Second U-E cease and desist letter (new topic)

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Witold
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Re: The news spreads

Postby Witold » Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:04 am

kongming819 wrote:Has anyone noticed how widespread the news of IMSLP's controversial shutdown has become?

It's all over the place. An interesting thing with the discussions I've seen is that there is often a lot of non-composers stepping up to defend composers rights and a lot of composers wanting imslp back as soon as possible. Has anybody seen a composer saying "I'm glad it was shut down! Composers rights should be respected today, like they shall be 69 years after my death!"? I haven't. I have also talked about this issue with about 20-30 colleagues, all furious about the fact that imslp closed down because of legal threats.

To all of you here who think you are defending composers interests by saying that imslp was wrong, you are not. Imslp was the most valuable resource a composer ever could have. Imslp was not stealing from composers, it saved them money and precious time. Composers are the most score-hungry people on the planet, and I dare to say that imslp was more valuable to us composers than to the representants of any other profession in general.

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Postby Carolus » Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:59 am

Witold raises an issue here which is quite revealing. While UE and its defenders may think they represent composers in this matter, they really aren't. In all cases mentioned - some 60 titles - they are in fact representing banks or lawyers who in turn represent the estates of deceased composers.

UE should have thought of this in a totally different way. Rather than issuing absurd demand letters (affordable for Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, perhaps) and attempts at extortion-via lawsuit, they could have:

1. Offered to assist IMSLP in constructing a system whereby those titles under copyright in the EU would be either unavailable for download or print-disabled for those who accessed IMSLP from EU domains, leaving the works freely accessible to those visiting from places where they are public domain.

2. Posted some of their own works by new or less-known composers (that they at least theoretically are interested in promoting) here at IMSLP using one of the several CC Licenses available. Uploading a study score for an orchestral or large ensemble work minus parts allows anyone visting IMSLP to explore and look over what they offer. Including links to a recording enhances the vistor's experience even more - all on a server they don't have to pay for maintained by tech-minded folks they don't have to pay on a site visited by tens of thousand of people every single day. Guess who benefits in the end? The composers (via increased exposure and potential performances), UE itself (via increased exposure and potential performances), not to mention everyone who gets the thrill of discovering wonderful music for the first time.

Instead, UE has created a swarm of negative publicity - which is only just beginning. They've tarnished their own reputation over a very short-sighted (not to mention arrogant) idea about claiming the right to enforce EU copyright laws upon the citizens of countries (most of the world, BTW) where the works in question (of long-dead composers) are already public domain. Even if they win the battle, they lose the war. This type of short-sighted behavior is all too common in the corporate world, sad to say.
Last edited by Carolus on Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

samthegreat
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-

Postby samthegreat » Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:04 am

The last few posts have been extremely interesting and thought-provoking. Incidentally, I completely agree with what you have said.

dpajalic
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lets get mature

Postby dpajalic » Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:53 am

OK, here is a question:
You have driving license, you get (justified) speeding ticket. Do you completely stop driving?
The owner of IMSLP should activate site again and remove scores with the questionable copyright.
Also, if he decides to find someone else to run ISMLP it should be very precisely stated on the IMSLP site:

1. technical requirements
Hardware Software
2. financial arrangement with the owner of the IMSLP
e.g. transfer of ownership of the domain name
value of the business (from IMSLP point of view) etc.
etc.

Yagan Kiely
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Postby Yagan Kiely » Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:22 am

IMSLP will not be opening with a severely depleted database*. That will absurdly limit 50+ countries, and this is not currently an option. Even UE are not (now) asking for this.

*While there will still be 15,000 videos, many VERY important scores will be gone.

Vivaldi
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Postby Vivaldi » Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:04 am

Also, exactly how many composers' (living or dead) copyright are being claimed by UE? And how many critical editions which are published less than 50 years ago for composers who died more than 50 years ago, are the copyrights claimed as well? The one problem with is this is that we may be losing out on the complete critical editions of the Haydn symphonies, which are published by UE, should these editions were published less than 50 years ago.

Kalli
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Postby Kalli » Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:13 am

@Vivaldi

To crack this problem, the UE must send the IMSLP a complete list of them. I see no other alternative. I think that's a not very practicable solution, 'cause you must check each new score. There are always composers, who are longer than 50 years death, but are still under copyright.

Vivaldi
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Postby Vivaldi » Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:22 am

Also, not only do they be reluctant to give away that information, they may also refuse to divulge more information regarding the year of publication of some of the works published under UE. This has been a very big problem, not limited only to UE. Many publishers seem reluctant to put the date and place of publication on the scores, such as Eulenburg and Peters. Instead, they put what is called "scarecrow copyright" notices in the hopes of conning the public that the works are still copyright when some of them are not. Well, I think this practice has backfired big time.

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Postby nikolas » Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:23 am

Witold is right!

Composers want IMSLP back, and know what's going on. Every other ignorant **** in the world thinks that they are doing good if IMSLP is down.

What a world... :(

And UE is trying to say that they are protecting the composers?????? HUH?!?!? How, when, who?

duckie
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Postby duckie » Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:06 pm

This is unfortunate. I've only just discovered that IMSLP is down, and having never used the forums before I had no pre-warning. I just needed to check what Chopin's Nocturne in E Flat Major looked like, and I can't because of some governmental idiot who can't see further than a pile of paperwork.
Yes, I said governmental idiot, and what is the government going to do about it? Nothing. They can't.

Despite this being a 'breach' of copyright laws, I do believe that the right to freedom of speech and expression is guaranteed under international law through numerous human rights instruments, under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and I think that this freedom also constitutes access to forms of expression such as music.

I quote: "The synonymous term freedom of expression is sometimes preferred, since the right is not confined to verbal speech but is understood to protect any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used."

I've downloaded lots of IMSLP scores, and I intend to distribute them freely regardless of whether the government tells me I'm wrong. My friend made a good point on his first album released a couple of days ago:

"Please distribute and share this album freely. Free culture is important, and writing, making, and playing music just for profit is the most heinous crime any artist, composer, or music company can commit."

I add on to this statement with "Limiting such an expressive art form will lead to the downfall of government and the eventual destruction of the human race."

Sorry if this has already been discussed, but I have a lot of points to make and I'm going to exercise my right to freedom of speech as much as possible.

Josef
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Composers want IMSLP back.

Postby Josef » Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:39 pm

It cannot be said to often:

Yes, Witold, composers want IMSLP back. Composers want IMSLP back. Composers want IMSLP back.

Three times, maybe it has some charming effect. Not of accelerating IMSLP's comeback (that would do no good, I agree with Feldmahler's statement in his open letter) but of strengthening it.

For me, a professional composer, it was an experiment. Would it be better to publish my works by a publisher or myself, by an internet publisher, or, for free, by a content managing system as IMSLP? I chose the latter. At first sight, it might seem like wasting one's works. No income from sold scores. But since I've joined IMSLP (end of May this year) my composer page got more than 3000 clicks, my work pages around 100 and some even up to 700 clicks. Not bad for music that isn't made to be catchy. I don't know yet if this has already resulted or will result in any performances and royalty payments, however, it IS still an experiment.

Furthermore, as it was suggested already, publishers could join in and print scores from IMSLP. A service I would probably make use of quite often (since I hate self-made prints).

Once more the prayer mill:

Composers want IMSLP back. Composers want IMSLP back. Composers want IMSLP back.

gchirag
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Postby gchirag » Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:34 pm

The owner of IMSLP can do a lot to bring back IMSLP. Universal Edition Vienna has already said turn on the servers. This is a big mis-understanding. Just turn on the servers and maybe put a restriction on the material which Universal Edition Vienna is complaining about on the Europeans and enjoy IMSLP again what's the big deal?

So many people have offered funds and are offering plenty of help. I do not see any reason why not to turn on the IMSLP servers again.

gchirag
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Postby gchirag » Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:35 pm

Composers want IMSLP Back. Composers and Pianists want IMSLP back. Literature collectors want IMSLP Back. Students want IMSLP bach. Countless others want IMSLP back.

Back rules.

Zithren
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IP blocking for UE Vienna

Postby Zithren » Thu Oct 25, 2007 7:24 pm

Why not just block the IPs of all Universal Edition Vienna's computers... lol :twisted: 8)


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