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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000258.txt from 2000/07

From: Oliver Seely <oliver@-----.edu>
Subj: [kl] Re: Original scores for festival judges.
Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2000 09:04:19 -0400

It just seems to me that we're going to have to move in the direction of
forcing the issue.
Again I make the point that if I create a personal, original, modern
edition of Johannes Brahms Opus 120, #2 Sonata for Clarinet and Piano,
taking all of the notes and dynamics from a copyrighted edition which is
faithful to all of the composer's original intentions of dynamics and
articulation, OR if I take those notes and dynamics and articulation and
change a few to my liking so that my personal copy really DOES become a NEW
edition, and if I sequence it using Finale, or Music Time or Encore and
print out the score and parts, I'm not violating anyone's copyright because
Brahms died in 1897 and his notes, articulation and dynamics long ago
passed into the public domain. The copyright on such a work extends only
to the PRESENTATION (the placement of the notes, the number of measures per
staff, the graphic design of the cover, etc.) of that work. It doesn't
cover the notes, articulation and dynamics if they are faithful to the
composer's intention.

There is no reason that our music festivals or the Michigan State Band and
Orchestra Association ought to operate as fronts for the commercial
publishing industry and in the process lock out budding young publishers
who want to do their own thing. That is after all how copyright got
started. The printing guilds paid Queen Anne a thousand pounds to assure
their exclusive right to publish and to lock out all of the wildcat
publishers of the time. Copyright in England started as a protection
racket, pure and simple.

I have already offered a young man (possibly on this list) to make for him
and his accompanist an articulated score and parts for some upcoming
festival, just to make a test case of this point.

My score and parts will contain the notation, as do all of the offerings on
my Web page,
Copyright =A92000 by Oliver Seely and assigned to the public domain,=20
so that he can make as many photocopies as he wishes for the judges without
violating anyone's copyright.

My belief is that well within the lifetimes of people on this list public
domain sheet music will become as cheap as fonts for word processors. It
will be included in a package which offers software to extract parts and to
print them. =20

Please take note, music teachers and publishers.

Oliver

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