others have to take you there. In Schubert’s music you hear the very first notes, and you know that you’re there already.” - Steven Isserlis

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A cold thread warmed over

Postby homerdundas » Tue May 27, 2008 7:22 pm

Hi everyone,

Some talk further to these ideas...

I am librarian for an amateur orchestra (see http://www.dundasvalleyorchestra.ca ). I will not buy UE personally or have my orchestra do so in the future. I would guess that UE underestimated the consequences of it's present course... anyway...

I now am scanning all the orchestra parts that we play. This is very handy for reprinting - string parts especially - as we seem to have new players showing up from time to time. Those in the public domain will - of course - find their way onto IMSLP.

The parts for the Strauss Blue Danube Waltzes and the Bizet Symphony are presently on our web site (see "Information for Members") These will be uploaded to IMSLP after July 1. Haydn symphony #88 (Kalmus) is nearly done and will be posted soon.

Our library catalogue is online - about 400 works - please shout if you need anything (see "Library"). I am gradually collecting copyright information for each work. One result of the simple existence IMSLP is that I have learned a lot about copyright. One discovery: It's not illegal to use that photocopier much of the time!!!!!!

Perhaps someone can tell me the following bits of information...
Was the full score for the Bizet Symphony on the IMSLP? (I don't want to scan it if I don't have to - my Kalmus edition has 250 pages :-( )
Was the full score for Haydn Symphony #88 on line?

No rush - Thanks.

Another thought - most of the works on IMSLP are scans. Does anyone know of an "electronic music stand" - a MUSICKINDLE (tm) - you saw it here first - to replace the paper we use? Hmmm... maybe with automatic repeat recognition... or with automatic advancing pages as you play ... just a dream?


Also, aldona - what's that flute piece you were looking for?

Small note: the Bizet and Haydn are both offered by UE. Please download, copy, print - make sure every orchestra has a copy. UE can recycle their unsold stacks of paper :twisted: .


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