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Provider of Free Public Domain Music Shuts Down 242

Posted by Zonk
from the why-do-people-hate-the-word-free-so-much dept.
Mark Rogers writes "The International Music Score Library Project has provided access to copies of many musical scores that are in the public domain. It has just been shut down due to a cease-and-desist letter sent to the site operator by a European Union music publisher (Universal Edition). A majority of the scores recently available at IMSLP were in the public domain worldwide. Other scores were not in the public domain in the United States or the EU (where copyright extends for 70 years after the composer's death), but were legal in Canada (where the site is hosted) and many other countries. The site's maintainers clearly labeled the copyright status of such scores and warned users to follow their respective country's copyright law. Apparently this wasn't enough for Universal Edition, who found it necessary to protect the interests of their (long-dead) composers and shut down a site that has proved useful to many students, professors, and other musicians worldwide."
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Provider of Free Public Domain Music Shuts Down

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Once I'm dead.
    • Once I'm dead.

      The day the music died is many. Some die sooner, some die later. Any day the music dies is a sad day.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        At least when I die, my producers can still profit from my music. Isn't that why I create it in the first place?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Endo13 (1000782)
          Wow. Just wow. This kind of bullshit really makes my blood boil. This shows how completely broken copyright is now.

          Copyright duration really needs to be chopped down to 10 years, with a total maximum of 15 possible after a 5-year extension. NO copyright at all would be a hundred times better than the crap we have now.
  • Not again.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Adradis (1160201) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @01:05AM (#21060777)
    Once again, the music industry hammers down people, even when they have no legal standing in the country. Pretty pathetic.
    • even when they have no legal standing in the country

      I never went to the site but depending on how it worked, the labels could have had a strong argument to take the owner to court in the U.S. They'd probably use the importing the works into the U.S., "targeting" consumers that in the U.S., etc. I'm sure Canada and the U.S. have agreements to enforce judgments over the borders.
      • Re:Not again.... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Kadin2048 (468275) * <`ten.yxox' `ta' `nidak.todhsals'> on Sunday October 21, 2007 @02:36AM (#21061111) Homepage Journal

        even when they have no legal standing in the country

        I never went to the site but depending on how it worked, the labels could have had a strong argument to take the owner to court in the U.S. They'd probably use the importing the works into the U.S., "targeting" consumers that in the U.S., etc. I'm sure Canada and the U.S. have agreements to enforce judgments over the borders.
        I'm not really sure how you think that would work. If you allowed that, you'd open the door to any country enforcing its copyright laws on every other country, simply because the content was potentially accessible to someone in their nation. That's a hell of a can of worms to open, because copyright laws vary wildly between countries -- in the E.U., for instance, you can copyright databases in ways that are not deemed valid in the U.S.

        You might be able to find a lower court judge stupid enough to rule that was initially (there are a lot of judges, and by definition, that means there are at least some really bad ones), but I can't imagine that it wouldn't be overturned on appeal.

        I think the really sad thing here is that the operators of the site don't have either the will or the resources to fight this to its conclusion. So therefore, as usual, the case is not being decided on anything approaching the merits, but simply by the might of deep pockets.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by PopeRatzo (965947) *

          So therefore, as usual, the case is not being decided on anything approaching the merits, but simply by the might of deep pockets.
          I'm afraid this is now the way of the world when corporations are more powerful than governments, and educated people see "The Free Market" as omnipotent.
        • Re:Not again.... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by ultranova (717540) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @07:56AM (#21062405)

          If you allowed that, you'd open the door to any country enforcing its copyright laws on every other country, simply because the content was potentially accessible to someone in their nation.

          Isn't that the whole point with "harmonizing" copyright laws between nations - to make copyright law everywhere to be the superset of all copyright laws anywhere ?

          Take the longest copyright duration anywhere, combine it with the widest scope, nastiest punishments, least consumer rights, etc. and you have the global copyright law the harmonizers are pushing for.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by bbc (126005)

            Isn't that the whole point with "harmonizing" copyright laws between nations - to make copyright law everywhere to be the superset of all copyright laws anywhere ?

            Yes. And no. Copyright harmonization between countries is always done in such a way that you still have something to harmonize towards. A harmonization round, at least in the perverted minds of the likes of WIPO and the large publishers, should always overshoot a little.

            To give you an example: recently (late 1990s?) the US harmonized its copyright

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by budgenator (254554)
          well that can of worms has been blown open:
          they are suing that the scores are copyrighted
          for 70 years after the authors death in Europe and 50 in Canada,
          that he is responsible for any infringement because he the admin, that because it's possible to implement a IP address filtering system to restrict access to persons based on their countries of origin, he responsible to do so in order to restrict access based on the country of origin's laws and that they are going to sue him in Europe and Canada will enforc
        • Re:Not again.... (Score:4, Informative)

          by DustyShadow (691635) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @11:15AM (#21063587) Homepage
          Actually it does happen all the time. It's called personal jurisdiction. Look it up. If the court finds that the site had the "minimum contacts" in the US, then they'd have jurisdiction over them. Do you not think that the U.S. should be able to target people who illegally import goods to the U.S.? Why should we prejudice our own citizens who are harmed by those outside the U.S. if those that did the harm were purposely targeting Americans? How do you think the victims of bombings that took place outside the U.S. were able to sue Osama bin Laden in a U.S. court? (yes, kind of a pointless suit on other grounds) Every country does have laws like this. Why do you think the U.S. was able to have that British hacker who hacked in the DOD systems a couple years back?

          In fact, it's happening a lot write now in Britain where people who don't like books that are written about them are suing the author in court in Britain for defamation, even though the book was never sold and never intended to be sold in Britain. The people bringing the suit simply go to Amazon and buy a few copies. Read about it here. [nytimes.com]

          The reason I said "it depends on how the site works" is because the Supreme Court has already looked at the issue of personal jurisdiction and websites in the Pavlovich case, the guy who made the LiVid website that dealt with DeCSS and DVDs with Linux. There was no jurisdiction in that case but the court said if the website was more interactive and targeted people in California then there would have been. So, if this site had targeted Americans, then yes, they could have had PJ in the U.S.

          With all that said, i think it's pretty shitty to do that to this guy.
      • Re:Not again.... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Fred_A (10934) <`fred' `at' `fredshome.org'> on Sunday October 21, 2007 @02:52AM (#21061175) Homepage

        I never went to the site but depending on how it worked, the labels could have had a strong argument to take the owner to court in the U.S. They'd probably use the importing the works into the U.S., "targeting" consumers that in the U.S., etc. I'm sure Canada and the U.S. have agreements to enforce judgments over the borders.
        With that argument, the DEA should routinely raid the Coffee Shops in Amsterdam because, you know, some US tourists actually go there.
        • Re:Not again.... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @06:28AM (#21061981) Journal

          With that argument, the DEA should routinely raid the Coffee Shops in Amsterdam because, you know, some US tourists actually go there.
          Internet's a little fuzzy on those kinds of issues. It also be equated with the DEA routinely raiding Coffee Shops in Amsterdam because they export drugs to the US.
          • by TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @09:14AM (#21062727) Journal
            Just great. I got modded redundant. Since there are no other posts on this thread expressing this view, I can only assume that that view in particular has now been unofficially declared redundant. Apparently we need to find continually more original ways of breaking the constant, redundant flow of groupthink, because as soon as a certain view (that of course isn't part of the groupthink, which is never, ever redundant) more than a few times, it's redundant. Sometimes moderation seems to be just another way for people to stick their heads in the sand. I just hoped that an intelligent group of people, especially one so committed to the principles of free speech, would be different.
        • For the love of all that is holy, PLEASE do not give them any ideas!!!
  • In whose name? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blind biker (1066130) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @01:08AM (#21060785) Journal
    In whose name is Universal Edition stirring up this sh*t? In the name of composers that definitely would HAVE deservED the recognition while they were alive? Now that they are dead, if you believe in afterlife, what are the odds that they want their work to fatten a fat-cat? Wouldn't they rather want for their work to be as widespread as possible, that many people would enjoy their music?

    I guess dead people don't put all that much emphasis on money loss due to copyright violation.
  • by darkhitman (939662) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @01:08AM (#21060789)
    The composers whose music was listed here, or the Universal Edition's business model?
  • Doing it wrong (Score:4, Insightful)

    by quokkapox (847798) <quokkapox@gmail.com> on Sunday October 21, 2007 @01:22AM (#21060843)

    Modern global society is doing it wrong. The current regime of patents and copyrights is completely outdated and old-fashioned. Global digital communication has made copyright irrelevant, and it's absurd to think you can patent an idea.

    I can only hope we'll look back on these early decades of the 21th century and laugh at how silly our laws were.

    I'm going outside now to watch the Orionids. Good thing you can't copyright an experience.

    • by Cecil (37810) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @01:25AM (#21060855) Homepage
      I'm going outside now to watch the Orionids. Good thing you can't copyright an experience.
      ... Yet.
    • Before there were patents there were guilds and these guilds have trade secrets that they jealously guarded out of fear of losing their exclusive meal ticket. Patents, because the schematics are public records, discourage this behavior. This is a good thing because it means that the knowledge is less likely to be lost and will enter the public domain "soon." At least, that's the ideal.

      Now, is the patent system as presently constituted anywhere close to an ideal solution to this problem? Not on your life. Th
      • by compro01 (777531)
        and also they need to raise the requirement for disclosure in patents. it is completely impossible to replicate the item in question from a lot of modern patents because they lack a lot of the information that ought to be required.
      • by BillyBlaze (746775) <tomfelker@gmail.com> on Sunday October 21, 2007 @03:43AM (#21061389)
        I'd add software to the list of things that shouldn't be patented. Even if we fix the obviousness problem, the patents still wouldn't be achieving their goal. The language of patents is purposefully made even more inscrutable than machine code, so as to be as general as possible while divulging as little as possible. The result is that software patents don't contain the equivalent of "schematics" for physical processes or designs. It's far easier to guess or infer the block diagrams than to coax them from the language of the patent, so never actually look to patents to implement anything.

        Clearly the real "schematics" of software are source code. If English could capture software's function as well, we'd all be out of a job. So to adequately do their job, software patents would need to include full source code and accompanying documentation. But since source code is indisputably covered under copyright law, the patent system would thus become more of a source code escrow system, mandatory for copyright protection. The real question is whether the trade secret nature of proprietary source code is a big enough problem to warrant the incredible added overhead of such a system. I don't think it is.

        In short, copyright serves the industry well enough, with minimal overhead. Patents cause more problems than they fix, and their overhead excludes basement coders, the modern equivalent of garage inventors. The best way to fix the patent system is to push it back into physical realms where it can do some good. The tech industry can do just fine without them, thanks.

    • by jd (1658) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <kapimi>> on Sunday October 21, 2007 @03:22AM (#21061299) Homepage Journal
      I'm going outside now to watch the Orionids. Good thing you can't copyright an experience.

      Dear Quokkapox,

      Your experience of the Orionids is clearly derived in part from one of the movies either produced, being produced, or considered for being produced in light of this experience, and is thus infringing on our copyrights somehow. We insist that you cease and desist in your observations immediately and buy a stackload of crappy and expensive movies instead.

      Yours insincerely,

      The MPAA Division of Inquisitors, a CIA Interrogator Production

  • by belmolis (702863) <billposer AT alum DOT mit DOT edu> on Sunday October 21, 2007 @01:22AM (#21060847) Homepage

    I don't understand why the site is being taken down. The publisher's demands would be satisfied by removing the scores still under copyright in the EU. As I understand it, the copyright status of these scores is noted, so presumably it wouldn't be a difficult job to identify and remove those just those scores. And since, according to the article, most of the scores on the site are out of copyright everywhere, removing those still under copyright in the EU, while regrettable, would not destroy the utility of the site. The cease-and-desist letter is annoying, but I don't see that it should require taking down the site.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Korveck (1145695)
      I agree. I think the owner just took the easy way out instead of spending the time and efforts to satisfy the terms.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 21, 2007 @02:10AM (#21061025)
      Hi! I am the spokesperson for the IMSLP owner, and I would like to direct your attention to the following post made, for a (rather) complete list of reasons why IMSLP is down:

      http://imslpforums.org/viewtopic.php?p=3082#3082 [imslpforums.org]
      • It seems pretty clear that the model the site was under was not what it should be to carry such responsibility.

        As has been noted, maintenance of the site became overwhelming and the second C&D was only the straw that broke an already overloaded camel back.

        I see no reason for the site to not come back, but under a different maintenance model along with user agreements/registrations to access
        works not worldwide public domain, effectively making reasonable effort to provide restrictions where needed.

        Public
      • Maybe you can implement IP->Geo, generate some secure tokens for access to downloads, and issue tokens based on copyright by geo. I don't know if you're using a CDN or serving the files yourself, but most CDNs have token solutions you can leverage, and if you're hosting yourself it's probably not too hard to build, even if it takes a few days.

        Hope you find a way.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by suv4x4 (956391)
      I don't understand why the site is being taken down. The publisher's demands would be satisfied by removing the scores still under copyright in the EU. As I understand it, the copyright status of these scores is noted, so presumably it wouldn't be a difficult job to identify and remove those just those scores.

      Reasons:

      1. If they don't act immediately, it could be argued later in court they acted in bad faith delaying taking down the offending materials. The site will be off temporarily until all offending ma
    • by maiki (857449) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @02:19AM (#21061055)
      If you take a gander at the IMSLP website, the former project leader listed a couple reasons why (well, kind of the same reason, reiterated several times):

      I became painfully aware of the fact that I, a normal college student, has[sic] neither the energy nor the money necessary to deal with this issue in any other way than to agree with the cease and desist, and take down the entire site.

      I also understand very well that the cease and desist letter does not call for a take down of the entire site, but, as I said above, I very unfortunately simply do not have the energy or money necessary to implement the terms in the cease and desist in any other way. Prior to this cease and desist I was already overloaded with server maintenance and the implementation of new features

      Another major reason behind me taking the server down is the fact...that I can no longer support IMSLP adequately
      so basically, he doesn't have energy or money to either change what was demanded of him, or to otherwise maintain the site anymore. However, he did preface his entire spiel with this, in big bold letters:

      UPDATE: Due to demand, I strongly encourage any organization willing to support a continuation of IMSLP to contact me at imslp@imslp.org
    • They don't care about the law, they only care about getting their pound of flesh.
    • by langelgjm (860756)
      Blocking access from said regions would be nice, but I don't understand why he should have to take down scores just because they're still under copyright in another country or the EU. What gives the EU the right to enforce its laws in Canada? What's the point of copyright laws that vary between countries, then? Do we have to respect the copyright law of each and every country? What if Sealand decides works in its jurisdiction are under copyright forever?
    • by sconeu (64226)
      Because if it isn't taken down, then those dead composers won't have any incentive to compose more music.
  • by etymxris (121288) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @01:22AM (#21060849)
    Based on the summary, I thought his ISP had shut him down. Rather, it seems he just caved. Since Canada is not part of the EU, what weight could such a C&D have?
    • by belmolis (702863)

      The letter is from the publisher's Canadian representative and objects to the distribution of scores that are still under copyright in Canada. Furthermore, insofar as the site is available to people in the EU, the publisher can claim that it is engaged in copyright violation in the EU and take legal action in the EU resulting in a judgment that would be enforceable in Canada.

      • by Firehed (942385)
        And as a member under my household, the copyright laws that I've recently shat out apply to any content I can access from within said household - which is to effectively say that I own the entire internet.

        Come on now. If the servers and the administrators are located in Canada, then the EU's copyright model should not apply, any more than international tourists can ignore local laws and only obey those of their native country while abroad. It would work in reverse, too - since Africa can get online, prett
    • by Geof (153857) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @01:43AM (#21060923) Homepage

      Allow me to quote someone named Carolus [imslpforums.org] on the IMSLP site's forums:

      1. Canada's judicial system is generally very sympathetic to rulings issued by EU magistrates. Ironically, the USA is considerably more resistant (at least in places) to such meddling by judicial ideologues and corporatist cronies who like to impose their rules on people halfway around the world. Other countries with life-plus-50 terms, like South Korea, are not at all likely to abide by EU pontifications. IMSLP has a strong case, but it was by no means guaranteed that Canadian courts would be sympathetic.
      2. The UE threat was probably just the leading edge for a series of legal threats from a consortium of large European publishers. IMSLP has been under discussion as a major threat in the newsletter of a EU publishers' asscoiation - which has been reported in the American Music Publishers Assocation newsletter. (Curiously, most US publishers are either unaware of IMSLP or don't care.)
      3. IMSLP has grown so huge that its administration and management are really beyond the capabilities of a single person plus several trusty and reliable helpers. The time has really come for IMSLP to be re-constituted in a more institutional form, like Gutenberg or Wikipedia, or perhaps taken over by a consortium of music libraries.
      4. Life-plus-70 is no guarantee. As you can see from the list, there are no less than four composers listed in the C & D letter who have been dead for over 70 years. This could have been sheer stupidity and arrogance on UE's part, or these composers could still be protected in Austria by some sort of special provision in that country's copyright law.

      This was just one person providing a public service... uh, sorry, competing unfairly with the copyright cartel.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by derailedcat (1177247)
      Well, he *did* ignore their first C&D and only shut down after consulting with lawyers. I would be scared too, if I was a sole proprietor of a website with all my personal assets seizable to pay for potential court fees and fines.

      That's how corporations usually coerce individuals. The best thing to do IMHO is to incorporate anything you do to protect yourself as an individual. An LLC is cheap and low maintenance, and if it gets sued, in the worst case you have to shut it down, but you as an individual a
      • by belmolis (702863)

        Sure, but in that case it seems to me that the right thing to do is not permanently shut down the site but shut it down temporarily to avoid legal action and ask the community to help reorganize. Create a corporation to run the site so that the individuals involved won't be liable, raise a little money for hosting and if necessary legal advice, and enlist some volunteers so that one person doesn't have to do all the work. It seems that this site has a lot of users and supporters so that it wouldn't be that

        • by scgops (598104)
          Creating a corporation is a lot of work and wouldn't lesson the guy's problems. If you are the head of a corporation, and someone sues the corporation, who do you think has to hire a lawyer and go to court?
          • by belmolis (702863)

            Yes, it would lessen his problems: he would no longer be personally liable. That is one of the main reasons for forming a corporation. And he wouldn't necessarily have to be the one to do the work. If there is money for staff, a staff member can hire the lawyer. If there isn't, another volunteer might do it.

    • by scgops (598104) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @02:43AM (#21061141)
      Seriously.

      I never heard of the site or the operator before this story, but a quick read of his forum makes it pretty clear the guy was already worn out from the workload of maintaining the site. He would have walked away sooner or later. The cease and desist letter merely hastened the inevitable.

      Fan sites and other labors of love nearly always evolve into large and larger doses of labor with decreasing amounts of joy and love. The sites days were numbered long ago.

      -DaveU
      • That was true even before the Internet went public. I ran a large BBS at one point (sixteen lines, basement full of computers) and there was a time when I suffered a severe case of sysop burnout. We eventually became a pay operation, but I gotta tell you, keeping all the line servers up, updating the file library, making sure the email was flowing (we were on all the major mail relay networks, and unlike most other boards we ran mail updates every quarter hour) was a lot of work. At one point, I just said "
  • Prior Art (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @01:26AM (#21060863)
    Could not the existing public domain music melody sequences be compared to current copyrighted works and be shown to have already be written in public domain music?

    They are suing for 12 sequence notes these days- I think it is likely that many 12 sequence notes are already public domain. All it needs is some computer crunching between still copyrighted songs and public domain songs to compare them.
    • by jimicus (737525)
      This has already been discussed elsewhere.

      IIRC, the conclusion was that when you account for the fact that not all combinations of notes are ever going to work musically, it is mathematically impossible to write a truly original piece of music.

      Unfortunately I can't find a citation for that, so you'll have to either take my word for it, be better at searching than I am or conclude I'm speaking rubbish.
  • by Roger Wilcox (776904) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @01:30AM (#21060879)
    Choose to get all your favorite media products from the kind, anonymous repository of media on the Internet. Not only can you find your favorite popular media for free, but you can also do so without unwittingly sponsoring the Mafiaa and the other dickcheese that keep pushing the ever-oppressive envelope on copyright law.

    I fully intend to avoid shelling a single dime to any of these asshats for as long as I shall live. They're obviously not playing fair, so why should I?
  • by trolltalk.com (1108067) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @01:34AM (#21060893) Homepage Journal

    "where copyright extends for 70 years after the composer's death"

    ... Change copyright to 20 years or less; this gives them a reason to keep producing quality, rather than turning out like this Pop-Tart [befuddle.co.uk].

    • In the U.S., back a few centuries ago, some fairly bright people realized that it's not healthy to let people lock up assets in trusts that last either forever, or effectively forever. And so they created rules against these types of perpetual financial instruments, which are commonly known as 'perpetuities,' and created a hard limit on how long you can lock assets away: usually the life of the person creating the trust, plus 18 or 21 years (figuring that's the longest possible time that it would take for t
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cpt kangarooski (3773)
        I believe you'll find that the rule against perpetuities is of English origin. The US is better known for being early in abolishing the fee tail.

        Somehow, though, we've never viewed Copyright in this same light

        Copyright originated from this manner of thinking. May I suggest you read this paper [ssrn.com] about the origins of copyright, particularly in the US. I enjoyed it a lot. I would also fight very hard against life+18. For some works, 15 years is far too long. A modest quantity of very short terms (e.g. 1-2 year t
  • This is the sort of morally right but legally wrong (in some places) service that ought to move into an anonymously-hosted service such as Freenet. There are several caveats to this tho -- it only works for a community-supported decentralized project, it's harder to maintain, and it's a tacit admission that the activities are impermissible in some locales. On the other hand, there are some things -- works of art in public domain, classic texts, referential materials, unpopular political speech, and the like
  • Of course now if anyone really pushes the matter and shows how clearly retarded and one-sided this is, the RIAA/MPAA etc... will push a lot harder for a unified copyright system just as horrid as the USA's is now. Only this time they will have the excuse of preventing similar occurances liek this in the future.
  • ...maybe something like the Kad Network. Decentralised, and almost completely untraceable. Create a date marked tarball of the website, and put it up. Then host a SHA256 checksum for the file on IRC somewhere, to prevent big media compromising your trust by distributing files claimed to be from you but containing viruses. They do this on P2P in order to try and deter people from using it.

    Whenever you've got changes/new scores, upload another version of the tarball. You could either create a private mai
  • Apparently this wasn't enough for Universal Edition, who found it necessary to protect the interests of their (long-dead) composers and shut down a site that has proved useful to many students, professors, and other musicians worldwide
    You guys and your life-ist bias! If I were promoting the music of dead musicians, the last thing I'd want is competition from live musicians, so I'd have shut down this site too.
  • by m2943 (1140797) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @04:12AM (#21061531)
    If you read their letter, they didn't ask him to shut down, they asked him to filter his IP addresses to prohibit accesses from regions where their copyright is still in force. That seems like a reasonable request to me.

    The reason he shut down was because he considered that too much work. I'm sorry, but downloading a geolocation database and using it to filter requests is not a lot of work. In fact, from his remarks, it sounds like running the server was just becoming too much work in general and this was simply the final straw.

    It think it's stupid that they the publishers still hold the copyright, but that's an issue to be taken up with the legislatures. The fact that they have these rights in Europe is clear, and it's reasonable for them to try to enforce them.
    • by smurfsurf (892933)
      > they asked him to filter his IP addresses to prohibit accesses from regions where their
      > copyright is still in force. That seems like a reasonable request to me.

      Say you have images on your website that show people drinking alcohol. Now some organisation from a foreign jurisdiction asks you to filter access to these images for visitors from said region. Would you do it? Is it a reasonable request to follow? Setting things up and keeping the system current does not come for free. And there is the ques
      • by m2943 (1140797)
        Would you do it? Is it a reasonable request to follow? Setting things up and keeping the system current does not come for free. And there is the question if you should do it at all.

        He is Canadian and bound by Canadian law. Canadian law recognizes and enforces European copyrights in Canada. So, yes, he should do it. If, on the other hand, I were in a situation where I wasn't bound by law to enforce it, then I wouldn't enforce it.
        • by MeNeXT (200840)
          You read too much in this. Canadian law does not care about European copyrights. The risk is that the judge might side with the European position which would require continued litigation. As a student he does not have the resources to pay his way through this fight.
    • by zotz (3951)
      "If you read their letter, they didn't ask him to shut down, they asked him to filter his IP addresses to prohibit accesses from regions where their copyright is still in force. That seems like a reasonable request to me."

      Would it not be more reasonable to ask for the filtering to be done closer to home? Ask ISPs in their jurisdictions where their laws apply to filter his IP addresses.

      (Not that I think either is all that reasonable mind you. I am making no claims as to that.)

      all the best,

      drew

      http://openphot [openphoto.net]
      • Which would you be more livid about?

        A. Going to a website only to be told by the site itself that due to copyright laws in your country it won't allow you to see the page.
        B. Trying to go to a website only to be told by your ISP that due to copyright law they won't let you go there.

        I know I'd personally much prefer A, not to mention it's a much easier solution to implement. Think of how crowded the front page would be here with "OMG! Censorship!" stories if B were implemented.
        • by zotz (3951)
          "Which would you be more livid about?"

          That's not really the point. The point is more who should bear the costs of implementing a country's laws... Entities in other countries? Or entities in the same country? One who may have some influence in getting the laws changed if the costs are too high.

          Who do you think should shoulder the burden? And should you choose those in your situation A... should it only apply in cases of copyright law and no other laws?

          all the best,

          drew

          http://openphoto.net/gallery/index.html [openphoto.net]
  • Not again ... (Score:3, Informative)

    by guerby (49204) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @04:55AM (#21061699) Homepage
    This is unfortunately not a first, the canadian site "Classiques des Sciences Sociale" collecting social science texts was threatened in 2003 by a french editor over works public domain for 50 but not in 70: the story is here (in french) [classiques.uqac.ca]. After a big fuss, the editor went away, but copyright owners never learn...
  • So we now live in a world where the effective copyright term is the maximum anywhere in the world? Do this transfer to other parts of the justice system also, as long as we add "on the internet"? What kind of nonsensical idiocy is this? Say the Taliban make it punishable by death use the internet, should we now honor their requests for people to be killed in the West, and if not, why do we honor requests from fucktards from the "why produce when we can live on the work of someone who's been dead 69 years."?

    • Say the Taliban make it punishable by death use the internet, should we now honor their requests for people to be killed in the West...

      With international treaties on "intellectual property" they are moving that way. And when they've moved, they'll do what they do now with existing law: let you walk if you are a big criminal, but throw you in jail for forty years or kill you if you're small, powerless or in some way have pissed off the powers that be.

      It's going to take a huge effort, decades maybe, for t

  • by mbone (558574) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @09:09AM (#21062705)
    There is little about copyright that would not be substantially improved by a return to 28 year terms.

    Under copyright, these works belong to the public, that is, all of us. To lock them away for multiple lifetimes is, simply put, stealing
    from the public. It is a corruption of the original intent, brought about by a few people beholden to industry negotiating international treaties
    largely in secret. Unless the rot at the center of the current copyright system is fixed, eventually the public will turn away from copyright, which will be a shame.
  • Expert Opinion (Score:4, Informative)

    by Hemogoblin (982564) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @10:43AM (#21063311)
    Michael Geist, the lawyer, weighs in on the issue [michaelgeist.ca]

    In this particular case, UE demanded that the site use IP addresses to filter out non-Canadian users, arguing that failing to do so infringes both European and Canadian copyright law. It is hard to see how this is true given that the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that sites such as IMSLP are entitled to presume that they are being used in a lawful manner and therefore would not rise to the level of authorizing infringement. The site was operating lawfully in Canada and there is no positive obligation in the law to block out non-Canadians.

    As for a European infringement, if UE is correct, then the public domain becomes an offline concept, since posting works online would immediately result in the longest single copyright term applying on a global basis. That can't possibly be right. Canada has chosen a copyright term that complies with its international obligations and attempts to import longer terms - as is the case here - should not only be rejected but treated as copyright misuse.
  • Universal Edition are Bastards, who obviously feel that the whole world has to follow their own local country laws.

    The International Music Score Library Project are Cowards, for not standing up for their legal rights in their own country.

    I always thought that Canada prided themselves on not being either the USA, or Europe. They sure sound like both now.

  • So, this begs a curious question: How much of this is in the Internet Archive?

    Also: How much can be saved out from there and rehosted in a much safer (e.g. Sweden, Russia...) country?

    After all, if you can't shut down spammers, this must be able to survive somewhere.

    Lastly: Why not only remove the affected songs?

    IANAL, but C&D letters are very cheap to send. They are often sent with no justification at all. When one comes from a whole 'nuther country, that can't be the scariest thing.

  • Since IMSLP is down, I haven't been able to see how big their collection was or what it was like, but it sounds like it was scans of PD sheet music. While that could be very useful, it's obviously preferable to have your music in a format such as lilypond that you can edit. For example, I'm a violist, and right now I'm working on the prelude from one of the Bach cello suites. Once the score was in lilypond format, it was trivial to transpose it up an octave and put it in C clef. Then I was able to change th
  • Come on, let's reserve the word "censorship" for places where it really applies: where one party wants to prevent anyone from accessing particular material, because they consider said material to be harmful to their goals if viewed by others. The core is a desire to keep people ignorant of the information, not to make money off it. In this case, the source of the cease and desist would probably be glad to sell you whatever copyrighted material was on the site.
  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @03:19PM (#21065567)
    The whole problem here was and has continued to be unwarranted extensions to the concept of copyright, brought about by greedy corporations.

    The original Copyrights were like patents: 17 years. That was to give incentive to the creators of original works, who could sell them for a limited time, before the work became public domain. But copyrights were put there to encourage creators to create works for the public good, because it eventually did pass to the public. The problem was, if the public just took original works, then there was no incentive for the creative types to create. Thus Copyright law.

    And the concepts of Fair Use allowed the public and schools to use even copyrighted materials in certain circumstances, again for the public good.

    It was never intended, originally, that all rights to works should be held, essentially forever, by private parties. That is a complete bastardization of the whole concept.

    It was designed to be only temporary, just like patents. Then greedy people got it extended to the life of the creator. And then more. And now, life plus 70 years! Which in many cases is more than the lifetime of a member of the general public. And the DMCA has been used to even stifle university research if that research would endanger someone's copyright! What a crock!

    How can that possibly be in the public interest???

    If we went back to the old system, 17 years or even compromise and say 30 or 35... a whole lot of these "problems" surrounding copyrights would just GO AWAY!!!

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