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Censorship Media Music

Provider of Free Public Domain Music Re-Opens 142

Chip Zoller writes "This community took note when the International Music Score Library Project shut down last October, and when Project Gutenberg stepped in to help three days later. I would like to alert you all that our site, IMSLP, has re-opened to the public for good after a 10-month hiatus. All the news updates in the interim can be found linked to the main page. We take great pride in re-opening as it demonstrates our willpower to make the masterpieces of history free to the world; and moreover to make manifest that we will not be bullied by publishers sporting outrageous claims of copyright in a country where they clearly are expired."
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Provider of Free Public Domain Music Re-Opens

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  • I have to say it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @05:05AM (#24013231)

    Good luck with that.

    No, really, I mean it. Be prepared to fight the music mafia, worse than you have before. After all, you are presenting a very nasty precedent for them, that copyright on music actually expires and that people can and do make use of it without even asking them first.

    I'm certain, though, that their response will be tu purchase a law that extends copyright in your country, too.

  • Fantastic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by apodyopsis ( 1048476 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @05:23AM (#24013291)

    I, for one, would like to thank and congratulate.

    There is no reason why anybody should not be able to download and print copyright free works from 150 years ago, I do - and I am very grateful indeed for the opportunity. Quite apart from that this is a matter of principle - to fight the insidious attempts by labels and corporations to extend copyright and hence earn money even after the original artist is sadly no longer with us.

    Now, if only my piano skills were more up to some of the music. Sigh.

  • by dido ( 9125 ) <`dido' `at' `imperium.ph'> on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @06:02AM (#24013429)

    I tried to get the score for the Dies Irae for Mozart's Requiem in D Minor (K. 626). I got this instead:

    You have reached this page because the file you requested has not been reviewed for copyright, or is currently restricted due to technical reasons.

    A significant portion of the original IMSLP is still pending copyright review, so expect the number of blocked files to decrease dramatically in the next few months after IMSLP reopening. More details on how to spot a blocked file without having to click on it will be released here very soon.

    Maybe they should have waited a couple more months when this type of message gets less common.

  • Lilypond (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ageforce_ ( 719072 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @06:10AM (#24013471)
    Sad they do not promote Lilypond more. Many PDFs on the site have been typeset using Lilypond, but only the PDFs are available.
    Lilypond: http://lilypond.org/ [lilypond.org]
  • Re:I have to say it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wrook ( 134116 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @06:20AM (#24013525) Homepage

    I don't think anyone can really claim to own Bach's Brandenburg Concertos written almost 300 years ago.

    You'd think so wouldn't you. But what they do is get an "expert" to reinterpret the score every few years. They write notes, modify some things, etc, etc. I'm not musician, so I can't really comment, but some musician friends of mine really believe that the "new" scores have value.

    Anyway, these new reinterpretations have valid copyright. Yes, you can play the ones from 100 years ago, but as one of my friends said, "Why would you want to. They're horrible." Again, I can't really comment either way except to admit to "not getting it".

  • Re:I have to say it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @06:27AM (#24013555) Journal
    Sadly,we might as well enjoy it,as they won't be getting anything else as Public Domain is dead. They will simply keep extending the copyrights when it looks like something worth having is close to expiration. By all rights we should be able to listen to Hendrix,Elvis,Joplin, and share them all for free. But as it is now my nephews will be in the ground before any of it even has a chance at expiration,which will never occur. And it is kind of hard to "make your voices heard" and "vote the bums out" when both sides are on the take.

    You know,when I first read the right to read [gnu.org] I thought it was a paranoid fantasy. I now believe like Orwell and Rand RMS has given us a glimpse into the future. I believe that the big desktop PC will eventually go the way of the 8 track,replaced by "media appliances" in the same way that cell phones are phasing out the landlines. When everything ends up hooked to the Internet it won't be hard to have a "WGA" style check done on all your media to check your usage rights,and sites like IMSLP will be relegated to content so old that Henry Ford was still making his Model T and talkies was still a popular name for a movie.

    I truly hope I am wrong,I really do. But with the huge warchests the media corps have to buy our laws,and with the US pushing hard for trade agreements that come with DMCAs for everyone,I honestly don't think I am. But I truly wish them luck,for with the unrivaled greed of these large media companies I think they will need it. And as always this is my 02c,YMMV

  • by jimmyhat3939 ( 931746 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @06:30AM (#24013577) Homepage
    This is what we really need. Yes I know there's software out there for a laptop, and yes I know there are $800 devices for this, but there should be a OLPC type device with a decent sized screen that you can put on your piano or music stand or whatever and grab music off a shared drive or flash RAM card. One of these days people will figure out that people really do want single-purpose devices, like the Tivo or iPod, but for other, less pervasive, uses.
  • PRS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slim ( 1652 ) <john@hartnu p . net> on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @06:38AM (#24013607) Homepage

    My house was a licensed premises in a former life, and yesterday I received a letter from the Performing Rights Society (UK), explaining that if music was played on the premises (whether recorded or performed live) then I was obliged to pay them for a license.

    The letter strongly implies that ALL music is in scope. I just have to decide whether I have the energy and inclination to enter a debate with them about out of copyright works, or works with a permissive license.

    This would all be for my own entertainment. Any suggestions?

  • by somersault ( 912633 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @06:46AM (#24013621) Homepage Journal

    I was going to say that there isn't enough market out there for that type of thing, but actually, there is. Current eBook/ePaper readers are probably too small. I still don't think you're likely to see an A3 sized ePaper device for cheaper than $800 for quite a few years though! You can't have your cake and eat it as they say. That kind of device really would be awesome though, you could even have a foot control to turn the pages, or have the device turn the page for you when it detects the music has reached that part of the page..

    In the meantime, I think a laptop with a 15" or larger screen would do a decent job, and you could pick up a second hand one pretty cheap. Wouldn't have anything like the battery life of an ePaper device though obviously.

  • Re:PRS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MathFox ( 686808 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @07:02AM (#24013681)
    Pleas, for our amusement, publish your correspondence with the PRS. (Blacking out your address and if you're in a friendly mood that of the PRS too.) If you don't mind to infringe copyrights, you can publish the letter from the PRS completely.

    Then, publish the URL on Slashdot, so that we have another target for a good slashdotting.

  • by viking80 ( 697716 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @07:36AM (#24013853) Journal

    Imagine how awesome it would be for humankind if all copyrighted material could be accessible to all. All books, art, movies, music etc would be available with a click.

    Here is how we do it:
    Make a global library where everyone can donate a copyrighted work. The library then manages the copy, and make sure only one person can use it at a time. This should be managed like Netflix (which also btw distributes copyrighted material)

    1. You rip a DVD to mp4 and upload it,
    2. then place the original in a drawer marked "Archive copy of donated work".
    3. The library registers that it has the license.
    4. Now anyone could download the mp4 to have a copy on the disk, but needed to check out a license to actually view it.

    If a second person donates the same work, no upload is necessary, so skip (1). Only (3) is required (i.e. licensecount++)

    I am sure the with the efficiency of the net, the cost to build up this library to contain everything would be much smaller than the cost to operate current brick and mortar library.

    Also, all the hard software parts is pretty much done/solved: MythTV, Bittorrent, Youtube, and the Netflix algorithm.

    Who will take a stab at this?

  • by grizdog ( 1224414 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @08:22AM (#24014139) Homepage
    Everything oboeaaron says is true, but it's more extensive than that. I manage the Gilbert and Sullivan Archive [boisestate.edu], and we have had to put a low priority on sheet music. The only way to be really safe is to go to wherever the original or another uncopyrighted copy is located (in our case usually either the British Museum, the Yale Rare Books Library, or the Morgan Library in NYC), and copy it yourself. This is tedious, and even if a publisher hasn't really added anything substantial to their own copy, they will claim copyright.

    Providing parts and scores would be a useful service for our site to provide, but it's going to remain on the back burner for a while. Along the lines of another thread, it would be great if there were a standard, open format for sheet music. That would provide much more of an incentive for me to pack up my laptop and get some of those parts copied and available.

  • Re:I have to say it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @09:01AM (#24014437)

    We just need to retroactively extend copyright back to the time of the brothers Grimm and we'll see a few corporations change their tune.

  • by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @10:35AM (#24015679)

    Where did this "for one" meme come from? Just say "I would like to thank you." See how easy that is? No commas, no extraneous words, it's brilliantly simple.

    Personally I think people use the "for one" thing to look like they're bucking the crowd, since the traditional use would be something like: "most people in this city think that kicking puppies is good, but I, for one, think it's terrible!" You set yourself apart from the crowd by having some superior morality.

    The problem is that in stories like this it makes no sense. There's no crowd you're setting yourself apart from; there's no legions of Slashdotters saying, "damn these jerks, that public domain music should be taken off the web for good!" So it just looks stupid.

    Sorry, resume your discussion.

  • by dbc ( 135354 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @01:11PM (#24017977)

    It's interesting that you should pick on "Camptown Races", by Stephen Foster. Foster was pretty much the first person to attempt to make a living as a writer of popular songs. It was a tough slog, mainly due to the fact that his work was widely "pirated" by music publishers. It is in part because of his efforts in the early days that songwriters today actually can make a living writing music.

    BTW -- if you want an intelligent, well-researched, non-corny, sensitive, and exquisitely recorded selection of Stephen Foster works, go here: http://www.joeweed.com/ and look for "Swanee - The Music of Stephen Foster". (Disclaimer: yes, Joe is a friend of mine. My opinion of his work wouldn't change if he wasn't -- just google for some reviews.)

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