Posted Aug 27, 2012 9:42 UTC (Mon) by anselm
In reply to: Copyright protection
Parent article: Mobile patent wars: Google goes on the attack
Music publishers bring out new editions of old works all the time. Usually they add stuff like fingering or dynamics that wasn't in the original, just so they have something obvious to copyright. This is on top of re-typesetting the music according to modern customs, since the original old scores are often quite difficult to make out even if you photograph them 1:1 for reproduction.
Even »urtext« editions which try to present the music as originally written by, say, Bach or Beethoven normally add »critical« annotations along the lines of »In bar 39, the so-and-so edition of 1865 has an A where all the other editions have an A-flat«.
If you were to locate a very old copy of the music in question in your granny's laundry chest, you would be perfectly free to scan these pages and put them up on the Internet, even if modern editions of the same music exist. You would also be perfectly free to take your laptop, with a music typesetting program on it, to your friendly neighbourhood music library and type in stuff from very old scores there. This is basically what the music publishers do, anyway.
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