[LINK] Ars: 'Musopen raises $40, 000 to set classical music "free"'

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Tue Sep 14 16:12:05 EST 2010


On 2010/Sep/14, at 1:02 PM, Richard Chirgwin wrote:

>  Picking over a detail...
>
> On 14/09/10 11:54 AM, Roger Clarke wrote:
>> ['Setting music free' is an attractive catch-phrase, because it's
>> short.  But it's misleading.
>>
>> [Copyright in the sheet-music in question has already expired.  But
>> copyright automatically subsists in performances and recordings of  
>> it.
> Not quite ... the copyright over (say) a Beethoven *manuscript* has
> already expired, as it has over many versions of the sheet music.  
> But a
> new *edition* - say, a musicologist returning to the original
> manuscripts and correcting errors, revising or modernising marks and
> presentation, improving the pagination to make the work easier to
> perform, etc - is copyright to the person creating the new edition.
>
> Or at least, that's how I understand it!


I think this is on the edge of acceptability.  I believe the recording  
industry has tried schemes like this to maintain copyright -  
remastering recordings and in the US it has not been successful as a  
way of maintaining or gaining copyright over performances.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/11/about-those-beatles-songs-its-weirder-than-you-thought.ars
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091117/1157566973.shtml

Also of course the original music is still in the public domain.

-- 
Kim Holburn
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