Nick Baty wrote:Not sure if this answers your question, SC, but I have been told today by an ICEL rep that it does not charge royalties for the Kyrie, Sanctus, Lord's Prayer, or Agnus Dei "because they are very similar or identical to translations in the public domain".
And they're pretty generous towards small, kitchen-table publishers, charging zilch for the first 500 copies sold and a flat fee thereafter.
Perhaps ICEL is not quite the ogre we've previously thought.
Nick, I appreciate that ICEL is generous towards small scale publishers but, IMHO, there's a difference between not charging royalties and admitting that a text isn't ICEL's copyright but is in the public domain. If I were to set a new version of the 'Tantum Ergo' in Latin and change a couple of words in the process (e.g. Tantum quoque sacramentum, veneremur cernui), I can't then claim copyright over that text.
The 'Guide for Composers' implies that the Kyrie etc. texts are in the public domain but your quote above implies that these specific texts are considered to be copyright although ICEL will not charge royalties. I would argue that ICEL have no rights whatsoever in the particular texts quoted and that it is cheeky to pretend they have.
If ICEL want to ensure that no liberties are taken with the text, they have to rely on the various Bishops' conferences' vetting procedures. Even where the texts are misused or abused, e.g. by a Satanist sect, they would not (IMHO) succeed in a court case against the sect for using these texts without permission.