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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000112.txt from 2003/06

From: Oliver Seely <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Re: Copyright; was Law and Semantics
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2003 14:31:28 -0400

The Web page Mark has given us makes interesting reading. In my experience=
librarians tend to be conservative in their advice, partly I suppose=20
because they usually represent some bureaucratic entity which ought not to=
be sucked into a liability lawsuit thanks to advice given by one of their=20

An example of such conservatism is in the following quote from that page:
Do I need to secure permission from a publisher to use public domain music=
in notation software?

Yes and no. You must secure permission if the typography or editorial=20
marks of the edition are
used in any type of reprint, including electronic.

However, if the music is transcribed to another format (using a notation=20
application, for example),
and if it isn't traceable to any one specific edition, then permission=20
probably wouldn't be necessary.

In the case of Urtext, where there should be no fingerings, slurs, etc.=20
added by an editor, it should be safe to use.
If something is in the public domain, it is in the public domain. There's=
no yes and no about it. If there is some kind of permission which must be=
obtained then the material is not in the public domain. If there are=20
editorial marks which make an electronic copy traceable to some copyrighted=
edition, then my advice always is either to leave them off or make your=20
own. Cresc. may become <<<< if it strikes my fancy. Tranquilo becomes=20
gently if I think it was added after the autograph. Screw 'em. If the=20
editorial mark is a notated change of one note from the autograph, put in=20
the changed note and forget the editorial comment.

I'm writing here about copies mainly for rehearsal and performance. If=20
you're trying to get into the publishing game then it's another story, but=
in my experience when I do a "modern edition" of music which is in the=20
public domain I generally make a sufficient number of changes from the=20
crappy editions I get from Musica Rara, Peters or Barenreiter (page turns=20
for starters) that I figure I could copyright mine and teach them a thing=20
or too. Just think of the great stuff Verlag D=F6blinger would publish if=
they'd just hire me to be their editorial consultant! 8-)

If a new edition of a public domain work is created using music notation=20
software it is for your personal use, if it to be passed around or if it is=
to be sold I wouldn't worry two seconds about infringing on anyone's=


At 11:56 AM 06/03/2003 -0400, you wrote:

>On Tue, 3 Jun 2003, wrote:
> > Guys, hate to say that but you are getting of the topic. For those who=
> > still interested, here is something to pounder.
>has a reasonable synopis of what the Music Library Association considers
>"Fair Use". While many of their conclusions or suggestions have no case
>law behind them, I would suggest that they're reasonable guidelines
>produced by reasonable people. They do, of course, have a vested interest
>in applying a very liberal view of the law.
>Mark C.
>Klarinet is supported by Woodwind.Org,

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