A castigating comment from a copyright reviewer

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Zeyar Shwe
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A castigating comment from a copyright reviewer

Postby Zeyar Shwe » Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:34 am

After getting the answer to my request on copyright status request that Rossini's Album of 6 overtures for solo piano ( published by Belwin-Mills) is in PD, I started submitting. After the submission of the second overture I got a castigating message from the administrator as follows-

'Arrangers and Editors ⟨User:Zeyarshwe⟩ [#15320]
This is never a publisher (like Belwin-Mills, Kalmus, etc.). If you cannot find who arranged the item you need to do some research. Adding arrangements to pages for major works like Rossini operas without providing crucial information is not helpful and full of potential copyright issues unless you have considerably more experience that (sic) you have demonstrated.'

First I know full well that the arranger is not a publisher (like Belwin-Mills, Kalmus, etc.), but I could not submit the file unless something was put in as an arranger's name, that was why I put in the publisher's name not because I do not know the difference between an arranger and a publisher...

Secondly, although I was told that adding arrangements to pages for major works like Rossini operas without providing crucial information is not helpful, I was actually trying to be helpful giving my time and efforts to add more scores to IMSLP.

And last, I have stopped submitting the remaining 4 overtures from the book because in my inexperienced research, I could not find out the name of the arranger and I do not want to get another message telling me that I am unhelpful.

I wonder whether the copyright reviewer has ever thought that if we were to become as experienced as he is, and we never upload the wrong files, the job of the copyright reviewers would become redundant. We, the inexperienced contributors, are the raison d'être of the copyright reviewers.

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Re: A castigating comment from a copyright reviewer

Postby Carolus » Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:26 pm

Information is crucial to copyright review and the problem you had was a severe lack of needed info. A major part of the lack of info stems from the Kalmus/Belwin reprint of a collection you scanned. Many reprint houses tell you absolutely nothing about what they reprinted. The worst cases of all are when they assemble things from various publishers and put them into one package - like CD Sheet Music. As it happens the 6 Rossini overtures were originally issued by Ricordi and reprinted verbatim by Kalmus (later Belwin-Mills). The arranger was not credited even by Ricordi (or at least no mention appears in the WorldCat record for the collection). These are likely arranged by the person who originally prepared the piano reduction of the first vocal score to include the overture.

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Re: A castigating comment from a copyright reviewer

Postby Zeyar Shwe » Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:55 pm

I know that the information is important and I supplied all the information I have. If you, who are very knowledgeable and very experienced could not find out who the arranger was, how can you expect the mere mortal like us to do research and inform who the arranger was?

As I said in my answer to you, your comment implied ( maybe you did not mean it) that I, with little experience should not be submitting pieces . When I was giving my time and effort to add more books to IMPLS, it was not very nice to be told that I was being unhelpful when I was trying my best to be helpful.

Anyway, I only submitted after I got the answer on copyright status request forum that Rossini's 6 overtures are in PD. You can see yourself on the forum. Being the chief copyright reviewer, you must have seen my request and the answer on the forum.

IMPLS assured inexperienced contributors like us , to ' relax because an administrator will make sure that everything is done properly' , and not that an administrator will tell you off for being unhelpful

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Re: A castigating comment from a copyright reviewer

Postby Zeyar Shwe » Mon Sep 12, 2016 2:41 pm

I also want to put the record straight about the series of events. Before I submitted the overtures I asked for Copyright status of the book ' Rossini- Album of 6 overtures' on the forum. When I requested I provided all the details of the book but also stated that there is no info about the editor and the arranger in the book. Only when I got the answer that the book is in PD I submitted the overtures separately as I was advised to do.

I did not hide the fact that there is no info about the editor and the arranger. ( I also revealed in my copyright status requests about J Strauss,- overture and J Strauss' Dance album that there is no info about the editor and the arranger ). My requests can be easily seen on the forum.

After submission of 2 overtures, the copyright reviewer sent a message telling me that I submitted it without crucial information and I should have done research and find out who the arranger was.

I thought ( please correct me , if I am wrong) that all the Kalmus books are in PD. If the book is in PD even if we do not know who the editor or the arranger was, why make the issue out of not supplying the arranger's name?

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Re: A castigating comment from a copyright reviewer

Postby Carolus » Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:51 pm

The assumption that all Kalmus issues are public domain is only true for the United States. For example, Kalmus issues (via their LudwigMasters imprint) two early pieces by Aaron Copland (died 1990). They were both published in Paris before 1923 and are therefore free in the USA. They are not free anywhere else. IMSLP's main server is in Canada, whose law is quite different from that of the United States. That's why dates of all the editors, arrangers, authors of text, etc. are important. This is a very common error because Kalmus is a reprint house (mainly - though they do issue new editions also which are mostly not critical editions and less than 25 years old in any case).

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Re: A castigating comment from a copyright reviewer

Postby Zeyar Shwe » Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:46 pm

Thanks for correcting me the mistake about Kakmus editions. But that still does not answer my question- ' If the book is in PD, why is it essential to know the arranger's name? If it is in PD, it will still be in PD even if we do not know the editor or the arranger, I would assume. Not being able to name the arranger surely would not change the PD work into a non-PD.
I need to know because as you would probably have noticed in the copyright status request forum about my posts about J Strauss overtures for piano and J Strauss' Dance album and I have no information about the editor and arranger. Although these books are in PD, will i get the same sort message from you if I submit these books?

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Re: A castigating comment from a copyright reviewer

Postby Carolus » Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:15 pm

For the very reason stated above - we only know that it's PD in the USA, not Canada. When you upload to IMSLP, it goes to a server in Canada. Kalmus and other reprinters don't tell you what they reprinted. As it happens, you were lucky with the Ricordi collection of six overtures arranged for piano, which was reprinted verbatim by Kalmus (the section of the catalog later purchased by Belwin-Mills). With other collections, they might take 2 overtures from a very old obviously public domain source (like a 19th century Ricordi vocal score), 2 others issued in a French collection published in 1920 whose arranger lived until 1980, and 2 others from a German collection issued in 1885 whose arranger lived until 1950. A collection like the one I just described would contain 2 items public domain worldwide, 2 public domain in the USA only, and 2 still under copyright in the EU. Oh, and the only way you would find this out would be to research it all, since the reprinter would not be mentioning anything.

There is another issue with collections as well (though you wisely avoided this one by splitting it into 6 files). A collection which is sufficiently original in nature (6 selected overtures from Rossini operas might be, if the listing is unique) is treated the same as an original work as far as copyright is concerned. For example, if the Raccolta you scanned was assembled by Malipiero (died 1973, who had a long association with Ricordi), you could not upload that volume without violating Canadian law - assuming that the six items selected by Malipiero had never appeared in the same configuration before (kind of unlikely in this case, but not impossible) - until 2024. Dover tends to be better about telling you what was reprinted than Kalmus (especially those Kalmus/Belwin/Alfred things which are nearly all originally Kalmus reprints from before 1970). With collections of songs and vocal works, the problem only multiplies - you have to account for the dates of the text authors as well. Your scanning is really pretty decent - especially for a beginner. You kind of jumped into the deep-end of the copyright waters in a way though. I'll be watching these forums more and you can always ask on my talk-page on the wiki itself.

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Re: A castigating comment from a copyright reviewer

Postby Zeyar Shwe » Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:03 pm

Thank you for the explanation. Yes, when I started contributing to the IMSLP, I had no idea about copyright issues. I thought rather naively that if the composer was dead for more than a hundred year, all his work, regardless of the editor is in PD. I was told off by Sallen for uploading Myslivecek's Divertimentos with the preface by Lionel Salter- he was not rude but a bit contemptuous with a snappy tone and a slap on the wrist- 'do not upload these sort of books here again'.

Choralia is an administrator who is very helpful and I have learned from his comments and advice. Even when he had to delete my upload ' Meet Kurt Weil at the piano' , he was very courteous, never assume an unpleasant tone, and explained why the book cannot be in PD.

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Re: A castigating comment from a copyright reviewer

Postby Carolus » Wed Sep 14, 2016 2:09 am

It's a learning process of course and (as I mentioned) you actually jumped in with some rather complicated things. Your other upload - a collection of Contemporaraies of Purcell has gone superbly and the page is now a model of how a collection page is done which you can look to with pride.


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