Any lawyers?

I mentioned in another thread that I saw an eBay auction where someone was selling these “rare” music scores for big bucks. They were transciptions (or arrangements if you will) of works done by long dead composers like Saint-Saens, Sousa, and Bizet for the piano. The guy who did them, Horowitz, has been dead for almost 20 years. All the guy on ebay did was print out a pdf (which everyone has ;)), gave them a cheap plastic binding thingy and sold them for lots of money ($250-600), thereby making a SHITLOAD of profits.

Ok, is this legal?

I am not a lawyer

but, if these things aren’t copyrighted [and other intellectual propertly laws, like trademarks don’t get in the way, which seems unlikely here] then yes, it is.

however, in the US, copyrights expire like 75 years after the author dies or something else rediclous. the next copyrights to expire will be in 2012, or perhaps 2020 [I forget offhand].

at least I’ve got plenty of time to plan about how I will celebrate when copyrights for things like happy birthday start to expire.

the original reason of copyright was to protect the creator for a period of time enough to make some money off it.

then it was designed to make things go public domain (on purpose) to protect the cultural herritage of the people effected by the thing.

however the US are retards and have bastardised it into “corperations own the world” and neglected the intention of copyrights.

mickey mouse is an example of one that should have been public domain decades ago (by original laws).

Valarking, unfortunatly i don’t think its illegal in the US, (unless he is misleading customers or false advertising).

in my country if he were considered a bussiness then yes it would be illegal, but as a private citizen through ebay no it wouldn’t even be illegal here.

you should start to do it too if its working so well for that guy, (do it better than him though)

p.s. the PDF he obtained and is printing, who created it? because the creator of that PDF has a copyright on it. so the PDF he is printing may make it illegal for himt o be selling it.


Wow, hell, if it’s legal I should try. I’m not moving until I get a few more opinions though, this could get hairy if it goes wrong.

hairy subject indeed.

As other hinted, if someone else made the pdf, there may be copyright infringement.

But more, if the transcriptions were edited at any time, there may be another infringement.

The specific about US (and UK) style copyright, is that they can be transferred eg to an editor, and in this case are bounded to a contract.
So you must know about all contracts passed about this particular work to check its copyright status.

French style laws (German and italy too, i think), differentiate author, editor and performer rights and those are not transferable. editor rights is very near to copyright, but author right can never be acquired until it pass in public domain (only inherited), and the rule would be clear, what you describe would be forbidden unless you have green light from its family.

It gets even messier…

These transcriptions were never written down by Horowitz. The sheets that are out there exist because people have listened to the recordings and copied them note for note.

For example:

You know you can buy land on the moon.

can’t own what you can’t defend.


No really, there’s this guy that will sell you a part of land on the moon and it’s fully legal too.

There are also still open land claims in the US. Too bad they’re in like, the desert of Nevada…

You just squat on them for two years and it’s yours. Yes, there’s plenty out here, then again, people are stupid enough to live where’s there flash floods. Then I laughs every time I hear it on the news.

you can’t own what you can’t defend.

i don’t care how legal it is.


how do you own the moon?

It explains here, some loop hole

Oops. Correction, it’s only to exploit that area of the moon for profit.

I’d rather live where it rains and we get flash floods once in a while than live somewhere that gets like 1 day of rain all year %|

Selling it might be allegedly fully legal, but buying it is definitely fully silly.

Yea, like who will buy land ? You can’t own it or do anything with it %|

I’d rather live where it rains and we get flash floods once in a while than live somewhere that gets like 1 day of rain all year %|[/quote]
I’d rather live where there’s neither. %|

There’s more than two types of climate in the world. So if somebody doesn’t want to live where flash floods are common, then a person has no other choice but to live in a desert?

It happens very much in a desert, believe me it does.

Theres more than 2 types of climate, yes, but there’s nowhere in the world you can go where there is never some sort of natural disaster.