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Copyright question (Schoenberg Serenade).

Posted: 05 Mar 2017, 21:57
by David Ward
I was surprised to find a (less than perfect) scan of the Wilhelm Hansen score of Schoenberg's Serenade Op 24 freely available as a download on the internet. Since Schoenberg died in 1951, the piece is copyright in the EC (including here in the UK) until the end of 2021. On the other hand, to buy the score appears to cost £52 (60€): rather a lot for a chamber piece, I think.

I seem to have lost (lent?) my copy of this score, to which I need to refer in connection with a possible project around Petrarch's sonnets (in the slightly whimsical English translation by J M Synge), so I'm in a bit of a quandary here…

Any advice, opinions?

Re: Copyright question (Schoenberg Serenade).

Posted: 06 Mar 2017, 12:06
by John Ruggero
Let your conscience be your guide.

Re: Copyright question (Schoenberg Serenade).

Posted: 06 Mar 2017, 18:01
by RMK
Schoenberg is PD in Canada, where the term is life plus 50 years. This is where the server you (probably) found it is based.

Re: Copyright question (Schoenberg Serenade).

Posted: 16 Apr 2017, 01:52
by DatOrganistTho
You must own the work and make the copy yourself, so long as you do not distribute it. Grabbing it off of someplace else if it is not your own is technically illegal (if you live in the USA).

Re: Copyright question (Schoenberg Serenade).

Posted: 26 Apr 2017, 19:11
by John Ruggero
DatOrganistTho wrote:
16 Apr 2017, 01:52
You must own the work and make the copy yourself, so long as you do not distribute it.
If I understand you correctly, DatOrganistTho, instead of scanning some copyrighted sheet music that I own so that I can have access to it on a computer, I can legally download it here in the USA from IMSLP even though it is only available for download legally in Canada. Is that really the case? And where would I find information confirming that?

Re: Copyright question (Schoenberg Serenade).

Posted: 02 Aug 2018, 03:36
by DatOrganistTho
John Ruggero wrote:
26 Apr 2017, 19:11
DatOrganistTho wrote:
16 Apr 2017, 01:52
You must own the work and make the copy yourself, so long as you do not distribute it.
If I understand you correctly, DatOrganistTho, instead of scanning some copyrighted sheet music that I own so that I can have access to it on a computer, I can legally download it here in the USA from IMSLP even though it is only available for download legally in Canada. Is that really the case? And where would I find information confirming that?
http://www.garciamusic.com/educator/art ... icles.html

Sorry for my extended absence.

IMSLP is a site that tries very hard to respect the various international and country treaties and laws regarding copyright. By far, the US is the worst offender for the life of copyright, no small thanks to Mickey and the folks at Disney. But, this puts us in a predicament.

In what detail have you read the Copyright Act of the US? You are only allowed to maintain property from a copyright perspective that you have purchased or that someone else has purchased and given to you or that you have acquired legally. This means that what you are making a copy of does not constitute a violation because you are maintaining permanent storage of what you rightfully own. Your owning a digital copy of a work that you have in your possession does not impact the market value of the work because you have legally acquired the material, and that you are storing it for private use. As soon as you make it public (either by sharing it with someone else, with a friend or colleague, or through other means other than for private storage) you ultimately break the law (This even goes for historic reprints like with what Dover does).

So, even though you own a copy of the work, to download a copy scanned from a website that is not private storage of your materials means that you are effectively downloading an illegal copy of that work. Someone else scanned that work from their own copy and provided a means for you to download it in a country which considers that work not in the public domain. You are not downloading your own copy, but someone else's version, which is highly illegal.

Now, is someone going to chase you down to decide whether or not your digital copy is the exact copy of the one in your possession or the one obtained illegally from a website? Very likely not. Is this about getting caught? No. It's about honoring the statutes that make up the disastrous legal land that is copyright and international copyright litigation. If you think any part of this is ridiculous, don't skirt the law, but inform your state representatives or country representatives that it's ridiculous.

Yes, it seems preposterous that the flick of a mouse click is all the difference between two things being legal/illegal. It was much simpler before the commercialization of music and public entertainment.

Re: Copyright question (Schoenberg Serenade).

Posted: 05 Aug 2018, 22:45
by John Ruggero
Thanks very much DatOrganistTho and welcome back!

Re: Copyright question (Schoenberg Serenade).

Posted: 09 Aug 2018, 09:22
by OCTO
DatOrganistTho wrote:
02 Aug 2018, 03:36
So, even though you own a copy of the work, to download a copy scanned from a website that is not private storage of your materials means that you are effectively downloading an illegal copy of that work. Someone else scanned that work from their own copy and provided a means for you to download it in a country which considers that work not in the public domain. You are not downloading your own copy, but someone else's version, which is highly illegal.
Hm, are you sure about that? I wonder how is a digital "thing" related to one particular person?
I have original scores (example: Penderecki), and also a PDF that I have downloaded in order to study it and write notes down (which I can digitally erase, not messing up my paper-score). How can just that PDF-"copy" be disconnect from my original (analog) score?

AFAIK, here in Sweden you are allowed to make a copy in order to preserve the material. Also, you are allowed make a copy in order to share with your family members (even CD, DVD). Many of my CDs have gone lost, because of the oxidation or what it is called, now I make all CD blank copies stored on an HDD (spinning drive!). Indeed, some of them I have downloaded after CDs have become unusable.

Re: Copyright question (Schoenberg Serenade).

Posted: 11 Aug 2018, 19:02
by DatOrganistTho
OCTO wrote:
09 Aug 2018, 09:22
DatOrganistTho wrote:
02 Aug 2018, 03:36
So, even though you own a copy of the work, to download a copy scanned from a website that is not private storage of your materials means that you are effectively downloading an illegal copy of that work. Someone else scanned that work from their own copy and provided a means for you to download it in a country which considers that work not in the public domain. You are not downloading your own copy, but someone else's version, which is highly illegal.
Hm, are you sure about that? I wonder how is a digital "thing" related to one particular person?
I have original scores (example: Penderecki), and also a PDF that I have downloaded in order to study it and write notes down (which I can digitally erase, not messing up my paper-score). How can just that PDF-"copy" be disconnect from my original (analog) score?

AFAIK, here in Sweden you are allowed to make a copy in order to preserve the material. Also, you are allowed make a copy in order to share with your family members (even CD, DVD). Many of my CDs have gone lost, because of the oxidation or what it is called, now I make all CD blank copies stored on an HDD (spinning drive!). Indeed, some of them I have downloaded after CDs have become unusable.
This is where copyright law breaks down (IMHO). If you own an original score of a work legally and you download it off of a server, you are not TECHNICALLY depreciating the market value per se, But you are downloading a file which was uploaded from a different IP, someone else's legal version, and you did not purchase the copy that the original scan qualifies for.

Here in America, preservation of materials is still murky territory. Most courts have been concerned with illegal distribution of rightly copyrighted works. This has boiled up in some litigation regarding free hosting sites, DMCA takedowns, and places like archive.org. For now, and as far as I've been able to see, personal preservation of materials is not a serious concern, but it might not be overlooked in the future.

I know there have been situations where digital stores and loopholes have been skirting copyright law, to the effect that those who have stored that material have, "the intention to preserve and not distribute" works, but copyright owners and litigators are still going after those sites.

So, the short end of this stick is basically: Don't do anything publicly, buy your copyrighted materials legally, and be reasonable about your storing habits. Does that make sense?

Re: Copyright question (Schoenberg Serenade).

Posted: 04 Sep 2018, 22:00
by MikeHalloran
DatOrganistTho wrote:
02 Aug 2018, 03:36

IMSLP is a site that tries very hard to respect the various international and country treaties and laws regarding copyright. By far, the US is the worst offender for the life of copyright...
Incorrect. It's Mexico @ 100 years

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_c ... ht_lengths
... no small thanks to Mickey and the folks at Disney.
Disney had little to do with this. The EU Parliament, however, did.

http://illusionofmore.com/mousetrap-cop ... eep-story/
In what detail have you read the Copyright Act of the US?
In my case, every word. I worked on it in 1976 and make my living enforcing some of its provisions.


I don't go into my work — perhaps when I retire in a few years. Any comments I make on the subject are likely to be accompanied by links.