IMSLP and Naxos split
Yesterday I renewed my annual subscription to IMSLP. As many of you may know, that membership subscription has hitherto entitled the subscriber to free access to Naxos's comprehensive CD portfolio for streaming (not file down-loading).
Having completed the IMSLP subscription renewal I downloaded a couple of urgently-needed orchestral violin parts and then clicked on the Naxos Music Library link on the IMSLP web page for my regular wander in that garden of delights, which I last visited in August. I then discovered I could not get into the Naxos library, receiving on screen the message, "This page (i.e. Naxos Music Library) has been deleted." Specifically, the "IMSLP:NaxosSignup" function had been deleted.
After a few more abortive attempts spread over half an hour (and including a deliberate system reboot for good measure!) I gave up and contacted Customer Support at IMSLP. I received a prompt reply - personal and not computer generated - telling me there was nothing wrong with my subscription account at IMSLP but that Naxos had very recently abruptly altered the terms of IMSLP's access to NML well in advance of a date originally given to IMSLP, and also in violation of the terms of IMSLP's written agreement with them. This means that access to recordings could not be now made via the NML website or Naxos app. This was an unexpected action by Naxos and carried out without any warning to IMSLP.
So what is going on? IMSLP, at this stage, apparently don't know.
The (only) good news is that IMSLP have their own recordings - about 53,000 - linked to entries on their sheet music database. YouTube is of course a useful resource of both live and recorded performances, although the technical quality may sometimes not be all that high.
Further thoughts: As a Brit in the UK, the other side of the Atlantic, I can only make some sort of a guess from a fair distance and wonder if copyright issues could be behind it. IMSLP is a Canadian company, and Naxos (US) is a US company. Canadian copyright law (and its UK equivalent) is far less stringent than US copyright law. Is it possible that Naxos (US) has been pressured, internally or externally, to make this unexpected move?
As you can imagine this has prompted some discussion on IMSLP, not all of which I've read.
The same happened to me. Except that the links on the work pages have not worked for me so far.
I read assurances from the administration that IMSLP subscribers still have access to more than 38,000 "licenced" discs from NML. Like me, they regarded NML access as a bit of a freebie since it arrived after the IMSLP subscription was introduced. Of course, people who later subscribed to IMSLP on the strength of the NML connection may not feel the same way.
Albrecht - why so I wonder? I'm on the page for Beethoven's Cello sonata No 1. Under Performances: Commercial I find no less than 24 discs. The five I've so far sampled all started streaming immediately. My PC has Windows 10.
I think I tried to listen to something on Naxos just when the split happened. And maybe my failure to make it work is due to transition problems. I'll try again.
Update on the IMSLP/NAXOS situation.
What some may consider to be a con - under the new system you can stream only one work at a time, so, for example, if you listen to Grieg's 1st quartet on Amphion Quartet's CD and then want to listen to their recording of Janacek on that CD then you'll have to look for it in the composer index under Janacek; whereas under the old system you could listen to the entire CD in one go.
Michael - I (mis?)understood the situation in the US to be 70 years after death or 95 years after publication, whichever is the sooner. Milhaud is a good example of this, only the pre-1923 works being out of copyright. It isn't at all clear to me how the criterion can differ from person to person. Do you know if the rule regarding unpublished mss is due to change too? As I understand it, in Canada these are currently subject to the same "50 years after death" rule as are published works.
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