public domain?

Moderator: kcleung


public domain?

Postby Peter » Fri Mar 31, 2006 9:06 pm


You mention in your page about public domain that the composer has to be dead for 70 years for his compositions to be in the public domain.
You don't mention the copyright of the publisher. If you encourage users to scan and upload sheet music , and I assume users don't have prints that have been published more than 70 y ago, wouldn't you get into legal problems?

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Postby Tobias » Sat Apr 01, 2006 1:33 am

I have the same question. Can I scan my work by Mozart if the publication is copyrighted 1975?

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Postby imslp » Sat Apr 01, 2006 3:22 pm

Someone asked me the exact same question over e-mail, and the answer is that indeed it *would* be a pain. However, even though I know it would be hard for people to get their hands on scores over 70 years old in copyright, nonetheless there is one publisher that makes this possible: Dover Publications. Because they reprint old editions, it makes their publication not copyrightable, since under US law copyrighting a public domain work needs significant editorial changes (derivations), something that Dover scores do not have because they are exact reprints of old editions. The publisher copyright only applies when the score is changed in some significant way (ex. retypesetting).

ATM very few people (read: none) besides me are actively submitting scores, so there hasn't been any problems of that sort. Plus, I'm busy like mad (end of semester), so I don't have time to go through all the pages to add such info. I'll do so during summer vacation.


copyright dover

Postby Matthew » Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:39 pm

The only thing copyrighted in a Dover scores are the titles (font) and the copyright notice at the bottom! I know that seems strange but it's true.

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Postby imslp » Wed Apr 05, 2006 1:35 am

That is indeed true :) Which makes them very suitable for scanning and putting on IMSLP. Not to mention they seem to have almost every public domain score ever published hehe.


Postby Paul » Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:24 am

But didn't Dover have to pull their Shostakovich titles because the copyright was renewed by the Shosty's publisher? I may be wrong, but I was just wondering.

GREAT site, BTW!

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