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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Karl Miller" <[log in to unmask]>
> > Of course, it all depends on one's purpose. I ask only about compliance
> > with the law. However desirable, compensation of the artists, producers
> > and others is effectively impossible. From all indications, it would
> > also be negligible financially. I am asking in all seriousness: Given
> > that there is no prospect of monetary profit, who benefits from
> > suppressing dissemination of a recording of acknowledged historic
> > importance?
>
> Beats me.
Simple...the lawyers! Or, more practically, it is feared that allowing
access and dispersion to material which is technically under copyright
might somehow set a legal precedent that would result in free access to
any recorded sound...a scary possibility when one profits by the sale
of sound recordings...
> > There is a corollary: Is it necessary for a library to participate in
> > that suppression? Or is it today simply a form of hoarding, of the
> > archive gloating over its unique possession?
>
> Unfortunately, in some instances it a case of gloating of a sort...case
> in point...our own rare book collection refused consider the deposit of
the
> papers of American composer, music administrator and educator William
> Schuman because Schuman wanted a deposit agreement which would have
allowed
> anyone to have copies of his materials. I know, because, at Schuman's
> request, I approached the former head of our rare book library. As
> it was further explained, the library didn't want to go to the expense of
> preserving the materials if they were to "just give them away."
> Fortunately, this attitude is no longer in place at our rare book library.
>
> Yet, in my experience, the suppression (I would wager that most
> libraries don't see on site listening as supression) is done with a
> sincere desire to respect not only the law, but the intent of the
> copyright laws.
>
> There really aren't laws that really provide "the right to reasonable
> access..." For me, on site listening is not reasonable access. If I am
> preparing a piece for performance...lousy conductor that I was, I wanted
> to hear the piece repeatedly while I looked through the score...sure, I
> did conduct more than one first performance in my brief time conducting,
> but being able to listen repeatedly saved me time. Same thing if I am
> trying to do some analysis of the music. I am not going to go to a library
> and spend a month so I can listen repeatedly to a piece. So, I end up
> not writing about the piece, and the piece continues to be kept from
> view and possible performance.
>
> Then, who is to  decide the fine line between listening for pleasure
> versus research. As for me, I don't research anything I don't like...
>
> Some difficult calls...
>
See my comment above! The original intent of the concept of copyright
was to preclude anyone from copying and reselling works which the
original creator had intended to make a profit (and thus live) by
publishing (in the legal sense) them. Thus, a dissemination of a
copyrighted work only falls outside this intent if it interferes
with the copyright holder's possibility of profitable dissemination
of the copyrighted entity. However, it would be very difficult to
prove to a court's satisfaction that your acquisition of an "illegal"
(in the technical sense) copy did not lessen the chances of your
acquisition of a legal copy...

Steven C. Barr