For years, we've covered how some in the classical music world have become quite upset
by "free" classical music in the internet era, complaining about how it "devalues" music. Of course, the reality is that they're just upset about losing their role as a gatekeeper -- even when it comes to public domain music. A few folks have sent in this recent NY Times story about the International Music Score Library Project, and how some classical music publishers don't like it
, with a few (mainly in Europe) threatening copyright claims. The site was specifically set up to provide protection to the site's creators against such claims (a few years back, he took the entire site down due to threats, but then restructured it and put it back up). The really silly part is how the publishers of these scores seem to simply assume a right
to make a living from the way things used to be:
"You're paying for something that's worth more than the paper you're receiving," said Jonathan Irons, Universal Edition's promotion manager in Vienna. "Everybody expects somebody else to pay for it."
It's hard to think of a statement more confused. No one's "expecting somebody else" to pay for the value. They know it's already been paid for
. These works are old works. The "value" of the work is not the same thing as the price, and if the economics of the situation mean that works already created can be more widely distributed and used at a low price, that's a good thing
. It means we have abundance in the market.