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Friday, January 16, 2009

More on OA to Catholic liturgical music and texts

Jeffrey Tucker, Copyright, profit, and liturgical music, New Liturgical Movement, January 15, 2009.  (Thanks to Gino D'Oca.)  Tucker reprints a letter to the editor of the New Oxford Review, including this passage:

...Music that is not completely free for performance, copying, and use of any kind by the Church should be regarded as simply unfit for liturgical use....

Then he adds his own comments.  Excerpt:

...Third, I too am favorable to the public domain model of music distribution, but there are other models including Creative Commons that require attribution and can be just as effective in promoting work. Further, there is nothing per se wrong with copyright liturgical music that isn't wrong with any copyright music. It is really a different argument that concerns many technical issues concerning scarcities and intellectual property and other matters that need not concern this discussion.

Fourth, and this is the most important point, the really big problem isn't the copyright in the music as such. Composers and publishers can use it or not. The very serious problem that gets into a major moral issue concerns copyright to the texts of the liturgy. This is what is egregious, in my own view. This is what allows liturgical commissions to charge royalties for publication of the Mass texts, and will soon allow major capitalistic publishers to loot Catholic parishioners for the right to print and distribute the Psalms, for example. This is a major problem. The word simony comes to mind....

PS:  See our past posts on OA to Catholic liturgical texts and music.