Friday, October 19, 2007

IMSLP / Universal Edition Cease and Desist Letter

A transcription of the C&D letter from UE follows:

We are the Canadian counsel for and represent Universal Edition AG, the publisher of various composers including B. Bartók, A. Berg, I. Friedman, L. Janacex, G. Mahler, J. Mark, O. Respighi, A. Schönberg, R. Strauss, K. Szymanowski and A. von Zemlinkski ("UE Authors").

It is our understanding that you are the directing mind behind the International Music Score Library Project, ("IMSLP"), as its primary system administrator and founder. As such, you are legally responsible for the conduct of the members of the IMSLP, and have control over and may potentially authorize any copyright infringement committed by individuals who have access to and who may edit the IMSLP.

As you are aware the copyright in the musical scores published by the UE Authors are copyrighted in Europe for a period of at least 70 pears from the date of the author's death, and for 50 years after death in Canada. Certain of these composers' works are further protected in Canada or the United States under the appropriate Copyright Act of these jurisdictions.

It is our understanding that it is possible to filter IP addresses of those who take part in copying files from your site to prevent such unauthorized copyright infringement. However, we further understand that such safeguards are not in place. As a result of the lack of safeguards on the IMSLP from infringing Canadian and European copyright law, you and your organization are involved in a collective effort to breach copyright.

This is a violation of both European and Canadian copyright law.

We therefore demand that you cease and desist from offering on your web site the musical scores and any other copyrighted works of the UE Authors. These works should be removed by no later than October 19, 2007.

We further demand that you institute a filtering system to the IMSLP that would prevent any further uploading of the UE Artists's scores until after the expiry of European and Canadian copyright in those works.

Failing your agreement to these terms, we reserve our client's rights co commence copyright proceedings in Europe or in Canada against yourself personally and against the IMSLP as an unincorporated organization, as well as any other individuals who take part in infringing activity.

Please not that under Canadian law a judgment rendered in Europe is enforceable in Canada and that such a judgment may be enforced against yourself personally.

Please confirm in writing by letter or email to the undersigned to indicate your consent to the above demands by October 19, 2007. If we do not receieve such confirmation by that date we will be seeking instructions with respect to commencing legal action against yourself and your organization.

Yours truly,

AIRD & BERLIS LLP

Ken Clark
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