Interesting article on new editons of PD works in Canada

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Interesting article on new editons of PD works in Canada

Postby homerdundas » Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:24 pm

Hi All, I thought I would pass this along from the CANMUS-L.

An interesting article on Canadian copyright law as it pertains to printed music was brought to my attention to our copyright librarian, so I thought I would share:

Laroche, Guillaume, "Settling the Score: Copyright in Modern Editions of Public Domain Musical Works" (2014). Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper Series. Paper 80.
Modern sheet music publishers regularly assert copyright claims over their new editions of public domain compositions by long-deceased composers like Mozart and Chopin, yet the legal basis for these claims remains untested. This inquiry argues that most such claims are untenable, and outlines a doctrinal copyright analysis supporting this conclusion in Canadian law and jurisprudence. Following a brief overview of the sheet music publishing industry’s copyright practices and some recent challenges to its preferred status quo, two doctrinal approaches are tested using various editions of Frédéric Chopin’s “Raindrop Prelude”. First, an application of the doctrine of originality, as described in CCH v. Law Society of Upper Canada, reveals that editors’ original expression in most new editions of public domain compositions is difficult to discern. Although some editions meet the required standard, this finding nonetheless jeopardizes many publishers’ copyright claims. Second, the inquiry briefly investigates the nature of musical scores as works, concluding that, contrary to what publishers have sometimes argued, a proper application of the Copyright Act should classify them as musical works instead of artistic works. Finally, the findings of the court in the British case Sawkins v. Hyperion are applied to the Canadian context. The article concludes by discussing some of the policy implications of its findings, contrasting the benefits accruing to musicians with the potentially harmful decisions that some music publishers might make if the Canadian standard were adopted more widely.

Sean Luyk [lʌʊ̈k], B.Mus, MA, MLIS
University of Alberta

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Re: Interesting article on new editons of PD works in Canada

Postby coulonnus » Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:45 pm

Also potentially useful but older: and with examples of "additions" in copyrighted editions.

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Re: Interesting article on new editons of PD works in Canada

Postby Carolus » Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:28 am

Both very interesting of course. I'd read the older one some time ago but it's a good refresher. Pretty much goes along with what we follow here.

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