Saturday, June 25, 2005

Piracy in Early Music

After the Hyperion versus Sawkins case here is a tale of more skullduggery in the Early Music world. Back in December I bought the recording of the Morales Requiem performed by Musica Ficta on the Spanish Enchiriadis label. I find it a very good interpretation, and was researching on the internet to write a piece about it for On An Overgrown Path when I came across the following on the Cantus Records web site....................

Piracy against Cantus
Last July 2002 the Provincial Court of Madrid dictated sentence (which cannot be appealed) in favour of Cantus in the lawsuit against the label Enchiriadis, who had committed an act of piracy against Cantus in December 2000. In that date, the pirate label released a recording that had been stolen in our offices by an ex partner of us. Then they published the recording, which more or less corresponds to our ref. C 9627 Morales: Requiem, performed by Musica Ficta and Raúl Mallavibarrena.


They used a pre-editing of the final master, full of mistakes, and tried to present it as if it was the original recording and their copyright. And although the sentence of the Provincial Court of Madrid is in our favour, nor the label nor their distributor, Diverdi (and their international subdistributors) have yet retired the pirate recording from the market. This has obliged Cantus to use penal prosecution and proceed against the label Enchiriadis, Diverdi and all international distributors of the label, as they are dealing with illegal material.

All early music lovers are kindly advised by Cantus not to buy at all the pirated version. Firstly because it is illegal, secondly because the Cantus presentation, translations and inner booklet is far superior, and thirdly because the pirated version contains a large number of mistakes, childish mistakes, because it was manufactured using a stolen pre-edited version! While we try to effectively contact international distributors of the label that has committed piracy in order to retire all illegal Cds from international market, Cantus cannot accept any responsibilities if customers find the pirate version deceitful, as they will most probably do.

Despite this ruling in 2002 retailers including Amazon.com and Prelude Records here in Norfolk continue to stock the Enchiriais version - strange....

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