A very interesting post from Karl Miller - pity to snip it but it's in
the archives. The link to the Hyperion site has been posted, so here's
the "other side", so to speak.
The three High Court Judges ruled "In the judgment now handed down by
the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Mummery summarised Dr Sawkins' argument
that his editions were original musical works, entitled to copyright
protection, as follows: (a) he originated the performing editions by his
own expert and scholarly exertions, (b) the editions did not previously
exist in that form, (c) the contents of his editions affected the
combination of sounds produced by the performers and (d) the resulting
combination of sounds embodied in the CD was music."
I don't know how often the situation arises that a work can only be
made performable only by the knowledge and artistric judgement as was
needed in this case, where the work existed only in fragment and a certain
amount of creative originality was needed to put it together. Several
other recordings of Lalande exist - EMI, Erato, Virgin - so Hyperion was
probably aware that the recording would sell. It is good that there
scholarly people prepared to do this kind of research - it's never
compensated for enough. It's good too, that some people care enough
about music to appreciate what they do. A company that cares enough
would want to give its customers state of the art expertise. And listeners
too could realise that it's in their best interests, to get good quality,
even if it costs.
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