Recently, in a groundbreaking move, the BBC made available for download full, high-quality copies of all nine of Beethoven’s symphonies. This was part of their Beethoven Experience. The files were available for seven days, with the following terms:
The BBC granted you a 7-day, non-exclusive licence to download this Beethoven Experience audio.
You may not copy, reproduce, edit, adapt, alter, republish, post, broadcast, transmit, make available to the public, or otherwise use this audio in any way except for your own personal, non-commercial use.
Unfortunately, I got there too late to get copies of Symphonies 1 through 5 (and I particularly wanted 5 – ta da da daaaa!), but that’s just bad luck. Still, it’s great that the BBC is improving access to classical music in this way. I’ve been listening to them at home while working for the MoFo, and I know I wouldn’t have been listening to classical otherwise.
So it’s really depressing that people are taking the BBC’s generosity and committing copyright infringement by making the files available after the download period has finished. These are not public domain – putting them up is just as illegal as putting up copies of the latest #1 single.
Is any company ever going to do DRM-free online music if every experiment in that direction ends with widespread theft?