I guess 56 years is OK for a written work, rights to the author. But, I'd say there should be a
clause where if the song is licensed for an album and that album gets past the 25-30 years and goes
into the PD, no one should have to pay a royalty to download the PD audio recording. But a new
recording should have to license the song and pay royalties. My main interest is making older
recordings widely available. I'm OK with extensions of copyright for the record companies as long as
things remain in print. What I'm not OK with is vaults full of stuff that's out of print and
unavailable to anyone. I don't mind paying for a recording, I do mind not having it available to
purchase or otherwise hear, especially if it's very old and is obviously of no monetary value
(obviousness demonstrated by being out of print for decades).
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Biel" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 3:31 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Morning reading: One take on patents, somewhat related to discussions we've
had on copyrights, plus a take on copyrights
> On 8/16/2011 2:59 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
>> Hey now, I never "tell" anyone to do anything on this list. "Suggest" is my preferred term. ;)
> We might be taking your suggestions with more authority than you have expected!!
>> 35 years is enough time to make your bones off a song. It should go into the PD after that.
> That being said, I agree that 35 years is enough for the company but I like the performer able to
> get it back if they or heirs are around to profit off it, so I think they should have more than 35
> years as a person. (I am thoroughly against the damn fool idea that a company is a person.
> Stupid, stupid, stupid idea.) The original term in the 1909 law was 28 years plus a renewal of
> another 28 for a total of 56. There was a recapture clause that allowed an author to regain a
> subsidiary rights assignment at the point of the renewal, and I guess the 35 year clause in the
> new law was a replacement. Remember, most other countries have a 50 year term.
> The other aspect discussed in the article was the "for hire" aspect of the relationship between
> the performers and the record company. I have a feeling that there will be a lot of judges and a
> lot of legislators who might get rich in the next year or two from the RIAA's lobbying money.
>> However, one thing that crossed my mind is, you shouldn't be able to lift phrases and words
>> wholesale from a PD song and get a copyright for it. How does that get enforced? What's
>> "wholesale lifting" in the legal sense? Gray area! -- Tom Fine
> You can copyright an "arrangement" of a composition, sharing with the original composer if it is
> in copyright but all yours if it is P.D. Somebody was able to successfully sue a record company
> and orchestra a couple of years ago for performing and recording their "edition" of a Baroque era
> work without royalties! I don't think Bach or whoever shared!
> Mike Biel [log in to unmask]
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Michael Biel" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 2:44 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Morning reading: One take on patents, somewhat related to discussions
>> we've had on copyrights, plus a take on copyrights
>>> Tom Fine originally told us to read:
>>> More directly related to what we discuss on this list:
>>> This article talks about the RECORDING ARTISTS being able to recover their copyrights from the
>>> record companies after 35 years. The recording artists who potentially would care more about
>>> the recordings than the record companies -- which usually have no relationship to the company
>>> they had recorded for in the first place.
>>> On 8/16/2011 1:48 PM, Bob Olhsson wrote:
>>>> From: Thatcher Graham " Doesn't the ARSC typically argue that copyright
>>>> is already too harsh..."
>>>> I'm afraid lots of ARSC people want to exploit recordings that they didn't
>>>> pay for creating. As I said, the rationalizations for weakening copyright
>>>> are endless. "Preservation" is a pretty common one.
>>> Tell me, Bob, exactly what did Sony pay for in creating the recordings that were made by Victor
>>> or Columbia in, say 1915, that they don't even have copies of in their own archive??? Tell me.
>>> This was even before Mr. Sony himself was born. If it were a BOOK it would be in Public Domain.
>>> If it were a MOVIE it would be in Public Domain. If it was almost any other country in the
>>> world it would have been in Public Domain since 1965, and if it was a sound recording made in
>>> 1960 it would be in Public Domain now. Just because in 1975 we had some of the stupidest and
>>> easiest legislators to buy we have a totally asinine 186 year copyright term for sound
>>> recordings that when today's legislators are told this they are flabbergasted -- until they are
>>> bought by the RIAA.
>>>> Unfortunately the consequence will be (some would argue already is) lots
>>>> worse new recordings in the future. I think it's really magical thinking to
>>>> suggest otherwise. Do we really want a world where the only quality choice
>>>> will be historical recordings?
>>>> Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
>>> This makes no sense. The recording industry has already realized that the gravy train is gone
>>> and has cut back on expenses -- and there has been change in the copyright term! If the
>>> companies somehow think that they can no longer exploit a recording for a term of NINETY-FIVE
>>> YEARS, but maybe only 35 or 50 or 75, would they spend a dime less on the "quality" of their
>>> current productions because of the copyright term length????? You know darn well that all they
>>> are concerned with is sales in the first months of release. Record producers know that if they
>>> keep snorting coke they won't be around when the record hits "back catalog" so who cares?
>>> Besides, the article was about the RECORDING ARTISTS getting control of the recordings,
>>> something that many of the current performers already want and therefor are bypassing the sham
>>> of getting a recording contract with the the major rip-off labels. Are you saying that only the
>>> major rip-off labels know how to make quality recordings and that is why you feel quality has
>>> already gone down???
>>> Mike Biel [log in to unmask]