Uploading non-PD scores to a server where they are PD

General copyright-related issues and discussions

Moderators: kcleung, Copyright Reviewers

Mapichleko
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 7:03 pm
notabot: 42
notabot2: Human

Re: Uploading non-PD scores to a server where they are PD

Postby Mapichleko » Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:24 pm

I beg everyone to consider (and hopefully understand) that all the works of lesser-known composers have not been published yet, far from it, even 50 years or more after their death. In some cases, it is about half of their works which are still waiting printing. Any statement implying that all the works of a composer were published before his death would be completely missing the point.

Furthermore, if musicologues and publishers can feel that their editing efforts could be put on-line for nothing just after printing, they will stop publishing the remainder of the manuscripts. Then everybody will be deprived from important sources of new pieces of music to enjoy, including IMSLP users! Not every student can find, decipher and engrave easily such manuscripts.

Scanning old out-of-print scores is one thing. Scanning recently printed scores would be another. Everyone should be able to appreciate the difference.
Please note that publishers are not making much profit (if any) on scores by lesser-known composers of the 20th Century, and definitely not fast...

The above explains (if not justifies) the impression of immorality (the word may have different connotations in different languages) that we feel and that we expressed (in the wrong place, I admit).

PS: About Carolus' excessive reaction: I never advocated unlimited copyright; besides, I feel it was not fair to keep writing unpleasant comments on my page and on his own page while I was deprived from the possibility to defend myself. I do not recognise there the values of openness and freedom defended by sites like IMSLP.

KGill
Copyright Reviewer
Posts: 1289
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:16 pm
notabot: 42
notabot2: Human

Re: Uploading non-PD scores to a server where they are PD

Postby KGill » Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:40 pm

Mapichleko wrote:Scanning old out-of-print scores is one thing. Scanning recently printed scores would be another. Everyone should be able to appreciate the difference.

Can you point us to an example of a 'recently printed score' which has been posted here without permission? If so, I would be quite surprised, since we have a strict copyright policy (which is uniformly enforced, no matter how much grumbling goes on about it on the forums). The law is on our side, and you have no legal right to force us to take works down from the site (unless of course you spot any that are still under copyright in Canada). If newly-published works of a long-dead composer surface, of course they won't make it to IMSLP unless permission is given - for one thing, we have a voluntary courtesy to publishers in the form of keeping out everything younger than 25 years (even if it's an urtext edition of Mozart, which wouldn't be subject to copyright in Canada).
The above explains (if not justifies) the impression of immorality (the word may have different connotations in different languages) that we feel and that we expressed (in the wrong place, I admit).

I'm afraid I still don't understand this. Could you please explain why it is immoral to take something which is owned by the public and make it available to the public?
PS: About Carolus' excessive reaction: I never advocated unlimited copyright

Not explicitly, but it was implied. You hold that publishers should be given credit (in the form of restricting access to scores) for the work of engraving music, no matter how long ago they did it. Carolus's response may have been a little over the top, but still, does that argument not imply unlimited copyright of sorts? If not, then what would you suggest is a reasonable criterion for public domain?

steltz
active poster
Posts: 1852
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:30 pm
notabot: 42
notabot2: Human

Re: Uploading non-PD scores to a server where they are PD

Postby steltz » Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:13 pm

Mapichleko wrote:I beg everyone to consider (and hopefully understand) that all the works of lesser-known composers have not been published yet, far from it, even 50 years or more after their death. In some cases, it is about half of their works which are still waiting printing. Any statement implying that all the works of a composer were published before his death would be completely missing the point.


Many countries have an "editio princeps" clause that covers these cases, and IMSLP protects those works by not allowing them to be uploaded. If there are unpublished works that a publisher is willing to print, you won't find them on IMSLP until the term of "editio princeps" runs out.

I can't find anything in these posts implying that all works of a composer were published before his death, and if anything could be construed that way, I'm pretty sure it's either a mis-reading, or perhaps bad grammar.

If you are talking in general terms, I'm afraid I still fail to see where you are "proving" that IMSLP is doing anything wrong. If, on the other hand, there is a specific work that shouldn't be here, you need to say which it is -- anything that has been erroneously posted will be taken down immediately if it can be proved to still be under copyright.
bsteltz

pml
Copyright Reviewer
Posts: 1219
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:42 am
notabot: 42
notabot2: Human
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Uploading non-PD scores to a server where they are PD

Postby pml » Sat Oct 09, 2010 12:34 am

Mapichleko wrote:I beg everyone to consider (and hopefully understand) that all the works of lesser-known composers have not been published yet, far from it, even 50 years or more after their death. In some cases, it is about half of their works which are still waiting printing. Any statement implying that all the works of a composer were published before his death would be completely missing the point.


Do you think we are unaware of this? The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of copyrighted work is not a commercially viable proposition after a significant fraction of the term of copyright has expired. This was why the American system had the option of renewal after half of the possible duration, so that non-viable copyrights could take the fast path into the public domain while more valuable properties could enjoy the full term of copyright monopoly.

What you are suggesting for lesser-known composers is that in the main, their works can be left to languish further and further into obscurity before they enter the public domain. Publishers are in the publishing business to turn a profit, and classical art music is a very long-term project that seldom generates comfortable profit: for many works the initial cost of typesetting and printing is never totally recouped by sale or hire of scores and parts. That’s if – and I repeat, if – the publisher can be bothered trying to commercially exploit the lesser-known composer’s work at all. I can think of a few composers whose rights are with publishers who seldom lift a finger to promote their works except when the prospect of a performance arises – and not because of their advocacy.

The instances of a work like Orff’s Carmina burana, where the sale and hire of that work alone has supported the rest of Orff’s œuvre as well as several other lesser lights of the Schott stable, are extremely rare. In terms of the film industry, the number of works from 1936 that are still commercially viable propositions represent a tiny fraction of the total artistic output of that year: but owing to the ridiculous copyright extensions in the US, most of the movies where a copyright owner can no longer be traced are disintegrating as the acetate or nitrate films chemically deteriorate, with holding libraries powerless to breach copyright by transferring (copying!) the works to new media. The equivalent with unpublished musical manuscripts is the possibility that rather than being treated as valuable property, they can simply be neglected and lost.

Furthermore, if musicologues and publishers can feel that their editing efforts could be put on-line for nothing just after printing, they will stop publishing the remainder of the manuscripts. Then everybody will be deprived from important sources of new pieces of music to enjoy, including IMSLP users! Not every student can find, decipher and engrave easily such manuscripts.


Strawman. New typesets have their own copyrights, although the copyright terms may be reduced somewhat compared to the type of pma+50/70 durations. Please show us where these types of publication have been infringed.

Scanning old out-of-print scores is one thing. Scanning recently printed scores would be another. Everyone should be able to appreciate the difference.


But you can’t, because you made a blanket accusation that we scan non-PD scores. Please identify the infringing scores.

Please note that publishers are not making much profit (if any) on scores by lesser-known composers of the 20th Century, and definitely not fast...


That’s their business: I repeat, they go into the business knowing that music publishing is often unprofitable, and that they have a limited time to legally exploit their products. They don’t get to have those rights forever. And arguably, publishers who sit on a composer’s work hoping that the last centime and franc of profit can be squeezed out of their property often prevents a “lesser-known” figure from becoming “better-known”.

PS: About Carolus' excessive reaction: I never advocated unlimited copyright; besides, I feel it was not fair to keep writing unpleasant comments on my page and on his own page while I was deprived from the possibility to defend myself. I do not recognise there the values of openness and freedom defended by sites like IMSLP.


I have no idea what this means.

Regards, Philip
--
PML (talk)

Carolus
Site Admin
Posts: 2169
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:18 pm
notabot: 42
notabot2: Human
Contact:

Re: Uploading non-PD scores to a server where they are PD

Postby Carolus » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:18 am

As for the complaint that he was not allowed to defend himself on the wiki, readers should note that the user named Mapichleko vandalized a page on the wiki (possibly out of ignorance) with a written accusation that IMSLP was "immoral" and was therefore duly banned (by me) for a week. If he comes back next week and attempts any additional vandalism, he will be banned from the wiki and this forum permanently. Note that I have not banned him from this forum, where he is able to make comments as he wishes.

Mapichleko's definition of "recent" apparently includes things published a century ago, since his unhappiness stems from the fact that works of a composer who died a little over 50 years ago are posted here, where they are public domain. It's more than a little ironic that Mapichleko elected to behave in such an irresponsible manner, as there are a number of works by the aforementioned composer which are not free in the USA and therefore blocked under the infamous [TB] category where I've included links to Sheet Music Plus so that visitors can actually purchase copies of the scores - thereby driving up the sales of Mapichleko's favorite publishers to pay all those engraving bills left over from the 1920s and 1930s.

Mapichleko apparently takes the position that having a score available for free download at IMSLP somehow prevents or reduces sales of printed scores. There is no evidence that this is actually the case. In fact, there is some limited evidence that the opposite may actually be taking place - that free downloads actually increase the sales of printed scores provided prices are not utterly absurd (which seems to be the unfortunate practice of the publishers Mapichleko likes hang out with).

vinteuil
Groundskeeper
Posts: 1445
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 3:01 pm
notabot: YES
notabot2: Bot
Location: U.S.A.
Contact:

Re: Uploading non-PD scores to a server where they are PD

Postby vinteuil » Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:01 am

Carolus wrote:provided prices are not utterly absurd (which seems to be the unfortunate practice of the publishers Mapichleko likes hang out with).

Viz. our Messiaen opera discussion on the other forum :)
Formerly known as "perlnerd666"

Mapichleko
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 7:03 pm
notabot: 42
notabot2: Human

Re: Uploading non-PD scores to a server where they are PD

Postby Mapichleko » Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:02 pm

KGill wrote:
PS: About Carolus' excessive reaction: I never advocated unlimited copyright

Not explicitly, but it was implied. You hold that publishers should be given credit (in the form of restricting access to scores) for the work of engraving music, no matter how long ago they did it...
Please quote where that was implied. There seems to be some misunderstanding.

steltz wrote:I can't find anything in these posts implying that all works of a composer were published before his death, and if anything could be construed that way, I'm pretty sure it's either a mis-reading
Not here but on Koechlin's discussion page <http://imslp.org/wiki/Category_talk:Koechlin,_Charles>:
Carolus wrote:The publishers have had plenty of time to recoup their expenses in the several decades - nearly a century in this composer's case - since the works appeared in print. Carolus 20:01, 2 October 2010 (UTC) (IMSLP Copyright Admin)
was understood for any work.

daphnis
Copyright Reviewer
Posts: 1609
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 7:15 pm
notabot: 42
notabot2: Human

Re: Uploading non-PD scores to a server where they are PD

Postby daphnis » Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:23 pm

I find your arguments generally asinine and weak. Publishing is a business and they engage in commerce knowing full well the potential returns and profits on these investments. It is not amoral to abide by the law, regardless of your personal beliefs and emotional tendencies. Your gripe should be with lawmakers and not us.

steltz
active poster
Posts: 1852
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:30 pm
notabot: 42
notabot2: Human

Re: Uploading non-PD scores to a server where they are PD

Postby steltz » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:27 pm

Mapichleko wrote:steltz wrote:
I can't find anything in these posts implying that all works of a composer were published before his death, and if anything could be construed that way, I'm pretty sure it's either a mis-readingNot here but on Koechlin's discussion page <http://imslp.org/wiki/Category_talk:Koechlin,_Charles>:
Carolus wrote:
The publishers have had plenty of time to recoup their expenses in the several decades - nearly a century in this composer's case - since the works appeared in print. Carolus 20:01, 2 October 2010 (UTC) (IMSLP Copyright Admin)was understood for any work.


There is simply nothing in Carolus' sentence implying that all of Koechlin's works were published before his death. It is absolutely clear that he is only talking about those that were in print long enough ago to be in the public domain now.

Anything that has erroneously been uploaded will be removed. You have yet to quote one single title.
bsteltz

Mapichleko
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 7:03 pm
notabot: 42
notabot2: Human

Re: Uploading non-PD scores to a server where they are PD

Postby Mapichleko » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:47 pm

Carolus wrote:As for the complaint that he was not allowed to defend himself on the wiki, readers should note that the user named Mapichleko vandalized a page on the wiki (possibly out of ignorance) with a written accusation that IMSLP was "immoral" and was therefore duly banned (by me) for a week...
To be more exact, the ban was initially for unlimited time...
But was it necessary to use such a heavy artillery to try and swat a moskito that landed in the wrong place?

Maybe it would help if the "editio princeps" clause was better explicited and if it could be clarified where it applies. If it means that recently printed scores would not be scanned before some time, then we are not so far apart after all!

You may well have all the legal rights with you. This is not the point, not mine at least. I am not (and have never been) intending to set up a legal case. This would not be the right place anyway. I am only expressing feelings (unless it is forbidden on this forum) and trying to explain what can be the consequences of such an initiative on musicologues' and publishers' activity.
It obviously makes the publishing trade more risky than before and they may not feel safe enough anymore to go on publishing new scores. For example : as op. 165 was out-of-print, L'Oiseau-Lyre reprinted it in 2005, under copyright, after some hesitation. It is doubtful that they would have done it if they had known the 1947 score and parts could be put on-line so soon after the reprint (even if they are temporarily on the TB list, but for how long?).

Carolus claims that IMSLP has (in 2 or 3 years only) "probably done more to make [a composer's] work known than all of the publishers combined did in the last 100 years"; this undocumented statement looks rather pretentious and it does not facilitate a fair discussion.

Please accept that it may be hard for a non native English speaker to respond to all of you (by the way, thank you for the "asinine" qualification of my arguments. Isn'it a nice welcome?).

steltz
active poster
Posts: 1852
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:30 pm
notabot: 42
notabot2: Human

Re: Uploading non-PD scores to a server where they are PD

Postby steltz » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:27 pm

@Mapichleko, Re: the edition princeps clauses, each country deals with these differently, with different periods of protection. However, from your comments I gather (correct me if I am wrong) that you are hoping for a situation where, if someone makes a new publication of a public domain work, the original public domain edition will be blocked in order to protect the new edition. This will not happen -- only the new edition with the new copyright would be blocked. Apart from anything else, everything would have to be held in abeyance just in case a future edition is made. This would effectively wipe out the concept of public domain altogether.

Secondly, you mention Charles Koechlin's page in one post, but delete the name and put [composer's] in another place. In addition, there were comments on Koechlin's page by someone named Lerique-Koechlin, but the next comments were by "User", appearing to talk on behalf of Lerique-Koechlin, but who didn't identify himself.

In most arguments, it is considered important (and fair) that anyone with vested interests declares those interests. Since the last 7 letters of your name could be an anagram of almost all of Koechlin's name, you need at this point to declare if you are a Koechlin relative, and hence, if you have vested interests in this argument.

I will state my position publicly: I have one piece published. I have a right to the royalties from that piece of music. I will defend those rights. The piece will not be posted on IMSLP in my lifetime (despite my extensive involvement with IMSLP on various levels), or for many years afterward. However, public domain exists, and as long as it exists, the people who are legally entitled to it have rights too. It's not just the beneficiaries of royalties that have rights. The beneficiaries of my will, if the piece is still making any money, will be entitled to benefit from it. But the beneficiaries of their wills, unless someone dies very very early, probably won't. That's life. That's law. That's fair.
bsteltz

kalliwoda
active poster
Posts: 501
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:36 pm
notabot: YES
notabot2: Bot
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: Uploading non-PD scores to a server where they are PD

Postby kalliwoda » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:20 pm

@Mapichleko:
That you mention the Septet for winds prompts me to comment here as well: When a recording of this work was released in 1992 (BIS-CD, Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet), I tried to buy score and parts, but they were long out of print. The music shop even tried to order archive photocopies from the publishers - no response after 3 attempts over the course of a year.
I am sure, there must have been quite a number of similar requests prompted by the CD release, but the publisher just ignored the business opportunity - for 14 years until the new edition was finally published. And even if this new edition has its own 25 year copyright (until 2030) the work itself will become public domain in Europe in 2021 (only in France a few years later). And if some reprint shop then sells the 1947 edition for its own profit, this will be completely legal

I think you should blame the publisher - while they were sleeping in their offices, copies of the septet made from a cut-up score were circulating among musicians in Germany (for private use only) The Koechlin heirs may even have lost out on income from GEMA (performing rights society) because concert performances from such parts are not allowed!

Let me also comment on the strong reaction by some of the people at imslp: You may not have been aware how much effort goes into the checking for copyright of submitted scores, so when you used the word "immoral" some of the copyright review team felt personally offended. Since I myself am not involved in the copyright review, I may not have reacted so strongly.

Also have a look at the copyright section in the contributors portal, so you can appreciate the diligence of the copyright review process for imslp: For each score still under copyright there are numbers in red that let you know, when the work becomes free: On the left for Canada (already free), In the middle for the USA (2043 for the septet), and on the right for "70 year" countries (2021 for Koechlin). That is, in 2021 those works still under copyright in the USA will start to be available from the EU-server, but unless US-law is changed, the septet will be under the TB-block on the US server until 2043 - not exactly a very short time.

Mapichleko
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 7:03 pm
notabot: 42
notabot2: Human

Re: Uploading non-PD scores to a server where they are PD

Postby Mapichleko » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:26 pm

steltz wrote:@Mapichleko, Re: the edition princeps clauses, each country deals with these differently, with different periods of protection. However, from your comments I gather (correct me if I am wrong) that you are hoping for a situation where, if someone makes a new publication of a public domain work, the original public domain edition will be blocked in order to protect the new edition. This will not happen -- only the new edition with the new copyright would be blocked. Apart from anything else, everything would have to be held in abeyance just in case a future edition is made. This would effectively wipe out the concept of public domain altogether.

Wrong. I figured out the obvious consequences myself, but thank you all the same for your explanation on the editio princeps clause, albeit unprecise.
Again, I never advocated nor even hinted any kind of unlimited copyright. I beg everyone from now on to please stop supposing that. It doesn't contribute to anything positive. It would be nicer if non fully supportive posts would not automatically be suspected of bad intentions or worse, accused of "vandalism".

steltz wrote:Secondly, you mention Charles Koechlin's page in one post, but delete the name and put [composer's] in another place. In addition, there were comments on Koechlin's page by someone named Lerique-Koechlin, but the next comments were by "User", appearing to talk on behalf of Lerique-Koechlin, but who didn't identify himself.

In most arguments, it is considered important (and fair) that anyone with vested interests declares those interests. Since the last 7 letters of your name could be an anagram of almost all of Koechlin's name, you need at this point to declare if you are a Koechlin relative, and hence, if you have vested interests in this argument.

I will state my position publicly: I have one piece published...

OK, now you do it. But remember that I had no choice but change my (banned) name to be able to try and defend our position! (i-e our musicologists' and publishers' as well as our own).
At least we already knew you were a musician interested in chamber music, solo, but I didn't find, for example, the whereabouts of so-called "Carolus" and "daphnis", and what "vested interests" they have in this argument. Despite the "Lerique-Koechlin" name, "Carolus" didn't care about who I could be before banning me for ever: "Fire a missile first and wait for signs of life afterwards, if any!". That was not an ideal start for a possible discussion.
"Schissel" was quite smarter remembering that I could well be one of Koechlin's heirs.

Since you ask: I actually represent his family and our position is that this initiative does affect the perspective for musicologists and publishers of lesser-known composers whose works are not yet all published. The rules of the game may be the same but its scale is quite different. Who knows how sales will be affected in the next 10 years? We see a problem in the number of possible illicit downloads from "hidden" IP's or from other countries than US and EU (e.g. Japan?). You make these illegal practices much easier but can you garantee that you can physically prevent them?
We acknowledge that some publicity is made for non-PD scores and for records but is there any evidence that score sales are boosted by the site? Any comparison with an alledged impact on book sales by sites offering to download much cheaper books with 10 times more pages than scores is irrelevant (Re. "Schissel"'s comment on "Carolus"'s page). In that case the purchase of the book makes it easier to read at a small expense (and everyone should know that the higher price of scores primarily comes from higher costs of music edition and from a much lower circulation than books).

My first post wasn't very clever, I admit, and it was wrongly posted, but in fine, I am gradually wondering: is it worth spending hours trying to explain a different point of view to a group where so many (other than you) are apparently determined to fight as much as they can against the very idea of intellectual/artistic property even for a limited time that will always seem too long to them? (Re. "the already much-shrunken public domain" in "Feldmahler"'s open letter of 29 June 2008).
Probably not.

KGill
Copyright Reviewer
Posts: 1289
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:16 pm
notabot: 42
notabot2: Human

Re: Uploading non-PD scores to a server where they are PD

Postby KGill » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:47 am

Mapichleko wrote:But remember that I had no choice but change my (banned) name to be able to try and defend our position! (i-e our musicologists' and publishers' as well as our own). At least we already knew you were a musician interested in chamber music, solo, but I didn't find, for example, the whereabouts of so-called "Carolus" and "daphnis", and what "vested interests" they have in this argument. Despite the "Lerique-Koechlin" name, "Carolus" didn't care about who I could be before banning me for ever: "Fire a missile first and wait for signs of life afterwards, if any!". That was not an ideal start for a possible discussion.

You intentionally vandalized the category page for Koechlin. Vandalism is not acceptable on any wiki, and on IMSLP we have a zero tolerance policy. And then, of course, you created a sockpuppet to argue the point - another illegal activity on a wiki. Most people who vandalize get an infinite ban; every sockpuppet gets an infinite ban. You were extremely lucky to have it changed to one week. At least in terms of the decision to ban, I can feel no sympathy whatsoever towards you.
We see a problem in the number of possible illicit downloads from "hidden" IP's or from other countries than US and EU (e.g. Japan?). You make these illegal practices much easier but can you garantee that you can physically prevent them?

No one can prevent them, any more than you can prevent me from checking a bunch of Piazzolla tangos out of a library, photocopying them, and selling the copies at a low price. That's illegal. Is the library I checked them out of liable? Of course not - they weren't the ones who photocopied them. We provide legal disclaimers all over the site. If you download something illegally, that's your problem. Arguing that IMSLP encourages illegal downloads is tantamount to arguing that no one should be able to check anything out of any libraries anywhere.
is it worth spending hours trying to explain a different point of view to a group where so many (other than you) are apparently determined to fight as much as they can against the very idea of intellectual/artistic property even for a limited time that will always seem too long to them? (Re. "the already much-shrunken public domain" in "Feldmahler"'s open letter of 29 June 2008).
Probably not.

The problem with that is that it's not just a different point of view, it's a point of view which has little basis in anything but your personal feelings. As Steltz rightly says, the law is the law is the law, and neither you nor IMSLP has any say in it.
As for 'vested interests', I think Carolus actually works for a music publisher.
One last thing I'd like to point out is that a reprint does not count for a new copyright, as you seem to believe (cf. your 2005 example). Only the original publication has a valid copyright. So if something was published in 1911 by Universal Edition and reprinted by Dover in 2006, Dover cannot claim any kind of royalties on it. I think some of us implicitly took 'recently printed' to mean 'recently engraved'.

pml
Copyright Reviewer
Posts: 1219
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:42 am
notabot: 42
notabot2: Human
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Uploading non-PD scores to a server where they are PD

Postby pml » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:17 am

My first post wasn't very clever, I admit, and it was wrongly posted, but in fine, I am gradually wondering: is it worth spending hours trying to explain a different point of view to a group where so many (other than you) are apparently determined to fight as much as they can against the very idea of intellectual/artistic property even for a limited time that will always seem too long to them? (Re. "the already much-shrunken public domain" in "Feldmahler"'s open letter of 29 June 2008).
Probably not.


Given that you’re still failing to provide a cogent argument on the moral aspect you feel so keenly – as well as flailing around horribly when it comes to the legal aspects of the public domain – why indeed should you bother? You haven’t yet provided any evidence for your basic position, which if I understand it correctly from all of your evasions and goalpost shifting, is that the apparent availability of free works in the public domain somehow “harms” a lesser-known composer’s posterity, so that far from ever being in the position to come across a composition by chance or hear a rare performance of such a neglected figure, being able to freely download and perform obscure works actually leads to the diminishing of a composer’s place in the musical world?

Consider that in my part of the world, Koechlin’s works published in his lifetime (†1950) have been part of the public domain for nearly a decade, so that if I chose, I could raid numerous music libraries to collect legal copies, and after some effort photocopying them, could offer a “Koechlin’s Works Edition” for sale. Whether such an edition would warrant much interest is questionable. In 10 years time the EU copyright for the majority of published works will expire, so if the publishers want to exploit them, they’d better get their skates on. At this stage, the marketplace might be ready for high-quality, scholarly editions (of the “Gesamtausgabe” kind). So why doesn’t Koechlin’s estate find a publisher to go to that trouble? Institutional buyers (such as state libraries or universities) will often subscribe to these. Performers wanting reliable scores to perform works of many composers besides Koechlin make choices all the time as to whether it is worth the hassle of using a possibly free but deficient edition versus buying something off-the-shelf with the publisher’s reputation standing behind it. And some publishers are notorious for pricing their composers out of the market. But the music has to be “out there” in the musical public’s knowledge for there to be a demand.

I have sympathy for the view that especially for many lesser-known composers, the struggle of their lives may have left their posterity in a poor state: unpublished works; scores presenting practical performance difficulties, or versions that, as published, poorly represent the composer’s intentions. Crippling the public domain to allow publishers to come up with reasons why they didn’t properly support these composers when they were alive, instead of posthumously scavenging the entrails of their musical corpse, is not the way to go about fixing these matters. From reading about Koechlin on the Wikipedia article, I don’t think he’d disapprove IMSLP’s practices either – irrespective of the rights of his heirs to hold a different view (which does not extend to an unchecked rein to vandalise websites).

Regards, Philip

PS to KGill – in my previous post above I clearly stated “new typesets” in regards to new copyright claims, so I would like to exclude myself from those who “implicitly took 'recently printed' to mean 'recently engraved'.”. Our friend still hasn’t come up with an actual example.
--
PML (talk)


Return to “Copyright Related”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest