UK Music Publishers Issue DMCA Takedown On Public Domain Sheet Music

from the there-is-no-public-domain dept

It was just a few months ago that we noted how music publishers were annoyed at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP), which has aggregated music scores of public domain music. We noted that it occasionally received copyright threats, and now it's received another one. The UK Music Publisher's Association (note: not a specific publisher) issued a DMCA takedown over some public domain music (Rachmaninoff's The Bells), and GoDaddy (as it seems to regularly do) took down the site. Nice of them.

IMSLP and its supporters are apparently looking to see if they can file a copyrfraud lawsuit against the UK MPA for the bogus takedown. Even more bizarre is that the MPA is now trying to hide the fact that it sent the takedown in the first place, demanding that the director of IMSLP takedown the takedown notice. Amusingly, in the response to the MPA, the person from IMSLP notes that their last email was sent to the imslp.org domain... which is useless:
I note that one of the receipients of your 21/04/2011 11:23 email is feldmahler@imslp.org. Because you caused, via a bogus DMCA takedown notice, imslp.org to be removed from the internet, that email address will not work.
Of course, the punishment for filing false DMCA notices is pretty minimal, so these sorts of situations will keep happening. It's really too bad that GoDaddy took down an entire site over a single DMCA notice, but the law encourages that sort of censorship approach.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    The eejit (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 1:45pm

    What I would do, is get itno contact with the MPs, and point them to this and ask them to investigate UKMPA for 'accounting irregularities'. But then I'm insane.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 2:21pm

    Just one more reason...

    .. to avoid GoDaddy.

    Has anyone ever had a good experience with them?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 2:22pm

    Godaddy looked cheap anyway

    They need more big breated bimbos. /sarc

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Godaddy looked cheap anyway

    breated? these thingies - (oo)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    umccullough (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 2:24pm

    I hate doing this...

    But I guess I better move my domains and sites off of GoDaddy... They obviously can't be trusted to take their customer's best interests into account first ...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 2:29pm

    "Even more bizarre is that the MPA is now trying to hide the fact that it sent the takedown in the first place"

    It's amazing how the MSM won't ever mention this. Big corporations practically control the monopolized MSM (thanks to bad laws that give them that control) and their attempts to censor this from the MSM works.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Aaron, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 2:30pm

    Don't GoDaddy!

    GoDaddy is a terrible company. Not just because they're all too happy to do these sorts of things, but because they routinely ignore ICAN rules. I had to contact ICAN before I could finally get them to release my domain name.

    Don't GoDaddy!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 2:31pm

    Re:

    I also think that this censorship (and attempts at censorship) is an indication that these people know that what they're doing is wrong. They wouldn't hide things if they had nothing to hide.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    blaktron (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Just one more reason...

    Actually, they're pretty stupid and it sometimes works. I had a domain I didnt care about registered with them and in the 2 years I had it with cancelled the credit card they had on file. Because I didnt care about the domain name anymore, I never bothered putting another one in, or cancelling it but figured it would just disappear on its own. Well, they tried to bill it, sent me notices about how it didnt go through and I needed to contact them (which i didnt) but it still renewed for 2 more years....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 3:18pm

    Re: Re: Just one more reason...

    No one ever reads the fineprint... Read their TOS/AUP carefully. Godaddy are the domain Nazis. They can take your domain down if you say... for example... "Godaddy sucks".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 3:25pm

    I know this gets in the way of a really good story, but as IMSLP recognizes, the score in question is probably *not* in the public domain in the U.S. or Europe:

    http://imslp.org/wiki/The_Bells,_Op.35_%28Rachmaninoff,_Sergei%29

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 3:30pm

    Luddites

    Dateline UK -- Today, in a surprise move, the UK Music Publisher's Association issued a takedown on public domain sheet music. The handwritten DMCA takedown was folded in thirds and an attempt was made to stuff it into a #10 envelope.

    After two more attempts to make the takedown notice fit, utilizing additional bends along the length and width of the oversize letter, a larger envelope was suggested and subsequently, deployed.

    A spokesperson for the UKMPA states that this is "standard procedure."

    "Most DMCA notices are handwritten by ourselves or various unpaid interns. Normally, we would write this on official letterhead, but one of our former unpaid interns had forgotten to place an order with the printers. Due to the fact that this notice had to be delivered within the next 5 to 7 business days, we had no choice but to use available supplies, in this case, a large stack of public domain sheet music that had 'lapsed' into our care several years ago."

    The DMCA notice was swiftly walked to the nearest post box, slightly ahead of the 4 pm pickup.

    "With any luck, our notice will be in the offender's hands by next Friday at the latest."

    A followup email was drafted, approved, questioned, re-drafted, re-approved and a hard copy printed out on public domain sheet music. Further attempts to send this followup email were hampered by the fact that no one in the UKMPA's offices had fully installed Outlook.

    According to the spokesman, there were several issues with "POP3" and "other technical whatits" that had stymied every attempt to fully install Microsoft's incredibly omnipresent email software.

    "We finally just had an intern log into the fired intern's account and send it from there. We did attach some very stern sounding legalese to the footer just in case."

    We will continue to follow this story as it develops, most likely 3 or 4 days after the extended Easter weekend.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 3:41pm

    Re:

    I know this gets in the way of a really good story, but as IMSLP recognizes, the score in question is probably *not* in the public domain in the U.S. or Europe:

    Actually, that link says quite clearly: "As this work was first published before 1923 or failed to meet notice or renewal requirements, it is almost certainly public domain in the USA as well."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 3:44pm

    Re: Re: Godaddy looked cheap anyway

    Obviously a typo. He must have meant berated.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 3:48pm

    Re: Re:

    and why must works be so old to be in the public domain to begin with?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 3:51pm

    Re: Re:

    You are correct, and I was wrong about that. I didn't think past the life + 70 aspect, when determining copyright status of any work of that age is a much more complicated process.

    That said, simply calling the work "public domain" is misleading, since it's status is different in different jurisdictions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Fzzr (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 4:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    As I understand it, since the DMCA is a US law, that's the jurisdiction that matters here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 4:31pm

    This is how GoDaddy works

    They'll cave instantly to anything that might impair their revenue, but will cheerfully support spammers and phishers for years as long as nobody complains. It's always been this way; it's old news to those of who work in the security field. Bob Parsons is a total scumbag and his company is staffed by people just like him.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 5:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, I guess facts got in the way of a good trolling...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 5:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not necessarily.

    I'm not sure what holdings GoDaddy has in the UK or Europe, or if they do business enough to be subject to jurisdiction there. But, if they are subject to UK or European jurisdiction, and could be held liable for any infringement ocurring there due to their provision of service, it wouldn't matter if the U.S. gives them any safe harbor under U.S. law.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 5:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Some people might disagree, but I've always thought that good faith disagreement =/= trolling.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 5:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't think he was trolling. Maybe he is generally a troll (maybe not), but that right there wasn't trolling. He admit to being wrong and he actually seems to have made an effort to contribute to the conversation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    That Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 6:34pm

    Maybe if they applied the same "damages" they seek to stop to those who file bogus takedowns the system would be fixed.

    They cost us $150,000 by publishing this!
    Oh its public domain? Umm oopsie...
    Quick stop telling anyone we did it!
    What do you mean we have to pay $150,000 to them now!

    If you want to have stupid laws, have stupid laws.
    Just make sure they work both ways.
    I think a group preserving sheet music would benefit from a sudden $150,000 "donation", and they would end up with fewer bogus complaints.

    You want the laws to "protect" what you have, thats fine... when you want to use the law to expand your control to things that aren't yours... thats THEFT!
    GET 'EM!

    Funny, Corps don't seem to think the law is as good when they are the ones breaking it and have to pay up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
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    Christopher (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 9:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Just one more reason...

    Which is why these domain companies need to be SEVERELY regulated and have those TOS/AUP terms vacated by law.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
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    Fzzr (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 1:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    In that case they should be held liable according to the procedures of that jurisdiction.

    This is the problem with trying to regulate the internet. ANY website is accessible (by default) ANYWHERE in the world. Enforcing a law on a website in one jurisdiction expands the jurisdiction of that law to the entire world. ACTA to the contrary, the DMCA and its associated procedures apply only in the United States. GoDaddy, as a service, may be in violation of laws in various places. Who has juristdiction, however, is a difficult question. Is it the nation in which it is incorporated? The nation where its headquarters are? The nation where it does the plurality of its business? Any nation in which it does ANY business? Does Angola receive a claim to jurisdiction over all of godaddy's holdings if a single customer there does business with them? This is why the DMCA has safe harbors, but not all countries provide such protection. The issues go on and on.

    There is not an International Court of the Internet to pass judgement on the border-transcending entities that are modern websites. As long as there are multiple nations in the world with extremely different laws, there never will be. And therefore the internet will continue to lie above and beyond political boundaries, and true regulation will remain always out of reach.

    And that's a good thing. In the meantime, arbitrary divisions of jurisdictions do exist, and people will proceed to regulate within them, while trying to regulate everywhere. Good luck forcing your laws to apply in every other nation in the world. As long as the internet exists in its current form, roadblocks like that will be routed over, under, around and through. And those whose existence depends on barriers will fade into irrelevance like the tollbooths they man.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Cipher-0, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 5:56am

    Counter-attacking a false DMCA takedown

    Is there any provision within the DMCA that would prevent someone who's (for the sake of argument) had a video taken down from YouTube and replaced with the "taken down for copyright infringement" from suing the issuer of the takedown for libel?

    After all, the false issuance of a take-down is essentially claiming - if you go by **AA logic - a thief and a criminal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, I think GoDaddy tried to avoid "held liable according to the procedures of that jurisdiction" by taking down the site.

    I'm not saying anything you do on the Internet should subject you to jurisdiction anywhere. I know U.S. courts don't believe that's true. But it might be true (I really don't know) that GoDaddy has enough customers or other activities in foreign jurisdictions that they are rightly subject to jurisdiction there.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    Fzzr (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The problem with takedowns being used to avoid liability is that it creates a chilling effect on free speech. "Be careful, because a single item that a company wants gone could lead to your entire website being taken down, possibly at great cost to you." Even if the claim is illegitimate, a host may take your site down to cover THEIR butt. And once again, a takedown in one jurisdiction applies everywhere, and if instead they try some kind of filtering technique, it will inevitably be ineffective. Even if no one claims that their laws apply everywhere, any enforcement on the internet is effectively acting like they do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Apr 23rd, 2011 @ 9:56am

    Re:

    "But then I'm insane."

    Sanity is actually just an agreed upon standard that is defined by a group of psyche types bought and paid for by the pharma industry. Si I wouldn't worry about the sanity thing ...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Apr 23rd, 2011 @ 9:59am

    Re: Godaddy looked cheap anyway

    What I found funny was Danica Patrick doing a "got milk?" poster after her goDaddy stuff.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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