Copyright Q (Can't find ans on fact sheet!)

ScrapingtheBottom

Active Member
Roger Thorne said:
As a publisher, this thread has made interesting reading.
Firstly, on Chris's quote above, I would ask whether you apply this criteria to everything you buy? Audio Tapes, CD's, Videos, DVD's etc - because they too can easily get damaged but are also covered with a copyright protection? I presume the answer to that is no, but why should sheet music be any different?

Actually I have converted most of my music collection onto MP3 to stop scratching my CD's, as far as I am aware there is nothing illegal about this - so the answer is yes I do copy my original audio recordings.

I have read your post Roger (of course quoting it all would be silly) and I agree with you mostly, to a point. I am completely against the distribution of illegally reproduced music - this damages the whole musical community. However, that is not my gripe - I understand your position and the need for control, but as a band committee member I know the cost of buying replacement sets of music because 1 or 2 parts are missing - it can, in certain circumstances, be prohibitively expensive, thus denying the musicians the chance to perform the work (surely the point in the first place?). Surely it is reasonable to allow bands to reproduce parts to use on a daily basis (within their organisation) from originals? It would not be difficult to police (but it would have to be policed - as yet I have yet to meet anyone, ever, who is employed to enforce copyright law - I'm sure they exist, but I have never met anyone).

Unfortunately the 'Gentleman's' agreement we have on sheet music copyright is not robust enough to allow musicians to protect their purchased works, whilst ensuring that music producers can make a living. We need a change in the law and more enforcement.
 

srtrombone

New Member
There are Police who go around to Saturday markets, Car Boot Sales etc. who do 'police' the Copyright Laws, they are mainly interested in the 'Big Boys' who can (and do) make 10's of thousands of £s out of copying CD, Video etc.
You can make a 'copy' of audio/visual for your own personal use, in your home or car, but, as I understand it, you should only keep these for a maximum of three months, as ScrapingtheBottom says, it's the policing of such things that is hard.

Mr Thorne our host says, cost of permission can be anything from 'nothing' to 'extortion', and unless asked, I only print out a 'standard' set of parts.

This issue has been going on since the Composer became independent, but, if the PRS and MCPS are not supported, we could end up with the following, only the composer will have the music, only he will conduct it, and no-one who isn't rich will be able to afford it.
 

NeilW

Member
I've actually just discovered that music publishers won't supply replacement "parts" of a work.

I've lost the piano part of my Horowitz Euph Concerto - careless I know, but I have. (My son needs it, not me nowadays :) )

Through my local music shop I've tried to order a replacement, and have just got the reply "we don't do individual parts". (I don't remember which publisher it is, so I can't shame them...)

So... what are you supposed to do? I don't NEED another complete copy of the work as I've still got 1/2 of it...

Neil.

PS I'm hopefully sourceing a copy that won't give said publisher anything - and yes, it is an original :roll:
 

mikelyons

Supporting Member
Composer's/arranger's Thoughts

I've always had a bit of a laissez faire attitude to copying music - until I started to compose and arrange. Now I'm in two minds.

As a player/sometime conductor and frequent loser of music (mostly due to the pilfering ways of the horn and cornet players at school) I can remember a time when all publishers would happily supply individual parts. Now they won't. Why won't they? Because it costs them money to do short runs of individual parts. It isn't such a problem for small publishers using computerised scores and many of them do parts on request. However, many bands discover that they are missing parts at short notice (the morning before the concert) and have to do something quickly. What do you do then? What about copying the part from the score by hand? BTW, I make children who lose parts write them out anyway - it's good practice and teaches them to be a little more careful. :twisted:

As a composer and arranger I have a different view. Every time a band copies one of my pieces they are robbing me. As my current publisher only pays me 10% of sales (currently £18.50 per score) this amounts to a huge chunk of my income from writing. I don't expect to sell huge quantities and I have a day job so I'm not relying on it, but I'd rather give something away than have it stolen - wouldn't you? With contemporary music, bands really ought to think about the fact that they are making it difficult for new composers/arrangers to think it worthwhile to publish their music. More established composers and people like me are doing it for the joy of having something of theirs played but I can imagine younger composers being put off doing it because of the likelihood of being ripped off by their fellow bandsmen.

It is, as Roger says, much more difficult for a young composer to get published. This means less new music. Do we really want to keep on playing the same old, same old? I know I don't. :cry:

I think we need to decide what we want. A vibrant source of new music or a crippled industry that will eventually dry up altogether, leaving us with the dinosaurs - extinct.
 

ScrapingtheBottom

Active Member
Or maybe young composers need to decide whether they are in it for the money or for the music?

I know in brass banding we are at the thin end of the wedge here, but the rules regarding photocopying are somewhat draconian and unreasonable to a performer. If a band purchases your work and then photocopies it once to use as a "pad" set - thus keeping the originals safe from harm in the library - what has a composer lost? The anwser is nothing - a band would not buy two copies of your piece anyway.

Tough copyright laws can actually stifle young composers too as performers think twice before getting new music. We need a good balance between protecting the interests of composers and publishers and protecting the interests of performers - I feel that at this present time, the situation is swung too far in favour of the former (yet young composers are still finding it tougher and tougher anyway - maybe it is actually to do with something else). Plus, the authorities do not take enough action against those who break the rules, probably because the rules as they stand are unenforcable and unpractical.
 

mikelyons

Supporting Member
ScrapingtheBottom said:
Or maybe young composers need to decide whether they are in it for the money or for the music?
Perhaps, but don't you think it would be good for young composers to be able to make a living out of their music? Then, maybe, they could spend more time on it, producing more and better new music.

I know in brass banding we are at the thin end of the wedge here, but the rules regarding photocopying are somewhat draconian and unreasonable to a performer. If a band purchases your work and then photocopies it once to use as a "pad" set - thus keeping the originals safe from harm in the library - what has a composer lost? The anwser is nothing - a band would not buy two copies of your piece anyway.
Perhaps, but if you lose or damage your music beyond use, you should be prepared to take responsibility for replacing it. Each time you photocopy a part, the composer loses another sale. If you are careless enough to lose the music, shouldn't you be responsible enough to replace it legally?

Tough copyright laws can actually stifle young composers too as performers think twice before getting new music. We need a good balance between protecting the interests of composers and publishers and protecting the interests of performers - I feel that at this present time, the situation is swung too far in favour of the former

It may surprise you to know that I agree with the above,

(yet young composers are still finding it tougher and tougher anyway - maybe it is actually to do with something else).

but not with this. The whole publishing industry is in recession because of the illegal use of photocopiers. You don't need any other reason. The brass band publishers are in more trouble than anyone else because we are, let's face it, considered to be a minority group. There is a very limited market for any brass band piece and this is what makes the music expensive to produce. It's a bit of a vicious circle (or spiral, maybe).

Plus, the authorities do not take enough action against those who break the rules, probably because the rules as they stand are unenforcable and unpractical.

Absolutely! But what are publishers/copyright owners to do? Experiments with uncopiable copies proved to be a failure. All sorts of things have been tried. These days, anyone with a copy of Sibelius can scan music (score or parts) into a computer and print off unlimited copies. Would you rather have to pay £400 per copy for new music just to make sure the publisher and composer get a reasonable return on their investments?

Of course, the ultimate solution would be to get rid of publishers altogether, wouldn't it Roger? :twisted: Young composers could publish their own music, using their computers. Of course, bands would then have to get hundreds or thousands, rather than dozens, of catalogues in order to find new music. Composers would group together to cut costs, perhaps forming companies to promote their music... (You can breathe a sigh of relief now, Roger :lol: ) and so we go on. Anyone like to sign with a new publishing company? Reasonable rates...
 

Roger Thorne

Active Member
ScrapingtheBottom said:
If a band purchases your work and then photocopies it once to use as a "pad" set - thus keeping the originals safe from harm in the library - what has a composer lost? The anwser is nothing - a band would not buy two copies of your piece anyway.
I've spent hours and hours (£'s & £'s) experimenting with different paper weights and colours to produce, what I feel, is the 'perfect' part for the player. I've yet to receive a complaint about the quality, to which I am very proud.
Would bands be happy then, if I agreed to the above idea, because I could reduce my overheads considerably by producing one copy of each part on cheap 80gsm photocopying paper. What's the point of the Publisher striving to produce a good quality product when the end result is a photocopy? I could save you the time and effort and produce photocopy quality at the outset, although It wouldn't do my reputation much good. What about the inconvience of bands that haven't got access to 'free' or 'cheap' photocopying facilities and have to pay 10p a copy? There's an additional cost of £3.00 per set straight away. "But we would copy onto a better quality paper" I hear you say. And that would increase the cost by another £6 - £10. So you are now paying for example: £10 for the original set (it was £18.00, but having reduced my overheads it's now cheaper) say £8.00 for decent quality photocopying paper, and £3.00 per set to copy the work at the local 'Copyprint' shop.
Cost: £21.00 - Plus a lot of inconvenience and music that will probably fall off a music stand if your breath within 10 foot of it.
The original product would have cost you £18.00. It is ready to perform. It is 'good' quality and it is robust. It's what Publishers have been striving for since the invention of the printing press.
I hear your agument Chris, but as far as I can see it will come with a price tag. I really wish there was a simple way around this problem, but hearing both sides of the argument at the moment it seems that a compromise is a long way off.

Something tells me this conversation will be discussed in great detail come tomorrow afternoon!

:D
 

ScrapingtheBottom

Active Member
Roger Thorne said:
I've spent hours and hours (£'s & £'s) experimenting with different paper weights and colours to produce, what I feel, is the 'perfect' part for the player. I've yet to receive a complaint about the quality, to which I am very proud.

.....
Something tells me this conversation will be discussed in great detail come tomorrow afternoon!

:D

That's not really my point. It can be the best quality paper in the world, but unless you include some homing device it can still be lost - in general I have found that if you drop any music in the puddle that collects under my stand during a practice - it gets damaged.

My point is that that band buys a full set of the originals, it can then give those originals out to the players of the band (they might get lost, stolen, ripped, water-damaged etc.) or it can run off a set of photocopies for the players and let them have them. This means that when the 2nd horn player turns up saying 'I can't find my part' - easy we just make another photocopy, we don't have to spend £20++ pounds on buying a whole new set - that's the crux really, we can't buy individual parts. We are using the music at least 2 times a week, players are taking parts home to practice, etc. the potential for loss/damage is considerable - I think it is only reasonable that a band should be allowed to protect music in this way (after all it is a major investment - bestwood's library is worth 10's of thousands of pounds). If you purchased anything else you would feel entitled to take reasonable steps to protect it. It may cost a bit more at first (if you don't have access to your own photocopier, etc.), but it will save you money in the long run.

As I said before, this practice would not damage sales for the publishers -so what are you worried about? I think it is a bit silly to expect bands to use originals regardless of the risk of extra cost just because the publishers want the players to feel the nice high quality paper...
 

tubafran

Active Member
Music Copies

This is turning into a seriously good discussion and just having re-read all the comments it seems there is little ground for compromise and no solution to the two diverse positions.

On the one side we have Roger doing a sterling job, wishing to turn-out good quality original copies but not wanting any other form of copying to be allowed. On the other side we have Chris (and I claim bias here too as that is my position) that we want to buy Rogers good quality copies but we also want to keep them intact for many years of playing.

We have all seen the problems referred to by Chris, someone takes copy home, puts it in the washer, dog, cat, whatever, leaves band and never brings the music back. We once lost three parts of Sailing whilst playing on the Windermere Ferry (then that’s not such a bad thing).

If a band buys the original set and has a system which covers every one of the eventualities before they happen – well done, risk assessment at its best. This is a win for everybody, music sold, music played with all parts at every occasion. Alternative is win/lose – music sold, music lost, music never played again – and maybe other bands don’t hear Roger’s music being played and how many sales would be lost for the sake of one lost part?
 

TuTuKu

Active Member
How about if publishers allowed bands to photocopy, for their use only, and charged a few more pounds to cover the cost of any extra parts that may have been bought in the future? Then publishers don't lose out financially and bands/players/audiences don't lose out musically.
 

mikelyons

Supporting Member
TuTuKu said:
How about if publishers allowed bands to photocopy, for their use only, and charged a few more pounds to cover the cost of any extra parts that may have been bought in the future? Then publishers don't lose out financially and bands/players/audiences don't lose out musically.

You know, TuTuKu, that's not a bad idea. However, I can see a few problems there. Bands already complain about the high cost of music so they might not be too pleased about paying more. Especially when you look at the very high cost of some scores (£40 or £50 for something like Windows of the World, for example). we still have the problem of policing the copying - there is still nothing to prevent bands from doing a quick copy for the band next door and if they pay more, they will expect to be able to do more. You've also got the thought of who gets the extra? How much of the extra cost will go to the composer/arranger? And so on.

It's a tricky problem because you constantly have to rely on the honesty of bands and their ability to see the 'bigger picture' - not something they've managed to do in the past or present.
 

tubafran

Active Member
Music Copies

If a band is prepared to copy music sets on mass to pass on to someone else then any changes in the copyright law will have no effect on them.

All some of us are trying to do is get the publisher/arranger/composer to confirm their agreement on the published copy that they have no objections to the copying of single parts for the use of the band purchasing the music. This then means that this type of copy would not be illegal and had been produced with the express permission of the publisher and there is no need to contact anyone to get extra copies of permission to copy.

As to the copying of music - there is no need, plenty of bands have loads of music in there library - just lend the full original set and get the band to give it back after they have played it. I never see the point in keeping the same music in a band's repertoire for years on end.

I want to be very clear here to all the music producers - we want to buy your music and we don't want your livelyhood to suffer. At Killamarsh we spend £500 to £600 every year on music and will do so for many years to come.
 

cosimo193

New Member
Hi,

Sorry to add to a very old thread, but hopefully some of you are still active and, as the discussion is very relevant to me, I thought it would be better than creating a new one so have a few questions.

Having just read the copyright FAQ on this site, am I right in thinking that, even though it was written in 2004, it's still all valid?

If I wanted permission to copy an arrangement, would it be the copyright owner of the arrangement or the copyright owner of the original music (or both) who would need to authorise that? For example, let's say I wanted to make copies of Alan Fernie's arrangement of Elton John/Bernie Taupin's Crocodile Rock. The set shows the arrangement copyright belonging to Obrasso-Verlag AG, with the original owned by Dick James Music. Do I only need to contact Obrasso-Verlag?

My last question, for the moment, is in relation to a couple of comments in this thread (particularly from Jim O'Briant) related to organisations who publish music where copying is expected; is there any list of those publishers anywhere in the site and/or has the situation improved over the years? I've found it difficult to come up with a search term that could narrow things down enough!

Thanks
 

Anglo Music Press

Well-Known Member
You need to contact Obrasso. They will have a print licence for the arrangement from the original copyright holder, so can authorise further copies being made, if their licence allows this.

If not, they will be able to sell you the copies you need, I'm sure.
 

cosimo193

New Member
I have another question, that's more of a clarification I guess; if something that has gone out of copyright has an arrangement published after that, am I right in thinking that I'd need permission from the copyright holder of the arrangement to copy parts of that arrangement but I could choose to create my own arrangement instead?

I think I understand the answer to this as 'yes', but just thought I'd check.

Thanks
 
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Anno Draconis

Well-Known Member
Almost always 'yes'. For example you couldn't copy Philip Harper's arrangement of the overture to The Music for The Royal Fireworks because the arrangement is copyright, but you are perfectly entitled to make your own arrangement of said piece. because the original isn't.

The other issue with photocopying can be that even if the music isn't copyright, the typesetting might be if it was re-done. So the new Wright and Round editions of Rimmer marches, for example: My understanding is that the source material is public domain, so you are free to typeset your own or photocopy a set of 1920s originals, but you can't copy the W&R edition because the editing and typesetting work has its own copyright which is separate to the music.

Be careful with anything 20th century. Because the rules changed from 50 years to 70 years after the composer's death sometime last century (early 90s, possibly?) there are pieces that came OUT of copyright in the 80s, had arrangements made of them and then went back INTO copyright, believe it or not. Also there are pieces that are public domain in some countries but copyrighted here. Also popular pieces (and especially musical theatre) can sometimes have the copyright period extended by the publishers or the composers estate. I think this is the case with a lot of Gershwin - at least, it used to be. If in doubt, or the composer died anytime after about 1925, I'd check first. Just saves aggro later (or a load of wasted effort)!

On the whole, it's easier to do renaissance stuff. Or compose. :D
 

cosimo193

New Member
Thank you for all that Anno. I was aware that there had been some changes from 50 to 70 years but all useful information and much appreciated.
 

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