At 06:12 PM 6/20/2005 -0400, Steven Smolian wrote:
>How copyrightable is a 78 to CD transfer which corrects pitch, especially if
>the rights holder has not done so accurately?
Undefined. There's no case law I've been able to find and U.S. law does not
address the question. Following through on Capitol v. Naxos, it may depend
on common law, which is even less clearly defined.
IIRC, there is a recent European decision which holds that any such change
of form - e.g. from LP to CD - does not establish a new work. Issues such
as pitch correction and cleanup are irrelevant, I'm afraid; the question is
how much novelty makes a release "new".
Note that there are two questions here, depending on whether the reissue
starting point was the original issue or a reissue (presumably with
rights). Also note that European copyright is based on the date of issue
where U.S. law counts from the date the material was "fixed" - recorded or
broadcast. In a few cases, that may mean that publication in the U.S. is
legal where it would not be by international law.
So we all now understand why the second-highest paid branch of the legal
profession is intellectual property rights.
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