Thursday, December 14, 2006

Fencing Mozart In

A good news story for some classical music fans. A bad news story for champions of copyright's public domain. Digital copies of Mozart's scores are now "freely" available here. These works are in the public domain for copyright purposes, which means you are free to copy them without restriction.

However, the International Mozarteum Foundation, which has provided this service, has imposed a click-through agreement requiring visitors to agree to limit their use of the public domain to personal and fair use copies.

Digitizing copyright's public domain is to be applauded. Locking it behind contractual fences is not. There are other and better cost recovery models for this kind of transitional effort.

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