Russian editions

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Russian editions

Postby imslp » Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:01 pm

This discussion was moved from Peter's talk page.

Hobbypianist wrote:Hi Peter, I have some Russian editions from scores (Medtner), some with M. <number>, others only with numbers on the bottom....I think they are from Muzika. As far as I know, scores of Muzika don't have copyright any more. So can I upload them without hesitation (even if the edition is from the early 80s) or are there still some exceptions/open questions? What about those editions with numbers only, I'm not 100% sure whether they are really from Muzika. Is there a database of Muzika Edition/Plate Numbers anywhere in the Internet apart from the Julliard Site?

Another question refers to scores from "CD Sheet Music" and similar: can scores from those companies ''always'' be uploaded? Of course, its necessary to remove the Logo from each page before, but can I be sure that the scanned music they sell is always Public Domain? (...maybe they make an arrangement with publishers and scan also music which is still under copyright?). What I noticed is that there's no publisher information on the pages any more...no number, nothing.
Well, I think, I'll remove not only the Logo, but also the title and all headings...only will leave the page numbers :)


Also, to prevent going over the same ground, I'll quote Carolus from another thread:

Carolus wrote:The copyright situation for works published in the old USSR (called simply the "soyuz" by the natives) is somewhat confusing. The GATT/TRIPS amendments to the US Copyright law "restored" Soviet works to protection (which they'd previously not enjoyed in the US at all). However, that rule apparently only appplied to original works and arrangements. Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Kabalevsky, and Khachaturian all have NIEs on file, along with numerous other less well-known composers. The State Publishing House Muzika was sold to Music Sales in the wake of the Soviet collapse in 1991 and became G. Schirmer Moscow.

Certain qualifications had to be met in order to file an NIE. One of these was that a work could not be PD in its country of origin, another was that government-funded works generally did not qualify. Thus, all the Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Rimsky editions are almost certainly free in the US. The Kalmus and Luck catalogs are full of them to this very day. In contrast, they removed all of the composers mentioned in the paragraph above in January 1996 and had a tremendous "fire sale" of all their stock for those composers in the months following - much to the delight of numerous orchestras. There are a couple of odd holdovers by Rodion Shchedrin where the NIE was not filed that still appear in their catalog.

Another factor I've noted is the large number of the Muzika editions availble for download on Russian sites - though to be fair these sites do seem to be rather cavalier about observing copyrights as can be seen by all manner of Beatles tunes, etc. My suspicion is that the editions are most likely PD in Russia. I seem to recall that the maximum term under USSR copyright law was 30 years after date of publication. The Soviet law most likely remained in force until the mid-90s. The life plus 70 law was enacted only in 2004 and does not apply to any author who died before 1953.

Prokofiev has been PD in Canada since 1/1/04. For the USA, only works published before 1923 are PD. Kabalevsky and Khachaturian are protected in Canada, as both died in the 1980s. They're copyright in the USA now also. The Tchaikovsky, Rimsky, Scriabin, Medtner, Glazunov, and Mussorgsky editions have all been reprinted by Kalmus. No NIEs were registered for the editions because they were 1) funded by a government; and 2) PD in their country of origin in most cases.
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Re: Russian editions

Postby imslp » Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:06 pm

Hobbypianist wrote:Another question refers to scores from "CD Sheet Music" and similar: can scores from those companies ''always'' be uploaded? Of course, its necessary to remove the Logo from each page before, but can I be sure that the scanned music they sell is always Public Domain? (...maybe they make an arrangement with publishers and scan also music which is still under copyright?). What I noticed is that there's no publisher information on the pages any more...no number, nothing.
Well, I think, I'll remove not only the Logo, but also the title and all headings...only will leave the page numbers :)


So far CDSM has carefully stepped on only non-copyrighted works; which I believe is a deliberate choice. Also considering the rather careless manner in which they use editions (they seem to like to scan whatever edition they lay their hands on), I highly doubt they'd pay any sort of royalty; there'd be no point anyway. The removal of publisher information seems deliberate, perhaps to hide the public domainness of their scans. I've head a hell of a time researching the edition which they use...

Regarding the USSR copyright issue, I'm inclining very much towards them being public domain (the USSR copyright doesn't seem to care about re-engravings, which is not surprising given that even US copyright law doesn't).
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Postby Carolus » Sat Apr 28, 2007 2:02 am

Not much to add here. Feldmahler is right on the mark about CDSM. The only cases I know of where they included some copyrighted works were for some copyrights of Presser back when CDSM was being distributed by Presser. (American Concert Piano works was the volume, I think.) CDSM is horrific about scanning whatever they get their hands on and not telling what publication they scanned from. Their Chopin editions are a mish-mash of several editions. Someday when I have time I'll try and sort out what they scanned. It's a fairly daunting task as there are literally over 150 different editions of Chopin's works that vary wildly in reliability.

As for Muzika plate numbers, the letters (M before the number and Cyrillic G - looks like the Greek Gamma - after the number) all date from before 1954 or so, when the name changed from Muzgiz to Muzika. After that date, they had numbers only (well into the 20,000s) for any new engravings. Most engraving was done in Moscow, but they actually farmed out some of their more important projects to the Röder facility in Leipzig after the Red Army took over that part of Germany at the end of WWII. The scores Muzgiz published of the Borodin symphonies in 1946-47 were actually engraved in Leipzig.
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