The International Music Score Library Project, commonly known by its acronym IMSLP, is an online repository of free sheet music. It consists of works in the “public domain,” or those whose copyrights have expired. The site has weathered attacks from music publishers since its inception over five years ago, and long-time users will remember an eight month period starting in late 2007 when IMSLP fought a Cease and Desist letter issued by music publisher Universal Edition. Since then, however, the site’s opposition has been relatively harmless—until recently.
On April 21st, GoDaddy—the host of IMSLP—received a DMCA notice from a little-known UK group, the Music Publishers Association, indicating that IMSLP was hosting a piece (Rachmaninoff’s The Bells) that violates US and UK copyright law. GoDaddy responded by removing the IMSLP.org domain, rendering it inaccessible. The action was met with uproar by the IMSLP community, who argued that the claims were unfounded. A day later, the MPA’s request was rescinded and GoDaddy put the site back online. View Full Article »