Saturday, 16 August 2008

Copyright...

ICEL are dragging their feet with regard to making the new translation of Mass texts available because of copyright "issues." They claim that this is to protect the integrity of the texts. Rubbish. I heard that it was precisely to avoid copyright issues that composers mucked about with many of the words of the Mass, and that is the reason that we have such ghastly versions of the Gloria and Sanctus, etc. etc...

But Jeffrey Tucker of NLM fame informed ICEL that he could get ten or so professional musicians to compose musical settings of the Mass and make them freely available on the web... provided they wouldn't be accused of infringing copyright. However, it looks as though ICEL aren't at all keen to make use of this generous offer...

The Pastor in Valle thinks he might be being overly cynical: he suspects that "approved" musicians and liturgists have been in possession of the texts for some time, and that they are being given first bite of the cherry with regard to getting their Mass settings published (and, presumably, copyrighted to the hilt!)

Sadly, this sounds like an all too likely scenario... why else would one turn down the offer of free, uncopyrighted musical settings for Mass?

5 comments:

gemoftheocean said...

Cui bono? In other words, "whose brother-in-law....?"

Pastor in Valle said...

Actually, Mac, I don't suspect that (at least) Stephen Dean had the texts a year ago, I know, from my parishioners who were at a music day when he presented a Gloria to be tried through.
Thanks for the link.

Mac McLernon said...

Heheheheh... Father, I knew that... I'd read your article! But I was trying to be a little tongue-in-cheek and slightly understated... like adding "allegedly" to a statement!
;-)

Richard said...

As a lawyer, I can say that the argument that this heavyhandedness is to "protect the integrity of the text" is rubbish.

Yes, copyrighting it can give protection. But that doesn't stop the ICEL then granting a free general public licence for composers, subject to conditions.

For example, see one of the "Creative Commons" licences often used on websites; this allows free use, provided it is attributed and there is no alteration to the text:
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/uk/

well i'll eat my biretta said...

But Mac, these are 'pastoral musicians' (well, that is what they refer to themselves as) and self-proclaimed 'liturgists' i.e. mainly spreading their own distortions of what the documents of Vatican II actually said and ignoring anything that doesn't suit their particular agenda e.g. primacy of Gregorian chant, use of Latin etc.. These are part of the not-quite-so-inner magic circle, gathering at their conferences, sipping fairtrade Chardonnay and sharing ideologically sound nibbles whilst making derisive comments about those of us who don't subscribe to their agenda (or their bank accounts).

I am slowly weaning the parish off their music and onto something a little more 'established'. Though one hears that there are moves to inflict on us some sort of national 'what every parish should be singing' syllabus that will no doubt have the full force of the bishops' collective enthusiasm, rather like when Summorum Pontificum was promulgated....

The NLM site has a link to a rather nice chant setting of the much-improved latest translation of the Gloria. I suppose the bullies at ICEL will want it removed before too long.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...