First, let me invite you to post links to faximiles available on the net as a comment to this post.Â I’ve been puzzled by the lack of faximiles available on the net. For us early music lovers these books should be in the public domain as all copyright claims have long expired. Many are locked up in libraries and private collections that only give republishing-rights to certain publishers, making faximiles very expensive. Don’t get me wrong, I think the S.P.E.S. faximiles are some of the most gorgeous books in my book-case. But apart from a very nice cover, what new have they added that decides that we cannot scan the prints and republish it for everyone to see?
The question comes from our podcast where I’d love to put the Philidor suite available so that you can look through it and make up your own mind rather than to rewrite it myself and just post a few bars that explain a problem in the faximile. Would this be illegal? Or should it be considered in the public domain and be encouraged? I know I mentioned republishing rights, but what rights do these libraries and collections have? They make an agreement with i.e. S.P.E.S., my local library acquires a copy that I borrow. Then I’m no part in that republishing-agreement and stand with a wonderfull piece of art with no copyright.
I hope I’ve given you a little insight to my confusion and I’m really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the matter and your links to faximiles that are available on the net.