Holst's The Planets...

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SelfTaughtMusician
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Holst's The Planets...

Postby SelfTaughtMusician » Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:33 am

Saw it on the Wishlist.

I have a book I could scan of it, but I am unsure if it is in public domain or not. In the wishlist it states works in 1922 or after can be used.

According to the book I have this is a (1997) Republication of the 1921 publication.

Does republication give them power over the copyright to the work still? Or is it in public domain since it is originally from 1921 publication.

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Postby Carolus » Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:49 am

The Planets is public domain in the USA and practically everywhere else in the world (Holst having died in 1934). Merely reprinting a work at a later date does not grant a new copyright. Only a new edition of the work is entitled to copyright protection. This can include adding editorial markings and other changes on top of the original engraved score. So, if your copy of the score has an "Edited by XXX'' on the title page, beneath the composer's name, or elsewhere, it could be protected. Otherwise, no.

Dover, for example, has reprinted the 1921 Curwen score. You should not reproduce Dover's logo, title page, or preface (if any), but the Holst score itself is completely free and clear.

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When I checked...

Postby Sphemusator » Sat Jan 20, 2007 9:46 pm

earlier this year, I was advised that the Planets Suite copyright was renewed (not sure what that means in real terms) and is held by the Holst estate. (The trustees of Imogen's estate, I think).
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Postby Carolus » Sun Jan 21, 2007 5:01 am

The original work, The Planets - suite for large orchestra, is pubic domain in the USA. It was published in 1921 by Goodwin & Tabb. Ltd., London. (later J. Curwen & Sons, Ltd.). Imogen renewed it in 1949 and the copyright ran for a full 75-year term from the date of publication - entering the public domain on 1/1/97. Both Dover and Kalmus reprinted the score that very year. On 1/1/98, the 1922 publications entered the public domain and the 20 year copyright extension went into effect the same day. Thus, the 1923 publications are frozen until 1/1/2019.

An arrangement for 2 pianos, 4 hands was made by Vally Lasker and Nora Day. This ws published in 1922 or 1923, also by Goodwin & Tabb (77 pages). If it was 1922, it's free in the USA. If it was 1923, there is a possibility that this arrangement is still under US copyright. As for copyright elsewhere, that would depend upon which of the two arrangers died last. (Canada, Japan and China - life+50, EU and many other places - life+70.) If arrangers Day and Lasker both died before Holst (highly unlikely - as I think they were students of his), their arrangement could be free in the US if it meets the criteria listed below for Holst's own 2 piano version.

Holst's own arrangement for 2 pianos, 4 hands was first published in 1949 by J. Curwen & Sons, Ltd. (111 pages). A new edition by Imogen of the same was issued in 1991. *If* the 1949 score was a) published without the correct notice; or b) not renewed in 1977 or 1978; and c) Imogen's estate or Music Sales (Curwen's successor) failed to file an NIE prior to Jan. 1, 2005, it is public domain in the USA. (Filing an NIE after that date would not restore the copyright, as the work is public domain in the UK - its country of origin.) If the 1949 score was issued with the correct notice and renewed 28 years after publication; or the NIE was filed before 1/1/05, it's protected until 1/1/2045.

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Postby imslp » Sun Jan 21, 2007 5:25 am

Hi there Sphemusator :) Long time no see!

Anyway, here's the situation in Canada:

Both Holst's orchestral and 2 piano versions are public domain in Canada since Holst died more than 50 years before (and the publications were before 1956).

However, the arrangement of Planets by Lasker and Day is not in the public domain in Canada. Vally Lasker died in 1981 (b. 1917), and Nora Day died in 1985 (b. 1891).

How I love Canada's copyright law for its simplicity ;)


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