The UK Music Publishers Association has succeeded in taking down the International Music Score Library Project, an enormously popular Canadian-based sheet music site that has posted thousands of public domain scores. The site has faced legal threats from European publishers in the past and worked hard to ensure that all posted scores are compliant with Canadian copyright rules. The term of Canadian copyright law is life of the author plus an additional 50 years, a term compliant with international copyright law. I wrote about the site in 2007.
The UK Music Publishers Association filed a DMCA takedown notification with GoDaddy, IMSLP’s domain name registrar, which has frozen the site for at least ten days. IMSLP has posted more information about the claim and why it is unfounded. The case highlights yet again why demands for a notice-and-takedown approach in Bill C-32 were wisely rejected by the Conservatives since that system can lead to outcomes that shut down sites based on unproven allegations. The better approach – as found in C-32 – was a notice-and-notice approach that provides an effective deterrent while leaving it to the courts to determine actual cases of infringement.
Update: The UK Music Publishers Association appears to have acknowledged it was wrong to file the takedown.