I have had a little more time to reflect on these changes, but have found myself only more frustrated and disappointed.
I produced my scans so as to benefit the project, whose sole focus was to help music lovers. I wanted to make these scores available for musicians around the world without any restraints. I would not have done so otherwise.
These changes, which were implemented without warning and without the support of IMSLP contributors, fundamentally change the stance of the website. I do not want my scores to be placed behind any kind of block that punishes users who have not bought a subscription. If I knew this had been the case, I would not have made my scans.
I was told earlier about the website Wikitravel, a travel guide project created by volunteers. The owner, like the owner here, decided to monetise the website. Following this, the majority of editors, including the founders, left and joined Wikivoyage, now a Wikipedia sister project, that copies the original website but maintains free, open access. Something similar might happen here. I have already received an e-mail from a Hong Kong-based user who has an almost-complete mirror of IMSLP. He is considering hosting it as IMSLP's replacement, funded through a combination of voluntary donations and non-obtrusive advertising.
imslp [Edward Guo] wrote:the income we receive from various sources have been enough to maintain the site so far ... I want to make IMSLP into an institution where some of the top administrative contributors can have sustainable jobs.
I do not agree with having paid contributors. The project, for the past ten years, has been successful through the efforts of volunteers. If we do not have enough copyright reviewers, tell us so that users have the opportunity to come forward. Have you forgotten this is supposed to be a project led by volunteers, not a company where users have to pay for a service?
Bruckner8 wrote:Except I feel sorry for the 100s of volunteer contributors and editors who also thought the mission was transparently charitable.
discophage wrote: Mr Guo's attempt to "monetize" his website is a breach, and even a betrayal of the trust put into him by all the unpaid uploaders of the scores that form the main asset of this website, and this is a form of disloyalty which leaves me quite hostile
I feel embarrassed I trusted the website with my scans.
Nobilmente wrote:Who makes these sort of decisions, and how are they accountable to the volunteers who make IMSLP possible? Where is the information, financial and otherwise, to back this decision?
rtprtp wrote:just to be curious, among the people posted here, who got notified about this change beforehand?.
The decision was made by Edward Guo, the owner of the company/website (the user 'imslp' on this forum). Contributors were not consulted in general: apparently only a few senior contributors were. No financial information has been released, other than Guo stating previous donations have always been sufficient for server costs (but not for his desired changes to the website).
Nano wrote:Of course, as those corporations are impersonal entities and they are not called "Edward", there is little incentive in lecturing them in hectoring tones on how to run their business to keep us happy for free forever
You are missing the point here. The library of the website was created, not by 'Edward', but by volunteering contributors. We thought we were contributing towards a volunteer-led, open access project, not a 'business' he could monetise.
elainefine wrote:The IMSLP is indispensable to me, and I am very grateful for all the work that the administrators put into the project.
heatherreichgott wrote:I have taken from IMSLP for some years now and it's time to give back. I will gladly become a contributing member.
This is one of the biggest disgraces of all. Users are taking out subscriptions thinking they are helping IMSLP's mission. They are not. The work has been done by contributors who will not benefit from these changes. In fact, the changes go against the wishes of a majority of contributors. The donations are not going into servers that allow volunteers to do their work, but are being used for dubious and unsupported reasons. This entire situation shows there are many users who want to donate and would have donated had Guo made a proper effort to obtain donations.