IMSLP reopens

I saw reports that this would happen, but it is nice to note that it has become reality: The IMSLP is back online.

This is great news, as they have a substantial amount of material online that would be of interest to users of Art Song Central.

Unfortunately, I found out about it because of a forum post by one of their contributors, asking how to take all of my scores here, remove the site specific text from the bottom and add them to their servers. For most of the files, that would be legal, but I think it’s clearly both rude and destructive to the ultimate goal of preserving and propagating public domain music. People who support similar goals should support each other’s efforts, not sabotage them.

They seem to have resolved their legal problems for the moment, and I hope it also indicates a change of attitude as they deal with the other sites that have been doing this for years. Sites like CPDL, WIMA and Mutopia, and even the fledgeling Art Song Central, deserve respect for their efforts. Wholesale copying of their content to bolster one’s own site is not in any way respectful, and damages the cause that we all serve. I was somewhat dismayed to see this done rampantly in the early growth of IMSLP.

On the other hand, linking to other sites’ content helps people know about the various archives that are available, and each serves a different niche. Linking to other material also helps codify what isn’t available online, and providing that other material is where people’s energies should be directed if they truly care about preserving and sharing this music.