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Today, it is no surprise to see how quickly A Tale of Two Copyrights can spawn across the Internet without factual corroboration. Even the BBC simply pasted a blog entry (inside quote marks) publishing on its own web site. In true red-top (British tabloid Pimpernel) fashion, it originally entitled the piece The Day the Music Died. The good old institution realised this was a tad over the top, however, and has since gone down an octave to Music Copyright in the Spotlight. The latter almost qualifies as a moderately adequate soubriquet for a piano sonata, in my humble opinion, albeit inaccurate therefore misinformative journalistic copy in its original usage.

It would appear that Aunty Beeb misrepresents not only Blue Peter and the Queen's notorious Annie Leibovitz photo shoot. Indeed, today's licence fee bears the 'free gifts' of amazing manipulative liberty taking, perchance the modification of the reality gene?

The job of the publisher is to promote and defend the composer. Those of yesteryear sustain the cost of the promotion of composers today and the future of Music tomorrow. When copyright is still in effect, it is there for a reason. The protection instigated by people and organisations such as Victor Herbert and ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, founded by him [see A Man of Vision]), afford just that, and contractually so between publisher, composer and h{er|is} estate. This legal agreement must be respected not belittled and conveniently scoffed. Blaming a peer institution such as UE for doing its job properly and thereby being the sole (Solea solea?) cause behind the whole shoal of fish breaking though a problematic and hastily removed net, holds as much water as a lidless lobsterpot. Universal Edition acted in good faith. Their impressive list of credentials is more than a century long. The 'normal college student', who set up the Canadian web site does include the following (if one indulges in sufficient wading of the shallows):

[T]he [UE] cease and desist letter does not call for a take down of the entire site, but, as I said above, I very unfortunately simply do not have the energy or money necessary to implement the terms in the cease and desist in any other way. Prior to this cease and desist I was already overloaded with server maintenance and the implementation of new features.

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Copyright © 8 December 2007 Jennifer I Paull, Vouvry, Switzerland


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