Copyrights in modern editions

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Schneider
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Copyrights in modern editions

Post by Schneider » 27 Nov 2015, 08:16

~Pierre

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OCTO
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Re: Copyrights in modern editions

Post by OCTO » 30 Nov 2015, 08:56

If possible, publishers would like to have the unlimited copyright on everything. This is a pure economic question, not artistic. Unfortunately.

Usually the law is on their side: they use to publish urtexts, with some "Dr." prefaces, so that they can keep copyright of that publications for next 70 years.

But sure, if you retype that urtext by yourself, you can do whatever you want.
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Re: Copyrights in modern editions

Post by John Ruggero » 30 Nov 2015, 16:41

Are individuals ever prosecuted for disregard of the copyright laws regarding printed music? My impression is that they are not. If not, the laws would seem now to aimed primarily at publishing companies, to prevent one from pirating new music and new editions from another. To this extent the laws are working: Schirmer is not reprinting the New Mozart Edition.

I think that a legitimate urtext edition requires a lot of work in terms of research, editing, engraving etc. and deserves copyright protection. I also think that discerning musicians who know and honor the copyright laws know the difference between an edition that deserves copyright protection and one that doesn't. As the US Supreme Court Justice Potter famously said of hard-core pornography: "I know it when I see it."
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OCTO
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Re: Copyrights in modern editions

Post by OCTO » 01 Dec 2015, 08:48

John Ruggero wrote: I think that a legitimate urtext edition requires a lot of work in terms of research, editing, engraving etc. and deserves copyright protection.
Yes, correct John.

I was probably to bitter, having in mind publisher's intention to protect forever new publications.
But your thoughts have clearly very strong position.
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Re: Copyrights in modern editions

Post by John Ruggero » 01 Dec 2015, 16:44

Thank you, OCTO, for considering my opinion. I agree completely with you that copyright protection should not go on forever, and probably for a shorter time than is currently the law, especially for derivative works like editions of public domain music.
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Re: Copyrights in modern editions

Post by DatOrganistTho » 03 Feb 2016, 03:11

When I mention content creators, I am specifically referring to the multi-billion dollar media conglomerates known as Disney, Nintendo, NBC/Fox/ABC, et al. At the bottom of my comment is a quick reference to those with more common-sense concerns.

I think copyright, as a legal question, has gotten way out of hand. As I learned in my Music Business course in college, copyright was considered a way to attribute a work and provide a means of establishing arbitration should a dispute occur. It has since evolved into a privatization machine, creating propriety and notoriety above the actual work itself and making it some-what lucrative.

Copyright shifted to what we know now when Disney's poor-old Mickey was about to enter the public domain, and they wanted to retain the right to propriety because Mickey was, and is, so popular. So now we have what we have (at least in America) and it has lead to some things that I'd like to point out:
  • Obtaining copyright is now mainly about establishing propriety to the work's sale. This seems obvious, but this is very different from establishing attribution, which for all intents and purposes is about establishing a record of the author and their right to keep that record. Propriety covers the enforcement of that record and the companies right to restrict its availability to the public.
  • Copyright established that there was a reasonable amount of time after the creation of a work that the author had control over its dissemination and the terms of the dissemination, but derivatives of that work were up to the purchaser of that work. Now it is about restricting the freedom of ideas based on the propriety of said owner of the work for the sake of controlling the money which is made off of it. This is why we do not have spin-offs of Mickey Mouse, or popular-fiction spinning-off the Hunger Games.
  • Copyright used to recognize that there was a reasonable amount of time after the creation of the work that the particular work was lucrative, also factoring in the fact that it wouldn't be long afterwards that artistic renditions or adaptations of said work would appear. Now it abhors the idea of a content creator never directly (or otherwise) benefiting from or retaining rights unto derivations of their work.
All of this, in my opinion, can be proven by a few things:
  • Content creators do not control the re-sale of their products. This would be silly, as every re-sale book store would be shut down, and online retailers specializing in re-creation of texts or distributing used copies of out-of-print works would go straight into arbitration. Yet, this is the logical end-goal of Popular content creators like Disney: To control the ideas and derivations of their work. Their current grasp on the market would also collapse of the general public got wind of this logical end.
  • Many content creators (especially multi-million dollar ones) are pushing for intellectual property rights. "If we can control how we distribute, execute, and manipulate our content, why not enforce people's free use of it in private or public? Why not bind their conscience to only use it in a way that is fitting in our vision for that content?" This is also the logical end of current copyright standards.
  • By strictly controlling content and it's relative use in the public, content creators are artificially creating "bubbles" of profit and economies surrounding their work. Want to turn a profit? Convince the public that something made over 75 years ago will only be released once every 15 years in stunning quality to only never be seen again... because you "need" it. Overall this stifles creativity in those content creators, and overall new content quality plummets.
  • Content creators are not interested in the free market of ideas. Nintendo has, since it's release of it's Super Mario Maker, aggressively attacked and posted DCMA notices to websites that host videos of ROM hacks (modifications or enhancements of their games) of their games that they no longer produce and support. Why? because they have rights... right? Yes, they have the right to restrict content, but creative derivations of content are threats under the law to the status of any content creators right to monetary gain.
Overall here are a few observations:
  • The overall trajectory of current copyright standards in the US is on a path to utter insanity and buffoonery. This is well established in part by folks like Monsanto who, whether you like them or not, want to charge you money for the germination of their modified plants should their spores float onto your property.
  • It has been recently proven that piracy and other "unauthorized" derivations of content are actually driving some of the sales of said content UP, not down. Don't want to dump the money into seeing that movie that you can't decide on? Watch it online, and see for yourself. Liked it a lot? Go buy the DVD! (FYI I don't condone piracy in anyway and I discourage it wherever I can, and I believe that there is certainly abuse in the system which is not ethical).
  • Beyond about 25-30 years, the economic usefulness of a work begins to dramatically wane, unless you have artificial control of the content secured beyond the next generation or two.
  • I was unsure of all of this until I examined the practice of publishers and engravers before modern copyright. What I've noticed is that the publishers had many ways of driving people to buy the music/products and were very creative in the sale and marketing of the music. They did not rely on the artificial incentive of the law to control the market. Also, in this system some of the best music was stylistically and often creatively copied from other composers.
  • I do not want to communicate that I am happy with any level of pirating or unauthorized attribution of a work. It is neither ethically nor morally right. I want to emphasize the usefulness of basic copyright law, and a reasonable amount of room to arbitrate disputes. But, what we have today in terms of copyright, in my opinion, far exceeds the design and scope of copyright and severely limits or stifles creativity and cultural engagement.
EDIT: Word choices, confusing grammar, etc.
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John Ruggero
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Re: Copyrights in modern editions

Post by John Ruggero » 03 Feb 2016, 14:43

I think that the internet has equalized the playing field between public and private interests. The freedom of access to content of all kinds now available, much of it supposedly under copyright protection, was undreamt of just a few years ago. I would say that we are in a era that is close to the pre-copyright era in protecting creators. And those times, when composers had to deal with numerous inaccurate pirated editions of their music, were not so great either.

I agree that large corporations have too much power and influence, but what else is new? Vote for _______ and our problems will be over!
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Re: Copyrights in modern editions

Post by OCTO » 03 Feb 2016, 14:53

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Re: Copyrights in modern editions

Post by DatOrganistTho » 03 Feb 2016, 23:59

John Ruggero wrote:I think that the internet has equalized the playing field between public and private interests. The freedom of access to content of all kinds now available, much of it supposedly under copyright protection, was undreamt of just a few years ago. I would say that we are in a era that is close to the pre-copyright era in protecting creators. And those times, when composers had to deal with numerous inaccurate pirated editions of their music, were not so great either.

I agree that large corporations have too much power and influence, but what else is new? Vote for _______ and our problems will be over!
Yes, often politics is the "gift that keeps on giving." But your observation of the internet was what I find comfort in: It is getting us even closer to a place where society and freedom of thought in artistic fervor is ever nearer to our hearts.
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Re: Copyrights in modern editions

Post by DatOrganistTho » 04 Feb 2016, 00:00


Wonderful link. Thanks for sharing!
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