There is a good discussion on copyright in the article The new ICEL translation and Creative Commons options at Cantemus Domino.
Jeffrey Tucker has written to ICEL as follows:
I know of 10 composers who have already worked on new settings of the new Mass text. In doing this, they are responding to Cardinal Arinze's hope that having the texts available will "facilitate the devising of musical settings for the parts of the Mass."The first answer that he received asked for the names of the websites and how much traffic they receive. This request for information shows how completely ICEL have failed to grasp the reality of the internet. In his reply, Jeffrey tries to help...
They would like to post these compositions online for free download for everyone. Your copyright notice does not seem to specify whether they are permitted to do this without paying ICEL. Can you please provide me a public and clear answer to this question?
It is hard to say because this depends on human volition. It could be anywhere between 2,000 and 250,000 visitors per month, not all of whom would be downloading music. But outside links can cause one-day traffic to soar. If the music is not appreciated by users, that traffic could fall again. Also they might be posted on blogs and forums of varying sizes, and, in any case, Google makes the precise venue somewhat less relevant.The reply has now come from Peter Finn: From ICEL comes an answer. Read it and weep.
The point is that many people want to set Gregorian melodies and Psalm tones to English texts, mainly for the ordinary of the Mass, so their approval is not really a question. My question concerns royalty payments to ICEL. If they have to pay, they will not likely post.
I'm asking not just for myself but on behalf of all musicians. My specific question is whether any royalties are due for freely downloaded music that sets the new Mass texts.
I will limit myself to commenting on one widespread fear of that so frightening thing, people posting their work free on the internet and making texts available to others:
The copyright ensures that the integrity of texts is preserved and that the rights of the Conferences to regulate their use are protected. The copyright is, therefore, a means of discouraging the issuance of inaccurate or unfinished or unapproved or unduly altered texts of the Church’s Liturgy.No, that's not how it works. You might think that the internet would give rise to this danger if you just thought about it a priori and wondered what terrible dangers there might be.
But as anyone who writes a blog knows full well, if you make an error, someone will point it out within an hour or so. If it is a matter of posting an inaccurate text, you had better correct it. If you don't, within the next few hours, someone will point out your error on their blog. If you still don't correct things, people will start ranting and saying "Look at that rum fellow who doesn't correct inaccurate texts. Not sure you can really trust him, by George." or words to that effect. If you actually do this deliberately and attempt to pass off your inaccurate version, news will get round fast and nobody will trust you. You will become known universally as a bad egg.
Posting the full and authoritative text on the internet is one of the best ways of ensuring its integrity. But only if you don't restrict it. If you do, people will print it off and scan it, or copy-type it, or do some other workaround - which will introduce errors.
I would also point out that it is in the best interests of devotees of the newer form of the Roman Rite to make texts and music available freely online. Currently it is possible to download freely a whole range of texts related to the older form because they are out of copyright. Here are some examples from the excellent Musica Sacra site:
Graduale Romanum (Vatican)
Rossini propers (proper texts for the usus antiquior set to simple psalm tones)
and from Sancta Missa, the Missale Romanum 1962