Upcoming changes

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby rkram53 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:35 pm

By the way - if IMSLP is going to post ads - I suggest they all be musical adds and if done properly it might even add content in an oblique sense if done right. Perhaps you contact Sweetwater and see if you can get into an exclusive arrangement with them. They don'l sell music - just instruments and they are a very reputable company so an ad banner up top listing latest deals may at least be of interest to some.

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby vinteuil » Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:12 am

I expect that Edward will be posting in this thread quite soon, but in the meantime, I'd like to offer a really lovely paragraph from his post in the moderator forum (for whatever reason, it didn't make it into his public announcement here). I think it gives a very good sense of his motivations and thoughts on the nature of IMSLP.

imslp wrote:Several years ago, I had a great discussion with an IMSLP supporter who asked me an interesting question - "Why won't you charge for access to IMSLP?" I gave him an answer that is as clear now as it was then - because money is not the reason why I started IMSLP and why IMSLP exists. IMSLP is an expression of our duty as musicians to promote music, to ensure that no person who wants or could want to participate in our community is stymied by the inability to obtain music scores. We are not, like traditional music libraries, bound by the service of a conservatory, university or publisher, but rather can take risks and do things that traditional institutions are not willing to take or do, because we serve only musicians and music lovers. But everything is a tradeoff - we also do not have the funding infrastructure these traditional institutions have, and over the past few years I've frankly exhausted my imagination in searching for new realistic sources of funding for IMSLP.
...
In particular, with the income from the subscription, I will be looking first to hire someone to work on the administrative and janitorial side of IMSLP full-time, which will be the first step towards a sustainable IMSLP. Of course, depending on how much income the subscriptions generate, there may be additional initiatives or projects forthcoming.
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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby Sallen112 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:30 am

I was going to post this on here, but I hesitated to do so because I wasn't sure if Edward would have been OK to want this paragraph on here publicly.

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby billfalls » Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:05 pm

As an occasional "consumer" of scores from IMSLP over the years I'm happy to pay the small annual membership fee. I consider it a bargain, partly to make up for all those years when I didn't realize how much the project was in need of donations.

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby coulonnus » Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:46 pm

Among the administrative and janitorial tasks found in http://imslp.org/wiki/IMSLP:Maintenance which one(s) can be done by a hired person only?

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby dlewis1080 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:25 pm

The entire situation still makes no logical sense. It is a terrible decision that goes completely against the spirit of IMSLP and the opinions of contributors. It is quite clear, though, that Guo now has little respect for this.

imslp wrote:I will be looking first to hire someone to work on the administrative and janitorial side of IMSLP full-time.


As Coulonnus writes above, why is this necessary? This has always been done by volunteers. Why change, without our permission or our support, to a business structure that pays people to do the work?

imslp wrote:over the past few years I've frankly exhausted my imagination in searching for new realistic sources of funding for IMSLP.


If I am brutally honest, we have seen no great effort. You have been provided with numerous good suggestions in this thread that would provide donations whilst maintaining what IMSLP should be (that is, not monetising the website and our scans without our permission, instead keeping voluntary contributions and complete open access).

billfalls wrote:I consider it a bargain, partly to make up for all those years when I didn't realize how much the project was in need of donations.


As Guo wrote above, the project is not in need of donations: enough money has always been donated to keep the servers running. What has changed is that he wishes to receive more money so he can start hiring employees. This is against what the users and contributors of IMSLP want, but Guo does not seem to care. I am sorry you were tricked into donating.

This whole situation is clearly shambolic. There are obviously people who are prepared to donate to keep the website running. The website has been successful until now because of how it is run: by volunteers who donate their time to help the music community. Guo has changed this for no good reason. Can we summarise the changes? He damages access for vast majority of users, threatening them to donate, just so he can pay for an employee that does the same work volunteers already do. It is ridiculous and, arguably, corrupt.

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby NeveudeRameau » Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:57 pm

I must be one of those tens of thousands of occasional IMSLP users who were surprised by the announcement that IMSLP was going the "subscription" way. I have been using the site, as a consumer, for many years and would to add a few observations of my own.
1. I used it for listening to music, score in hand, I used for exploring music that I was asked to play. I would look at the score on-line. If it looked playable and interesting, I would download it and print it out. I would then try and play it. If it looked feasible, I woudl bolt out and get a decent, real score: Henle, Bärenreiter, Wiener Urtext etc would not have sold me their scores had it not been for the preiminary exploration that IMSLP offered. Can't they contribute a bit of support?
2. I use the site hyperlinks to discuss future performances with colleagues who are not even in the same country. And I loved browsing through a six cellos version of a Vivaldi cello double concerto - I downloaded it, and six cellists (grade 3 to professional) had a whale of a time last summer. I thought it was a pity that I couldn't say thank you tot he person who did that transcription.
3. I also noticed that of late, the occasional copyright protected score would slip into the IMSLP collection. Not good! ANd I did wonder whether IMSLP wasn't becoming a vicitim of its own success: not enough men and women on deck to watch out for breaches of copyright?
4. I tried to alert IMSLP to the breaches - THAT proved impossible. I was a little surprised. Is there simply not enough manpower available to do everything???
5. We seem to live in a society that expects everything to come free of charge. Creators, it would seem, do not need to eat, drink, sleep and have holiday anymore. Ask any live playing musician, any writer, any potter, any industrial designer: their work is stolen as soon as it has become visible or audible or readable. I manage a literary estate and I have seen so many pirated copies on the internet, and seen the income (which is intended for charitable purposes) plummet dramatically over the past 7 or 8 years. What's so clever about NOT paying for other people's work?
6. I see no problem with paying for work done. The real issue is that no profit should be made out of the voluntary contributions. So what work are we goign to pay for? Could that be set out clearly, please and how can we verify that the money is not misused?
7. As someone else pointed out, the question is "how much"? Is the introduction of a subscription rate the beginning of the end to voluntary contributions? Is it going to double every year?
8. To the person who referred to archive.org, I would say this: yes it is free, but do you know how many titles on that site are in breach of copyright? Do you know how intensely that site is by promising you, for example, all 16 volumes of an 18th century encyclopaedia and then turns out to have one volume from Canada (part of one edition) and antoher from Austria (which happens to belong to another edition)?! For serious scholarship, it is a pretty lousy site. But it is free? Is that the new intellectual norm?
Meanwhile, I seem to be stuck: no more chance of leafing through the Bach Cello Sonatas before deciding whether to buy all six or just a cheapo single one. Henle etc., be warned. I might just go into a second hand bookshop and pick up an old battered Peters edition. And having spent money on that, I am unlikely to replace it with your nice blue edition....

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby lxh5032 » Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:10 am

It is very instructive for me to learn how much some people value their own 15 seconds of time, and totally despise the time of others who spend hours every day to keep this project alive.

It is very instructive for me to see how some supporters of the subscription plan choose to paint the opposition as stingy and selfish, when most of the dissenting opinions have stated quite clearly that the primary issues are neither about the amount charged or the length of the waiting period. It is certainly illuminating as to the kind of tone-deafness that led to such an ill-advised decision.

Frankly, it seems that the supporters are the ones who value their own 15 seconds above all else and assume that everyone else is the same, as they keep bringing up the trivial fee and waiting time as though those are the main issues, while turning a blind eye to the arguments that have been presented from various quarters.

I'm not going to tell anybody how to post or what tone to adopt, but I would encourage people not to jump to negative conclusions about Edward's motivations. (This is as somebody who is not involved in the IMSLP "organization," only as a contributor to the site.) I understand that, without more information, it's hard to know what to think of him, but maybe you could consider this: if IMSLP were truly a money-making scheme for Edward, why wouldn't he have monetized it earlier? Why would he have, in fact, operated it (and paid for legal fees etc. etc.) with his own funds for several years? And why would he monetize the site in this fashion?

If anything, the fact that this decision was made with good intention makes it more disturbing, not less. That someone can make such a poor decision fully convinced that they are doing the right thing is far more disconcerting than any malicious intent. Compared to a person who runs someone over with a car out of malice, I would be more afraid of the person who runs someone over because they don't know that it's wrong. We all know what the path to hell is paved with.

I am not so much questioning Edward Guo's intentions than I am questioning his judgment and vision. That one would make such a decision speaks of poor judgment. That one would make such a decision without consulting with others speaks of extremely poor judgment. When he writes
and over the past few years I've frankly exhausted my imagination in searching for new realistic sources of funding for IMSLP

That says nothing about the sources of funding and everything about his imagination. He could literally have approached anybody for their opinion and I dare say that nine times out of ten they would have suggested regular funding drives, which to my knowledge has never happened.

Again, why is this decision so poorly considered, as is the rationale behind the decisions? The responses from him earlier in the thread raise far more questions about his judgment than answers. Why would one try to bring up sob stories of contributors in poverty to invoke sympathy, when they are answering to a demographic that consists of many other volunteer contributors?

Why would I trust money to a single individual making all the decisions when I am not convinced that this individual is capable of making good decisions? None of this is rocket science. All of this should have been blatantly obvious before embarking on such a voyage. How can one believe that future decisions would not be equally ill-advised?

I would much rather that he was trying to make this a money-making scheme. The alternative is far worse.

Therefore, Edward's attempt to get durable financial resources is a step in the right direction in my opinion. But there should also be a second step that deals with the current organizational structure of IMSLP.

This is not the second step, it should have been the first step. What has been taken is not a step in the right direction, it's the one step which greatly compromises the ability of the site to remain sustainable and durable.

As has been mentioned here, CPDL operates as a charity organization with a management board. Like Wikipedia, CPDL also operates on a different scale from IMSLP, but now there are examples of projects both bigger and smaller than IMSLP that successfully operate on such a model. The claim that IMSLP cannot operate on such a model is utterly false.

There are, of course, many private websites out there that provide useful community service. IMSLP has chosen to be such a website, and as such it can no longer credibly claim to be a community effort.
Had IMSLP been a true community effort, such a decision would not have taken place at all. It's difficult to envision that a sufficiently diverse management board would simultaneously succumb to the same strand of insanity, and there would have been strong enough opposition to shoot it down at the drawing-board stage. That the decision was made in the first place points to how fundamentally flawed its operation model is, relying on a single individual to make major decisions, with potentially disastrous consequences. This is why committees exist - to save any individual member from oneself.

By taking second step first, IMSLP has greatly damaged the chance of the first step succeeding. At this point, even if IMSLP announces its intention to incorporate as a charity, any attempt to raise funds for it would be viewed with intense suspicion. Much work is needed to repair its reputation, and I'm not sure the leadership is up to the task. Trust is easy to lose and hard to regain.

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby vinteuil » Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:26 am

dlewis1080 wrote:
imslp wrote:I will be looking first to hire someone to work on the administrative and janitorial side of IMSLP full-time.


As Coulonnus writes above, why is this necessary? This has always been done by volunteers. Why change, without our permission or our support, to a business structure that pays people to do the work?

Again, there's a big difference between contributions to the IMSLP wiki and other kinds of more back-end maintenance: I can't imagine that people would think it a bad idea to have someone on payroll who is responsible for server maintenance, for instance! (There have been limited outages in the past.) And after this thread, maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a part-time person in charge of public relations....

NeveudeRameau wrote:3. I also noticed that of late, the occasional copyright protected score would slip into the IMSLP collection. Not good! ANd I did wonder whether IMSLP wasn't becoming a vicitim of its own success: not enough men and women on deck to watch out for breaches of copyright?
4. I tried to alert IMSLP to the breaches - THAT proved impossible. I was a little surprised. Is there simply not enough manpower available to do everything???

To be clear, this section of this post is only correct in that occasionally users upload copyrighted scores, but they are uniformly (I can't think of a single exception) taken down by admins instead of being cleared for downloads (copyright reviewers have to clear all files before they can be downloaded, so the only downside to not having enough hands on deck is that files get cleared or deleted slower). I can't find your username on the website, so I can't testify to point 4.

NeveudeRameau wrote:5. We seem to live in a society that expects everything to come free of charge. Creators, it would seem, do not need to eat, drink, sleep and have holiday anymore. Ask any live playing musician, any writer, any potter, any industrial designer: their work is stolen as soon as it has become visible or audible or readable. I manage a literary estate and I have seen so many pirated copies on the internet, and seen the income (which is intended for charitable purposes) plummet dramatically over the past 7 or 8 years. What's so clever about NOT paying for other people's work?

Just to be clear: the ENTIRE point of IMSLP is that it DOES NOT do this.
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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby coulonnus » Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:05 am

Janitor and maintenance again: Please read this Topic: http://www.imslpforums.org/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=8167 In this case I see 4 solutions:

1: write a script on the imslp computer that searches files containing University Music Editions in all files present on imslp, reads them and re-writes them with the right string instead. I know how to do this on my own computer with findstr and I hope Unix/linux has the equivalent tool. But perhaps the wiki-ness of imslp does'nt allow this direct access.

2: write a robot that Google-searches the bad string on the imlsp site and edits all corresponding pages with our familiar edit-interface and makes the change. But Google ignores capitalization i.e. you can't change Instrumentation: Piano into Instrumentation: piano like this.

3: post an IMSLP Announcement and start yet another Project to do this. :-)

4: hire someone to do the change. :lol:

I have already been the robot of solution 2 with quite a few incorrect "scanned by <library>" fields in our pages

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby azumbrunn » Sun Jan 10, 2016 3:53 pm

What bothers me is the intensity of the response to the user / 15 second wait that has been introduced. I am willing to concede that there are good arguments on both sides. But the opponents of the measure seem to be so emotional about it that I start believing there is more to this than just the 15 seconds. It sounds as if people felt betrayed. Maybe the leadership style ought to be rethought, so people don't feel blindsided by announcements like this (but at the end of the day someone has to make the decision, one can't belabor this stuff forever)--I am purely guessing as to what the reasons are for the feelings of betrayal that are so obviously expressed or implied in many posts.

Please keep this at the proper order of magnitude. You can pay the fee (it comes to about a decent bottle of wine a month) or you can wait the 15 seconds. Most downloads take considerably more than 15 seconds to begin with (at least with all the connections I have been working from), so it's not as if there was no waiting before, it is just a tad longer.

Those of you who have suggested sources of donation you think have not been sufficiently tapped: Try to work them yourself and prove that they are sound proposals. Don't just assert they would be forthcoming; I suspect most of those have already been tried; also most of the ideas don't sound promising to me (Wikipedia? they have problems with funding themselves).

Suggestions to start another IMSLP (there is nothing comparable around, whatever some people say) that would be free seem to me delusional: You could steal the content from IMSLP (not very nice to put it mildly) and start and soon you'd run into the same problems too, only IMSLP was there first and has already contacts to funding that you won't be able to access easily.

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby Richety » Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:06 pm

azumbrunn wrote:What bothers me is the intensity of the response to the user / 15 second wait that has been introduced. I am willing to concede that there are good arguments on both sides. But the opponents of the measure seem to be so emotional about it that I start believing there is more to this than just the 15 seconds. It sounds as if people felt betrayed. Maybe the leadership style ought to be rethought, so people don't feel blindsided by announcements like this (but at the end of the day someone has to make the decision, one can't belabor this stuff forever)--I am purely guessing as to what the reasons are for the feelings of betrayal that are so obviously expressed or implied in many posts.

Please keep this at the proper order of magnitude. You can pay the fee (it comes to about a decent bottle of wine a month) or you can wait the 15 seconds. Most downloads take considerably more than 15 seconds to begin with (at least with all the connections I have been working from), so it's not as if there was no waiting before, it is just a tad longer.

Those of you who have suggested sources of donation you think have not been sufficiently tapped: Try to work them yourself and prove that they are sound proposals. Don't just assert they would be forthcoming; I suspect most of those have already been tried; also most of the ideas don't sound promising to me (Wikipedia? they have problems with funding themselves).

Suggestions to start another IMSLP (there is nothing comparable around, whatever some people say) that would be free seem to me delusional: You could steal the content from IMSLP (not very nice to put it mildly) and start and soon you'd run into the same problems too, only IMSLP was there first and has already contacts to funding that you won't be able to access easily.


I don't think that's fair. This is a discussion forum. I've not really seen evidence of people being emotional, the language is sometimes forthright and a bit reactive but that's all. As a community project, isn't it natural that members of the community will want to discuss the changes openly and form opinions? But again, as another poster has said the majority aren't annoyed really about the 15 second wait. Who cares about that really? It's more that a decision has been taken to monetise the site after thousands of people have contributed to the archive by volunteering to upload their own works/arrangements or manuscripts for free on the understanding that the site is run by volunteers and that it is now a community project. This decision highlights the fact that they were actually wrong. The site is run by one person (with supporting volunteers) who appears to have decided to hire staff and run it more in line as a business rather than a community project. The concern is this could potentially kill the project by putting off contributors, this would be a real shame for everybody. It is the change in direction that has come out of the blue that has caused a reaction. Even in business it is normally best to consult and talk to all your contributors/stakeholders about problems and issues that need a solution, before going ahead and unilaterally making the decision.

At least, that is how it appears at the moment. By not disclosing everything and giving the full reasons for the change in direction, contributors are forced to form their opinions on what is going on based on the little info available. They are forced to do this, because the change may affect whether they want to continue offering works to the site and volunteering their time and skills. This situation is very risky for a site that partly relies on those contributors to be successful. People care about this site, its founder and what happens to it, that's all.

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby lxh5032 » Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:26 pm

Those of you who have suggested sources of donation you think have not been sufficiently tapped: Try to work them yourself and prove that they are sound proposals.

And how exactly do you propose that we do that? We can't raise funds on behalf of IMSLP, since we're not its administrators or owner.

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby jossuk » Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:32 pm

"He damages access for vast majority of users, threatening them to donate, just so he can pay for an employee that does the same work volunteers already do. It is ridiculous and, arguably, corrupt."

I submit that the language quoted above from a recent post is both emotional and unhelpful..

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby aarvinlessy » Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:47 pm

Suggestions to start another IMSLP (there is nothing comparable around, whatever some people say) that would be free seem to me delusional: You could steal the content from IMSLP (not very nice to put it mildly) and start and soon you'd run into the same problems too, only IMSLP was there first and has already contacts to funding that you won't be able to access easily.


This seems to me rather inflammatory rhetoric, coming from a post that is asking people to tone it down :)

The most valuable content of IMSLP is its public domain scores. That content is already owned by the public, and therefore cannot be "stolen."

For the argument that "there is nothing comparable around," the same could have been said of Myspace before Facebook supplanted it. And it is entirely possible that, faced with "the same problems," another group might come up with compellingly better solutions than IMSLP does currently.

Sure, today there is no alternative to IMSLP, but a few years from now, who knows?

Aarvin


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