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I assume others may be having this problem as well, and I would like your solutions/opinions. If music is under copyright but out of print, it seems that there is not a good option except for trolling used book stores and the internet--hoping it turns up. For those of us in rural areas, turning up scores locally is very unlikely.

I have also had this issue with music published in countries other than my own... just often not easily bought.. unless I buy an airline ticket.

Any thoughts?


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I bought a couple of music books (as oppossed to scores) which were out of print recently. I found the best way was to just try the usual sources, Amazon seller network, ebay and good old google.

You tend to pay over the odds if it is popular or rare but anything but the most obscure can generally be found through one of these sources.

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Set up a search alert on ebay if you're after something specific.


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Originally Posted by dogperson
it seems that there is not a good option except for trolling used book stores...

Do you mean trawling?


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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by dogperson
it seems that there is not a good option except for trolling used book stores...

Do you mean trawling?


According to the dictionary
To troll: to fish by trailing a bait line

Of course you are well familiar with this definition eek

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"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by dogperson
it seems that there is not a good option except for trolling used book stores...

Do you mean trawling?


From the Grammarist:
Trawl vs. troll
Trawl means to catch fish with a large cone-shaped net. Among troll‘s several verb meanings is to fish by trailing a line behind a boat. Because both words denote types of fishing—albeit different types—they are often confused. This is easy to avoid if you remember that trawl is only a fishing term (that is often used metaphorically in nonfishing contexts) and involves a net.

Both words can be used metaphorically. Troll for means to patrol or wander about an area in search of something. Trawl for means to search through or gather from a variety of sources. Because these two phrasal verbs’ definitions are so similar, trawl and troll are often mixed up in these uses.


Of the two, trawl sounds like a better strategy, although for locating books that are out of print Interlibrary Loan or a competent internet search are more likely to be effective.


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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by dogperson
it seems that there is not a good option except for trolling used book stores...

Do you mean trawling?


From the Grammarist:
Trawl vs. troll
Trawl means to catch fish with a large cone-shaped net. Among troll‘s several verb meanings is to fish by trailing a line behind a boat. Because both words denote types of fishing—albeit different types—they are often confused. This is easy to avoid if you remember that trawl is only a fishing term (that is often used metaphorically in nonfishing contexts) and involves a net.

Both words can be used metaphorically. Troll for means to patrol or wander about an area in search of something. Trawl for means to search through or gather from a variety of sources. Because these two phrasal verbs’ definitions are so similar, trawl and troll are often mixed up in these uses.


Of the two, trawl sounds like a better strategy, although for locating books that are out of print Interlibrary Loan or a competent internet search are more likely to be effective.


Interlibrary loan so you can photocopy? Thought that violated copyright.


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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by dogperson
it seems that there is not a good option except for trolling used book stores...

Do you mean trawling?


From the Grammarist:
Trawl vs. troll
Trawl means to catch fish with a large cone-shaped net. Among troll‘s several verb meanings is to fish by trailing a line behind a boat. Because both words denote types of fishing—albeit different types—they are often confused. This is easy to avoid if you remember that trawl is only a fishing term (that is often used metaphorically in nonfishing contexts) and involves a net.

Both words can be used metaphorically. Troll for means to patrol or wander about an area in search of something. Trawl for means to search through or gather from a variety of sources. Because these two phrasal verbs’ definitions are so similar, trawl and troll are often mixed up in these uses.


Of the two, trawl sounds like a better strategy, although for locating books that are out of print Interlibrary Loan or a competent internet search are more likely to be effective.


Interlibrary loan so you can photocopy? Thought that violated copyright.

If it's out of print and you are copying it for personal use, then there shouldn't be any problem (there's a strong fair use defense in that situation).

If you publicly perform a piece that is still under copyright, that is when you can get in trouble.


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You should be able to get permission to publicly perform a piece whether or not it is in print. Check with Sam Fox, the licensing agency.


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I've often used the library - sometimes even my local one has what I want, but more often I go through their interlibrary loan process, and have had great results.

Another option to try is to contact the original publisher. I have heard that sometimes they will have some extra copies of an OOP score they will sell you, or will even make a one-off photocopy.

I understand there's also way to get photocopies made of non-circulating material from the Library of Congress, but haven't yet tried it. I don't know what their policy would be for copyrighted but OOP things.

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This is a rather unfortunate situation. As a publisher and a composer I'm trying to NOT do that. I can't offer any legal advice on the matter really but the thing gets even worst with old software, that's no longer available and doesn't even work on newer computers! Imagine that tragedy (ok... I'm comparing classical music to computer software... kill me).

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Originally Posted by Nikolas
This is a rather unfortunate situation. As a publisher and a composer I'm trying to NOT do that. I can't offer any legal advice on the matter really but the thing gets even worst with old software, that's no longer available and doesn't even work on newer computers! Imagine that tragedy (ok... I'm comparing classical music to computer software... kill me).


It's great to hear that you are trying hard to keep music in print, but this is not the stance of all publishers. It makes honoring copyright frustrating if the solution is to try to contact the publisher (who may not even be in business) or to wait for an obscure find to show up. I noticed you did not comment on the interlibrary loan and photocopying. No thoughts on this?

Is it prohibitively expensive to print 'on demand' ? Inter-library loan and photocopying should be a legal option if the publisher will no longer provide a printed copy, shouldn't it?


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by Nikolas
This is a rather unfortunate situation. As a publisher and a composer I'm trying to NOT do that. I can't offer any legal advice on the matter really but the thing gets even worst with old software, that's no longer available and doesn't even work on newer computers! Imagine that tragedy (ok... I'm comparing classical music to computer software... kill me).


It's great to hear that you are trying hard to keep music in print, but this is not the stance of all publishers. It makes honoring copyright frustrating if the solution is to try to contact the publisher (who may not even be in business) or to wait for an obscure find to show up. I noticed you did not comment on the interlibrary loan and photocopying. No thoughts on this?
Thanks.

No, no thoughts on the interlibrary loan, cause I know nothing about this...

Same on the photocopying, which as illegal it may be, it stands to reason, exactly due to the reasons you have described already.

Quote
Is it prohibitively expensive to print 'on demand' ? Inter-library loan and photocopying should be a legal option if the publisher will no longer provide a printed copy, shouldn't it?
Print in demand is expensive, but it's getting less expensive every year (due to better equipment and better technology). It's the hassle, I think, that's the problem. Why keep in mind, or even in an online archive something that will be requested by 1 person per 1 year? The dynamics of something like this are bad for any commercial entity.

On the other hand, now with the digital files and e-books and stuff, this should be a piece of cake... :-/

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Originally Posted by dogperson
... Inter-library loan and photocopying should be a legal option if the publisher will no longer provide a printed copy, shouldn't it?


It depends what you do with your photocopies and performances. "Fair use" has already been mentioned and what should or should not be legal is not relevant.

Are you looking for something specific or just grousing about the unsatisfactory state of things?


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Originally Posted by Nikolas
the thing gets even worst with old software, that's no longer available and doesn't even work on newer computers! Imagine that tragedy (ok... I'm comparing classical music to computer software... kill me).

You can often run older software in a virtual machine....download VMWarePlayer or VirtualBox, install the operating system of your choice, and install the software of your choice.

(For other weird software configurations, usually there are other weird options as well).


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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by dogperson
... Inter-library loan and photocopying should be a legal option if the publisher will no longer provide a printed copy, shouldn't it?


It depends what you do with your photocopies and performances. "Fair use" has already been mentioned and what should or should not be legal is not relevant.

Are you looking for something specific or just grousing about the unsatisfactory state of things?


"Fair use" from what I can determine does not even extend to photocopying for even home piano use. What is your source?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use

I started this topic, because as I venture in other directions, I have found it difficult to find the music.. several instances of OOP.


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Originally Posted by dogperson

Is it prohibitively expensive to print 'on demand' ? Inter-library loan and photocopying should be a legal option if the publisher will no longer provide a printed copy, shouldn't it?


Here's a relevant quote from the New England Conservatory's library website:

"One of the most common circumstances that discourages conscientious musicians from adhering to copyright law is their inability to purchase music easily from a music store or vendor. Increasingly during the past decade, publishers have been allowing significant portions of their stock to go out of print. Unfortunately, out-of-print status does not absolve one from liability when photocopying music that is under copyright protection. Every effort must be made to contact the publisher for written permission to photocopy music that is out of print."

So there you have it from a librarian's point of view - copying OOP music without permission is a no-no.

But, of course, as a practical matter, who will know if you did make a copy strictly for personal, non-public use? I am not encouraging you to break the law, but just pointing out the facts.

The problem with fair use is that the law was written so that it is basically a guessing game - you never know for sure if your use is legal until the courts have made a determination whether it is or isn't. Some kinds of fair use are fairly well established, but I don't know if anybody has ever been hauled into court over copying OOP music for personal use, to know how the courts might rule on that.


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Thanks so much for the informative reply. Sounds like their might be a business lurking here somewhere for someone who is ambitious.

Unfortunately, this problem even extends to music published, still in print, outside of the US, as are often tangos by various arrangers. Not easy to purchase even still in print.


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Originally Posted by wr
The problem with fair use is that the law was written so that it is basically a guessing game - you never know for sure if your use is legal until the courts have made a determination whether it is or isn't. Some kinds of fair use are fairly well established, but I don't know if anybody has ever been hauled into court over copying OOP music for personal use, to know how the courts might rule on that.

Over a single copy for personal use? File for it to be moved to petty-claims court lol. Over an amount of money that small.....
the reason no case law exists to cover this scenario is because no one's ever been sued over it. Most copyright law is written to deal with large-scale infringers.....people who make bootleg copies and sell them widely. It mostly isn't written with small uses in mind.


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Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by wr
The problem with fair use is that the law was written so that it is basically a guessing game - you never know for sure if your use is legal until the courts have made a determination whether it is or isn't. Some kinds of fair use are fairly well established, but I don't know if anybody has ever been hauled into court over copying OOP music for personal use, to know how the courts might rule on that.

Over a single copy for personal use? File for it to be moved to petty-claims court lol. Over an amount of money that small.....
the reason no case law exists to cover this scenario is because no one's ever been sued over it. Most copyright law is written to deal with large-scale infringers.....people who make bootleg copies and sell them widely. It mostly isn't written with small uses in mind.


Yes, I realize all that, but it doesn't actually change the the law, unfortunately.

For musicians willing to break the law in order to get the music they want for private use, I think the most likely negative effect might be having a librarian stop you from making a copy of an OOP piece of music on the library's copy machines.


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