For MUSIC REQUESTS and QUESTIONS about availability, including Copyright issues
Gervais O Frykman
Posts: 6
Joined: 19 Oct 2017 21:53


Postby Gervais O Frykman » 06 Mar 2018 12:36

Tallis' Mass Puer Natus survives incomplete. The Gloria is complete, the Credo is missing, one part is missing from the Sanctus, Hosanna Benedictus and Hosanna are complete, Agnus Dei I is missing two parts, and Agnus Dei II is missing one part. The edition dates from the 70s, 1977 say. I want to improve on the reconstructed parts if I can. My edition would be at a different pitch and using different note values from the source edition.
Now: Obviously I can publish my reconstructed parts. Can I publish them in situ among the surviving parts? Can I publish the reconstructed sections in situ by including the sections that survive complete in my edition? Do I have to wait until 2027?

Thank you

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Re: Copyright

Postby choralia » 06 Mar 2018 20:36

We cannot provide legal advice, so this is for information only.

What does "publish in situ" mean for you? Publish on the CPDL website, or publish through other means in Europe, where you are probably located?

Publishing in Europe wouldn't be a problem if the edition published in 1977 only contains the original music without any new contents added by the editor. In such a case, the edition is already public domain everywhere in the EU, as the so-called "urtext", or "scientific", or "scholarly" editions are protected for a maximum of 30 years from publication (25 years in UK, Germany and France, 20 years in Italy, etc.). Therefore, in Europe you can freely use the 1977 edition to create your own edition, also adding your reconstructed parts and whatever else, and publish it.

The copyright status of the edition published in 1977 in the US, assuming it is not a reprint of an older edition, would be more difficult to determine, as it depends on the "threshold of originality" considered. The result would be quite uncertain. Given this uncertainty, I'm not sure that your own edition, which may be lawfully published in the EU, could be also lawfully published on the CPDL website in US. It's a tricky case. To stay on the safe side, one may consider to publish it on IMSLP, where a server located in Europe exists, specifically to deal with these location-dependent differences.


Gervais O Frykman
Posts: 6
Joined: 19 Oct 2017 21:53

Re: Copyright

Postby Gervais O Frykman » 14 Mar 2018 12:43


Thank you for this.
"In Situ" means that I can publish my reconstructed parts in a score with the surviving parts taken from the edition,
and that I can publish the sections with reconstructed parts with sections that survive complete also taken from the edition.

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