On Thu, 12 Aug 2004, Steven C. Barr wrote:
> 1) One important factor here! Record companies, most notably RCA/BMG,
> are still selling large quantities of pre-1954 records, to which they
> hold an equivalent to copyright for US reissue...and the true "gold mine"
> becomes unguarded at the end of this year, when the first recordings
> of Elvis Presley become public domain in Canada and much of Europe.
It interests me that it seems to me to be something of an evolution in
popular music, perhaps related to technology. Popular music recordings
from the 50s still have can attract a substantial market, yet popular
music recordings from the 20s have a smaller market. The audio quality of
from the 50s versus the 20s may also be a factor in the market potential
of recordings from the 50s.
What concerns me is the ability, and sometimes the perception, that
organizations can withhold information that might be of benefit to the
public. I think of the situation of the broadcast performances of music,
both popular and clasical, which may have limited market potential and
remain locked away.
Archives that struggle to preserve and restore that sort of material. It
seems odd to me that archives get grants to preserve the recordings of some
organization, say the New York Philharmonic, yet those same archives can only
make the recordings available for listening on site. As a researcher and
listener, I am effectively kept from information, the preservation of which
is often being supported by public funds.
What if the law stated something like, if a recording is over 50 years
old, not issued, and you restore it, you own it or agree to pay some fixed
rate, which would allow archives the right to SELL recordings of
unissued material they are entrusted to preserve and restore. There must
be some logical way to satisfy the needs of all concerned.
Unfortuately, that might lead to "bean counting," choosing preservation
priorities based on maketability.
Perhaps a task for one of the ARSC committees...or is this already being