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Author Topic: Question on copyrights...  (Read 1199 times)
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Le.Tromboniste
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« Reply #20 on: Aug 29, 2017, 04:14PM »

Thanks IMSLP!

The fact that they post recent scholarly editions (stripped of all the research report) is one of a few big ethic issues I have with IMSLP (which is otherwise a terrific and invaluable resource). Very short-sighted...


The big problem for me is when the PD originals are very difficult to obtain and you can't check to see if published editions of a piece are actually accurate against the originals (***ahem*** all the published editions of the 18th century trombone "concertos"), so music that should be free to use and distribute is not.

It's genius actually. "Check out this piece by Beethoven, that we are carefully guarding the original of. No it's not PD. No you can't use it without paying us. No, we won't tell you if or what or how we changed the inherent music to modernize it. It's faithful, but we put enough work in that you can't have it. No, you can't see the original without signing a legal document stating that you won't release it in any form"

Most manuscripts are full of ambiguity so aren't that much help on their own - what you want to check is both all manuscripts and all early editions.

Most manuscripts are in libraries - you can usually look at them for free or cheap if you can physically be there. If not, you can always order scans/microfilm, but it can get rather expensive. I don't think it's so much about malice and preventing people from seeing them, it's more that preserving rare old documents is expensive, digitalizing them too, and they are typically public (so generally underfunded) institutions.

But yeah, not the easiest thing to do, especially at first when you don't know where to look. When unable to examine the sources, I would generally trust certain Urtext publishing companies (Barenreiter in particular) to be, if not 100% accurate, at least very transparent about what they changed and why. Especially editions from the last 25-40 years.



You mention the 18th century trombone "concertos". Those are relatively easy to acquire. The solo part of both manuscript copies of the Wagenseil are in appendix of a dissertation you can easily find online. I made a (yet to be published) Urtext edition of the Michael Haydn concertino for horn and trombone based on a digital copy of the manuscript held in the National Széchényi Library in Budapest. I believe the other Haydn piece is in that library as well. The two Leopold Mozart pieces might be there too, if not I'm sure they are easy to find, I just haven't looked for them. For the Albrechtsberger, there is a very good edition based on the manuscript and without editorial additions, by Mattijs van der Moolen (who's occasionally on the Forum). It's self-published, he sells it directly on Sheet Music Plus. It's a better edition than anything on the market.

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Maximilien Brisson
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« Reply #21 on: Aug 29, 2017, 04:29PM »

Oh, I am committed to getting the big 4 alto trombone concertos put up on IMSLP. If I had scans of the originals, it'd go straight up on there for the exact reason you state above. I believe that perhaps Howard W. and Will Kimball have copies of the originals, but that's just based on what I've read from them. It was Howard who gave me a wonderful run down of where all the pieces are located. He made it seem easy to get access to them, but it is not so easy, unfortunately.  I know there are scholars who have scans of these pieces. None of the scholars who have copies of the originals have put them up on IMSLP though.

The reason none of the scholars (myself included) have put copies on IMSLP is that we respect fellow scholars and researchers, and appreciate that storing, preserving, studying, digitizing gigantic collections of precious, rare old scores is a really hard task, time consuming and expensive. I encourage everyone to respect each institution and ask them permission before sharing material. Some well-funded libraries (in Germany, especially, others as well) share their materials for free and some even have agreements with IMSLP to facilitate sharing. That doesn't mean all institutions can afford to and should be expected to do the same.


I also urge caution with IMSLP. It is a very nice and convenient resource, but it has also been exposed as a for-profit company with absolutely no transparency whatsoever on their finances or governance, who are ready to engage in the same type of corporate bullying as they were victim of a decade ago. Their decision to monetize the website was made without any consultation of the many contributors who uploaded scores for years thinking they were donating their time and efforts to a non-profit in a 100% free and open community. It's very cynical and I may very well be wrong, and I certainly hope I am, but I expect free access to the service to disappear in a few years and subscription fees to go up and up.
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Maximilien Brisson
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« Reply #22 on: Aug 29, 2017, 04:36PM »

Le, that dissertation only contains the trombone solopart, and not the complete set of parts.

I haven't seen anything in IMSLP where they ganked someone's research product or scholarly edition. I do see modern reprints from Kalmus on there, but that's cuz they used the old plates from the PD.

I see no reason why scans of the original documents  (not urtext editions) should not be disseminated as widely as possible. That is pro scholarship. If you have original scans of any of these works, please send them to me. I'll make them available to everyone here, and the entire world.
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« Reply #23 on: Aug 29, 2017, 06:03PM »

I also urge caution with IMSLP. It is a very nice and convenient resource, but it has also been exposed as a for-profit company with absolutely no transparency whatsoever on their finances or governance, who de ready to engage in the same type of corporate bullying as they were victim of a decade ago. Their decision to monetize the website was made without any consultation of the many contributors who uploaded scores for years thinking they were donating their time and efforts to a non-profit in a 100% free and open community. It's very cynical and I may very well be wrong, and I certainly hope I am, but I expect free access to the service to disappear in a few years and subscription fees to go up and up.

How do i exercise "caution" with IMSLP? What do i do differently?

It's unrealistic to expect such a large service could be run for no money and no central guidance. Suppose they had consulted with the contributors... what would that have gotten other than a myriad of mostly unusable ideas and still left the need to pick one path to go with?

Clearly you disagree with how it is run... What is the better solution that would work?


 

Currently, IMSLP is still free as long as you can wait 15 seconds for your music.

I would be surprised if that model is paying the bills, so i wouldn't be surprised if some mandatory fee happens down the line.

It seems unlikely anyone is getting rich running a classical music library that gives out music for free.
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« Reply #24 on: Aug 29, 2017, 06:44PM »

Also note that for profit vs not for profit from an organization standpoint isn't really about charitable vs not charitable. Bear in mind the NFL was a non-profit organization from 1940s through 2015... It just indicates how residual claims beyond a breakeven point are distributed. There's some level of overhead that is required to have a certain status and I'm sure it is only compounded with needing to be in so many countries as well. It may have been better for them simply to drop the stats even if it meant lost revenue and traffic.

Or it could have been malevolent but it wouldn't be difficult at all for a competing sure to crop up by scraping the IMSLP site by paying for a subscription for a month and reposdting the pd stuff elsewhere.

I'm actually a little surprised there isn't a torrent for all of these music. It wouldn't take up that much space and being decentralized would basically cut out all of the computer , bandwidth, etc overhead. 
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« Reply #25 on: Aug 29, 2017, 08:39PM »

The reason none of the scholars (myself included) have put copies on IMSLP is that we respect fellow scholars and researchers, and appreciate that storing, preserving, studying, digitizing gigantic collections of precious, rare old scores is a really hard task, time consuming and expensive.

 :(

If you already have copies of any of the original manuscripts for these pieces that trombonists on the forum would love to have, you really should put those out on the forum. Not an urtext version you hope to profit off of, but the original scans. That would cost just about nothing to digitize.

I really hope that's not how actual academics feel. The sibley music project is proof of the opposite of that, I hope. That is so incredibly regrettable if that really is the case. The sentiment described above is essentially the same as the sentiments that have driven the music industry to continually alter copyright law in their favor.

so sad....
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« Reply #26 on: Aug 29, 2017, 09:18PM »

I see no reason why scans of the original documents  (not urtext editions) should not be disseminated as widely as possible. That is pro scholarship.

Again, that's all nice, but who pays for the digitizing, the storage and the preservation (and/or restoration) of thousands and thousands of precious manuscripts? That can easily cost in the millions. I agree with the idea of free sharing on principle, but unless we're collectively ready to make sure these institutions are properly funded (which in most of the world is not the case), I would exercice caution in passing moral judgment on those institutions which do not openly share online. Also, note that the scores are not held in a vault where nobody can see them. They are easily and openly accessible in person. That you have to pay for the digitizing of a score you want to consult seems to me like a reasonable expectation. It's not THAT expensive either. It cost me around 20$ for the score of the Haydn concertino.

 
How do i exercise "caution" with IMSLP? What do i do differently?

It's unrealistic to expect such a large service could be run for no money and no central guidance. Suppose they had consulted with the contributors... what would that have gotten other than a myriad of mostly unusable ideas and still left the need to pick one path to go with?


By exercising caution, I meant simply  thinking twice before uploading scores on that site.

I don't mean it shouldn't be run with a central guidance, but there is a big moral issue.

The point is, IMSLP as it exists now could not have existed without the hundreds of contributors who went through the process of scanning scores and uploading them throughout the last decade+. The product that is now being monetized is not one they built, it's one that was slowly gathered through the efforts of unpaid volunteers who did that work under the assumption that the site was part of the open sharing community and that nobody would profit from their work.

That's the core issue. To make that decision without consulting those contributors and knowing that it goes against the very idea those people though they were contributing to is not illegal, but it puts IMSLP on very shaky moral grounds.

I would be surprised if that model is paying the bills, so i wouldn't be surprised if some mandatory fee happens down the line.

It seems unlikely anyone is getting rich running a classical music library that gives out music for free.

When they announced the change 2 years ago (by the way, the announcement was made between Christmas and New Year - a rather cynical timing if you think about it), they
A) admitted that they were not actually in need of more funding,
B) would not divulge any financial plans for the future or explain what the money would be used for
C) admitted that doing an annual fundraiser like Wikipedia (or this Forum) does every year was not an option they had considered or would consider for the future (but isn't that the first thing that comes to mind if you're trying to raise funds?)

It was then pointed out that IMSLP, despite pretending to be based on Canada and claiming to operate in accordance to Canadian copyright laws, is actually incorporated as a US Limited Liability Company.

You asked me how I think it should be run. I know many contributors expected that it was registered as a non-profit, to start with. The founder and owner being a Canadian lawyer, I'm sure he is aware that incorporating a Non-profit in Canada is extremely easy and hassle-free, that you get automatic 100% tax exemption under 50K revenue (unlike the US), that you don't even need to file taxes under 50K, that you have accountability to your members, not to the general public and don't have to share your financial data publicly outside of your membership (also unlike US non-profits), that getting public funding from various federal or provincial agencies would have been easy. And, more importantly perhaps, that being registered as a non-profit will make people comfortable in making donations when a call for donations is made (I don't know many people who will donate to a for-profit)

When asked why it was not registered as a non-profit they replied that
A) It was too hard to do, which I know is not true for having started 2 different non profits in Canada myself - a few of us pointed that out, they changed the subject
B) they might consider becoming a non profit "once the long-term financial viability is secured", but again without any justification of any of its not currently viable (remember, they said they were not lacking funds to run the site before the change), not any time estimate or plan, even vague. And given the lack of transparency, when they will have reached that point of viability, there is no way for anyone to actually know it. We pointed out the contradiction of referring us to a future event that we'll have no way of knowing has happened, again they changed the subject.

The announcement raised lots of concern and questions from many contributors, and the company's response has been in general very dismissive.


It's hard to estimate how much the site's expenses are, but I don't think they would be as high as one might think. A very large portion of the content is hosted by other organizations (non profits) that either decided to share their material or merge with IMSLP (but are still hosting their files), or are donating hosting services (for instance, last I heard, all their European servers are run by another organization)

I have stopped uploading scores there for now, as I don't want to contribute to a project that is pretending to be for free sharing but maybe is not.



I'd really, really love to be proven wrong and hope it will happen, but I'm fairly pessimistic about it...
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Maximilien Brisson
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« Reply #27 on: Aug 29, 2017, 09:58PM »

That would cost just about nothing to digitize.

I will not share the original on IMSLP, for the same reasons regarding that particular website; or elsewhere, for those other reasons I mentioned already : someone qualified in handling ancient documents digitized it as part of their work at the library - that costs something (say, a couple hours of work, taking individual pictures of each page while carefuly manipulating the score, using very expensive scanners that do not damage old documents - cause you obviously can't just run it through a photocopier. It does not "cost next to nothing to digitize", far from it). Someone has to store and preserve the original, that also costs something. I would love those scores to all be openly available for free online. I believe in that idea. But I also respect and appreciate the work that has to be done by the institutions, and respect their prerogative of how they choose to operate within very strict financial conditions. They are under no legal obligation to share their collections online - you can always go see them in person. Hopefully in the future more and more become available. That's the current trend anyway, we're slowly getting there.

Also, as you very well know and pointed out earlier yourself,  when requesting a digital copy of a manuscript, you are typically asked to sign a contract which stipulates that the copy cannot be shared. Whether or not that contract is legally binding given the public domain status of the works, and whether or not I agree with the institution's policy on principle (I don't) are both besise the point - how can I as a scholar expect institutions to grant me access to sources in the future if I go behind their back and do exactly what they request me not to do?



Let's say 20 trombone scholars share 20 previously unknown scores with trombones, we go YAY! 20 new pieces! How great!

Now let's say those 20 scores all came from one institution who asks scholars not to share copies without permission. Let's say that institution has 500 scores with trombones. And now they're angry because f@#ing trombone scholars can't behave, so they decide to refuse further requests for digital copies from trombone scholars.

Yeah we got 20 scores but we just closed the door on 480 more. As I said, very short-sighted.



Same with Urtexts being posted online (yes, there are Urtext on IMSLP, not nearly as much as reprints of course, but still quite a lot of them). Serious, professional Urtext editions are a ton of work to make, and we should all really, really want more and more of them coming. Posting them online and reducing their already tiny niche market is counterproductive. It might be legal (although only because of Canada's friendly law - it's definitely illegal in the US), but we can still question the morality.

I have no problem with posting reprints or editions that are just yet another edition that doesn't add anything valuable to our understanding of a piece. Upload that Kalmus and Dover and Lucks and even Universal who's sitting on copyrights for decades all you want. But why would we want to bite the hand that feeds us?
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Maximilien Brisson
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« Reply #28 on: Aug 29, 2017, 10:11PM »

By the way, I assume you're joking when you talk of making profits off of an edition of a Michael Haydn piece for horn and trombone? :-P

I wouldn't expect to make any money out of that edition.
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« Reply #29 on: Aug 29, 2017, 10:49PM »

Wow. 

I'll say that again. WOW!  A lot of work has gone in to dreaming up pointless objections to IMSLP. Yeah, RIGHT.

Example: Making a public announcement between Christmas and New Years is deemed too suspicious.   :/

Example: Asking people to give money by subscribing (for a specified additional) benefit is bad. Asking people to give money for no additional benefit is good.   :/


If you think it should be run as an explicit non-profit and that would be clearly superior... why isn't someone doing that? What's stopping you from setting up another PD music service to your own taste?  The music is all free. You believe the operation tasks and costs are trivial.

Why hasn't it happened?

If all the objectionable aspects of IMSLP you cite are really just corrupt, greedy, unjustified maneuvers then surely your non-corrupt vision would win everyone over and IMSLP would be shuttered.

IMSLP or anyone else can't do a thing to stop you so why aren't you doing it? In Canada, like you want.   Don't know  ??





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« Reply #30 on: Aug 29, 2017, 11:58PM »

Wow. 

I'll say that again. WOW!  A lot of work has gone in to dreaming up pointless objections to IMSLP. Yeah, RIGHT.

Example: Making a public announcement between Christmas and New Years is deemed too suspicious.   :/

Example: Asking people to give money by subscribing (for a specified additional) benefit is bad. Asking people to give money for no additional benefit is good.   :/


If you think it should be run as an explicit non-profit and that would be clearly superior... why isn't someone doing that? What's stopping you from setting up another PD music service to your own taste?  The music is all free. You believe the operation tasks and costs are trivial.

Why hasn't it happened?

If all the objectionable aspects of IMSLP you cite are really just corrupt, greedy, unjustified maneuvers then surely your non-corrupt vision would win everyone over and IMSLP would be shuttered.

IMSLP or anyone else can't do a thing to stop you so why aren't you doing it? In Canada, like you want.   Don't know  ??







Why is nobody else doing it? Because people who download the scores don't care about all this, for the most part, and it has established itself as by far the single best resource of its type for years. It won't get supplanted. The resource works, everybody uses it. That doesn't have anything to do with the morality of its governance though. Because I (or someone else) can't or won't try to replace them doesn't have any link with the morality of how they operate - saying that what they do is right because I couldn't beat them by doing it more ethically is not only a very obvious fallacy (like there's no company that's both successful and immoral out there....), it misses the point entirely.

Im not saying it isn't a good resource (it's great!), nor that I could do better (I couldn't). I'm not saying Edward Guo is an evil person; he most certainly is not. I'm merely pointing out that IMSLP became the amazing resource it is today precisely because it was perceived to be a community effort as opposed to an entity serving private financial interests, in the same league as Wikipedia, Project Gutenberg, and the open-source software movement. It used to be described as the Project Gutenberg of music scores. It made associations with other organizations which have open, free sharing of information as a goal. That's just fact.

If you do not see the contradiction in standing for those principles while also  being a privately owned, for-profit company with no transparency at all, I don't know what more I can say.

If you don't see the moral issue in trying to turn a profit off of contributions of volunteers who in many cases would not have contributed at all in the first place had they known someone would make a profit off of it, I also don't know what more I can say.

Asking for donations to a transparent effort for a common cause is good, yes. Trying to turn a profit isn't bad in itself, no, that's not what I'm saying. I enjoy getting paid for my work. But trying to turn a profit while pretending it's for a common cause and then failing admirably at giving any justification or reassurance to the people that embraced you because they embrace that cause is at the very least questionable.

Maybe that's not what they're doing - I'd de thrilled to be proven wrong - but it's the impression they have given in their response,and they haven't done or said anything to change that impression.



Anyway, this has been a long digression. I'm not saying don't upload scores there, I was saying, if you do so, be aware of what IMSLP appears to truly be. So if Harrison's goal is to partake in the open, free sharing of scores that he believes should be accessible by all in the future, it is entirely possible (even probable) that IMSLP will not live up to those principles.
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Maximilien Brisson
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« Reply #31 on: Aug 30, 2017, 06:15AM »

Well, Le, thanks for supporting the arts, and scholarship, I guess. When I get my hands on copies of the manuscripts of Wagenseil, Albrechtsberger, Haydn, and L. Mozart, and any other PD trombone piece, I will absolutely be putting them on IMSLP, and any number of other similar projects where they will be available to everyone for free.

Everything you say about digitizing the works is wrong - as we know, there already are copies and scans floating around, so it's already done.

Everything you say about preserving the originals is correct, except that digitizing and distributing copies basically ensures that they will exist in some form forever. Keeping the material cloistered up increases the chances that the originals will be lost forever.

Your ideas about scholarship are pretty elitist. But I'll still be happy to share everything I get with you as I get it. It just will have lost everything you seem to value about it - rarity, deterioration, and the fact that you have to be a "bona fide scholar" with a librarian backing you to get access to it.
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« Reply #32 on: Aug 30, 2017, 07:46AM »

Does the fair use thing allow you to make a copy of a book for a pit show so you don't have to spend the last show erasing all the pencil marks?
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« Reply #33 on: Aug 30, 2017, 08:13AM »

1) If we buy a .pdf version of a published chart, keep it on a computer, and play the copies, is that legal? To me, that would be the same as buying the .pdf and printing them out for the book. 

All the music I've purchased in PDF format has come with an End User License Agreement of some sort that spells out what you can and can't do with it. Some publishers grant a blanket licence for as copies for your/your band's needs whenever needed; others specify an "up to (x) copies." None of the EULAs I've seen permit making copies to give/share/trade with other bands. Check the EULA for each piece to see what you're permitted/not permitted to do.

Quote
2) If we buy a printed copy of the original, store it for safe keeping, and play the copies, is that legal?  To me, that would be the same as keeping the original for safekeeping and not having to worry if the dog ate somebody's book or if it got left/stolen at a gig.

Check with the publisher. I've purchased several pieces of sheet music that specifically states that copies can be made for study and/or rehearsal use and archival purposes (usually from publishers who also distribute or distribute primarily via PDF), but those are rare exceptions.

Quote
3) If we play the copies at a free performance where the band does not get compensated without owning the originals, paper or .pdf, is that legal?

Literally, it depends on the nature of the performance: for example, there are limited exemptions for non-profit agricultural and horticultural organizations (Copyright Law of the US, Title 17, §110.6), non-profit veteran and non-profit fraternal organizations (Title 17, §110.10).

Bottom line: there's no "one size fits all" answer to any of the questions.

Does the fair use thing allow you to make a copy of a book for a pit show so you don't have to spend the last show erasing all the pencil marks?

Short answer: No. Fair Use limits the scope or extent of copyrighted material that can be copied without permission. A rule of thumb is that the copied material can constitute no more than 10% of a work AND no "performable unit." (There are other conditions that must be met to qualify as fair use, and copying a book for a pit show does not appear to satisfy those conditions.)

From a practical standpoint, you could probably get away with it, provided that you destroy the copy at the end of the run.
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« Reply #34 on: Aug 30, 2017, 08:50AM »

Does the fair use thing allow you to make a copy of a book for a pit show so you don't have to spend the last show erasing all the pencil marks?

Not the copyright but the licensing agreement prohibits any copying what so ever. (On every show I've ever done)
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« Reply #35 on: Aug 30, 2017, 02:38PM »

A lot of shows seem to print out one time use books for each theater these days. When I did Spamalot last fall, they were brand new books and we didn't have to erase them. We just had to turn them in. But I got a brand new book for Legally Blond that starts next week and was told I would have to erase it. Go figure.
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« Reply #36 on: Aug 31, 2017, 12:24PM »

...When I get my hands on copies of the manuscripts of Wagenseil, Albrechtsberger, Haydn, and L. Mozart, and any other PD trombone piece, I will absolutely be putting them on IMSLP, and any number of other similar projects where they will be available to everyone for free.


You know what would be funny? Hysterical? Hilarious?

If some of these cloistered manuscripts turn out to be fakes or not exist at all.

It has happened numerous times. A scholar or performer brings out an edition of something he's discovered or reconstructed from the files of some remote library. But no one ever sees the manuscript.

Famous example: the "Albinoni Adagio". There is no manuscript.

Famous example: One of the most-loved pieces "by Haydn" is really by an imitator

Famous example: Fritz Kreisler built a big part of his career playing short pieces by obscure baroque composers that he had discovered in "monasteries". Audiences loved them, they are still performed today. But decades later he admitted he had written them himself. He realized that people were more impressed if he was playing something by a dead composer.


Could the desire for an authentic baroque/classical trombone concerto have pushed anyone to "discover" one?

We don't really know when the manuscripts can't be examined.   I suppose some trombone players have seen a "Wagenseil" or an "Albrechtsberger" manuscript but are any of them real document experts? They could actually discern Wagenseil's handwriting from an imitator?

Most forgeries fall apart when the physical media gets examined by knowledgeable people and restricting access would be the first way to prevent that from happening.

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« Reply #37 on: Aug 31, 2017, 01:03PM »

This is a difficult subject to decipher, especially the Fair Use part of the copyright law.  Even experts in the legal field differ on interpretation of what is and isn't allowed.  Although most musicians and amateur bands out there are to some extent guilty of copyright infringement that doesn't make it right.  My personal guidelines are if the music I'm playing is available for purchase I should support the composer and others involved in producing the work by buying it.  I do have one thing I do that may or may not fall under the fair usage section of the law.  I do keep a book or excerpts of music that includes sections of tunes I need to work on, for my personal study and education.  There are people out there who enforce copyright laws (usually after they get a tip from a disgruntled ex band/choir member), I actually have read about Churches (yes they should be the last people stealing, but it happens) being fined for illegal copies of choral pieces, and the fines are quite steep since it's a per copy fine.  We should all want to support composers, arrangers, and publishing houses, so they continue to create music for our use.  Here is an article from Legal Zoom that addresses the subject fairly well, but it isn't all inclusive:  http://info.legalzoom.com/copyright-law-making-personal-copies-22200.html

     
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« Reply #38 on: Aug 31, 2017, 02:40PM »

Rob, the manuscripts all exist and are relatively well known and studied. The mozart is a part of a larger work, as is the Haydn, and they weren't originally concertos. The Wagenseil and Albrechtsberger were trombone concertos.

they're all in the Czech Republic except for the Mozart which is in an Austrian monestary.

the problem is getting them to make you copies.
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« Reply #39 on: Aug 31, 2017, 04:14PM »

Rob, the manuscripts all exist and are relatively well known and studied.


That's good. I'm sure the authorities can discern what's real or not..

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