UE statement on the ongoing discussion

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nikolas
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Postby nikolas » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:19 pm

Richard Black wrote:
Mr. Black: I'm sorry to say but you very first post here revealed such a biased character

I haven't expressed an opinion on whether the law as it stands, internationally, is fair and just because that doesn't seem to me the issue. If you want to get the law changed you might just as easily find me strongly behind you.

Did you read any of my other posts? On the contrary, I'm attempting to shift the discussion back to IMSLP, and not to the law(s). Do read my posts, and come back ;)

Odin
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That is not correct

Postby Odin » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:26 pm

Hello

Richard Black wrote:
Mr. Black: I'm sorry to say but you very first post here revealed such a biased character


You could fairly say that of most contributors to this debate. Anyone with an opinion can be described as 'biased'.

Actually all I have said is that with the law as it stands, UE has simply behaved as it _MUST_, effectively. I'm sorry if you can't see that.

I haven't expressed an opinion on whether the law as it stands, internationally, is fair and just because that doesn't seem to me the issue. If you want to get the law changed you might just as easily find me strongly behind you.


With the law - as it stands - UE did not behave as they MUST. They made an active choice. They could have done nothing, if they had wanted to. Nobody forced them to go to a court or to a lawyer. It´s a pity for them and for all people here on this site, but unfortunately they made the choice to act.

If we suppose - as an experiment of thought - that UE had the law on their side to 100 % (which they have not):

Also in this case they would not be forced to use the law. If you have the law on your side it´s still your choice if you use it or not.

Now they made a choice to try to demand more than was covered by EU law and much more than was covered by Canadian law. And their lawyer was even less diplomatic. Why do lawyers always write so arrogant letters ? That is not a good behavior.

"Let it be" was a very fine song by the Beatles. That is what UE COULD have done if they had been more wise and diplomatic and more aware of their good rumour.

Or as the old Romas expressed it:

Si tacuisses, Philosophus mansisses

Sincerely
Odin

Kalli
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Postby Kalli » Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:44 pm

[quote="miguelm97"]In the UE list of composers that should be removed from IMSLPF is Gustav Mahler....hmmmm...i'm not an expert in copyright laws but his works are not in public domain?? After all, he died 96 years ago![/quote]

Exactly! This shows, that the primary intention of the UE is not to fulfill the copyright. They want to sell their scores. And, on the risk to repeat, who knows, which composers are subject to a longer copyright (> 70 years) like in this case? Or do I missunderstand the situation about Mahler?

nikolas
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Postby nikolas » Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:57 pm

Kalli,

I would imagine that the copyright holds on when the score was published. Music might be copyright free, there doesn't seem to be any doubt about it, but even Beethoven Sonatas come at copyrighted publications (which happens if the scores have been edited, and not merely copied in URTEXT).

At least this is my understanding...

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Postby Sam » Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:01 pm

Dear UE,

I think your company is still missing the big picture. Yes, I read your response on the forum, and from your perspective, it may seem justified - but if you actually take the time to read the threads in response to your message, you will understand that the situation UE has created is complicated.

Read this one passage:

" No, UE didn't close down the site. UE made demands - not requests - that IMSLP remove scores that are in the public domain in Canada. Additionally, UE demanded that IP filtering be installed which is an absurd demand for (at least) a couple reasons: first, you could implement it the easy way or the hard way. The easy way would be to block access completely to the site for anyone from a country that doesn't have life+50 (or less). That would be incredibly unfortunate, because it would be denying them material - older material - that they should be able to access. The hard way is to implement restrictions by piece. With so many pieces and so many different countries, this becomes a Herculean task. I am a professional programmer, and I shudder at the thought of implementing the easy way.

The second reason is that the prevalence of proxies - and other, similar means - would make IP filtering moot anyway for anyone who really wanted to download a score.

Now, I have heard that there was one - one! - composer on the list that is not public domain in Canada. That should certainly have been removed - and definitely would have if you had come to our community and asked. We are not perfect, and we realize that some many occasionally upload pieces inappropriately. While we didn't watch every single upload, we had, perhaps, the most sophisticated system I've seen to handle takedown requests - again, through the community."

_______________________________

Read about 50 more threads, and you will clearly understand that UE's actions were both unnecessary and not the wisest choice.

Why didn't UE contact the message board initially with their concerns? In my opinion, the best way to start a conversation of concern is NOT with a legal threat.

I hope you will take the time to read the entire thread on their website, and get an open-minded perspective of the whole issue. I believe that I see it with an open mind, as I am not affiliated with IMSLP; I simply enjoyed the resource tremendously. It is sad to know that it is no longer here. Yes, UE didn't shut down the site, but their "demands" from the C&D inevitably provoked an almost unavoidable decision.

As long as the company refuses to listen to the whole story, take it all in, and (hopefully) apologize for their unnecessary actions, then no progress has been made here.

Sincerely,

Sam Gingher
pianist in the U.S.

WJM
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Re: I am not insulted

Postby WJM » Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:25 pm

Odin wrote:UE is struggling for their income. And to do this they demanded a few things which they had the right to claim - in the EU - and several other things which they have no right to claim, not even in EU. The latter part is a clear case of copyfraud.


Other than one composer who died less than 50 years ago, I don't see anything that they had "a right to claim" being demanded.

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Postby Witold » Wed Oct 24, 2007 5:21 pm

emeraldimp wrote:No, UE didn't close down the site. UE made demands - not requests - that IMSLP remove scores that are in the public domain in Canada. Additionally, UE demanded that IP filtering be installed

Eh, actually, no:
Ken Clark wrote:"We further demand that you institute a filtering system to the IMSLP that would prevent any further uploading of the UE Artists's scores until after the expiry of European and Canadian copyright in those works."

They did not demand IP filters, they demanded filters that prevent further uploading of the "UE Artists's" scores, until they are PD in both Canada and Europe.

The only time the C&D letter mentions any violation of any law is here:
Ken Clark wrote:As a result of the lack of safeguards on the IMSLP from infringing Canadian and European copyright law, you and your organization are involved in a collective effort to breach copyright.

This is a violation of both European and Canadian copyright law.

They could not demand you to both remove the scores AND install IP filtering, because according to them, if the safeguards were in place, no law would be broken. The offer was to remove the scores and prevent further uploads OR install IP filtering.

The demand about installing the filters, you could most certainly have told them to shove up their bum. Even if a supposed court had found it illegal to host material copyrighted in Europe on a Canadian site (which I doubt), you already had a perfectly working system to deal with illegal material, the same as any other wiki community. An administrator of a public internet service can not be expected to prevent illegal material from being uploaded by filters, as long as any illegal material is removed as soon as it is noticed.

Another interesting observation in the letter: Who are "the UE Artists's" that should be blocked by filters? The word "the" clearly refers to a limited group of people, as opposed to "any", and the upper case "A" in "Artists's" also implies that the word doesn't mean "artists" in it's general sence. There is a list of names that is named and later refered to as "UE Authors", but no mention of any "Artists". How is poor Feldmahler supposed to know what to do when the demands are this vague?? Perhaps UE couldn't find a decent lawyer, who is capable of getting the words right in his demands, willing to enforce Austrian law in Canada.
Last edited by Witold on Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Carolus » Wed Oct 24, 2007 5:58 pm

There is a fundamental part of IMSLP's mission and guiding purpose that appears to be quite lost on a number of the recent posters here:

IMSLP believes that access to public domain items must not be denied.

The hard fact is that all but one of the composers in the list is public domain in Canada, and most of the approx. 60 titles listed are public domain in the USA as well. The position of some here is that it's perfectly OK and reasonable for Universal Edition to force IMSLP to impose EU copyright restrictions on everyone in the world - even upon the citizens of IMSLP's host country Canada is completely unacceptable. It is a direct violation of one of our core principles.

IMSLP enouraged visitors to observe the copyright laws of the countries in which they reside. That's why we went to the considerable troube to implement a rather complicated system of copyright tagging - to discourage people from violating copyrights. As for the technical legality of IMSLP making available certain works under Canadian law, legal opinions obviously differ. However, the majority of opinion would appear to side with the view expressed by Canadian IP attorney Howard Knopf, which is that UE's case is very dubious at best. No law is violated until a PDF file materializes in readable form on a computer or server located in a country or territory where the work contained is still protected by copyright. Charges that IMSLP has engaged in "conspiracy" and "piracy" are way over the top and contribute nothing to the debate.

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Postby emeraldimp » Wed Oct 24, 2007 6:33 pm

Witold wrote:Eh, actually, no:
Ken Clark wrote:"We further demand that you institute a filtering system to the IMSLP that would prevent any further uploading of the UE Artists's scores until after the expiry of European and Canadian copyright in those works."

They did not demand IP filters, they demanded filters that prevent further uploading of the "UE Artists's" scores, until they are PD in both Canada and Europe.


Good point; and this is blatantly unreasonable and completely impossible without human intervention (how can we possibly know whether a score is copyrighted without actually seeing it? There are all manner of different ways in which a score could be represented in bytes, even if they're all PDF!), which we already had. I must've had my 'you can't seriously mean that' filter on. :-)

Kalli
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Postby Kalli » Wed Oct 24, 2007 6:46 pm

[quote="nikolas"]Kalli,

I would imagine that the copyright holds on when the score was published. Music might be copyright free, there doesn't seem to be any doubt about it, but even Beethoven Sonatas come at copyrighted publications (which happens if the scores have been edited, and not merely copied in URTEXT).

At least this is my understanding...[/quote]

I agree with your interpretation. This is my understanding too. But I'm not sure ... If a publisher wants to safe the copyright, he only needs to change the design of his edition.

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Postby Peter » Wed Oct 24, 2007 6:56 pm

nikolas wrote:...which happens if the scores have been edited, and not merely copied in URTEXT.


Urtext means a lot of editing.

Kalli
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Postby Kalli » Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:18 pm

The german word "Urtext" means, that the edition is in the original form. This could mean the original form by the composer or the first publication (which consists normaly of a contact between the publisher and the composer). Todays "Urtext"-Editions based on research. The editior wants to find the form, which the composer composed (the publisher often puts mistakes in his publication).

Nikolas meant surely the first publication with "Urtext".

nikolas
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Postby nikolas » Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:18 pm

I am not 100% sure but:

from wiki:
An urtext edition of a work of classical music is a printed version intended to reproduce the original intention of the composer as exactly as possible, without any added or changed material.


Under this idea, an urtext edition is uncopyrighted if the music itself is non copyrighted. Edited, or explained, or editions with added elements, contain the work which could be copyrighted.

Again, not 100% sure.

EDIT: what Kalli said, exactly. :) Thanks ;)

Richard Black
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Postby Richard Black » Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:02 pm

IMSLP believes that access to public domain items must not be denied.


I think that's about the one thing that all contributors to this debate agree on.

"We further demand that you institute a filtering system to the IMSLP that would prevent any further uploading etc.etc."


A small point, but 'filtering system' can include manual sorting by a real live person. It is indeed clearly quite impossible to imagine a system that does that automatically, at the present state of the art.

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Postby Blouis79 » Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:11 pm

I thought I read somewhere the copyright on a standard publication (assuming authors copyright has expired) is about 25 years from date of copyright notice.

In musical scores, we are mostly concerned with the copyright in the intellectual property being the composition, regardless exactly how it is rendered typographically.

So a publisher of a public domain work may still claim copyright over layout of that work - but if the layout is changed and it is not possible to determine copying of a layout, then copyright is not breached.

So one would think that an URTEXT could be easily reverse engineered without breaching copyright.

BTW I have started a legal info thread to collect background legal information. The Napster case discussion is particularly relevant to see how one might legally argue a legal position when one knows one is helping distribute known copyrighted material. Presumably Napster received legal advice before commencing operations that their activity could be defended as being legal. (For every legal opinion, there is an equally opposite opinion - only a court can decide.)
http://imslpforums.org/viewtopic.php?p=3507#3507


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