How and when will we end global sheet music copying? | Culture

According to Vice Minister of Culture Vygintas Gasparavičius, it is possible to find monetary resources in the state budget to solve this problem, it is only necessary to set the priorities correctly.

In addition to the Vice Minister of Culture, the head of the Lithuanian Music Information Center Radvilė Buivydienė, composer and head of the concert management, marketing and communication department of the Lithuanian Symphony Wind Orchestra Kristupas Bubnelis, composer, artistic director and conductor of the choir “Jauna muzika” Vaclovas Augustinas, director of LATGA Laura Baškevičienė also took part in the main discussion. , and it was moderated by the chairman of the LATGA council and composer Raminta Naujanytė-Bjelle, who already at the beginning of the event urged the representatives of collectives and schools participating in the discussion as guests to be open and not to spare questions.

At the beginning of the event, R. Naujanytė-Bjelle invited to a playful question-and-answer session, in which LATGA lawyers Radvilė Bieliauskienė and Justina Madatovienė introduced the audience to the basics of copyright, which include sheet music publishing.

When can sheet music be copied? Is it legal to copy sheet music for personal use? Is it possible to use and maybe even sell the music after writing down the music by ear? After answering these and other questions, we moved on to good examples and success stories.

The situation is improving

K. Bubnelis said that the group he represented moved to legal notes naturally when they updated their repertoire, and the Ministry of Culture also contributed to this.

“When we refined our genre definition as a symphonic brass band, it was necessary to form a new repertoire. There was a need for modern works designed specifically for this composition. And there are not many such works in the context of Lithuania.

We had to rent or buy sheet music from foreign publishers and provide for these costs in the budget,” he said and presented eloquent statistics that show that the orchestra will need to purchase/rent sheet music in 2023. spent twice as much as in 2021.

V. Augustinas spoke through the examples of foreign countries. According to him, in order to participate in international competitions of professional choirs, together with the program being performed, original sheet music publications intended for commission members must be sent, and there is no question of choristers singing from copied sheet music.

“It’s about a lot of control. In some countries, during concerts, representatives of some special organizations come to check whether the musicians are playing or singing from the original notes. If it is found that copies have been used, the organizers receive huge fines.

Thus, through that fear of fines, the habit of buying sheet music developed in the countries of the old democracies, although in the countries of the new democracies, as in Lithuania, sheet music is still copied,” said the conductor and composer.

K. Bubnelis pointed out that sheet music publishing is quite a significant economic segment, which, if ignored, results in the loss of significant added value, as composers, sheet music publishers, and publication layouters do not receive remuneration for their work.

He also drew attention to another problem – far from all sheet music of works by Lithuanian composers is published in a modern form, it is often played from old, unorganized sheet music: “I was shocked when I saw the notes from which the Julius Juzeliūnas symphony is played… Absolute negligence, it seems how poor.”

According to him, this problem could possibly be solved by creating a unified electronic system.

Sheet music publishing is a loss-making activity

R. Buivydienė, head of the Lithuanian Music Information Center, which publishes sheet music, agreed that it is necessary to organize the sheet music archive of Lithuanian authors: “Indeed, a lot of works are not stored, they are scattered, we often get questions about where one or another piece is.

We’re really trying to organize those pieces and prioritize where to start. We often talk to those who use those notes. For example, we made a survey of music schools. We found out that schoolchildren would like to perform Lithuanian works. It doesn’t matter to them what kind of publication it is – digital or paper.”

According to her, sheet music publishing in Lithuania is extremely unprofitable at this time of year: “I know very well what the cash flows and needs are here. Every sheet music project that we come up with together with the authors is tragically unprofitable – about 10 thousand. Eur “minus” at best.”

Tricks, manipulations and attempts to avoid the purchase of sheet music became particularly annoying to the head of this center during the economic crisis, when she realized that precisely because of this problem, the authors were not receiving adequate remuneration. “When the hard times hit, authors would come and say why I earned only 30 euros from all the works I created during my life. It shocked us. We started analyzing the situation and looking for reasons why the money is not coming. This is the reason – the copying of notes, which we are talking about today,” she said.

According to her, the practice of copying sheet music was not born in Soviet times, but after the restoration of independence. However, she does not propose to find the culprits, but rather to find ways to solve the problem, and it should start with educational institutions, so that the new generation does not continue this flawed practice. Especially since it is not very expensive to buy legal sheet music for a child, just a couple of euros per piece is enough.

“I know how much all kinds of tools cost in other educational processes – brushes, paper, paints, instruments, computers, their programs. Sheet music is an equivalent thing. The question naturally arises for me: why are we still trying to bypass it?” R. Buivydienė asked rhetorically.

According to her, a working group should be assembled as soon as possible, in which government representatives, publishers, users of works, and composers would participate. “We need to create a common system that suits everyone and no one has to cheat anymore. The school would pay, for example, EUR 500 per year, and students would be able to use all Lithuanian sheet music. Of course, on the condition that you don’t copy it, don’t share it with others,” she gave an example.

“In other words, the circle of creation, publishing and use of works no longer turns, if we remove one of the factors – the purchase of sheet music. Therefore, in order to achieve high-quality work by Lithuanian authors, we must understand the importance of all the actions that exist in the process of music consumption and creation,” emphasized R. Naujanytė-Bjelle, who moderated the discussion.

Authors don’t have to share for nothing

V. Augustinas says that the authors themselves often contribute to the increase of the problem. “First of all, composers shouldn’t themselves be handing out their works left and right for nothing. Especially those whose works are popular. The more popular your tracks are, the greater the risk that your sheet music will be copied. For example, they ask me for some piece, I indicate the publisher and offer to buy it,” said composer V. Augustinas.

K. Bubnelis agreed that the authors themselves must contribute to the solution of this problem. They must be aware of copyright and not be afraid to fight for themselves: “Ignorance is no excuse. Each author has a personal responsibility to become familiar with the basics of copyright.

I myself have found myself in curious situations when I received contracts from prestigious concert institutions with such strange conditions that I did not know how to react. After that, with the help of LATGA lawyers, we adjusted those contracts.”

According to LATGA head L. Baškevičienė, authors must have their own price and not be ashamed of it. “Yes, we are the representatives of the authors. But we will not be so strong if the author transfers those rights to someone else, distributes them right and left and does not think about how to intelligently employ his work so that the works provide financial benefits even during the period when he will no longer be very productive.

To be honest, I honestly can’t understand why authors are so willing to give away the rights for nothing or at a nominal price. After all, they invest their time and money in the works. I really wish authors would respect their work more and show dignity more often. Then both we and other organizations such as LMICs will be able to operate more strongly,” she said.

According to her, there is never a shortage of problems in the area of ​​copyright, because users of works simply take and use the work, often without thinking about the authors. “Although we are not related to sheet music publishing, all the things expressed here, for example, reluctance to pay money or reluctance to look for legal sources, are often applicable when talking about other rights that we administer.

The right of public performance alone has led to many lawsuits in the past, until users realized that there is no fantasy here, that we are operating according to the law, that the same system works throughout the civilized world. Unfortunately, it was only through that fear of punishment that he developed the habit of using works in a civilized manner. Now we litigate less often and try to master the art of negotiation, which is a less strict tool than the courts. It is still difficult to represent copyrights and negotiate a suitable and proportionate remuneration”, said L. Baškevičienė.

After summarizing the discussion, the vice-minister thanked those gathered for discussing an uncomfortable topic and emphasized that although the problem of sheet music copying is not a Soviet legacy, disrespect for intellectual property developed precisely during that period.

“We need to face the truth and start changing. I see the need to invite the institutions subordinate to the Ministry of Culture not to look at this problem through fingers. We can talk about resources, which are sometimes not enough. But after all, buying both a microphone and sheet music is exactly the same. An artist needs both. We all just have to rearrange our priorities,” he said.

A big problem, he says, is that copying habits start to develop in schools: “We’ve been independent for thirty-four years and it’s still happening in our music and general education schools. This is where this ongoing problem comes into play.

As for digital copies of sheet music, maybe solutions can be found for subscriptions to schools that could be reimbursed from state funds. Of course, resources are finite, but what is often lacking is not theirs, but political will.”

He pointed out that state institutions often behave unethically towards authors and are able to draw up contracts for creators in which they are forced to transfer all rights to works. “Regarding fair compensation for authors, the state is interested in its subordinate institutions paying it. That understanding of copyright principles should come from state institutions, they should set an example for others,” he said.

#global #sheet #music #copying #Culture
2024-04-17 17:51:34

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