Copyright on the scanner/scan?

General copyright-related issues and discussions

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jujimufu
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Copyright on the scanner/scan?

Postby jujimufu » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:00 pm

I know there's been a lot already on SMA, but here's a nice little extract from their site:

Re-scanning and Distribuiting printed copies of Sheet Music Archive

When the Sheet Music Archive scans sheet music, it creates not only new (and copyrighted) computer files, but also alters the graphic information of the original sheet music. The scanning process alters the graphical information, angulation, details of the sheet music such as to create a new kind of graphic. The SMA claims copyright right on this new graphic. [...] SMA, as the copyright holder of this new graphics, reserves the right to re-scan the graphics into other pdf files. The SMA does not grant this right to the public. So you cannot re-scan printouts and make your own pdfs out of them.


Is this even possible? It smells like nonsense, but I just want to make sure - if it is false, they are basically misleading their customers into falsehoods regarding copyright legislations.

Another funny extract is here: "Also, please note that whilethe vast majority of files in the archive were prepared in-house, and therefore subject to SMA's copyright restrictions, a few files, where indicated, were prepared by people not affiliated with SMA."

I would argue that the "vast majority" of their files comes from a direct rip-off off IMSLP, probably by using a bot, and that it's more than just a "few" scores. What's more, the scores taken from IMSLP (or other sources, I guess) are not indicated in any way. They had one of my scores up (which I don't mind, as long as they don't require a subscription to gain access to it) (which they did in the beginning, until I e-mailed them and they fixed it), and there's no mention to IMSLP or me (as a user of IMSLP or an e-mail).

The site's server is located in the US, which means the majority of the scores ripped from IMSLP are not public domain there - is there no way to just send a couple of e-mails to some major publishing companies and let them take care of these scores and the website, and also teach that prematurely-grown child that copyright is not a game?

daphnis
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Re: Copyright on the scanner/scan?

Postby daphnis » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:15 pm

This is a ridiculous claim, so much so where I thought you might have tried to instigate a flame war here (which, no doubt, wouldn't likely bring any flamers to light). As magnanimous as their actions in scanning and creating "a new kind of graphic" might be, it in no way qualifies them for a copyright on intellectual property already existing in the public domain. This is yet another scare tactic by a group that claims copyright on something they have no idea what may actually constitute such a copyright. It just goes to show you that just because someone says something is copyright doesn't necessarily make it so. Copyright claims are not simply a "I'm it" scenario but rather must be legally founded.

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Re: Copyright on the scanner/scan?

Postby vinteuil » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:15 am

jujimufu wrote:I know there's been a lot already on SMA, but here's a nice little extract from their site:

Re-scanning and Distribuiting printed copies of Sheet Music Archive

When the Sheet Music Archive scans sheet music, it creates not only new (and copyrighted) computer files, but also alters the graphic information of the original sheet music. The scanning process alters the graphical information, angulation, details of the sheet music such as to create a new kind of graphic. The SMA claims copyright right on this new graphic. [...] SMA, as the copyright holder of this new graphics, reserves the right to re-scan the graphics into other pdf files. The SMA does not grant this right to the public. So you cannot re-scan printouts and make your own pdfs out of them.


Is this even possible? It smells like nonsense, but I just want to make sure - if it is false, they are basically misleading their customers into falsehoods regarding copyright legislations.

Another funny extract is here: "Also, please note that whilethe vast majority of files in the archive were prepared in-house, and therefore subject to SMA's copyright restrictions, a few files, where indicated, were prepared by people not affiliated with SMA."

I would argue that the "vast majority" of their files comes from a direct rip-off off IMSLP, probably by using a bot, and that it's more than just a "few" scores. What's more, the scores taken from IMSLP (or other sources, I guess) are not indicated in any way. They had one of my scores up (which I don't mind, as long as they don't require a subscription to gain access to it) (which they did in the beginning, until I e-mailed them and they fixed it), and there's no mention to IMSLP or me (as a user of IMSLP or an e-mail).

The site's server is located in the US, which means the majority of the scores ripped from IMSLP are not public domain there - is there no way to just send a couple of e-mails to some major publishing companies and let them take care of these scores and the website, and also teach that prematurely-grown child that copyright is not a game?

Much more than a vast majority: almost all.
Formerly known as "perlnerd666"

horndude77
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Re: Copyright on the scanner/scan?

Postby horndude77 » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:52 am

I'm reminded of the recent bizarre "psycho-acoustic" copyright claims over some songs from the beatles. The claim is quite hypocritical because they of course can take audio (or PDFs from other sites in this case) and claim copyright while with some strange logic it is illegal to go the other way.

It looks like SMA has a few typesets that I've done (pulled either from here or mutopia). Unfortunately it misrepresents the license as being public domain when it's actually under a creative commons license. Other typesets I've done have shown up on the internet with all copyright and other identifying markings removed so I hope whatever is behind SMA's paywall at least has those intact (though I don't plan on finding out). In any case what they're doing with their wild copyright claims and other shenanigans is quite dishonest at the very least.

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Re: Copyright on the scanner/scan?

Postby Carolus » Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:46 am

Actually, if SMA is mis-representing CC license claims and failing to correctly attribute works released under the CC license, etc., they are actually liable for infringement from composers, editors and arrangers who have released such works under the licenses. Perhaps a group of composers, arrangers and editors should consider bringing a class-action copyright infringement suit against SMA.

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Re: Copyright on the scanner/scan?

Postby Philidor » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:10 pm

This thread, plus the ones about librarians who claim copyright on ancient music manuscripts just because they happen to sit on their shelving, are hilarious. Great to see them being named and shamed.

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Re: Copyright on the scanner/scan?

Postby Peter » Sun Dec 06, 2009 1:35 pm

Coincidentally, about a week ago I sent this request for information to the BSB. I did not get a reply. Was I not polite enough ? :twisted:

Dear library,

When discovering your digitized library and the great robots working for you, I was utterly excited. I want to thank you for this great initiative!
However.
When downloading digitized versions of public domain material, the BSB invariably claims copyright to works of which copyright undoubtedly has expired by German law, by European directive and by various international copyright conventions. As member of the public, and hence "owner" of these works in the PUBLIC domain, I feel seriously and personally offended by the library. To prove me wrong, please direct me to the appriopriate German laws indicating that the owner of a copy, funded by tax money, can claim copyright to a work that is clearly in public domain, and which arguments you have to do this. Is I am not German citizen, I am also happy to know if I even should take in account German laws!

Furthermore, the library claims authorship on scans of public domain works. This must be very fine humour. Please enlighten me how a robot taking photographs (albeit a very nice bot!) adds originality, craftsmanship or any other unique output, to works of the greatest geniuses of human history. Feel free to include philosophical arguments that authorship is not a unique human characteristic. In the latter, please also provide the name of your robot so I can make adequate scientific references when citing his work.

Yours sincerely,

Peter ,
one of the legal copyright owners of many of your scans.

Odin
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Re: Copyright on the scanner/scan?

Postby Odin » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:49 am

Hello

This development shows us clearly ansd obiously how sick and misanthropic
the copyright rule of today actually is. It is a legislation directed against common
people and - on that reason - deeply un-democratic.

This also shows clearly how important all political work is which aims on substantial
reforms of this legislation in favour of more rights to plain common users and less
restrictions for use of works still under copyright.

My own opinion is that all non-commercial (non-profit) use or manifolding of all
artistic works - independantly whether they are PD or still under copyright - should be
allowed and encouraged, not prohibited and suppressed (as it is today).

This is also the line of the Pirate Party - the one and only political movement which
is seriously working for substancial changes in this legislation.

My best regards

Odin
Pirate Party member
Odin

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@Peter !!

Postby Odin » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:53 am

Hello Peter

I´m German. Please tell me which german library treted you badly.
If you wish - I (being a pirate partist) would like to tell them some
very nice and clear words in German.

Best regards

Odin
German, but living in Sweden
Odin

pml
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Re: Copyright on the scanner/scan?

Postby pml » Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:11 pm

@ Peter,

Furthermore, the library claims authorship on scans of public domain works. This must be very fine humour. Please enlighten me how a robot taking photographs (albeit a very nice bot!) adds originality, craftsmanship or any other unique output, to works of the greatest geniuses of human history. Feel free to include philosophical arguments that authorship is not a unique human characteristic. In the latter, please also provide the name of your robot so I can make adequate scientific references when citing his work.


I love this post! Very well done! But how do you know the robot's a "he"? :twisted:

@ Odin,

The library in question is the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in München, which I had the pleasure of visiting about a decade ago in search of some MSS by Lassus and Brumel. They're responsible for the scans of the thousands of pages of Neue Mozart-Ausgabe at the Mozarteum site and the Händel Gesamtausgabe, so please also say some nice words for them having done those projects, while encouraging them to put more of their old/unique manuscripts on-line.

Regards, Philip
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PML (talk)


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