On Wed, 24 Nov 2004, [log in to unmask] wrote:
> > I want to issue some
> > pre 1954 programs from the French Broadcasting Corporation. Some of you
> > probably remember the series "Masterworks from France." These performances
> > are public domain in France, yet, my reading of the law suggests that
> > they were not public domain in the US in 1996? they are subject to the US
> > copyrights and I cannot issue them in the US.
> I am not following you here Karl.
> If the performances originated in France and the original copyright belonged
> to a French entity and has now expired, it would seem that there would be no
> copyright holders in the US. that could come after you. Even if copyright
> existed here at one time, only a copyright holder could make trouble. Who
> would that be?
Well, I doubt there would be trouble with the French, but to press in the
US one has to demonstrate clear ownership...or IRMA will get you!
It is my understanding that, according to our local copyright
authority...and really one of the most informed I have ever met, Georgia
Harper...(from her paper at the Sound Savings Symposium, published by ARL)
"Today, a foreign sound recording not in the public domain in the country
of its origin on January 1, 1996, when the Uruguay Round Agreements Act
(URAA) of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) went into
first published before 1972
in an eligible foreign country (one of the signatories to the Berne
Convention or WIPO Copyright Treaty, a member of the WTO, or an adherent
to the WIPO Perfromances and Phonograms Treaty)
with at least one author or rights holder being a national of or domiciled
in an eligible country
and not published here within 30 days of the foreign publication,
is protected in the U.S. for the full term of protection it would have had
if published here as a book or image or other work comprising protectable
subject matter under federal law-95 years from the date of publication.
The URAA "restored" the foreign work's copyright in the United States."
The URAA was challenged as unconsitutional in Golan v. Ashcroft, the was
stayed pending in another case that dealt with an overlapping issue
(Wldred v. Ashcroft, 123 Ct.769 (2003)). Eldred was decided January 15,
2003, however, there has been no activity on Golan since that date."
Perhaps someone will tell me to the contrary, but from my reading of the
above, it looks like those broadcasts are covered in the U.S. even if they
are PD in France. The place where I get my CDs pressed has cited this text
and seems to be unwilling to press any discs with that material, even if I
pay the mechanical rights.
Hopefully someone will be able to cite some other source which will make
it possible for me to release some of that stuff. Of course, I wonder,
other than the music publisher, who cares if I sell a broadcast of a
Damase Symphony broadcast in 1948?