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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000989.txt from 2000/07

From: Neil Leupold <>
Subj: [kl] Re: Mimicking players (was Learning practices)
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000 10:38:37 -0400

I wrote:
> > That's an incredible precendent. I can't believe Ellington won that case.

Mark wrote:
> Remember, Ellington wrote it down. If the music isn't written down, it isn't copyrighted.

Oh, regardless! The grounds on which the defendant lost, that the harmonies Ellington
used were protected, truly stretches one's logic and common sense. I wonder how many
such cases have arisen since then, and if any courts/judges have gone the other way.
I'd be interested in reading a transcript and looking at the exhibits of that particular
case, just to see how close the defendant's actual notes were to Ellington's original.
I could see the judge's point if the two were substantially similar.

There's no way for me presently to know whether Neidich or Stoltzman or any of
the others have written down their musical innovations, short of asking them di-
rectly, of course. Does the existence of their sound recordings, where those
innovations are preserved regardless of written music (published or not), qualify
them for some form of protection under U.S. Copyright? And what would stop any
of them from retroactively launching Sibelius and crystalizing their inventions
on paper after hearing me use them in one of my own performances?


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