Colorado Music Professor Loses Copyright Suit in Supreme Court

January 20, 2012

The lead plaintiff challenging a U.S. copyright law says the works of some important 20th Century composers will now be effectively off limits to orchestras in small and middle-sized cities.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the law that extends copyright protection to books, musical compositions and other works by foreign artists that had been available without paying royalties.

University of Denver music professor Lawrence Golan says the ruling will make it too expensive for smaller orchestras to perform works by composers such as Shostakovich.

Golan, a violinist, is also the conductor of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra. He had hoped to have it open the new season with a celebratory Shostakovich concert but now plans to feature Tchaikovsky instead.

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