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Saturday, December 08, 2007

IMSLP closed

I was running out of music scores (on the piano, the ones on floor keet pilling up for my wife's despair), so I decided to get some more.

Pedro Oliveira had introduced me to IMSLP, something like the PianoSociety.com for sheet music. IMSLP is (was?) a project for the creation of a virtual library of public domain music scores based on the wiki principle. Since its launch on February 16, 2006, more than 15,000 scores, for 9,000 works, by over 1,000 composers were uploaded, making it one of the largest public domain music score collections on the web.

For my surprise, I've just found out that IMSLP was forced to close! From Wikipedia:

On 19 October 2007 the IMSLP closed following legal demands from Universal Edition of Vienna, Austria.[17] The cease and desist letter expressed concern that some works that are in public domain in the server's location in Canada with copyright protection of 50 years post mortem, but which are protected by the 70 years post mortem term in some other countries were available in those countries.
It seems like some of IMSLP content was failing to comply with the new 70 years post mortem term in some countries. In fact, one of the problems was related to Béla Bartók who died 62 years ago!

I have great doubts about this 70 years limit. Are we really defending authors rights 70 years after they are dead? Or are we just standing for the editors rights?

Anyway, too bad for IMSLP, hope they can soon get back in action. Until then, here are some suggestions: Mutopia, Choral Public Domain Library and Werner Icking Music Archive.

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Development Catharsis :: Copyright 2006 Mário Romano