Ongoing History Daily: The state of music piracy in 1897

Music piracy still exists, but it isn’t the problem that it used to be. But let me quote this:

Canadian pirates’ is what the music dealers call publishing houses across the line who are flooding this country, they say, with spurious editions of the latest copyrighted popular songs. They use the mails to reach purchasers…and as a result, the legitimate music publishing business of the United States has fallen off 50% in the last twelve months.

That’s a quote from a New York Times article on the problem of counterfeit sheet music sales published 125 years ago. Counterfeit sheet music hasn’t been a thing for a while and Canada isn’t exactly a haven for copyright pirates. But this article does show that copyright infringement when it comes to music is hardly a new thing.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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