Copyright Issues

• Dec 1, 2015 - 06:18

Copyright issues

Each music sheet that is published at MuseScore has a label that shows its copyright protection defined by the creator/uploader of the music. Most songs that can be found and downloaded in MuseScore Sheet music are labeled with "All Rights Reserved" Also all these songs can be found via "Discover"in the Songbook. (I guess).

In total it seems everybody has access to 13670x10 files (till today: the data base grows).

If the added label is wrong then the copyright holder can warn MusicScore to block the content (via: Report Copyright Infringement).
Most songs shows "All Rights Reserved" which has no jurisdiction. It's just a formal sentence sayïng it's not free to use, but even when nothing were mentioned it is already not free to use unless you have the explicit admission of the copyright holder. If you want your uploaded work specificly to be free of copyright you should add "CC0 1.0 Universal" (CC Zero). If you think the work is already in the public domain, like e.g. with most old classical works, then you can add "Public Domain Mark 1.0". Practically I see most people don't care they just use the default mentioned Creative Common Licence "None (All Rights Reserved)" even when it is copyrighted.

I just got my copyright infringement report for "Rose Of Picardi" and the file is blocked. The song was composed in 1916. In the USA, European, the Canadian and Australië laws everything stays under copyright untill 70 years after the death of its creator. However according to the USA copyright law the exception is that everything created before 1923 is in the public domain. The composer Haydn Wood died in 1959 which is 56 years ago but he composed it before 1923. The British company "Faber Music o/b/o Warner/Chappell" reported infringement. Absolutely absurd of course, like if the Internet stops at the boarders. Two different kind of copyright's laws is useless. There are still countries that still use the previous 50 years law. Yes, in 2011 the copyright law was extended to 70 years in Europe and now in 2015 also in Canada. All done by the lobby tryïng to convince politicians it is fair to get money for doïng nothing. It is almost never the creator that earns the money but the middle men.

Happily enough we can protect ourself by using it only for private use and then share it of course with, I won't tell you.


I guess MuseScore BV being a Belgian company has to obey local (Belgian/European) law? Or the strictest possible law, to suit all legislations?

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I think that in principal everybody who uploads anything to the MuseScore website is responsible him/herself for the legimity of the copyrights. Imho this is not limited to law in Belgium but to any law anywhere. Belgium follows European agreements and probably these are the worst anyway. I guess that practically in the case of lawsuit the judge in the country where the uploader resides will decide what happens. I also guess to prevent lawsuits of any kind MuseScore has been made it very easy to indicate infringements to the copyright which will result in an instant blocking of the material at the MuseScore website. I suppose it is an automated process.
Also the website owner is responsible unless some precautions have been made as what I've read here:….

In reply to by Robipad

Thanks for the info and for the link. However, there are implications of the quoted article I am not able to work out.

I reside in Italy, my web site is presumably physically located in France (but I am not 100% sure) and my domain is registered though an Italian registrar.

Does the article you quote implies that it would be good for me to pay $150 to some U.S.A. agency to file a "designation form"? It is very possible that several other countries in the word have similar laws. So, in order to protect me, I should also file forms (and pay the relevant fee) in all of them? Is it my responsibility to check the laws of:

Abkhazia, Afghanistan, Akrotiri, Aland, Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Andorra, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Ascension Island, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, The, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Island, Colombia, Comoros, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Kinshasa), Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dhekelia, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Gabon, Gambia, The, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Grenada, Guam, Guatemala, Guernsey, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Korea (North), Korea (South), Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nagorno-Karabakh, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, the, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Cyprus, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, the, Pitcairn Islands, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Somaliland, South Africa, South Ossetia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Svalbard, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tokelau, Tonga, Transnistria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tristan da Cunha, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam, Virgin Islands (British), Virgin Islands (U.S.), Wallis and Futuna, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

to be sure I am reasonably protected?

Luckily the most recently published score I have uploaded to my site dates from 1844 and its author died in the 17th century. But I think it is time we (the affected parties) do something to attempt to stop this madness..

In reply to by Miwarre

My experience comes partly from what I read at internet and from discussions with ( the dutch specialist on copyright. I had problems with some websites I created some 10 years ago where we posted are recorded music as examples. As reaction to that I banned all Dutch IP adresses and bots from the agency's that scanned the internet for copyright issues so they couldn't scan/see my sites. Very effective, never heard from them again.

Basicly it is very simple: if you post something you're responsible yourself anytime, everywhere and always. If somebody wants to sue you for copyright he always can do it. Since nowadays with internet posting means the whole world can see it, it means everybody in the whole world can sue you. Practically lawsuits are to be judged by the law valid in your own country. Practically it is also impossible to have enough knowledge to be 100% save.
On the other hand practically you only will be sued if you cause a lot of damage to somebody's business. So if somebody warns you and you follow it up by removing the post nothing will happen, certainly if you didn't earn money with it to begin with.

Additionally the website server owner is responsible since he makes it possible for you to post it, but he can always blame you again. To prevent all the fuss I guess he can protect himself by following the suggestions from the link I showed, but then again I think it may be only a valid action for the USA. Of course in the USA are the most aggressive su'ers.

I guess the way MuseScore organised it is pretty save for MuseScore. All responsibility is for the one who post the music. Any report of copyright infringement will automatically followed up by blocking the posting. So it is also pretty save for users.

I don't think we can do anything about this madness..... just take some risques and pray :)

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