Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Music Media Your Rights Online

Complete Mozart Works Now Free 304

Posted by samzenpus
from the eine-kleine-internet-nachtmusik dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Mozart's year-long 250th birthday party is ending on a high note with the musical scores of his complete works available for the first time free on the Internet. Although most classical music is obviously too old to be under copyright, the rights to specific editions of pieces are owned by the publishers. Now, the International Mozart Foundation has acquired the right to publish the prestigious New Mozart Edition of every Mozart work on the internet. The response has been so overwhelming that the Foundation has been forced to increase their server capacity."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Complete Mozart Works Now Free

Comments Filter:
  • Mozardot (Score:5, Funny)

    by Pig Hogger (10379) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [reggoh.gip]> on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:14PM (#17231888) Journal
    Are you sure it isn't the Slashdot effect???
    • by TrisexualPuppy (976893) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:17PM (#17231916)
      The response has been so overwhelming that the Foundation has been forced to increase their server capacity.
      One of my cousins works with the NMA. He's currently out in Germany. It was amazing how QUICKLY news got out, and their servers were bogged down like crazy (and still are). They have had to temporarily get several new colos up. In the first couple of hours alone, there was a transfer of something like fifteen terabytes. That's WELL more than the usual monthly average!
      • by Ironsides (739422) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:28PM (#17232000) Homepage Journal
        Please tell him that if there was ever a use for BitTorrent, this would be it.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          Please tell him that if there was ever a use for BitTorrent, this would be it.
          Considerations are already in place. I don't know what the deal was, but they were having some "legal" issue with running a tracker. Stay tuned to the TSP for more updates!!
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by idlake (850372)
          The stuff is "free-as-in-beer". You can't download the complete archive, and you can't use it for anything other than "personal" or "educational" use. You probably can't even perform it. So, distribution through BT is not going to happen.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by HuguesT (84078)
            I'm curious to learn how a performance of this material could be prevented.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by AGMW (594303)
              I'm curious to learn how a performance of this material could be prevented.

              ... and I'm curious to know how that has any relevance to the legality of performing it? Indeed, coming at this from the other end, if it were possible to prevent "things" from happening there'd be no need to make it illegal in the first place!

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by orgelspieler (865795)
              Well, in the US, Copyright law covers public performace of a work under copyright. You may not perform a work publicly without the permission of the copyright owner. But the "work" in question would be a musical composition by Mozart that has long since fallen into public domain, not the specific editions offered here. The only reason these publishers get to claim copyright on their publications of PD compositions are:

              1) actual "editions," that is, changes to the music based on new manuscripts, musicologi
      • by jbn-o (555068) <mail@digitalcitizen.info> on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:49PM (#17232902) Homepage
        Perhaps they also ought to consider uploading to The Internet Archive [archive.org] which would help them offload the bandwidth burden. The Internet Archive carries a wide variety of works under a variety of licenses.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by idlake (850372)
          The music is not "free" the way the Internet Archive understands it, so they can't redistribute it. The music is only made available, under license, for "personal" or "educational" use, and you are specifically prohibited from downloading all of it or redistributing it. It's largely marketing for the publisher.

          For a truly free edition of Mozart's public domain works, we'll have to wait until older editions are scanned at the libraries. But it's going to happen.
          • by GeffDE (712146) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:08AM (#17235650)
            As a musician, let me tell you that music is not like software. This music is truly free because, well, you don't need to buy it. There is nothing in the license that says you cannot perform it; there is nothing in the license that says you cannot charge people to listen to your performance. For what it is, a publication of sheet music for free, it is an amazing thing because sheet music is usually a very expensive thing. Additionally, the editing house that produced this edition (Bärenreiter) is almost universally regarded as the best and is therefore the most expensive. The complete score for the Mozart requiem (something I use only because I need to pick one up) normally costs 120.00 euros. That is a fat wad of cash, and now something I don't need to spend.

            This is intended for musicians who want to play or for teachers who want to use Mozart as examples in their class (instead of copying out of books, which is technically illegal, but widely done because how else are you going to conveniently give students something that they can look at and analyze and learn from?). In those cases, there would be no reason to need to download the whole thing or redistribute it. If you will accept the poor analogy, sheet music is like source code; when you learn is and perform it, it's like compiling it. Here, these people are giving out the source code, but they are making sure that the only place the source code is gotten from is their website. The license is no more onerous than the GPL; there are conditions that you must accept if you want to download and use it.
      • by tverbeek (457094) * on Thursday December 14, 2006 @08:56AM (#17235496) Homepage
        Meanwhile, the webmaster for Salieri250thBirthday.org is still waiting for his hit-counter to go into triple digits, and plotting a DOS attack on Mozarteum.at.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Werkhaus (549466)
      Possibly. Apparently, (from the website) "We are overvelmed by the resonance of this website.".
  • A+ (Score:2, Insightful)

    Damn straight, information wants to be free!
    • Re:A+ (Score:5, Insightful)

      by s20451 (410424) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @10:02PM (#17232262) Journal
      But producers of information still need to get paid.
      • by jZnat (793348) *
        Let the free market sort that out. If the producers deserve to get paid, they will get paid.
        • by sasami (158671)
          Let the free market sort that out. If the producers deserve to get paid, they will get paid.

          Firefly.

          --
          Dum de dum.
      • by aussie_a (778472)
        But they don't need to be paid 150 years after they die (and Mozart died well and truly before he reached a 100)!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fuzz6y (240555)
        But producers of information still need to get paid.
        Not Mozart.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Vintermann (400722)
        No, not Mozart.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nacturation (646836)

      Damn straight, information wants to be free!
      Didn't you hear? Information hates to be anthropomorphized.

      But seriously, the proper phrase is that you want someone else's information to be free. Information doesn't want anything.
       
      • Re:A+ (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:52AM (#17233128) Homepage
        Meh. It's like saying that water seeks its own level. It's just a way of saying that it runs downhill. Information wants to be free in that it spreads and spreads, but is very difficult to either keep from spreading, or to pull back, once it's gotten out. It has nothing to do with price, particularly, other than that it tends to spread more when it's free.
      • Re:A+ (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Kjella (173770) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @03:47AM (#17233774) Homepage
        But seriously, the proper phrase is that you want someone else's information to be free. Information doesn't want anything.

        Look, if some dude feeds 5000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, it's a miracle. If Linus Thorvalds provides Linux for all of mankind from a single master copy, big whoop. Fundamentally if I eat a fish, the fish is consumed. If I watch a movie, it is not.

        In classic economics you have the term "natural price", which means the zero-profit price ignoring R&D. For the abstract concept information. ignoring media costs - for example the difference between a blank and recorded CD - the natural cost is zero. That is the market price with perfect competition, everything else is caused by imperfections or government regulations in the market. In that sense, it's perfectly reasonable to say that information "wants to" be free.

        Of course a whole other story is that there'd be no commercial market, because you have a non-zero investment and zero profits. That is why even the founding fathers, who hardly were mouthpieces for copyright holders recognized copyright to "promote the science and arts". In addition, there's many other factors which means this isn't a perfect market. However, that only changes the market price, not the natural price. The more of these you remove, the more it will approach its natural price, whether you anthropomorphize it or not.
  • by Beuno (740018) <(argentina) (at) (gmail.com)> on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:17PM (#17231910) Homepage
    The response has been so overwhelming that the Foundation has been forced to increase their server capacity.


    And now they're going to have to increase them again...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The Slashdot effect just isn't what it used to be. This could be due to a number of factors, the main ones being a decreasing number of readers, and advances in server technology.

      Rumor has it that many Slashdot users have moved to sites like Reddit and Digg. According to Alexa [alexa.com], Digg has seen massive growth, Reddit has seen moderate growth, and Slashdot's reach has been tapering off. I know many find Alexa's data to be suspect, but it is still worth considering.

      Even low-end servers today can handle massive a
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cluke (30394)
        Yeah, well maybe that is no bad thing. I tried Digg, but the comments section makes Slashdot look like a think-tank of the world's brightest minds in comparison. So, if the idiots go there, happy days!
  • by rinkjustice (24156) <`rinkjustice' `a ... Mrocketmail.com'> on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:19PM (#17231936) Homepage Journal
    Can you download the music files also? If so, where are the links?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by NeoSkink (737843)
      It's scores only, although if you have the instruments, the studio, and whatnot... You could make the music files. ;)
    • by stubear (130454) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:37PM (#17232064)
      You got the fucking code, compile it yourself.
    • Re:Sheet music only? (Score:5, Informative)

      by FireFlie (850716) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:41PM (#17232114)
      If you want classical mp3s Classic Cat [classiccat.net] has a large selection of recordings of many composers' works. I believe it is all free and legal. Lot of good stuff.
    • It's interesting that this topic came up on Slashdot. Earlier today I was reading a question on Ask Metafilter [metafilter.com] about this very site, regarding downloading some of their files as PDFs.

      It seems as though they present the PDFs using some sort of weird PHP interface that discourages downloading and saving them.

      It's also worth pointing out that the scores are not really 'free' in the free-software sense, they're released under a fairly restrictive license [redhost24-001.com] that they are claiming applies to the scanned images of t
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by CRCulver (715279)

        It's also worth pointing out that the scores are not really 'free' in the free-software sense, they're released under a fairly restrictive license [redhost24-001.com] that they are claiming applies to the scanned images of the scores, independent of the scores themselves (which should be in the public domain).

        The only scores definitely in the public domain are Mozart's original autographs. Engraved editions of his music, provided they were produced after 1923, are under copyright. It's the same situation

        • AFAIK, the scanned images are just that -- scanned images. There may be other parts of the site that are subject to copyright, but I don't believe those images are.

          I mean, what you're essentially saying is, once copyright expires on these PDFs, I can convert them to jpegs or pngs and claim copyright on those. How does that make sense?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by cpt kangarooski (3773)
          Compilations aren't necessarily copyrightable, though, and even where they are, the compilation copyright only covers the compilation, and not the material that compromises the compilation. That is, it covers a specific arrangement and selection of items, but not the items themselves. And the compilation still has to be original and creative. An uncreative one isn't copyrightable.

          As for it being hard work, so what? Copyright is interested in originality, not hard work. An original limerick written in thirty
        • by waterbear (190559) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @03:30AM (#17233700)
          The only scores definitely in the public domain are Mozart's original autographs. Engraved editions of his music, provided they were produced after 1923, are under copyright.

          By the way, that "1923" is a local US thing. The equivalent date in the UK, for example, would be "1980" (1981 from next month...): it's 25 years from the end of the year of first publication, for the copyright in an original typography of a per-se out-of-copyright work. (And editions made by photoreproduction of a previously published typography don't qualify for a fresh copyright of this kind.) It's also worth noting that this period for 'publisher's' copyrights is set by s.15 of the 1988 copyright act in the UK and was left unchanged when the duration of the _author's_ copyrights was extended from 50 years to 70 years from the end of the year of the author's death (1995 regulations).

          Aside from that, plenty of useful Mozart scores (e.g. many from Breitkopf and Haertel) were published in the 19th century, and are copyright-free even in the US, where Dover Publications for a long time provided a very useful service by republishing quite some numbers of them at reasonable prices.

          Creating a definitive text from various scribbled manuscripts is painstaking work, it's no surprise that copyright law covers this process as well as that of purely original works.

          The copyright in the NMA (Baerenreiter) scores appears to depend on two factors, (a) fresh typography and (b) the extent of significant editorial revisions. The first factor applies to all of the new-set scores, (and where the 25-year rule applies, some of these copyrights are already approaching or have even reached their end). The second factor may possibly not apply to all works, because to produce them it was certainly not usually a matter of "creating a definitive text from various scribbled manuscripts", some of the new editions differ from the old out-of-copyright ones by nothing more than a few corrected articulation-marks here or there -- like a few commas or periods of musical punctuation. But where the second factor does apply, it will presumably be an author's copyright timed by the lifetime + 70 years of the significant editor if any.

          Like one of the earlier posters, I also don't 'get it' that a scan of an out-of-copyright score can attract a fresh copyright -- and yet, it was a private assertion of this kind (not tested in any court as far as I know) that effectively drove a set of scans of old and out-of-copyright Mozart scores off the internet within the past few years.

          The complexity of copyright provisions, and their general unknown-ness, is clearly in itself a factor that takes away people's freedoms even to part of the extent that laws supposedly assure those freedoms. It is not often enough mentioned that, in this way, legal complications in themselves limit freedom.

          -wb-
      • Hmm... Some of the stuff looks like PDF, but is really just a huge assembly of images. The PHP isn't as relevant as the AJAX...

        Anyway, one very easy way to force a download is to run Firefox without the Acrobat plugin. I use a 64-bit Firefox, but you can probably do this with a portable Firefox, or by temporarily renaming/removing the acrobat plugin dll (or so) from your Firefox plugin dir. Make sure your download settings don't automatically open Acrobat, then simply go to one of these pages. It'll prompt
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:20PM (#17231950)
    They finally finished reassembling him, eh? And he creates new works without charging a penny, eh?? EXCELLENT!

    I now command the recently re-animated corpse of Mozart to pen me a symphony, with no expectation of compensation! POST-HASTE!
  • The news article doesn't link to the site but has a link to the Amazon boxed set. Why aren't they using bit torrent? The site is a UI disaster. It's unclear how to find actual music.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The site has much more features than simply the downloading of scores. It also allows the text searching of critical reports and scholarly articles, which is a very valuable resource. One must remember the site is for both amateur and professional musician/musicologists, and so something like bittorrent would be totally insufficient for the features they have planned. Plus, professional musicians are generally computer-illiterate (I say this as a professional musician myself).

      The problem with the site that
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Petrushka (815171)

      The site is a UI disaster. It's unclear how to find actual music.

      What do you mean? Click on "Search the NMA Online", and they give you a list of volumes. Click on the volume to expand it. Once you're looking at a list of individual works and movements, click on the Adobe logo to get a PDF file. Where's the difficulty?

  • by straponego (521991) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:24PM (#17231976)
    Probably not, but... okay, weirdest non-porn torrent ever?
  • Konquerer (Score:4, Informative)

    by X0563511 (793323) * on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:29PM (#17232006) Homepage Journal
    Don't bother trying to get in with Konquerer. Holy mis-rendering Batman!

  • So does this mean I can download Falco's stuff without legal issues now? :)

  • other options (Score:5, Informative)

    by bcrowell (177657) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:32PM (#17232030) Homepage
    Before anyone gets too excited -- there are plenty of public-domain editions of Mozart. This is just one particular edition that's going to be available online for free. There's actually a huge amount of PD sheed music available at Mutopia [mutopiaproject.org]. The nice thing about the Mutopia stuff is that it's in a format that's editable using free software (Lilypond). For instance, I've taken some Mozart horn duets and arranged them so my daughter and I can play them on violin and viola. Because it's in Lilypond format, it's easy to transpose, arrange, whatever. If all you want is digital scans of PD editions, there are various sites that will let you download scans for free [dmoz.org]. One thing that seems a little goofy about the NMA thing is that they make you agree to use this web site only for personal study and not to make copies except for my personal use under "Fair Use" principles of Copyright law as defined in this license agreement. Uh ... fair use is an exception to copyright. Hell, I can copy a Britney Spears CD and call it fair use.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by RockyMountain (12635)
      Before anyone gets too excited -- there are plenty of public-domain editions of Mozart.

      I disagree.

      This is _very_ exciting news. There are indeed some public-domain editions of a very tiny subset of Mozart's compelete works. Mutopia is the best example, but even there, a keyword search on "Mozart" gives only about 60 hits -- for Leopold and Wolfgang combined. Well, Wolfgang composed 626+ opusses, so at best Mutopia has 10%. In fact far less becase many are incomplete scores (fragments, extracted parts, a
  • by idlake (850372) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:32PM (#17232036)
    What they have put up is hardly "free"; it requires you to agree to a license agreement that limits you to "personal use" under "fair use" principles. Well, geez, you already could copy the music under those principles before.

    Companies like Barereiter have been playing tricks with copyright for a long time, for example, by slightly modifying sheet music every few years with meaningless (and often, erroneous) "interpretations".

    This is not how music should be treated 200 years after a composer's death, in particular in the day and age of the Internet. There is no reason why Mozart's entire body of work shouldn't be digitized and freely available with no restrictions on use at all, in a form like Project Gutenberg.
    • by vga_init (589198)
      If the term of the copyright has expired, I don't actually think any kind of license can be enforced anymore. The summary implied that the copyright expired on the works, but is that not true?
      • by jfengel (409917) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @10:01PM (#17232258) Homepage Journal
        The copyright is expired on the works, but not on this particular edition of the works, which is a particularly well-researched one.

        Think of an edition as being like a translation from another language. You could, if you want, transcribe the music yourself from Mozart's original documents, if you had them. (They're in various libraries and collections throughout the world; a friend of mine worked with some at the Library of Congress.) In fact, there are often several originals, some incomplete and some conflicting with each other.

        It's a lot of work, like doing a translation, and like a translation, the resulting document is itself a new work with a new original copyright date.
        • by stubear (130454)
          Don't confuse the slashbots with truth and reason, they bite back. I've tried explaining the simple concepts of copyright law to them and they refuse to comprehend.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rk (6314) *

      Pretty slick how they convinced a charitable trust to pony up six figures to grant us rights we pretty much already have.

      I was really stoked until I went to the page and saw that.

      • by westlake (615356)
        Pretty slick how they convinced a charitable trust to pony up six figures to grant us rights we pretty much already have.

        You have the right to use editions of Mozart in the public domain.

        That does not necessarily give you what you need for academic study, public or private performance.

        How do you interpret Mozart's original manuscripts? What instruments did he write for? Under what conditions was his music performed?

        It is not a trivial problem to resurrect a computer game that has been out of print for t

    • Mutopia is similar to what you're describing.
    • by RockyMountain (12635) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:56PM (#17232932) Homepage
      This is not how music should be treated 200 years after a composer's death, in particular in the day and age of the Internet.

      I agree. And I'd like as much as the next person to see the complete Mozart truly free, "as in speech". But that does not negate the fact that this is a very significant event. I agree that it isn't free as in "free speech", only as in "free beer".
      But before today, it was free in neither sense.


      This is still a HUGE step in the right direction. As a violinist, for all practical purposes, I have the complete Mozart available to me. Even if I can't perform from these scores in public (I don't know if that's the case, just guessing), at least I can _get_ these scores. I can practice them. I can study them. I can even memorize them. And for the tiny percentage that I even want to perform in public, my orchestera will still have to pay up to rent the scores, as they've always done.

      Well, geez, you already could copy the music under those principles before.

      You'd first have to get your hands on them.

      Sure, you can argue that my rights under copyright haven't changed, versus previously-available versions. I could, under "fair use", xerox a printed edition that I'd purchassed, and use it in the same way that I can now use a download from this site. True in theory, but I'd still have to pony up literally hundreds of dollars for a half-decent edition of a complete score for a major work such as a symphony. In practice, it was prohibitively expensive to get your hands on this stuff before today, and impossible in a lot of cases. Now, it's a mouse click away.

      And before you remind me of Mutopia and others, just take a browse through them. Mutopia, for example, has about 60 hits for Mozart. Even if we assume each one is a complete score to a unique opus in original instrumentation, with all parts included -- a highly optimistic assumption! -- that's still less than 10% of Mozart's works.

      This is a _big_ deal.

      Think about how this impacts a musician's opportunities to learn music. Right now, if I hear a piece that I like, there's essentially no way to just take a look at the score, play with it for a few hours. Decide whether it's right for me and whether to go ahead and purchase the score. Before I can see a single measure, I have to make a major financial commitment. True, if the piece is the solo of a very popular concerto or work for solo instrument, there _might_ be an arangement in the local music store, that's authentic enough to get a taste of it. But, if it's, say, a violin part for a symphony, or some such, you are totally out of luck. Short of springing hundreds of dollars, you can't even get to look at it. But now, if it's a Mozart piece, you CAN take a look. This is great.

      Postscript: I agree with the parent posting, by the way. It is a shame that public domain doesn't exist (for all practical purposes), even for 250 year-old compositions. I just want to point out that this announcement is still wonderful news for all Mozart-loving musicians.

  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:32PM (#17232038)

    I'm sure Mozart is finally wealthy enough to where having his music in the public domain won't hurt him.

    Wait? He's been dead for 215 years? Oh. Nevermind.

  • Did anyone find it funny that underneath the article on Mozart's year long birday party that there's an article [reuters.com] of Paris Hilton defending Britney's "party ethics"? I think those over-sexed party girls need some Mozart to calm them down.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      On the contrary. Mozart and his ilk invented the rave, although in his days, the music was better, but the drugs were pretty lousy. Still, I'd expect if Mozart was around today, we'd see his mangina flashed around the media pretty often.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by raddan (519638)
      Mozart wasn't exactly the paragon of conservatism. From Wikipedia:

      Shaffer's play [Amadeus] attracted criticism for portraying Mozart as vulgar and loutish, a characterization felt by many to be unfairly exaggerated, but in fact frequently confirmed by the composer's letters and other memorabilia. For example, Mozart wrote canons on the words "Leck mich im Arsch" ("Lick my arse") and "Leck mich im Arsch recht fein schön sauber" ("Lick my arse nice and clean") as party pieces for his friends.

      And

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...had too many notes.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:47PM (#17232156)
    Many people here seem, as expected, look more on the copyright side of the issue. The fact is, getting such an edition together is *not* easy by any stretch. That particular edition itself (Neue Mozart-Ausgabe) took 36 years (finished in 1991) to complete. Consider the amount of money that has to be paid to musicologists to do research for the 35 years. Obviously Barenreiter doesn't want to give it away for free. So the Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum *bought* the rights of online publication from Barenreiter, and of course even then there will be limits to what you can do with it. Obviously you cannot use these scans to publish and sell your own version of it. I consider Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum very very generous, and I thank them for it.

    Also, the Neue Mozart-Ausgabe is NOT public domain in any sense of the word, because of the editing. As professional musicians know, editing is *not* something you suddenly decide to do, or something where you change a few notes and that's that. It is a long process where you research all evidence (including conflicting ones), and try to build an edition that the composer himself would have approved of. And for most editions (and all of the Barenreiter ones) a critical report comes with each piece; and it documents the path of research and the evidence used.

    If you want truly public domain Mozart scores, try the Alte Mozart-Ausgabe (the old complete edition), which is completely in the public domain, with partial scans if it circulating around the net. Though, if you checked on wikipedia, you'll realize how big a difference there is between the Alte and Neue Mozart-Ausgabes.
  • Quick -- copies to the Unrefined Musician [slashdot.org]!
  • Hardly free (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jessta (666101) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @10:39PM (#17232510) Homepage
    "I agree to use this web site only for personal study and not to make copies except for my personal use under "Fair Use" principles of Copyright law as defined in this license agreement." Doesn't sound very free to me.
    • by fbjon (692006)
      You're getting 35 years worth of work without any cost to you. That's just about as free as things can get without a capital F.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jZnat (793348) *
        That's free of charge (i.e. gratis), not just "free". The word free by itself in this context makes no sense and leaves plenty of ambiguities.
  • by mattr (78516)
    They admit the works of Mozart are in the public domain but not the scanned images of the music.
    They admit $400,000 was paid to purchase the rights to the edition, which is being put online "for free" by two foundations, but they still require that anybody not accessing solely for themselves (and I would assume this includes teachers and orchestras in this too) may not use it, but instead must purchase from a "authorized" vendor.
    These are not nice people who from one side of their mouths say they are doing
    • by timeOday (582209)

      They admit $400,000 was paid to purchase the rights to the edition, which is being put online "for free" by two foundations, but they still require that anybody not accessing solely for themselves (and I would assume this includes teachers and orchestras in this too) may not use it, but instead must purchase from a "authorized" vendor. These are not nice people who from one side of their mouths say they are doing a public service while from the other side they force you to lie basically, if you want to shar

  • by popo (107611) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:41AM (#17233098) Homepage
    How sad that this is news.
  • by Diomidis Spinellis (661697) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @05:21AM (#17234170) Homepage
    The site's design is a technical and usability disaster. It appears to be a mixture of JPEG page images grouped to look like a book, scanned documents in PDF format, huge PDF proofs complete with their crop marks, PDF files generated on the fly, and previously cached content. Opaque URLs, frames, gratuitous uses of Javascript, and botched internationalization complete the picture. A more simple design for the site would be a lot more usable and consume considerably less bandwidth and CPU power.

    Unfortunately, too often non-technical managers get to make technical decisions and supervise web development. They invariably go for eye candy, ignoring usability and performance issues. Publishing legacy formats on the web is not easy [uspto.gov], but the result really doesn't got to be this bad.

EARTH smog | bricks AIR -- mud -- FIRE soda water | tequila WATER

Working...