The IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library has long since evolved from being a controversial newcomer to an essential resource for performers and librarians world wide. Contributors include Major conservatories and music libraries and institutions including the Eastman Library and the Beethoven Haus in Bonn.
Today, using a trick borrowed from those who got Wikileaks tossed of Amazon.com’s servers a few months ago, the MPA, or Music Publishers Association, has demanded the IMSLP’s webhost, Go Daddy, pull the entire IMSLP website.
That’s right. Not just one offending file, or a list of offending files, but the entire IMSLP website.
So, there must be a whole lot of illegal files on the IMSLP?
Well, of the nearly 91,000 scores hosted there, guess how many files the MPA found to be in violation. 10 thousand? 5 thousand? 50 thousand?
One piece. Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, op 35.
The only problem is that, in spite of the MPA’s assertions otherwise, The Bells is Public Domain in the US and Canada, so they are perfectly within their rights having up on the IMSLP. Since it is PD, you can also sell it as a reprint in the USA, as Kalmus do. IMSLP has nothing to gain financially. (By the way, all Rachmaninoff becomes PD not in 20 years or 10 years, but in 2014).
Here is the announcement as posted on the IMSLP forum:
by imslp » Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:49 am
The MPA, without notifying us, sent to our domain registrar GoDaddy a bogus DMCA takedown notice. GoDaddy took the entire IMSLP.ORG domain down. IMSLP has filed a DMCA counter notice with GoDaddy, however, the DMCA seems to require the registrar to wait no less than 10 days before restoring service. This means that IMSLP is inaccessible from IMSLP.ORG during this period of time. We will be working to restore service as soon as possible.
What is the MPA complaining about? Rachmaninoff’s Bells, which is public domain both in Canada and the USA:http://petruccilibrary.org/wiki/The_Bel … _Sergei%29 MPA’s claim is entirely bogus.
Workaround: You can still reach the site by using either petruccilibrary.org or petruccimusiclibrary.org Note, however, that some links on the site that refer to IMSLP.ORG may be broken; you will have to manually replace IMSLP.ORG with one of the two above domain names manually in the URL bar.
Anyone who is interested in suing or helping to sue the MPA under DMCA section 512(f) (misrepresentations) please contact me at imslproject <at> yahoo.ca. Note that the feldmahler <at> imslp.org address is likewise offline.
The following is the e-mail that GoDaddy received from the MPA. IMSLP / Project Petrucci LLC grants everyone permission to reproduce it in part or in its entirety. I also grant everyone permission to reproduce the above post in part or in its entirety. Please feel free to make this incident as widely known as possible.
We, the Music Publishers Association, take action to remove unlicensed
copyright material from infringing websites.
We understand that Godaddy are the sponsoring registrar for the website
http://www.IMSLP.ORG which makes available unlicensed copyright protected sheet
music notation which is an infringement of copyright. By assisting this
website, Godaddy are liable to pay damages for secondary copyright
infringement once notice of the infringement has been given.
We therefore request that you withdraw from all associations you have
with http://www.IMSLP.ORG and retract their
domain name so that the website cannot be accessed.
An example of the infringing material on http://www.IMSLP.ORG is ‘The Bells’ by
Rachmaninov which can be reached via:
This material is copyright protected in most counties including all
European countries and the USA.
Here are the registrant’s details to the best of our knowledge:
Registrant Name:Edward W. Guo
Registrant Organization:Project Petrucci LLC
Registrant Street1:205 S. Charles St.
Registrant Postal Code:62025
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Registrant Email: email@example.com
We have good faith belief that use of the material in this manner is not
authorized by the copyright owner or the law.
The information in this notification is accurate and we confirm, under
penalty of perjury, that we are authorized to act on behalf of the
copyright owner of an exclusive right of that is infringed.
I would be grateful for your response detailing your undertakings by 3
Printed Music Publishing Administrator
Music Publishers Association
6th Floor, British Music House, 26 Berners Street, London W1T 3LR
Direct Tel: +44 (0)20 7637 4052
Fax: +44 (0)20 7637 3929 (please confirm fax by sending me an email)
the_MPA on twitter <http://twitter.com/the_MPA>
- Site Admin
- A balanced legal look at why the MPA’s assertions are baseless can be found here
- It ends with a statement worthy of repeating here
- “Sad to say, the Evil Empire Strikes Back – all too soon. Too bad that a gang of dying companies running on a failed business model can’t find anything more productive to do with their time (like maybe promoting the works of living composers, instead of playing lawyer over ones dead since 1943).”