Dubious Copyright, Misattribution, or Plagiarism?
  • FSSPmusic
    Posts: 208
    The SATB harmonization of "Salve Mater misericordiae" by Oswald Jaeggi (d. 1963) is published by GIA as part of "Two Sublime Chants," presented as an arrangement by Richard Proulx (d. 2010), with no mention whatsoever of Jaeggi. In a previous thread, @ronkrisman said he thought Jaeggi's works were still under copyright in 2014 and possibly licensed to WLP. WLP was acquired by GIA in 2020, but "Two Sublime Chants" has been published by GIA since 1996.

    GIA "Proulx" arrangement with preview image:
    https://www.giamusic.com/store/resource/two-sublime-chants-print-g4552

    Several editions of "Jaeggi" arrangement:
    1.
    http://corosgiustina.altervista.org/pages/media_assisi18/ASS18_45SalveMaterJaeggi.pdf

    2.
    https://www.diocesitn.it/musicasacra/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/2017/02/salve_mater_jaeggi.pdf
    3.
    https://musescore.com/user/13107681/scores/3456531
    4.
    https://www.scribd.com/document/359509453/Salve-Mater-Jaeggi#
    5.
    https://www.marcovoli.it/download.php?FILE=%2FPartiture%2FSalve+Mater+misericordiae.pdf

    What is going on here? Is GIA profiting from the work of someone who died 60 years ago without proper attribution? Or is there evidence that the arrangement is actually by Proulx and widely misattributed to Jaeggi?
  • From what I can see the hamonizations differ, which would mean Proulx's harmonization appears to be inspired by the work by Jaeggi. That's what it looks like to me.
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  • FSSPmusic
    Posts: 208
    The differences are negligible. The harmonization is 85–90% identical, and some of the differences are merely passing tones or revoicings. Even the parallel fifths between Mater misericordiae and the parallel unisons at Mater veniae and gratiae are intact, and the bass line appears to be identical except for two passing tones. Can this really be respected as original work worthy of copyright and monetization? I'm interested to see what some of the composers of our forum have to say. I'm also interested to find out whether the Jaeggi arrangement is under copyright or not.
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  • francis
    Posts: 10,668
    Can this really be respected as original work worthy of copyright and monetization? I'm interested to see what some of the composers of our forum have to say. I'm also interested to find out whether the Jaeggi arrangement is under copyright or not.
    phffffff... the games they will play...
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 2,044
    Jaeggi is PD in Canada etc, but not in Europe (d. 1963), and not in the US (b. 1913, so unless he were publishing at age 14...) Proulx is dead too. If their heirs and assigns want to fight it out in court, that's their business. GIA will do whatever protects their reputation. Or not.

    I'm not clear as to what the purpose of this thread is besides detraction of Proulx and/or GIA.
  • FSSPmusic
    Posts: 208
    Jeffrey, you have quite a few works on CPDL. Suppose someone were to reharmonize 15% of a couple of them and submit them to a publisher, who decided to sell them without attributing them to you in any way. Then someone brings your compositions to the attention of a colleague who suddenly realizes that his church has spent, say, $90 on octavos or, worse yet, digital downloads of something that could have been printed off CPDL for free. Would you still consider it "detraction" if that customer were to inquire on this, or a similar forum, who was the actual composer? Without your name somewhere on the published edition, or at least in the catalog or online description, there's no way to know it's a derivative work unless one is already familiar with the original. May Messrs. Jaeggi and Proulx rest in peace, but publishers deserve to be called out for this kind of stuff—especially when their editions have typos and Latin errors! In saying that Jaeggi is not PD in Europe or the US, are you implying that his arrangement was indeed published at some point with a copyright notice?
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,152
    In the U.S., copyright is automatic. Anything written in a fixed medium is technically copyrighted. Including the words that you typed above.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,157
    Jaeggi's arrangement was copyrighted in 1964 by World Library of Sacred Music, Inc., which became known as World Library Publications.

    In 1964, newly copyrighted works had a term of 28 years, and WLP renewed the copyright in 1993 for 67 more years, so it's still in copyright. As long as GIA licensed it from WLP, they were probably just fine.

    Since GIA owns WLP now, it's all moot, and not really any of our business. We're not here to accuse other people of legal wrongdoing.
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  • FSSPmusic
    Posts: 208
    Since GIA owns WLP now, it's all moot, and not really any of our business. We're not here to accuse other people of legal wrongdoing.
    I'm afraid you've missed the point. If programing this work, who should be credited as the arranger, Jaeggi or Proulx? Whose actual work is it?
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  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,148
    If you're using the arrangement published with the Proulx score, then I'd suggest "Jaeggi, arr. Proulx", since the Proulx is clearly derived from the Jaeggi. If you're using one of the earlier scores with Jaeggi on it, then just credit Jaeggi.

  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 2,044
    It's a humorous scenario. If the Richard Proulx of 2023 (who is that?) found my music fit to steal, I'd be flattered. If it became public knowledge that I'd been stolen from, it would be excellent publicity for me. (How many people besides me had heard of Pater Oswald Jaeggi OSB before your initial piece and post here?) I'd be a bit put out since [major Catholic publisher] has never shown any interest in my music, and being associated with [famous composer]'s name does not ipso facto make it better music. So I'd probably seek legal redress, since I'm a vindictive and prideful individual and have more time than money. And I'm sure cpdl keeps "date added" data. So the new car and computer would come in handy.
    Thanked by 2FSSPmusic CharlesW
  • I’ve seen Jaeggi’s work before - a hymn tune in the People’s Mass Book from 1966, with the text “O Christians, let us join in song” or something like that. I forget the text author.