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Re: [ARSCLIST] Public's rights....was offlist archival question from ARSC list member
"Andes, Donald" <Donald.Andes@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
****Opinion A) NO - What gives anyone or everyone the right to be able to hear every note that said artist recorded? Maybe they were bad takes, maybe they were initmately personal songs... More so, what give the public the right to attain, control, or force the release of creatively
controlled property. Understand, public domain releases "specific items"
under copyright, it doesn't give keys to a vault and unrestricted
I certainly support the notion of the right of privacy. But for me there is a distinction when something was a public performance or something released commercially. I don't know what is right as for me there is a balance that I find difficult to address. On the other hand, I treasure those Sinatra and Horowitz recording session outtakes I have. They tell me a great deal about their musicianship and how they worked...even if I have no "right" to own or hear them.
I am reminded of the early symphony Grieg wrote. He let the manuscript survive but appended the note that it should not be performed. So, not surprisingly, it was eventually performed and recorded. It wasn't a great piece and as far as I know, it was quickly forgotten, but I believe it taught us musicologist types a great deal about him as a composer.
Then, for example, as a musician, if I played a concert and had a bad night, should I have the right to supress the in house and/or broadcast recording. In a sense, it should be my right to do so for artistic reasons. However, only those who were at the concert, or heard the broadcast would have had access to the information regarding my playing. Should only those at the concert, or in the case of the broadcast, because they paid for the ticket or had their radio turned on, have the right to hear my "bad" performance...and, as long as there is a copyright to the recording, it would seem it would be my right to withhold it. But I then think about some critic who was at the concert and wrote, "so and so had a bad night." Then, the artist says, "no I didn't." Of course we aren't talking about a murder trial, and no doubt this isn't a dramatic example...and so what if the microphone placement was terrible, etc....but I hope you get my drift.
****History, should be accessible, but what does that word mean. Does it
mean, I have to go to the vault/library/archive, sign a bunch of forms
in advance, and pay a small processing fee, to listen to it in-house, or
does it mean a 10 second google search should stream it to me in 5.1
though my home theater?
I am reminded of a particular scenario from personal experience...I was teaching a class in American Concert Music of the 1st half of the 20th century, I called it the Copland Koussevitzky Connection. Library of Congress houses a recording of the Boston Symphony, conducted by Koussevitzky, performing the Copland 3rd Symphony. I wrote the orchestra and offered to pay for a copy. No go. So, assuming I had the money, I could fly to the library of congress to hear the recording, but I would have to fly my entire class along if I wanted them to hear it. It is clearly within the rights of the orchestra to withold a copy and it is the Library's duty to observe the law. Then, what if the musician committee of the orchestra met and said, well the brass section was having a lousy day and we don't want anyone to think that the Boston symphony orchestra brass section ever had a lousy day, so we won't let anyone hear that performance, therefore we want that recording destroyed. I
believe, according to the law, that would be their right, but is it "right."
What I do find fundamental to these discussions, and specific to music, is that for many music is not just a product like a can of cola that one consumes and then discards the can. Ok, so there are those who collect empty cola cans...but I trust you get my drift...and I am not saying your favorite cola isn't something great and a "work of art." Sometimes the value to society will supercede ownership of property, as in the notion of eminent domain. Could, or should such a concept be applied to information?
In the US we have already been burdened with a law that will keep me and my students from that Copland recording. I will be dead before the US copyrights will allow the Library of Congress to make me a copy for study and teaching purposes.
Perhaps there is no fundamental answer as to whether or not this is right from a humanistic or consititutional perspective. I have also read some very convincing research, the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property in particular, which makes a strong case for the extension of copyrights as having a negative economic impact.
I certainly don't have the answers but it seems to me that there are some fundamental rights issues that might be reconsidered here in the US. But I truly do wonder about the concept of a "right to know." Is there really such a notion from a constitutional standpoint...I need to do some reading.