Page 1 of 1

Using CPDL files for academic research

Posted: 20 May 2016 08:42
by aremmett
Dear all,

May I start by thanking most sincerely all involved with this site. I am a chorister and cantor, and I have long used the scores available on CPDL with much gratitude.

I have a brief request for information. I am planning a research paper on composer identification of early English choral composers, using machine learning. Using the music files available from CPDL and converting them to musicXML would solve the problem of obtaining data for this research. My understanding from reading the copyright information for CPDL is that this would cause no problem so long as I include appropriate citation.

I send this topic in the hope that if there is a problem with this plan, that someone would be prepared to correct my understanding. i.e. is it OK to use CPDL music files for academic research? I was also hoping that someone might let me know if there are any existing protocols for using files in this way.

Kind regards,
Robert Emmett

Re: Using CPDL files for academic research

Posted: 21 May 2016 09:19
by choralia
Music files on CPDL are subject to various types of copyright. Those under the standard CPDL license, as well as those under Creative Commons licenses, can be freely used for many purposes if the source is mentioned, and academic research may easily fall within such purposes. Music files available under "personal" copyright conditions may be a little bit more problematic, as one should carefully read the personal license conditions chosen by the editor. Such conditions are normally described on the editor's page (or on an external website in the case of files hosted on external sites).

However, "fair dealing" or "fair use" provisions exist in most countries, allowing free use of materials for certain purposes, even when such materials are copyrighted. Study and research are very often included among the possible "fair dealing" or "fair use" conditions. For example, if you are located in Australia (this is just a guess :roll: ), study and research are considered as "fair dealing": ... ir_dealing

In such a case you can use materials for your studies and research regardless their copyright status (and regardless they are from CPDL or from any other sources).

I'd suggest to check the applicability of "fair dealing" conditions with a qualified IP attorney in your country.


Re: Using CPDL files for academic research

Posted: 22 May 2016 10:42
by aremmett
Thank you very much for that quick and detailed response, Max. You are correct that I am in Australia; so your response is very helpful and hopefully means I will have very few problems.
I will make sure I check the specific copyright on each of the files I intend to use as I access them and contact the file editor if I have any doubts.
Again, many thanks,