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[AV Media Matters] Old magnetophon tapes
Some of you are aware that I have 30 tapes made by Agfa in 1943.
These tapes were brought to the U.S. after the war by Jack Mullin.
Mullin went into partnership with Bill Palmer--a pioneer 16mm
filmmaker in San Francisco.
When Bill Palmer died in 1995, his nephew gave me Bill's collection
of old tapes.
Last week, I worked with Richard Hess and we spooled them from
pancakes to flanged reels. We transferred several hours of the
recordings to 9 DAT tapes. Richard has documented this and it will
be published in the next Journal of the Audio Engineering Society.
Besides the 30 Agfa Magnetophon tapes, there are several 3M 111 and
Last week, I gave a presentation at the LA Chapter of the AES and
over 100 people showed up. Richard played some of the Bing Crosby,
Dinah Shore, and Burl Ives pieces that were on the Magnetophon
tapes. Everyone was overwhelmed with the superb quality of the
recordings. Remember, "Hi-Fidelity" was not in our language in
I believe that U.S. copyright law did not apply to recordings in the
forties but, some of these recordings may be retroactively protected
under the 1976 Copyright law. This is an area of confusion to us.
All of this material was broadcast (these are the Masters) so it was
Richard and I would like to make this material available on CDs but
we do not know what intellectual property rights are involved. We
understand the easy issues of mechanical rights to the songwriters
but the performance rights have us wondering.
I would appreciate any suggestions about how we can go about making
this material available to everyone--which means we have to sell
them to cover expenses.