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Provider of Free Public Domain Music Re-Opens

kdawson posted about 6 years ago | from the music-wants-to-be-free dept.

Censorship 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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142 comments

Unfortunately... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24013217)

the ensuing slashdot effect will take it offline for another ten months.

Needed: Cheap Sheet Music Viewer (5, Interesting)

jimmyhat3939 (931746) | about 6 years ago | (#24013577)

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.

Re:Needed: Cheap Sheet Music Viewer (3, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | about 6 years ago | (#24013621)

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:Needed: Cheap Sheet Music Viewer (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 6 years ago | (#24013643)

Your keyboard to the market's ears.

I'd buy such a viewer right now, as long as it was less than say, $150, which is approximately the price of a 17" LCD monitor.

Re:Needed: Cheap Sheet Music Viewer (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about 6 years ago | (#24013707)

To me it sounds like the solution to your problem is a cheap printer. Or at least that between that and the ones playing it off their laptop screen for free, I don't think there's a market for a specialized device. Standard tablet PC with said software perhaps? Though I've rarely seen those in actual use, so it doesn't surprise me that they're expensive.

Re:Needed: Cheap Sheet Music Viewer (1)

PheniciaBarimen (1302003) | about 6 years ago | (#24014963)

Unless your playing a Piano or other instrument that can hold such weight. Good luck being able to read it. From using my laptop in various band rooms. Your normal able to be beat up music stand - can't support the weight. Let along the multitude of thin wire one's loved by directors everywhere for their cheep price (and thus more money to instruments and care of such).

I would have loved such an option as this being a music librarian back in my music days when I could spend 5 hours copying scores so the originals didn't get beat up and could be left readable.

Which comes back to the point of if your going to digitize music like this - How are you going to be able to make notations for it? Your standard write it in with a pencil doesn't work. What about turning pages with efficiency? If the device freezes how screwed will your performers be?

Re:Needed: Cheap Sheet Music Viewer (1)

ivucica (1001089) | about 6 years ago | (#24015675)

A bit off topic but ...

I think that a sheet of paper (or even a book of them) is less pervasive on the environment than such a device. What does it take to manufacture it? What does it take to destroy it?

Better print it out and give it to people who need it when you no longer require it. Or use a general purpose device to view it. One-purpose devices are ... well ... unneeded, if for the same price you can manufacture a general purpose device. We need a bit more generalized PDAs not adapted just for use in hands, but also for use as (e.g.) score viewers.

End of rant.

I have to say it (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:I have to say it (3, Insightful)

mrbluze (1034940) | about 6 years ago | (#24013261)

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 don't know about that. We're talking about sheet music and stuff that's been around for a LONG time, so it's not really different from what Project Gutenberg is doing - clearly public domain stuff.

But yes, it's outrageous what people think they can milk money out of. If it were possible, the recording industry would sue you for breathing.

Re:I have to say it (5, Funny)

Eternal Vigilance (573501) | about 6 years ago | (#24013347)

If it were possible, the recording industry would sue you for breathing.

Of course! That violates the copyright on The Police's "Every Breath You Take" and Pink Floyd's "Breathe."

I really can imagine the folks at RIAA humming "Every breath you take, every move you make, every bond you break, every step you take, I'll be watching you" as they're running deep packet inspections. Kinda creepy to think of that song as an NSA-FISA surveillance theme song. :-(


I always feel like somebody's watchin' meeeee...

Re:I have to say it (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 years ago | (#24013441)

What creeps me out is that the topic of "Every breath you take" is simply and plainly stalking. And yes, slowly I feel stalked by governments and certain companies.

Re:I have to say it (2, Funny)

meringuoid (568297) | about 6 years ago | (#24013501)

What creeps me out is that the topic of "Every breath you take" is simply and plainly stalking.

Now go and listen closely to 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' ;-)

Re:I have to say it (5, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | about 6 years ago | (#24013527)

What creeps me out is that the topic of "Every breath you take" is simply and plainly stalking.

Now go and listen closely to 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' ;-)

Yeah, someone should go call the Police.

Re:I have to say it (5, Funny)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | about 6 years ago | (#24013905)

They could organize a Sting.

Re:I have to say it (3, Funny)

mo^ (150717) | about 6 years ago | (#24014235)

+1 Coffee coming out of my nose

Re:I have to say it (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | about 6 years ago | (#24013651)

Of course! That violates the copyright on The Police's "Every Breath You Take" and Pink Floyd's "Breathe."

Yeah. Occasional breathing would come under fair use as a public performance, but when you're doing it 24/7 then that's taking the proverbial biscuit. People should find a new way of oxygenating their blood instead of being a bunch of damn hippy copyright thieving pirates.

Re:I have to say it (1)

flibuste (523578) | about 6 years ago | (#24015417)

So, if you kiss your girlfriend (assuming such a thing exists), would that consist in "making breath available" or "distribution"? As I understand, the recent debate is around such distinction.

Re:I have to say it (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | about 6 years ago | (#24015621)

I dunno, when I have had girlfriends I didn't pretend they were balloons when kissing them.. could be fun though!

Re:I have to say it (4, Funny)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 6 years ago | (#24016411)

Pro tip: there's a difference between kissing and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Re:I have to say it (4, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 6 years ago | (#24013555)

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

Re:I have to say it (3, Insightful)

mrbluze (1034940) | about 6 years ago | (#24013627)

I truly hope I am wrong,I really do.

Over the years there have been doomsday prophets, one after the other, but most have been wrong. I agree though that we are in for a rude shock if technology tightens enough so that we can't hack it and we can't share stuff anymore. As things stand currently, I think the movement against DRM is strong and healthy and I'm hopeful we'll manage to giver our grandkids a world that still cares and shares, hopefuly more than it does now.

Re:I have to say it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24013653)

probably when all the piracy will be gone they will be forced to sell cd at .20$, or face massive defection from live concerts of bands nobody heard of.

Re:I have to say it (2, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 6 years ago | (#24013677)

I now believe like Orwell and Rand RMS has given us a glimpse into the future.

If you're talking about Ayn Rand, she didn't give you a glimpse of anything but her own slightly sick and sad psyche.

Unfortunately, many of our business-school graduates and young bloggers have read Atlas Shrugged and didn't realize it was more about Ms Rand psychopathology than about reality. Further, those same newly minted MBAs and sad little bloggers like to think of themselves as the Masters of the World, so they bought into Rand's wrong-headed delusions.

Now the rest of us are stuck cleaning up the mess for these overgrown 3-year old male children.

This has more to do with the "unrivaled greed of these large media companies" than you may think.

Re:I have to say it (1, Offtopic)

OSXCPA (805476) | about 6 years ago | (#24013991)

OK, I'll bite... what is it about Objectivism that has so totally pissed you off that you resort to rhetoric and slander? If you disagree with Ayn Rands' views or her objectivist philosophy, surely you can put the argument in a rational form... oh, whoops. Sorry, my bad.

Like anything written by humans, including so-called 'holy scriptures' of various forms, Rands' work is judged by the behavior of those who espouse it, whether they understand it or not. Tarring her because you met an idiot (or idiots) who once read her and blather about it is not intellectually honest by a long shot.

I know, this is /. - I have high hopes, though.

Re:I have to say it (1)

linzeal (197905) | about 6 years ago | (#24015903)

I locked the #objectivist and #objectivism channels on undernet off and on for years, good times.

Re:I have to say it (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about 6 years ago | (#24013805)

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.

You think the world is online? You think the world is ever going to BE online? They'd be lucky if they could stop selling Blu-Rays in 100 years or more, in my opinion. Also, anything that doesn't play unsigned music/video is dead on arrival and that's not about to change. They tried putting the cat back in the bag with iTunes/AAC/FairPlay, they tried putting the cat back in the bag with Nlu-Ray/AACS/BD+. I think they're out of options, if you tell people to replace their perfectly working 1080p 7.1 LPCM player that looks and sounds great with something new just so they can try it again it won't work. Try as they may, I don't think they'll ever "unbreak" media.

Re:I have to say it (1)

jonadab (583620) | about 6 years ago | (#24013837)

> 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.

This is music we're talking about. The stuff that's really worth having was composed more than two and a half centuries ago. There are a lot of _performances_ and _recordings_ under copyright, but the music itself has always been in the public domain. There are a *small* handful of exceptions, good music written in the modern era after copyright law came into existence, but we're talking about eight or ten composers here, none of them very prolific, and none of them in the top twenty. Excluding their work is just not that big a loss, compared to what else is available.

Copyright law is a much bigger problem for other things, such as books -- *especially* non-fiction books, where there are only a handful of subjects timeless enough for a hundred-year-old book to be very worthwhile (except for humor value -- hundred-year-old medical books are amusing, sure, but you wouldn't want to try to learn about medicine from them). Software is another trouble area, albeit mostly because of proprietary data formats.

Re:I have to say it (2, Insightful)

vilgefortz (1225810) | about 6 years ago | (#24014429)

"Copyright law is a much bigger problem for other things, such as books -- *especially* non-fiction books, where there are only a handful of subjects timeless enough for a hundred-year-old book to be very worthwhile"

I found Fanny Hill quite timeless.

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

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:I have to say it (1)

PheniciaBarimen (1302003) | about 6 years ago | (#24015047)

Why look to Orwell and Rand - if they want something for keeping tabs on things in the legal market. Disney; who keeps managing to hold on to the copyright for their products multiple years after the original copyright should have left it in the hands of public domain.

I think the only thing that is safe to exist in Public Domain is patents atm, but if we let intellectual property slip how long till patents hold the same weight as copyright?

Re:I have to say it (5, Informative)

Alarindris (1253418) | about 6 years ago | (#24013271)

This is sheet music, not actual music files.

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

The recordings of his concertos, on the other hand, are a different story.

Re:I have to say it (3, Funny)

NovaHorizon (1300173) | about 6 years ago | (#24013325)

now.. to get sheet music for a lot of newer music.. and a Google search function to find songs based on note strings.. That way you can figure out that title of that one song that's always stuck in your head.. and all you remember is something like "na na na na NAAAA na na na na" lol

Re:I have to say it (5, Funny)

dam.capsule.org (183256) | about 6 years ago | (#24013749)

That must be "Hey Jude" by The Beattles.

Re:I have to say it (1)

xtracto (837672) | about 6 years ago | (#24015993)

You are off by one na

Re:I have to say it (4, Informative)

cfc-12 (1195347) | about 6 years ago | (#24014369)

There already is one: http://www.multimedialibrary.com/barlow/solfeggio.asp [multimedialibrary.com] . It's based on the excellent book version by Barlow and Morgenstern, which has helped me out in many a "na na na" moment.

Re:I have to say it (1)

NovaHorizon (1300173) | about 6 years ago | (#24014435)

I'm not musically inclined enough to know the actual notes though :( Or even their relation to each other beyond higher or lower than the previous or next note... But that is a cool link. Definitely being bookmarked xD

Re:I have to say it (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 6 years ago | (#24016489)

Wow, that's cool. Construct a program to convert someone's whistling or humming to a compatible string of letters, and you'd be set!

Re:I have to say it (1)

ya really (1257084) | about 6 years ago | (#24013463)

What's funny is much of the sheet music I've aquired over the years has copyrights on it, even though much of it was written well over 200-300 years ago. I have piece by Vivaldi that actually says "Do not copy." I'm not sure how they can get away with such things or think anyone will take it serious, but apparently publishers try anyways. I personally dont think I should be paying large sums of money to a publisher to print out a piece they didn't pay for or have any influence in its writing when I can do it myself. Aside from that they should die in a fire for making money off of composers like Mozart who died broke. I'd say it is 100x worse than anyone who pirates mp3s online, but it's being done by a corporation. I can understand paying for recordings by modern orchestras, but telling me to pay for sheet music is silly. I suppose they would want me to pay royalties for music I can play by ear as well?

Re:I have to say it (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24013591)

What's funny is much of the sheet music I've aquired over the years has copyrights on it, even though much of it was written well over 200-300 years ago. I have piece by Vivaldi that actually says "Do not copy." I'm not sure how they can get away with such things...

They probably do have some sort of valid copyright on *their layout and presentation* of the music, so directly photocopying could be illegal; you're free to transcribe the notes yourself and then put the result into the public domain or whatever.

Re:I have to say it (4, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | about 6 years ago | (#24013665)

What's funny is much of the sheet music I've aquired over the years has copyrights on it, even though much of it was written well over 200-300 years ago. I have piece by Vivaldi that actually says "Do not copy." I'm not sure how they can get away with such things or think anyone will take it serious, but apparently publishers try anyways.

IIRC, while the sequence of notes is out of copyright the design and layout of the page on which they're printed isn't. So technically the publisher could well be in the right. IANAL, though.

Re:I have to say it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24014133)

Mod parent up. Technically, his argument holds ground as - sick as it is - every font is basically copyrightable, no matter how mundane (music bar notation has been around since the early dark ages). I'd really like to know a lawyers' perspective on this matter.

So, while the music itself may be free, the font used to print that music might still be subject to copyright. Would such an argument hold up in court?

To add another certainty to this discussion: while the individual songs may be public domain, a *collection* as a whole is still subject to copyright - unless a collection has qualifiable selection criteria (e.g. "all works by A.B. Composer"), the collection itself is a derived work.

Re:I have to say it (2, Insightful)

benwiggy (1262536) | about 6 years ago | (#24015695)

You can play from Vivaldi's original scores, with 17th century musical notation, can you?
Or are you playing from a modern edition, which a 20th scholar has taken time to translate into something you can read?

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

wrook (134116) | about 6 years ago | (#24013525)

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 (1)

slim (1652) | about 6 years ago | (#24013633)

I think it's analogous to typesetting text. So the order and timing of the notes is not copyrightable, but the way it is presented on the page is.

If you produced your own illuminated manuscript of some Shakespeare verses, you'd expect copyright on that image.

As for "why would you want to, they're horrible" - consider reading an original typesetting of a 17th century document -- all funny looking 'S's and 'E's -- versus reading it typeset in a modern font.

New editions of old music (5, Informative)

oboeaaron (595536) | about 6 years ago | (#24013731)

But what they do is get an "expert" to reinterpret the score every few years.

There are actually very good musical reasons to do this. Music written or printed 300 years ago looks much different than that published today, and often requires an editor's help to bring it into a form usable by modern performers. To give one example, many instrumental sonatas and other works were written out in "figured bass" notation, which gave the keyboard player only the bass line and numeric symbols representing the harmonies. It was up to the player to improvise the right-hand part. Since very few keyboard players these days can do this, editors of modern editions of Baroque music usually provide a written-out interpretation of the chords, which looks just like normal, modern keyboard music. There are also many notational conventions that have either died out completely, or changed their meaning, which need an expert editor to "translate" them for modern players. In addition, many scores of the time were not published, but circulated in handwritten copies, which often contain many mistakes. Modern editors have to sift through the various copies and make judgments as to which versions are correct. Bach's Well-tempered Clavier is a famous example.

On the other hand, if you want or need to study the scores as they were written, you want to get an "Urtext" edition, which preserves the original notation as much as possible. Collected editions are presented this way. In the case of the music of J.S. Bach, there are two collected editions, one completed in the 19th century, and the other in the latter half of the 20th. The 19th century edition (Bach-Gesellschaft edition) is now in the public domain and may be copied freely - in fact the Dover editions of Bach are simply reproductions of this edition. The 20th century edition (Neue Bach Ausgabe) is still very much under copyright.

Re:New editions of old music (1)

Kalvos (137750) | about 6 years ago | (#24013831)

Somebody mod this up, please? This is the first accurate representation of the process.

Re:New editions of old music (1)

wrook (134116) | about 6 years ago | (#24014097)

Yes :-) Certainly better than what I posted! To bad I can't rate up the people who respond to me...

Re:New editions of old music (5, Interesting)

grizdog (1224414) | about 6 years ago | (#24014139)

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:New editions of old music (1)

dns_server (696283) | about 6 years ago | (#24015237)

Have a look at Rosegarden [rosegardenmusic.com] for notation and lilypond [lilypond.org] for typesetting.

Re:New editions of old music (2, Insightful)

benwiggy (1262536) | about 6 years ago | (#24015775)

The open source music notation software profects, while commendable endeavours, are still not up to professional engraving standards.
Frankly, nor is Sibelius, nor Finale without a lot of manual adjustment.

Re:New editions of old music (1)

howlingmadhowie (943150) | about 6 years ago | (#24014381)

yeah, you're sort of right. basically the publishers bring a new edition out to satisfy some new elitist craze (like urtext) and then pay the music journals to say how good the new edition is.

my favourite edition of the wtk for example is the orlando morgen edition from 1922(?). he does a great job of collecting all the existing manuscripts for the wtk and producing a really good annotated edition. i have not seen any decent work done on the wtk since then (and in my job as concert pianist and teacher i've seen a number of editions).

your argument about writing out the figured bass is also bogus. this has been commonly done since at least the novello editions of the late 19th century. your definition of "modern edition" is here strange. Musical notation has remained fairly static since leopold invented the double dot. or can you name one important change in notation for printing baroque, classical or romantic music since 1910? i can't.

in general i would say the main advantage of new notes over old is that they are new. much work has been done in quality of binding and printing and you can see this. but this advantage is not important for music stored on the net in lilypond format.

Re:I have to say it (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | about 6 years ago | (#24013835)

As a musician it is an amazing library, and it will save me hundreds on purchasing sheet music to play... for example, I can finally get the missing pages of my ancient beethoven sonata catalog back!

Re:I have to say it (1)

benwiggy (1262536) | about 6 years ago | (#24015663)

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

Perhaps not, but what about the editor who transcribes Bach's handwriting, converts the notation to a more modern format, corrects mistakes, fills in lost or missing parts, and who makes an assessment of the different musical interpretation of Baroque music from that which a modern reader might expect?
Should he get a copyright for his work? As scholarship progresses into early music (and authentic performance really only got going in the 60s), editions are often revised on a regular basis.
Admittedly, most of the stuff on IMSLP is out of copyright old editions. But it is wrong to think that sheet music publishers are making money from dead composers. It is the quality of the edition that is the selling point.

Re:I have to say it (1)

k_187 (61692) | about 6 years ago | (#24016185)

Yes he should, but that also shouldn't stop me from being able to play a differently transcribed copy of those concertos. He has a copyright on the new presentation, not on the notes and their order.

This is great news! (3, Funny)

Eternal Vigilance (573501) | about 6 years ago | (#24013263)

But where's all the Metallica?

Re:This is great news! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24013355)

The members of the band don't know music notation.

Re:This is great news! (2, Funny)

flibuste (523578) | about 6 years ago | (#24015485)

The members of the band don't know music notation.

"The members of the band don't know music".

There, fixed it for ya.

Re:This is great news! (1)

jonadab (583620) | about 6 years ago | (#24013899)

Sorry, this site only collects music.

Re:This is great news! (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#24014967)

All the Metallica is in the 80's.

Fantastic (4, Interesting)

apodyopsis (1048476) | about 6 years ago | (#24013291)

Fantastic.

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.

Re:Fantastic (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 6 years ago | (#24013711)

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

Don't let that stop you, friend.

Even with a moderately difficult piece, if you work at a small section for, say, a half-hour a day, you'll sit down one day to play it and find that it sounds like music. I'm not saying that as an adult you can learn to play like Glenn Gould, but there's a lot of joy to be had getting a little better, a little at a time.

Re:Fantastic (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24013863)

Unless you're Michael Crawford. When he's not making excuses, he's pimping out his shitty out of tune CD.

Re:Fantastic (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24013987)

^^^ True dat. No doubt he'll show up here and tell us how he wants to be a composer. As if playing the same 3 notes repeatedly -- out of time and out of tune -- is composing.

Re:Fantastic (Grammar Nazi) (2, Interesting)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 6 years ago | (#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.

So (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24013339)

How do I downloaded mp3s?

Re:So (5, Informative)

arose (644256) | about 6 years ago | (#24013371)

http://musopen.com/ [musopen.com]

Re:So (2, Funny)

advocate_one (662832) | about 6 years ago | (#24013461)

How do I downloaded mp3s?

you don't, but this gives you the source with which you can make an mp3 and upload it for the rest of us...

Doesn't seem to be completely open yet (2, Interesting)

dido (9125) | about 6 years ago | (#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.

Mozart's Requiem (1)

threaded (89367) | about 6 years ago | (#24013487)

You'd think if they've had a requiem then it'd be out of copyright by now.

Anyways, it's got too many notes.

Re:Mozart's Requiem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24013543)

You'd think if they've had a requiem then it'd be out of copyright by now.

Anyways, it's got too many notes.

Which notes did you have in mind?

Re:Doesn't seem to be completely open yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24014095)

Same with Paganini's Caprices. I guess they've re-opened, just without content.

Lilypond (4, Interesting)

ageforce_ (719072) | about 6 years ago | (#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]

Mutopia (3, Informative)

ageforce_ (719072) | about 6 years ago | (#24013503)

Can somebody explain the difference between IMSLP and Mutopia ( http://www.mutopiaproject.org/ [mutopiaproject.org] )?

Re:Mutopia (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24014019)

As far as I can see, the main differences are that (1) IMSLP has a much better selection, and (2) its files are PDFs containing scanned images, rather than say Lilypond/Finale/Sibelius/midi files, and are therefore about 500 times the size.

Re:Mutopia (4, Informative)

Jeremy Visser (1205626) | about 6 years ago | (#24015085)

Correct.

Mutopia's music is exclusively in LilyPond format, which basically means that not only can you print out the music, you can convert it to midi, transpose it to a different key (if you played a different instrument with a different range, for example) with not much difficulty, and even jam it up a bit.

IMSLP's music is not necessarily in LilyPond format, so if you wanted to edit it, you'd have to re-input it into a music notation program manually first. (Or possibly OCR it, but that would be pretty shoddy.)

This is great news! (1)

boombasticman (1232962) | about 6 years ago | (#24013551)

How about extending the databse to a storage of midi files of those old music sheets?

PRS (4, Interesting)

slim (1652) | about 6 years ago | (#24013607)

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?

Re:PRS (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24013657)

They are notifying you because your house previously had a premises license. However as it's now domestic (I presume) then simply notifying them that it no longer has a premises license and that it is a domestic dwelling should be enough.

For private accomodation, the PRS can't do anything against you - it's only if it can be heard by the public, then thats when you need to pay them.

Re:PRS (1)

RedWizzard (192002) | about 6 years ago | (#24013757)

>They are notifying you because your house previously had a premises license. However as it's now domestic (I presume) then simply notifying them that it no longer has a premises license and that it is a domestic dwelling should be enough.

Obviously. But it's their job to figure that out. I'd ignore them or send a letter which simply states that you will not be paying licenses for any music played on the premises as they are not public performances (but don't tell them why they're not public). Don't do their job for them.

Re:PRS (2, Insightful)

slim (1652) | about 6 years ago | (#24013843)

They are notifying you because your house previously had a premises license. However as it's now domestic (I presume) then simply notifying them that it no longer has a premises license and that it is a domestic dwelling should be enough.

Well, obviously. Ignoring them is fine. The question is how much fun can be had by entering into a dialogue.

Re:PRS (1)

A Pressbutton (252219) | about 6 years ago | (#24013671)

Probably a very dumb question :
If you get a PRS licence, do you still have to buy the CDs you listen to, or can you just play anything downloaded from anywhere?

Re:PRS (4, Interesting)

MathFox (686808) | about 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:PRS (1)

ledow (319597) | about 6 years ago | (#24013845)

I'm not even sure "copyright" applies to the letter here, either. Received personal correspondence doesn't automatically count. Although, this may vary depending on territory etc. I should imagine that they have to make exceptions for certain things (i.e. I may not be able to scan in an advert I receive as junk mail and post it verbatim online... but then again, I may be able to).

Otherwise, you'd be in all sorts of stupid situations where threatening letters cannot be reproduced, copies of correspondence cannot be forwarded to the correct person, you can't quote from previously received letters, photocopies cannot be given to your lawyer etc.

If there *are* restrictions, I imagine that they don't apply to personally targeted correspondence which you reproduce faithfully (i.e. you don't just put their letterhead on another letter) and post yourself. Even if there WERE restrictions on such activities, there probably isn't a court in any reasonably sensible country that would do anything to do for doing so, and *thousands* of people have done this without more than fist-shaking threats.

Re:PRS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24013687)

For a clarification on 'all music': PRS only represent music that's been assigned to them.

Play some music that ain't.

Re:PRS (1)

jimicus (737525) | about 6 years ago | (#24013697)

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?

My understanding (ICBW, IANAL) is that copyright on the sequence of notes, the arrangement, the book in which they may be published and any performance of it are all different.

So you'd either have to play a record which is out of copyright (good luck finding such an old record and hooking up a suitable record player to a modern amp - few modern decks will play at 78RPM) or find 100 year old sheet of music and pay a performer to play that alone.

In other words, there are exceptions but they're sufficiently esoteric that it's vanishingly unlikely that anyone will take advantage of them. (You just know someone who owns a cafe which has a policy of playing records on a wind-up gramaphone and has successfully challenged the PRS over the matter will crawl out of the woodwork now).

Re:PRS (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 6 years ago | (#24013781)

a wind-up gramaphone

I read that as wind-up grandma. Something that I briefly imagined grandpa enjoying. Then I felt sick.

Re:PRS (2, Insightful)

slim (1652) | about 6 years ago | (#24013829)

So you'd either have to play a record which is out of copyright (good luck finding such an old record and hooking up a suitable record player to a modern amp - few modern decks will play at 78RPM) or find 100 year old sheet of music and pay a performer to play that alone.

In other words, there are exceptions but they're sufficiently esoteric that it's vanishingly unlikely that anyone will take advantage of them.

Or music published by the author under a Creative Commons licence [creativecommons.org] . Or my own compositions played by myself. Or folks songs performed by myself without reference to sheet music.

Re:PRS (1)

jimicus (737525) | about 6 years ago | (#24013887)

Or music published by the author under a Creative Commons licence [creativecommons.org] . Or my own compositions played by myself. Or folks songs performed by myself without reference to sheet music.

All true, but all sufficiently esoteric in the real world as to be safely ignoreable for 99.9% of businesses that want background music for whatever reason.

Re:PRS (1)

slim (1652) | about 6 years ago | (#24013971)

True, but by restricting themselves to such music, a cafe could save some £400 per year.

Re:PRS (3, Insightful)

ilovecheese (301274) | about 6 years ago | (#24013699)

As far as I know, music played in private, for your own personal enjoyment, is not subject to *any* payment of royalties. Only those made in public, and usually those of a commercial nature.

Since your house was a previous licensed premises, I think all of that gets dismissed since it is no longer a commercial establishment in nature.

Tell em to kiss off, in my opinion. If they insist, I'd charge them back a monthly fee...

Re:PRS (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 6 years ago | (#24013767)

Any suggestions?

Let them come and get you. As annoying as it will be, you have the rare opportunity to make a laughing stock of them.

Don't forget to send a copy of the letter to your local (or national) newspaper.

Re:PRS (2, Informative)

Coopa (773302) | about 6 years ago | (#24013847)

I believe there was a change in licencing laws a few years ago to do with perfomancing and playing music on licenced premises.
It's not the music you're playing, it's the fact you're playing music makes the the premise an 'entertainments venue' and a different licence is required.
I remember my local pub wanted to play live music but the planning application and licence application takes into account the local residential area and the entertainments licence was refused.

I am not a licencing lawyer though...

Imagine a free library of all copyrighted work (2, Interesting)

viking80 (697716) | about 6 years ago | (#24013853)

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)

Example:
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?

Re:Imagine a free library of all copyrighted work (1)

maxume (22995) | about 6 years ago | (#24014093)

The incremental costs would be lower, but the fixed costs would be insane.

Thousands of movies multiplied by millions of users...

Re:Imagine a free library of all copyrighted work (1)

pudro (983817) | about 6 years ago | (#24014695)

Too easy for people to lie and say "sure, I own that and I donate it as well". I say you set up this online library of yours in partnership with public libraries across America. In order for something to be donated, it must be physically donated to a participating library. Things could be kept at these libraries or sent to a regional or national holding area. Also, libraries could opt into donating their existing copyrighted works as well.

Vote Wesley Snipes For President (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24013911)

LETTER TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE ASLEEP:

If people stopped paying taxes and voted for wesley snipes for president, maybe the people would once again rule instead of a separate government represented by fat apes who sell out to corporations and big Pharma.

Maybe one day WE the people will be in charge, but for now, you're fucked slaves who repeat the lie, "Only thing certain in life is death and taxes!" No, only death and slavery, and slavery itself is a form of living death.

You hate the war in Iraq?
Hate puppet dictatorships being propped up by your government?
Hate the immoral and unjust war on drugs?
If you're paying taxes, YOU are aiding and abetting crimes you don't agree with, posting on your blog or shaking your fist in the air at rallies does nothing, YOUR money continues to support IMMORAL actions (if you believe them to be immoral).

Recently I heard a report about America losing the war against taliban opium poppy growers. There's a simple and cheap solution to this problem: The American government should tell every American farmer they must grow opium poppies, and encourage American citizens to do likewise, to sprinkle the seed everywhere. But they won't do it, why? Because this would cut the profits from big Pharma for their overpriced pain medications, some of which are dangerous to your liver! Instead you could go right to the source and use what nature has given us, but no, in the land of the free, THAT would be ILLEGAL! You must instead decide to beg for a pain reliever to the point man (your doctor) who will then decide whether or not you're allowed to have it, and then you're on file with the big pharma protection agency. If everyone in America was told by the government to grow opium poppies, or just farmers, imagine what would happen to the so-called crops in other countries going to terrorists? The demand would fall flat and the prices would plummet, bye bye extra cash for the bad guys!

IT IS ALL BULLSHIT, you know it, I know it, but when you pay taxes, you continue to fund the bullshit.

But if you stop paying taxes, you'll probably end up in jail, where non violent marijuana smokers/growsers end up getting pounded in the ass by violent gang members and your anus being filled with diseased gangland semen. This is your land of the free. Be sure to wave to the helicopters flying over your house with FLIR checking to see if you're growing marijuana to take away from crooked Law Enforcement income, the failed war on drugs, war against nature, wave to the drones looking for evil marijuana in the forests and other areas, wave to the DEA as they bust marijuana care clinics, wave to your flag made in a communist country.

But you don't care, it's another night of (entertainment choice) before you're off to work again to make more money to pay your slavery tax.

Enjoy your worthless life, you'll be forgotten, but the history of illegal actions taken by your government, which you payed into, won't.

You're all on par with scared chimps in a cage clicking the crack button for another hit.

Source for the PDF's (2, Informative)

laymusic (140088) | about 6 years ago | (#24014101)

I think it's unfortunate that they are only allowing .mus (Finale) and .sib (Sibelius) as source formats.

It would be more in the spirit of a project like this if they allowed open formats like lilypond [lilypond.org] and ABC [redhawk.org]

Re:Source for the PDF's (1)

Soruk (225361) | about 6 years ago | (#24015389)

Don't forget about Philip's Music Writer [quercite.com] . Not as well known as some, but the quality of output is such that some publishers will use its output.

Royalty-free music! (5, Funny)

greyhueofdoubt (1159527) | about 6 years ago | (#24015095)

Yes, folks, all these FREE public domain HITS can be YOURS!

-Camptown Races!
-Amazing Grace!
-She'll be comin' round the mountain!
-Ain't we got fun!
-Anchors Aweigh!
-Hail, hail the gang's all here!
-I can dance with everyone but my wife!
-Mammy o'mine!
-Row, row, row!
-Swing low, sweet chariot!

Yes folks order now and for NO CHARGE you can sing these songs ANYWHERE! Saloons! Public squares! The telegraph office!

And if you order NOW we'll include at no extra charge:
-The whiffenpoof song!
-Stop yer ticklin', jock!
-Nobody knows de trouble I've seen!
-It's delightful to be married!
-I love my wife, but oh you kid!
-Everybody works but father!

Don't wait! Call now! DO IT!

[all real songs]
[not a troll]

-b

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