The illegal spreading of copyrighted music notes was easily possible in times of printed works, by means of copier and was extensively handled. In our estimation, the possibilities for the distribution of digital works are nowadays much better and more mature than they have ever been for printed scores. The individual online shops take various measures to protect works against unauthorized copying. The copy protection is widely developed and, in many cases, identical to the protection measures for digital books.
Implementation with online providers
The large-revenue-generating market participants such as Apple, Amazon and Google allow using the works purchased in their shops only in their own ecosystem. This means that books that were purchase, for example, in the Apple Bookstore can only be used within the associated apps of the provider Apple.
Many new providers on the market (e.g. learning services) focus exclusively on playable works in the browser. The works are linked to a user account and can only be used by one person online. A download to the local computer isn’t possible in these cases.
Other online shops, on the other hand, offer the option to print the purchased works. The printing of the work is possible only one time after the purchase. For this, it isn’t necessary to download the file to the local computer, because the print job is sent directly to the connected device. This ensures that the works aren’t illegally duplicated several times. Many providers also offer discounts for multiple printing. Through these simple and cost-effective additional options, the legal purchase of multiple licenses is made as easy as possible for the customer.
Photo © "Printer icon" by Christiaan Colen at flickr under a Creative Commons-license