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Re: [ARSCLIST] The Incompetence at ENHS

Pre-1972 recordings (other than those whose ownership
is lost) will not come under Federal Copyright
protection (and thus, hopefully, public domain status)
until 2067! There are some early Columbia cylinder
recordings from 1890 (technically owned by Sony-BMG)
which will not become public domain until 2067, a
whopping 177 years after they were 'waxed'.


--- Tom Fine <tflists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> This might be a naive question. Has anyone just
> asked whomever is the copyright owner of the 
> Columbia cylinders? If it's Sony/BMG, I'd imagine
> they'd give up rights to anything but something 
> Caruso-like for the positive PR, if it were pitched
> properly to the correct people. I'd guess the 
> same about a LOT of vault stuff. I mean, no one's
> going to release copyrights on the Beatles or 
> Elvis, but there's a ton of material that just sits
> there and is obviously of no commercial value to 
> the majors. If someone could appeal to ego and
> corporate citizenship, I bet some of this stuff --  
> especially stuff from the cylinder and 78 eras --
> could be shaken loose for public domain. Again, 
> don't expect the Caruso's or Woody Guthries or Duke
> Ellingtons, but there were many examples of 
> similar-style musicians in these eras who never
> caught on and faded into obscurity.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "James L Wolf" <jwol@xxxxxxx>
> To: <ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Friday, October 27, 2006 9:54 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] The Incompetence at ENHS
> Again, while I speak in no way for the Library of
> Congress, I can say without hesitation that it is 
> not the LOC that is keeping cylinders or any other
> pre-1923 recordings out of the public domain. In 
> fact many people here, including myself, are trying
> to find whatever way we can to put old 
> recordings on the internet.
> In US law, the country of origin of a recording is
> of primary importance. This determines the laws 
> that must be observed regarding it. Columbia
> cylinders were recorded and manufactured in the US. 
> According to the act which created Sound Recordings
> copyrights for the first time in 1972, all 
> pre-1972 US recordings were to remain subject to all
> aplicable state anti-piracy laws until 2047. 
> The Sonny Bono Act extended this date to 2067. This
> date may be extended further if Congress wishes.
> The Library of Congress Office of General Council
> has decided that, for the purpose of the web, the 
> most conservative of the state laws are to be
> followed. This would be New York's, which has no 
> expiration for anti-piracy protection. So under New
> York law Columbia cylinders are covered until 
> 2067. This law was recently upheld in court.
> There is a legitimate question as to whether the
> Federal Government needs to abide by New York law, 
> and many people have tried to make this point to the
> OGC, so far to no avail. Understandably, the 
> LOC's lawyers, whose job is to protect the
> institution, must make what they consider the safest
> decision. The job of advocates like myself is to
> convince the lawyers that other interpretations are 
> possible and safe. If you know anything about the
> tangle of state laws on recordings, then you know 
> this is not an easy task.
> There are other possibilities for putting old
> recordings on the web in one form or another. Mr. 
> Brylawski also explored these options in his tenure
> here. I'm sure there are others in Recorded 
> Sound who are trying to continue that work.
> As the "house of copyright" the LOC is, and must be,
> bound by the letter of the copyright law. So 
> please do not blame the Library for its inability to
> make available most early recordings. Thanks.
> James
> All views personal. Not connected to Library of
> Congress policy.
> >>> mikel78_rpm@xxxxxxxxxxx 10/27/06 11:07 AM >>>
> This is exactly the problem. Look at the Library of
> Congress, it is they who
> restrict access to Columbia cylinders, are we to
> accept that Sony, a
> Japanese company, has the right to tell the American
> People what is in their
> public domain? In other words, the Japanese can
> control the American Memory?
> I think not, and I certainly hope not, for in that
> case there is no need to
> study history whatsoever.
> >From: Karl Miller <lyaa071@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> >Reply-To: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion
> List
> ><ARSCLIST@xxxxxxx>
> >To: ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> >Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] The Incompetence at ENHS
> >Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2006 08:55:02 -0500
> >
> >On Fri, 27 Oct 2006, Mike Loughlin wrote:
> >
> > > Has anyone ever been prosecuted under any of
> these "laws"? No. They are
> >just
> > > an excuse used by archivists to horde their
> collections.  Playing these
> > > recordings is protected by the first amendment
> to the U.S. Constitution.
> >
> >I do believe some archivists like to horde their
> collections. One rather
> >well known archivist explained his perspective to
> me..."if we make our
> >holding readily available (he spoke of
> photocopies), it diminishes the
> >value of what we own." Well so much for the value
> of research.
> >
> >As for the copyrights...feel free to look at my
> many posts where I
> >complain about the conflict between the right to
> access information and
> >the copyrights. I have often wondered if some
> archive that held a unique
> >copyrighted sound recording were to make a copy
> available off site to a
> >researcher if the copyright owner would actually
> sue the archive. Let's
> >just say your archive holds a copy of an
> unpublished broadcast of the
> >Denver Symphony, a broadcast which your archive has
> reformatted and
> >preserved. You make a copy for some qualified
> researcher to use off
> >site. Is the Denver Symphony going to sue the
> archive? Is there still
> >a Denver Symphony? What would they gain? Most audio
> archives are grossly
> >underfunded, so you sue them...you put them out of
> business and then what
> >happens to your recordings...well, with most
> orchestras, they don't even
> >care. So, how about getting a court to issue an
> injunction prohibiting the
> >archive from doing such a thing again? Can you
> imagine the bad
> >press the orchestra would get from such an
> action...an non-profit tax
> >exempt organization (the Orchestra) limiting
> research. I would love to see
> >it happen...and I am, in general, very supportive
> of copyrights. I do
> >believe that one has the right to maintain
> ownership, but I believe that
> >with that right of ownership comes the
> responsibility of providing access
> >at a fair price.
> >
> >Karl
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