Do we live in a world without copyright law?

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Do we live in a world without copyright law?

Postby Universal Edition Vienna » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:18 pm

Universal Edition AG Vienna has been working for composers for more than 100 years and by protecting their copyrights will continue to enable the composers to get their royalties due.

First of all: at NO point we did ask the website to close down!
We only asked to remove our copyright protected scores from this site. No problem for all other works that are in public domain.

As a publisher we wonder why the owner of this website did not ask for a cooperation instead of acting as living in a world without copyright law by giving away for free things that he simply does not own.
There are indeed websites offering our copyright protected material legally for download (e.g. http://www.freehandmusic.com)

Isn't it too easy to blame a publisher who just wants to make sure that his composers' rights are respected?
We are surprised by the aggressive reaction of people who should perfectly understand what copyright protection is all about.

We regret and wonder why the removal of some of our works can have such an impact on the future running of this website.

Universal Edition AG Vienna


-----
EDIT: I have been given consent, by Mr. Irons to provide details of his position in UE. In his own words:
"My position here at UE in Vienna is promotion manager. I also have responsibilities in our publishing and sales groups"

I have not modified, the original post in any way. AW7
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Postby indutrial » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:46 pm

I would love to see the time machine you use when you give Bartok, Janacek, Zemlinsky, and Mahler their royalties. Or perhaps you just use a shovel and throw a few bucks into a hole in front of the grave.

If you think people, especially proponents of IMSLP, are going to continue buying your scores after this inappropriate and cowardly attack via the law firm you retained, you are sorely mistaken. I certainly will think twice about offering you business and I would tell anyone else I encounter the same.

If this were an issue regarding living composers, or at least dead ones who were not within 5-10 years of total international public domain, your action would be justifiable. This just reeks of you grasping at straws and stretching the idea of copyright and infringement as far as you can to line your pockets for a few more minutes.

Stop claiming this and that for the artist if the artist is dead, and by god, stop talking about these composers like they are your exclusive property.

We don't live in a world without copyright law, but we do live in one where plenty of people would like to see copyright law used to tangibly help somebody instead of being used to bludgeon and scare the hell out of perfectly harmless individuals who are trying to help the educational world.
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Another copyright is possible

Postby Odin » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:57 pm

Hello

This is my private opinion - and I choose a free quotation of
the principles of the Attac movement:

"Another Copyright is possible"

The copyright as it is formed today is very one-sided. The
protection beyond a composers or other artists own lifetime
is simply grotesque and does not exist for professionals
outside the copyright world. It´s simply a privilege, and I
think it would not get a majority in a referendum.

Artists need some kind of protection, but this protection
must be within reasonable limits. And these reasonable limits
should be lined out in open negotiations between the
producers (both creators and publishers of art) and the
consumers of these art products, not like now where the
producers can order by lobbying whatever legislation they
want from the political class.

Most of all:

It was mentioned by someone that Universal Edition in its
history helped many prosecuted artists and their works to
survive the time of political oppression and threat for their
lives. Show that you are worthy that period of ypur history
also in our days.

If Mr. Feldmahler felt your letters like a threat then it is not
unlikely that these letters indeed were not very pleasant.
You should better apologize to him personally and in public
and try to negotiate and compromise about IMSLP´s future.

Sincerely
Odin
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Postby Yagan Kiely » Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:12 pm

Thankyou UE for being apart of the very public conversation regarding IMSLP and UE. I never imagined that such a large company would dare to venture into public conversation.

I would like to apologise on behalf of some members of IMSLP. I am shocked that UE were surprised at the public backlash to the C&D letters for it should have been predicted given the amount of people here. I personally, have no reservations about UEs scores or business, just in the way UE conducted there actions. The situation could have much more easily been sorted out without the need of C&D letters from the off-set.

I understand your legal position in this, and ask you a simple question; would IP banning of Europe and the US of scores in question suffice? Would you also agree that your scores are PD in Canada (among others) and purely legal there? If so, would you have any complaints about Canadian citizens gaining free access to your (in Canada) PD scores?

First of all: at NO point we did ask the website to close down!
I and the admin here are also aware of this. However due to other circumstance, the mention between IMSLP and UE are the straw that broke the camels back. It is likely that the searching for an organisation to take over and continue IMSLP would have happened, but together with the tension, the (Temporary, I'm sure you will also hope this) closure ensued.

As a publisher we wonder why the owner of this website did not ask for a cooperation instead of acting as living in a world without copyright law by giving away for free things that he simply does not own.
It was understood that a warning for EU, US and citizens of other countries would suffice clearly, from EU's position, this is not the case. The owner was not acting as if living in a world without copyright, he was (at the most) merely unaware of in depth copyright law (which is Deliberately ambiguous).


Isn't it too easy to blame a publisher who just wants to make sure that his composers' rights are respected?
Although I can see your point with certain composers, with Mahler for example his rights of long expired in EU, so my understanding is that it is the Publisher's (which would be UE) or the Editor's (etc. etc.) rights, not the composers.


I'm sure we can both come to some conclusion on the subject, somewhere along the line. I do however erg for public negotiations as opposed to private C&D letter issues by law firms.

Hopefully it works out best for the both of us.

Thanks you for your comments.

ArcticWind7
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Postby Kalli » Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:18 pm

@Universal Edition in Wien

please excuse me, that I answer the publisher in german. I do my best to translate the essentials in the end of this posting.

Lieber Verleger,
Sie haben voellig Recht! An dem Urheberrecht zweifelt auch keiner. Ebenso moechte ich mich von den etwas heftigen Ausbruechen mancher User distanzieren. Das Urheberrecht sollte auch in Zeiten des Internets gewahrt bleiben, das ist ohne Zweifel. Das grosse Problem liegt in den unterschiedlichen Zeitraeumen, die zur Gemeinfreiheit zugrunde gelegt werden. Es ist nicht immer ausgeschlossen, dass ein Nutzer nur legale Angebote oeffnet oder herunterlaed.

Daneben sollten Sie beachten, dass der Betreiber der Seite ein Student oder Schueler ist, der die Seite nicht hauptberuflich betreibt und somit nicht ununterbrochen vor dem Computer sitzt, um alle Partituren auf ihre Legalitaet zu pruefen. Einen Vorschlag zur Verbesserung habe ich hier bereits gemacht. Es sollten danach nur noch die Partituren online gehen, die vorher geprueft werden. Bislang kann jeder seine Dateien direkt online stellen. Bis das jemand merkt, vergeht u. U. sehr viel Zeit.

Ich finde es sehr erfreulich, dass Sie an einer Mitarbeit mit dem Betreiber interessiert sind. Bitte beachten Sie, dass es sich fuer viele Verleger nicht lohnt, alle Noten zu veroeffentlichen. Ich moechte ungerne wissen, wie viele gute Werke in den Archiven schlummern, ohne der breiten Masse zugaenglich zu sein. Daneben besteht fuer Sie noch ein enormer Marketingeffekt. Die Nutzer werden auf den Verleger aufmerksam, bestellen Noten und werden dies wiederholt tun, da ihnen Aufmachung, Druckbild, etc. gefaellt. Darueber hinaus haben Sie auch einen sehr grossen Vorteil durch die Zugaenglichmachung der gemeinfreien Noten: es koennte sich da etwas darunter befinden, dass sich lohnt zu publizieren! Durchstoebern Sie das Archiv demnaechst doch einfach mal. Vielleicht ist etwas interessantes dabei, das sich zu verlegen lohnt!

Ich hoffe, dass der Betreiber die Seite nach kurzer Zeit wieder online stellt. Zuletzt wurden dort taeglich etwa 50 Partituren veroeffentlicht. Die Seite ist ein Segen fuer alle Musikinteressierte!

Gruss
Kalli

In english:

I wrote the publisher, that I agree with his attitude. He is in right with the copyright. But I also impresses him not to forget, that the page is non commercial. Feldmahler has not the time to check all files suddenly on the copyright. The next Problem is the different time of the copyright in each country.

The publisher has got some advantages of the page (increase the famosity of the publisher, sell more products, find interessting sheetmusic to publish, and so on).
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Postby Yagan Kiely » Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:28 pm

I wrote the publisher, that I agree with his attitude. He is in right with the copyright. But I also impresses him not to forget, that the page is non commercial. Feldmahler has not the time to check all files suddenly on the copyright. The next Problem is the different time of the copyright in each country.

The publisher has got some advantages of the page (increase the famosity of the publisher, sell more products, find interessting sheetmusic to publish, and so on).
for all intensive purposes, that is still arguable due to the deliberate ambiguity of the written law. However, it is possible that UE have a stronger case.
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Lifetime + 70 years - Why ??

Postby Odin » Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:38 pm

Hello

Now I would like to reply directly to Kalli´s contribution. My english is not good enough, therefore I choose to write in German.

Sehr geehrter Herr Kalli

Ich pflichte Ihnen und Ihrer Meinung bei, dass der Konflikt unnötig war und leicht beigelegt werden kann.

Das Urheberrecht hat eine lange Geschichte, aber leider sind die Bestimmungen, wie sie heute in der EU und in USA gelten, alles andere als ein guter Kompromiss zwischen den Interessen der Urheber, der Verleger und der Allgemeinheit. Letztere ist bei der Gestaltung der heute gültigen Bestimmungen weitgehend ausgeschlossen geblieben.

Nennen Sie mir irgendeinen Berufsstand ausserhalb des künstlerischen Sektors, dessen Mitglieder Einkommensansprüche aus eigener geleisteter schöpferischer Arbeit nicht nur auf Lebenszeit beanspruchen dürfen, sondern sogar noch 70 Jahre darüber hinaus.

Diese Bestimmung ist eine Realsatire und für viele normale Menschen ein Ärgernis und beweist lediglich, wie weit man mit jahrzehntelanger Lobbyarbeit und mit willfährigen Politikern kommen kann.

Ich kann Menschen, die sich privat und ohne kommerzielles Interesse über diese unsinnige Bestimmung hinwegsetzen, auch beim besten Willen nicht moralisch verurteilen.

Meine Meinung läuft darauf hinaus, dass das Urheberrecht einer dringenden Revision bedarf und dass das Ziel nicht noch weitere Verschärfnungen sein dürfen, sondern umgekehrt neue Bestimmungen, die auch den Interessen der kulturinteressierten Allgemeinheit verstärkt Rechnung tragen.

Ausserdem befürworte ich eine strikte Unterscheidung zwischen kommerzieller Nutzung (z.B. Profimusiker und -ensembles) und nichtkommerzieller Nutzung (Amateurmusiker). Wer still in seinem Kämmerlein spielt oder vor Freunden unbezahlt auftritt, sollte nicht rechtlich belangt werden, gerade so als ob dadurch die Absicht der Bereicherung auf Kosten anderer bestanden hätte.

Nachdem ich nicht Mitglied und nicht autorisiert bin, kann und darf ich nicht für die Piratenparteien schreiben - aber etwas vereinfacht verfolgt man dort ähnliche Ziele. Das Urheberrecht soll nicht abgeschafft, aber wieder humaner und grosszügiger gestaltet werden.

"Nicht mit Kanonen auf Spatzen schiessen"

Gruss
Odin
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Postby Kalli » Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:14 pm

Hallo Odin,

damit das nicht falsch rüberkommt: ich halte auch nicht viel von einer zu langen urheberrechtlichen Beschränkung der Musikstücke. Aber geltendes Recht muss Recht bleiben! Das hilft alles nichts.

Als Volkswirt kenne ich natürlich die Einflüsse der Lobbyisten zur Genüge. Faktisch ist es sogar so, dass man ohne Beziehungen heute gar nicht mehr weiter kommt. Weder in der Politik noch im "normalen" Leben. Da werden Sie mir sicherlich auch zustimmen.

Aber wir sollten den Brief der UE nicht zu sehr aufwerten. Es handelt sich hier lediglich um die Aufforderung, bestimmte Dateien zu löschen. Nicht mehr und nicht weniger. Solche Aufforderungen werden in Deutschland täglich zu hunderten versendet. Der deutsche Fernsehsender ZDF schickt ähnliche Briefe an alle Betreiber von Homepages, die auch nur ein Bild eines bei dem ZDF unter Vertrag stehenden "Stars" ohne Genehmigung verwendet. Das der Brief von einem Juristen kommt - nun ja! Wichtig ist, dass Feldmahler reagiert und dann ist alles wieder gut. Das schreibt die UE ja auch ausdrücklich. Vielleicht sollte das IMSLP mit der UE zusammenarbeiten, wenn das auch von anderen Seiten so gemacht wird.
Last edited by Kalli on Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Hugh » Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:20 pm

Actually he is *not* right about copyright law. We have had similar issues at LibriVox.org. We follow the lead of the extensive legal work done by gutenberg.org, and our response to such letters and threats is as follows:
Project Gutenberg has done exhaustive research over the years on this subject, and has not found any indication that the copyright laws of one country will have any force in any other country, even in cases of publishing materials on the Internet or the World Wide Web…

However, if you do come across any new case law or rulings that might effect some change, please let us know and we will discuss with our informal advisers at Project Gutenberg, so that they can update their research concerning such cases. As always, we will follow the legal standard that Project Gutenberg uses.
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Postby Kalli » Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:28 pm

My English isn't very good, too. But I think it is just fair to translate the meaning of the message by Odin:

Odin says, that the copyright is too strong. He thinks, that it should be distinguished between commercial use and non-commercial use of the protected pieces.

I agree with him, but the copyright can't be changed by us.
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Re: Do we live in a world without copyright law?

Postby djtoast » Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:39 pm

Universal Edition Vienna wrote:As a publisher we wonder why the owner of this website did not ask for a cooperation instead of acting as living in a world without copyright law by giving away for free things that he simply does not own.

...

Universal Edition AG Vienna


The answer to your question is simple if you look at the threatening tone of the letter your lawyers sent.

I wonder why you as a publisher, rather than sending a letter from a lawyer, didn't merely send a list of composers whose works you would like removed? I'm sure that you could even have arranged together to replace the "offending" scores with links to "legitimate" places to purchase the music either in electronic or printed form.

As things stand, the upshot is that rather than losing POTENTIAL sales due to (arguable) copyright infringement, you're likely to lose ACTUAL sales due to the incredible bad feeling that your company has now attracted.

It's easy to lose focus due to emotion, but form a purely business perspective I urge you to play an active role in seeking to resolve this amicably if you want to sell more music rather than less.

Alec.
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Postby nikolas » Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:45 pm

Copyright is the ONLY thing for artists (and mainly composers).

Plus there are 2 different issues between copyrights really, one needs to consider:

A. not copy (pirate) a music track. This is what UE is afraid of.
B. Not to actually copy the music and use it as your own.

But do keep in mind that composers have no other revenue other than the copyrights (and royalties). with those (royalties) almost lost now, with the Internet, and bands like Radiohead (such big bands) going for the plan "pay as much as you wish", there is little hope that the bands will survive for much longer in the current plans.

Things will change, that's for sure.

But "classical" composers live of (the compositional part) of commissions largely. So royatlies are rather small issues. Who on earth would play my music more than once in a Radio station, never mind MTV :D

But why should we distinguish between commercial or non commercial use of music? The fact that some of my classical pieces have not being paid for, means that the copyright should be weaker?

Sorry but I don't speak a word in german, and sorry to say that the internet is "english spoken" populated. Could you go on in English please?




In addition to that, I feel that the IMSLP situation has been forced to tons of different stuff and everyone is trying to take advantage of the whole thing to change even copyright laws????? somehow, for me personally, this doesn't seem fair to the project beginners of IMSLP.



As far as threatening tone of letters etc. you must get over this. I don't think lawyers speak any differently to their own families: "Daughter, cease and desist your games otherwise I will legally come after you, and come to dinner. Your's respectfully, your father"

:D:D:D:D
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Postby Kalli » Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:02 pm

[quote="nikolas"]Sorry but I don't speak a word in german, and sorry to say that the internet is "english spoken" populated. Could you go on in English please?
[/quote]

Sorry! Of course we do! But my letter to the UE must be in german. It's more easy to write to them in their own language, than to translate into English (me) and translate back to german (at the UE).
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Postby Melodia » Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:26 pm

I just have to ask, if you're reading this, UE person.

The material was legal in Canada. Do you deny this?
If so, then do go around sending C&D letters to Dover? After all, anyone could easily imported their books with very little difficulty. I'm sure their Stravinsky scores of The Firebird, Rite of Spring, and Pulcinella are still in copyright in Europe for quite a number of years, and I'm sure they've published others that directly are in your juristiction.

So why would the IMSLP, based in Canada, and actually letting people know "Hey, if you live here, it'll illegal", just as an adult site tells an 16 year old it's illegal for them to be there....but otherwise doesn't stop them.

I'd love to hear the justifaction here.


-Lala-
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Postby Carolus » Mon Oct 22, 2007 5:20 pm

As a publisher we wonder why the owner of this website did not ask for a cooperation instead of acting as living in a world without copyright law by giving away for free things that he simply does not own.


This is simply an outrageous, and factually incorrect, assertion - sadly typical of the type of arrogance that has been in full display from UE for this entire episode. The heart of UE's complaint is that IMSLP is not enforcing EU copyright laws in Canada. As for those works (like the later Bartok titles) still under copyright in the US, UE has no standing because those Bartok titles are controlled by Boosey and Hawkes in the US. Last time I checked, Bossey and Hawkes was not a subsidiary of UE.

UE demanded 50,000 Euros from IMSLP to "license" works which are unambiguously public domain in Canada. This is basically a form of extortion. Of all the sites offering downloadable music scores, IMSLP was practically alone in both enforcing copyright (by rapidly deleting copyrighted scores that were posted) and making clear what the copyright obligations of end users were (by including numerous warnings, and detailed information about the copyright statutes of different countries).
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