UE update Thursday 25th October

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eternalsnows
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Postby eternalsnows » Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:15 pm

Richard Black wrote:Dover Edition had already published Schoenberg and Bartok, and others, under the old USA law (life +30 years if I remember correctly). When the new law came in, as I understand it, they negotiated with the original publishers so as not to have to withdraw their already-printed scores. No idea what sort of terms they made and I'd be surprised if they're keen to discuss what's presumably confidential information on the subject.


As you know, the US used to require a renewal of copyright 28 years after the date of publication. Works that were not renewed in this manner, and that were published before 1964, are now public domain and do not benefit from the new life+70 rule.

What I am saying is that it is conceivable that some works by Bartok and Schoenberg and others were not renewed and were published pre-1964, and are therefore PD in the US.

That being said, which works fall under this category and which do not? This needs to be clarified by someone who knows the facts.

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Postby Carolus » Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:32 pm

Eternalsnows is correct about the nature of US copyright law, which is uses the date of first publication to determine copyright terms for all works published before 1978. There have been some amendments which have extended the term for pre-1978 publications to a term of 95 years from publication date, largely thanks to the lobbying of Walt Disney, Inc.

This term extension went in effect in 1998, effectively freezing the public domain to works published prior to 1923. Works published before 1923 are public domain in the USA. Works first published 1923-1963 are possibly under copyright, unless special circumstances apply pertaining to renewals, and eligibility to apply for copyright restoration under the GATT/TRIPS amendments. Works published 1964-1977 are probably under copyright, but again exceptions exist for works published without notice, etc. That's why the majority of Bartok and Schönberg works listed above are free in the USA. At no time was the US copyright term life-plus-30. It was initially life-plus-50 for works published in 1978 and later, but was subsequently extended to life-plus-70 for those works.

eternalsnows
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Postby eternalsnows » Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:53 pm

Carolus wrote:Eternalsnows is correct about the nature of US copyright law, which is uses the date of first publication to determine copyright terms for all works published before 1978. There have been some amendments which have extended the term for pre-1978 publications to a term of 95 years from publication date, largely thanks to the lobbying of Walt Disney, Inc.

This term extension went in effect in 1998, effectively freezing the public domain to works published prior to 1923. Works published before 1923 are public domain in the USA. Works first published 1923-1963 are possibly under copyright, unless special circumstances apply pertaining to renewals, and eligibility to apply for copyright restoration under the GATT/TRIPS amendments. Works published 1964-1977 are probably under copyright, but again exceptions exist for works published without notice, etc. That's why the majority of Bartok and Schönberg works listed above are free in the USA. At no time was the US copyright term life-plus-30. It was initially life-plus-50 for works published in 1978 and later, but was subsequently extended to life-plus-70 for those works.


Agreed. This is precisely why Mr. Irons needs to clarify statements such as: "Bartok is in copyright in Europe and the USA."

nikolas
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Postby nikolas » Fri Oct 26, 2007 1:00 am

Hem.

I'm not sure if Jonathan Irons is here to set any rules, etc, but probably to try and fix the relationship and build a ground on where the two parties can actually talk about things. I'm not sure he is here to debate anything. Unless you want their lawyers back with the 'correct wording' (which incidently is totally unecessary imho and ugly).

eternalsnows
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Postby eternalsnows » Fri Oct 26, 2007 2:06 am

nikolas wrote:Hem.

I'm not sure if Jonathan Irons is here to set any rules, etc, but probably to try and fix the relationship and build a ground on where the two parties can actually talk about things. I'm not sure he is here to debate anything. Unless you want their lawyers back with the 'correct wording' (which incidently is totally unecessary imho and ugly).


I suppose the only person who is sure of Mr. Irons' intentions is Mr. Irons himself. He is of course free to debate or not as he sees fit. However, it seems to me that it is not only in the interest of IMSLP but the larger music community as well to understand exactly the copyright policies of one of the largest music publishers in the world.

Bartok (for example) may or may not be under copyright in the US, and either way is fine with me, but I (and I suspect at a least a few others) would like to know definitively one way or the other. On the one hand UE (via Mr. Irons) says he is, and on the other it appears that US copyright law says "not necessarily."

Finally, if the UE lawyers had used anything remotely approaching the "correct wording" to begin with IMSLP would most likely still be online.

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Postby Vivaldi » Fri Oct 26, 2007 5:01 am

I really do not understand why does IMSLP have to comply with Spanish and French copyright law when it is physically hosted in Canada?
Mr Irons, how can you justify the need for Canadians IN CANADA to comply and observe with Spanish and French copyright laws when they are not even in those countries? Absurd.
Also, as mentioned, Bartok and R. Strauss died more than 50 years ago. So unless any of their works were published posthumously or within 50 years ago, they are PD in Canada. Most of Bartok's are under Boosey and Hawkes which to my knowledge did not have any collaboration with UE. So while Bartok's works may still be in copyright in the US (for works published after 1923), most of his works published in his lifetime would be PD in Canada like the Concerto for Orchestra published by Boosey (I know that because I have one).

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Postby Jabber » Fri Oct 26, 2007 6:45 am

So, if I have real physical Bartok scores in the UK (which I do), but I also have them in digital form, I'm in breech of copyright? :shock:

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Postby Yagan Kiely » Fri Oct 26, 2007 6:49 am

Probably, maybel claim fair-use...

In Australia it was only made legal november last year to have copies of CDs you own (Backup CDs, MP3 players, or on the computer for example).

nikolas
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Postby nikolas » Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:14 am

ArcticWind7 wrote:In Australia it was only made legal november last year to have copies of CDs you own (Backup CDs, MP3 players, or on the computer for example).

To which DRM might be a problem I imagine. Stupid industry. Stupid!

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Postby Richard Black » Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:40 am

So, if I have real physical Bartok scores in the UK (which I do), but I also have them in digital form, I'm in breach of copyright?


I don't know if that specific case has been tested or even discussed by the relevant authorities, but the British Phonographic Institute has said, explicitly and in print, that it will not attempt to prevent anyone from making personal copies of sound recordings they own to different media, for purposes such as mobile playback. The recommendation was made by the Gowers Review to embody this in law, which would by simple extension mean you're not breaking any rules.

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Postby HonkyTonk » Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:48 am

I suppose I must be one of the few users of this site who feels that the actions of UE over this matter haven't been particularly ogreish. I remember seeing works appearing on the site which carried a note warning that the copyright status was in question and were likely to be removed and I feel that this could have happened with the works that UE mentioned so that the bulk of the site remained available. I do understand, however, that the threat of legal action probably occasioned a knee-jerk reaction brought about by anxiety. Perhaps UE could have considered an informal warning before resorting to lawyers.
As a mere musician, I must say that the whole business of copyright seems to be a minefield. Joseph Marx is a case in point. The Sibley music library still has two works by this composer, a piano quartet and a piano trio, accessible on its website. The introduction to the Sibley collection under the heading "About the Site" declares that all works are public domain with no caveat that this might not apply to users of the web in any country other than where the site is hosted. The natural assumption for anyone unschooled in the laws of copyright is that if an academic institution like a university library declares a composer's works to be in the public domain then they must be.
There is also the case of the site "Everynote.com." which offers a number of the works in question on the world-wide-web for purchase and download without any obvious warnings about their copyright status in various parts of the world. The natural assumption is, once again, that there are no copyright restrictions on these works. And yet ISMLP receives a C&D letter for making many of the same titles available for free download.
We are told that Richard Strauss is still copyright in the EU, and yet Amazon U.K. still advertises Dover scores of Rosenkavalier and Salome (which I have purchased from them) even though I can go to London and buy direct from Boosey and Hawkes what used to be considered (and might still be for all I know) the "legitimate" U.K.edition of those works.
The whole question of copyright law is vexing and confusing. Why should those living in the USA and Canada have non-copyright access to European composers years earlier than those of us living in Europe? Why were the works of Gershwin out of copyright in the U.K. in 1988 and back in copyright again a few years later?! It all seems very arbitrary and I agree with those who feel that the whole matter of copyright should be looked at and, maybe, some international standards agreed upon.

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Postby Buxtehude » Fri Oct 26, 2007 11:23 am

What is coming out of comments of persons much more law-trained than me is bringing me to some conclusions.

1. The actual law regarding copyright is easily appliable if we are talking about books. A book physically existing and a copy are two different things. Two files are exactly the same bits. A file can be copied in thousand of instances all equivalent, while a book will be different from a xerox. Problems of unlegal distribution of the copy are clearly found out when you can distinghish in between original and copy.

2. The same "physicity" implied in the aforementioned laws can be applied when I buy one thing in a country when it is legal and I bring it in a country where it is forbidden. There is a borderline in between the two lands which must be crossed, I have to declare the goods at custom. This does not apply to internet. If we were talking about digital copies which would remain digital copies, there could be a jurisdiction just for the web. The problem is that the digital copy can be transformed into a paper one, thus assimilable to a xerox of the book. If the book can be xeroxed legally in the land, there also the printed copy can exist. Otherwise the printed copy is unlegal.

In any case, to create this distinction in between the two things (xerox and printed copy) should be enough to add a header on all the pages (like what happens through sheetmusicarchive.net), which, IMHO, should also specify that the use of that copy is unlegal in <list of countries> until <year>. This list should be supplied by the publisher.

I volounteer to help in doing that work.

If we could then find a kind of agreement in between imslp and the publishers, something with a philosophy near to the creative commons or this kind of licenses, the statement regarding this licence should be printed out also.

Lastly, I have another doubt: have not understood one more detail: if it is OWNERSHIP of a copy of a unlegal work, the person to be prosecuted is the owner of the copy if he belongs to a state which prohibits that. If it were so, the actual situation would be perfectly legal as it is. If, instead, the free distribution of a copy is comparable to sell it, imslp would be guilty as well, unless if I assume that when I am on the imslp homepage I am considered as I were in Canada, so I am legal until I do not download a copy of the file on my computer. But I do not know if this is feasible, because when I am browsing a site the files are temp files on MY computer, so I have already imported them in a country where they could not be legal, thus coming back to the vexata quaestio regarding ISP filtering.

I had never understood like now that the world needs an internationally agreed law apparate for the web. Local laws cannot be applied in any possible satisfactory way.

Regards.

Dietrich.

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Postby Yagan Kiely » Fri Oct 26, 2007 3:02 pm

I don't know if that specific case has been tested or even discussed by the relevant authorities, but the British Phonographic Institute has said, explicitly and in print, that it will not attempt to prevent anyone from making personal copies of sound recordings they own to different media, for purposes such as mobile playback. The recommendation was made by the Gowers Review to embody this in law, which would by simple extension mean you're not breaking any rules.
Regardless of the law, it is not a simple extension from Music Record playback on mobile devices to a score.

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Postby Vivaldi » Sat Oct 27, 2007 3:23 am

Mr Irons is setting a dangerous precedent here. Suppose a composer born and lived in Mexico his whole life and sold the copyrights of his work to UE. Would UE claim copyright for the work using Mexican copyright law of life+100 years worldwide where most countries have only life+50? Think about it.

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Postby imslp » Sat Oct 27, 2007 3:26 am

Exactly. Law on the internet would essentially be at the whim of every single country.


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