UK Music Publishers file copyright complaint over public domain sheet music, GoDaddy nukes major music site

The UK Music Publishers' Association filed a seemingly groundless copyright claim against the International Music Score Library Portal, a repository of out-of-copyright sheet-music, over the score for Rachmaninoff's The Bells. The MPA sent the complaint to GoDaddy, the IMSLP's domain registrar, who took down the entire IMSLP site without further notice. Subsequently, the MPA sought to have its takedown notice removed from the Internet; this may have something to do with the fact that if baseless, its filing has opened it up to legal liability and the IMSLP people are furious and raising money for a punitive lawsuit against the publishers.
Needless to say, we've already responded to Go-Daddy's arbitrary action with a request to reconsider their response. We are also looking into the pursuit of legal action of our own against the Music Publishers Association of the UK for their malicious attempt to shut this site down. Sad to say, the Evil Empire Strikes Back - all too soon. Too bad that a gang of dying companies running on a failed business model can't find anything more productive to do with their time (like maybe promoting the works of living composers, instead of playing lawyer over ones dead since 1943).
IMSLP Under Attack (Thanks, Dan!)


  1. Note that IMSLP has not been completely disabled. From the link:

    Workaround: You can still reach the site by using either or Note, however, that some links on the site that refer to IMSLP.ORG may be broken; you will have to manually replace IMSLP.ORG with one of the two above domain names manually in the URL bar.

  2. Wow, if you didn’t already think GoDaddy were a bunch of dirtbags from their commercials…

  3. So, a UK organization uses a US law to shut down a Canadian web site, for violating a copyright that doesn’t exist in Canada or the States… This makes sense how?

    Time to switch the domain from Godaddy to a Canadian registrar, methinks! At least until hell freezes over and copyright laws start to make sense.

    1. cheers mate… as a result of that, I found this link from some creative commons licensed pdf sheet and discovered this resource:

      a “new” hymbook made up of creative commons licensed works…

      “Can I Make Copies of the Hymns?

      Yes! You have permission to make copies of any hymn on this site. Most of our music is published under a Creative Commons Attribution license that also permits you to remix the music and share it with others. See our Licensing page for more information.”

  4. It would be nice, just for once, to see the MPA get the full force of the law in this one. Can’t see it happening though – that would only happen if one of us used the DMCA to call for a corporate breach of copyright to be taken down. They’d claim it was their work, or fair use, and the guy they’d ripped off would go to jail for perjury, and probably have to pay them damages for his “infringing” work (ie the one they copied).

  5. GoDaddy did a no-notice take-down of the entire domain for one allegedly infringing sheet?

    That’s what I call an elephant gun approach…

  6. Hopefully the IMSLP will proceed with the counter-suit and at least take away a large settlement. This issue is about control and nothing more, so there have to be clear economic consequence to such attacks on the rights of others. The MPA needs to be forced to dig deep into their pockets over this, and Go-Daddy should lose its license to host/provide domain names.

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