Cease And Desist? A Music Publisher Responds - InformationWeek

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10/25/2007
03:23 PM
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Cease And Desist? A Music Publisher Responds

On Monday, I reported that IMSLP, a volunteer Web site that offered copies of music scores that were (or had been perceived to be) in the public domain, had gone down because of two cease-and-desist letters from music publisher Universal Edition. On Wednesday, I received a reply from UE.

On Monday, I reported that IMSLP, a volunteer Web site that offered copies of music scores that were (or had been perceived to be) in the public domain, had gone down because of two cease-and-desist letters from music publisher Universal Edition. On Wednesday, I received a reply from UE.Here, with his permission, is the response to the blog from Jonathan Irons, a company representative:

"I'm rather dismayed by the fact that you, too, are supporting that idea that UE forced the site to close. This is not the case. The 'punishment' you refer to was not meted out by us. The site administrators chose to shut down the site rather than remove our few works, simply to make a point (and how successful they were).

"UE has been used as a scapegoat simply because the IMSLP was not willing to remove copyright[ed] material from the website.

"We know this thing is run by good people who want to distribute music freely (and used by people who prefer not to pay for sheet music). That unfortunately does not free us from our contractual obligation to protect our authors' copyrights, as you point out.

"This is a very regrettable issue, but the impression that UE wanted or forced the shut down of the website is disingenuous, and ignores the real underlying problem, which it seems is apparently that they ran out of cash.

"If the administrators of IMSLP had a dollar for every angry word aimed at UE, they would have been up and running by now."

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