The return of IMSLP

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imslp
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Re: I did not insult you and...

Postby imslp » Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:30 pm

brthrjon wrote:When I posted more politely you ignored me.


I haven't previously seen your posts (or I may have seen them but not remember them), but have just now looked at them. I am relieved to see that you are, in fact, supportive of IMSLP. And therefore, I apologize for my outburst in the previous post.

However, like I said in my previous post, I have been in fact very busy trying out various routes that IMSLP may take. My silence is tactical: remember when people found out PGC was going to take over IMSLP? UE's immediate response was to cut negotiations with me entirely, and notified me that they will be negotiating with PGC instead. This is even before any actual transfer of the site occurred, or negotiations with PGC even finished on my part. Nothing good comes of a self-imposed handicap of transparency so that your opponent can pick out the weak spots and attack when you are vulnerable.

However, since many people seem to have requested updates to the situation, I have asked Leonard (who has contact with me almost every day) to post updates of the situation on a generally weekly basis (unless there are absolutely no news). Obviously there will be no names or anything; but there will be dates and rough description of the events, and I hope that will be enough for you to relax knowing that IMSLP is not dead.

And you still haven't addressed the points.


Actually, most of the questions I have answered already in various places, most prominently in my open letter. You might not have seen them as "answers", so here I will post a direct answer to a question Dr. Michael Geist asked me last year before he wrote his BBC article.

4. UE also argues that they didn't demand a site takedown. Why did you decide to take the site down rather than comply with their requests?


A ton of reasons:

1. I have requested, but not yet received to this date, a list of all works that UE have found to infringe their copyright, along with the jurisdictions under which they infringe copyright. This makes me unable to actually comply with their requests.
2. I have no means by which or any idea how to implement the vague "upload filter" that they mentioned in their cease and desist letter, nor have I received a complete list of works owned by U-E, nor do I know who the "UE Artists" are that was mentioned in the cease and desist letter which they want me to protect against the uploading of. Considering the middle section of their letter, I believe they also want some sort of IP filtering. To be honest, to this date I'm not sure what they want me to do; they have issued contradictory orders, at one time asking for full proxy banning, and at another retracting that claim (or at least not mentioning it), and at another time (the C&D) asking for some "upload filter", and then dropping the request in later communication. Perhaps they need to sort out what they really want first.
3. I do not believe in the artificial shrinking of the public domain as a result of tactics like what U-E is using. The public domain should be public, and there should be as much attention paid to the public domain as to copyrighted works; there is no reason why public domain has to make way whenever there is a conflict. Copyright is to protect the interest of copyright owners, sure, but shouldn't the interests of the public in the public domain also be protected? Neither do I think it reasonable to impose a life+70 (or even +80, as they claimed for Spain) "international" copyright on all sites, especially when a quick look at Wikipedia shows that life+50 (and less) countries outnumber life+70 (and more) countries by a significant amount (a ratio of roughly 3:2 the last time I counted a few months ago).
4. I do not want people to work on a sinking boat. If I do comply with UE's request, what I have basically done is open the floodgates for any and all publishers to request the removal of any score on the site as long as it is not public domain in some country, perhaps on the other side of the world (they may even threaten scores obviously public domain if they have something to gain by doing so, like U-E is claiming for Mahler). I just cannot see IMSLP's future in that case to be very rosy; I can only see it slowly but surely crushed under the weight of publishers who are overzealous in enforcing nonexistent copyright. I have no desire to waste the time and effort of IMSLP contributors just to see this result.


This should answer questions about intent. Speaking of which, I have already resisted no less than 5 attempts by other people to force a removal of a score on IMSLP, before the U-E threat.

Why take it away without warning?


Back then I actually thought I had a chance in the state I was in back then, and so did not want to unnecessarily worry IMSLP contributors. The decision to pull IMSLP was made on the night of the 18th, when it became clear that it will not happen.

Also, I don't see the advantage in announcing "IMSLP is going to go down!" I'm not sure the courts are going to be very sympathetic to that action. The only thing that happens is that people will obviously take what they can. But if IMSLP is a community of people taking whatever they can for free, then IMSLP is not needed; there are better places to do this, as you yourself know. IMSLP is aimed at creating a sustainable community of music lovers who will use IMSLP as a platform for enjoying music and exchanging ideas. There are plenty of sites out there where the only thing you do is download things for free and watch their ads. I didn't spend two years of my life to imitate something like that, nor do I believe that is the kind of community IMSLP contributors want.

Why wait until you've reviewd all of the docs before you start posting?


Rather than haphazardly (organization-wise) continuing the way we have been prior to the C&D, isn't it a good idea to regroup in the best way possible and have a good start to prevent possible future issues to the greatest extent? There are still indeed several issues (some non-legal) that need to be sorted out between IMSLP and the future host organization.

Why ignore offers of help from other pd sites?


Things are never as simple as they appear to be. I've actually answered this question several times on the wiki. We have to ascertain 1) how far the organization is willing to go for IMSLP, and 2) how far the organization can go for IMSLP. Like I said above, if you are looking for something to do, ask the EFF why they have not responded to either of my e-mails.

Why get personal when you get asked questions?


Here I apologize for my outburst previously. Do understand that I've been working my ass (pardon me) off to get IMSLP online again, which is why I boiled when people accused me of not doing anything.

I do apologize to both Cameron and you for my outburst, but I hope you will believe now that something is indeed being done. As many of you will know (especially former IMSLP admins), I almost never get angry, and when I do, there is always a good reason.

Why ignore legitimate questions?


In fact, I've already answered most of them, perhaps not in such strong language as I wrote to Dr.Geist, but the answers were already there in the open letter. For example:

Rather than limping along and having to take down the site later on, I believe it is best to take the site down right now, so as to not waste the further efforts of IMSLP contributors.


This is clearly answer #4 above. The other answers are scattered throughout this forum, though I believe #4 is the most crucial one.

I hope with this post, and the wiki updates that are going to happen, people will relax and know that something is being done.

Yours,
Feldmahler
Last edited by imslp on Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: I did not insult you and...

Postby CameronMB » Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:46 pm

After re-reading your last response I've decided to edit my own response a bit. I certainly don't appreciate the implication that it is "leeching" to download things off IMSLP when I helped promote it, edit it (admittedly, only in my own small way), and wrote to UE to urge them to change their policies. Like you I am a student, and had I $2000 to donate I would do it right now if I knew that it would mean the site would come up tomorrow. Hell, if I knew that, I could probably find some way to scrounge up that much money. And I did have every intention of donating to the site when the means became available. So don't be so contemptuous of me just because - from my perspective - I don't completely feel that things have been handled in the best possible way.

I had plenty more I wanted to say, but upon reconsideration, I'm going to let it stand for now.

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Thanks

Postby brthrjon » Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:25 pm

F -
Thanks for your response and please accept my apologies as well...

My concern after reading your post --

I'm fairly certain that if you jump through these hoops to appease UE they, or another, will still end up suing you... They might not win, but that isn't their goal. Their goal is acheived by the scores not being easily accesible... they'll limp along like that until it is pointless and the only way to make it pointless is ubiquity.

Good luck. When you start needing money, contact me as a donor (not anytihng close to $2000.00, but I'll do my part).

B

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Re: I did not insult you and...

Postby imslp » Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:37 pm

CameronMB wrote:After re-reading your last response I've decided to edit my own response a bit. I certainly don't appreciate the implication that it is "leeching" to download things off IMSLP when I helped promote it, edit it (admittedly, only in my own small way), and wrote to UE to urge them to change their policies.


That part of the post was not directed at you. I know very well that you've contributed to IMSLP, which is why I was able to respond normally the first time and not get emotional.

Now that I've read brthrjon's previous posts, I retract what I had said in that post.

Like you I am a student, and had I $2000 to donate I would do it right now if I knew that it would mean the site would come up tomorrow. Hell, if I knew that, I could probably find some way to scrounge up that much money. And I did have every intention of donating to the site when the means became available. So don't be so contemptuous of me just because - from my perspective - I don't completely feel that things have been handled in the best possible way.


Well, to be frank, $2000 covers only a very small fraction of the projected cost of IMSLP reopening (yes, I have been consulting people in the field). This is why the reopening is taking so long. If you know of a millionare willing to donate $100,000 (or heck, even $10,000) to IMSLP, please do tell me. ;)

I'm fairly certain that if you jump through these hoops to appease UE they, or another, will still end up suing you... They might not win, but that isn't their goal. Their goal is acheived by the scores not being easily accesible... they'll limp along like that until it is pointless and the only way to make it pointless is ubiquity.


Exactly. Let me tell you a little secret. The other reason that IMSLP resurrection is taking so long is that we are looking for people willing to actually fight a legal battle. Obviously we do not believe it is in the interest of either IMSLP or really even the publisher, but if it comes down to it, we would like to be ready. I don't believe even UE would be willing to lose against someone who doesn't mind taking on a lawsuit, nor, I believe, would they like to have counter-suits filed against them.

Now I hope you will understand why this is taking so long. Again, things may speed up if you know millionares willing to donate money. ;)
Last edited by imslp on Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

brthrjon
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What's the money for?

Postby brthrjon » Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:45 pm

I don't understand why imslp needs that kind of money... Are we talking about potential legal fees?

I used to be a student too-- I didn't enter into endevours that demanded that kind of resources... so I've got to wonder about that figure... I'm really in the dark about alot of what's going on at imslp, i guess...

Thanks again.

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Re: What's the money for?

Postby imslp » Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:47 pm

brthrjon wrote:I don't understand why imslp needs that kind of money... Are we talking about potential legal fees?


Yes, and ask a copyright lawyer how much can be spent on a single copyright lawsuit ;) Depending on what you believe you may well be in for a surprise.

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Postby CameronMB » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:58 am

I would like to say one more thing.

I was too harsh in my first post. I don't really have an excuse except the frustration at IMSLP being gone for so long, and the fact that I hadn't said anything up to this point meant that everything came out in one burst.

Upon reconsideration, and especially in the light of some of your explanations a couple posts ago, let me say mea culpa. I'm sure there are factors that I am not or was not totally aware of, so I probably shouldn't have blamed you, Feld. I guess the only thing I was concerned about was the apparent lack of updating on the main page; it suggested to me (incorrectly as it may have been) that things were at a standstill.

Hope you will accept my apologies and understand my comments in the light of frustration rather than what came out as too much of a personal attack.

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Postby imslp » Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:10 am

All's well that ends well. No worries :)

I also apologize for my own outburst; it was also too attacking and did not help resolve the misunderstanding.

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Postby Vivaldi » Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:20 am

Hi, I do not wish to start another debate, but please do understand that Feldmahler and others are working their socks off to get IMSLP back online. Please consider that this is not their full time job as well as they have their own daily routines. IMSLP is a voluntary project and the people who are working on it do not expect any sort of monetary rewards.
You can be sure that UE and other publishers are watching every step, and that is why we cannot screw up. If they get as much as a sniff of a rat, everything Feldmahler and co. worked so hard for can go in smoke in no time. You wouldn't want that to happen, do you? Any outbursts or attacks will not help at all and in fact, will only play into UE's hands as they see this kind of internal bickerings and arguments as a way of delaying IMSLP's reopening or even its permanent shutdown.
Do note that no update doesn't mean there is nothing being done, it's just that progress is slow. Personally, I like it because no news means good news. And they also will post updates if they are sure this can be achieved. No use giving regular updates or promises which cannot be kept and thus risking your reputation or credibility.

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The point is they're going to sue.

Postby brthrjon » Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:50 am

My point is, and I think F might have agreed with me, if you threaten their income stream, and imslp does, they are going to do what they have to to protect it.

Last October that meant sending a letter. That's working for now. Next time they'll sue. And that's that. Don't be thinking these people have a scruple. They are going to sue. I don't think trying to collect money for attorneys is the way. to the promised land... it's just too expensive.

So I don't understand this tack. I don't understand why the scores can't be at Gutenburg and every single other site that will have them... there is no reason to be exclusive.

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Postby lemzwerg » Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:23 am

What about moving IMSLP to a country in the European Community, for example Germany?

At first sight, this might look insane, but on the other hand, chances are very low that something like the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_Term_Extension_Act will happen here. Additionally, sueing someone for whatever reason is much, much more difficult than in the US.

[Note that I'm Austrian; a long time ago I had even good contacts to UE; maybe I could ask them what's really going on...]

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Re: The point is they're going to sue.

Postby imslp » Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:02 pm

brthrjon wrote:So I don't understand this tack. I don't understand why the scores can't be at Gutenburg and every single other site that will have them... there is no reason to be exclusive.


I would like to know how you plan to mirror IMSLP, because IMSLP is not a static bunch of scores, and mirroring is hard unless someone is quite dedicated. If you want, you can mention this with Gutenberg once IMSLP comes back up.

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Postby imslp » Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:05 pm

lemzwerg wrote:What about moving IMSLP to a country in the European Community, for example Germany?

At first sight, this might look insane, but on the other hand, chances are very low that something like the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_Term_Extension_Act will happen here. Additionally, sueing someone for whatever reason is much, much more difficult than in the US.


Well, German is the home turf of many European publishers; I'm not sure that would really be a good idea. Also, why do you say it is harder to sue in Germany than US?

[Note that I'm Austrian; a long time ago I had even good contacts to UE; maybe I could ask them what's really going on...]


You can try, but I seriously doubt you will get anything more than what they have already said here. I'm not even sure most UE employees themselves knows the complete situation.

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Postby lemzwerg » Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:58 pm

Well, German is the home turf of many European publishers; I'm not sure that would really be a good idea.

Just think of Wikipedia which is very successful in Germany. I don't see a difference between copyright issues with books and with music. If IMSLP can `survive' in Germany (from a legal point of view), it will survive everywhere in the world.
Also, why do you say it is harder to sue in Germany than US?

The `Streitwert' (I don't know how to translate this to English exactly; `value of claim'? `amount involved in the case'?) is usually much lower.
[Note that I'm Austrian; a long time ago I had even good contacts to UE; maybe I could ask them what's really going on...]

You can try, but I seriously doubt you will get anything more than what they have already said here. I'm not even sure most UE employees themselves knows the complete situation.

This might be true. The next time I'm in Austria I'll try to find out more.

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Postby imslp » Fri Feb 22, 2008 11:49 pm

Well here's a few reasons for my reluctance for hosting in the EU:
  • We don't have as much knowledge of the copyright law of specific European countries as we do of Canada and even the US. Due to possible language barriers it may also be harder finding and maintaining legal support there. Of course, there is also the simple fact that EU has at this point some of the most restrictive copyright laws in the world.
  • The difference between Wikipedia and IMSLP is that Wikipedia is user-created (I'm sure there are quotes, etc, but they are not the main focus). IMSLP, however, aims to be more like a library. The Wikipedia concept may well be popular in Germany, but that does not necessarily mean that copyright law is more lenient there, or that publishers would have a harder time there.


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