Re: Joe Bussard. I'm afraid this is simply not so. Perhaps he thinks this,
perhaps not: I can't speak for him, though we have a cordial relationship
and live in the same town.
What Tim's study clearly shows is that almost everything is controlled by
one of the big outfits. This will continue to be the case well into the
future, thanks to the Sonny Bono act extending copyright well beyond our
A second CLIR study will appear soon, analyzing the present federal
copyright legislation. A third, well underway, covers the copyright and
other intellectual protection laws pre 1972, state by state. I believe the
issues wrapped around broadcast and other informal recordings are also being
If the laws are to be altered, it's important that those making them know
what is presently in place from a dispassionate (intellectually) source
rather than be partially informed by lobbyists and other advocates of any
side of the issue.
It is hoped the conclusions reached by this group of studies will serve as
an honest thermometer.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, October 07, 2005 10:30 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] 78's and PD, was Curatorial Responsibility, formerly
Copyright of treasures
>I think Joe Buzzard operates under the radar by only releasing very obscure
> stuff on labels that were never acquired. The question is, do the heirs of
> the artists have any claim on the material (perhaps not because as I
> understand it, a lot of blues and country performers were paid a
> wage for recordings and signed over all perpetual rights to the recording
> companies)? If the heirs have no claims and the recording companies are
> defunct, and were never acquired as intellectual property, then I'd say
> material is in the public domain which is why Buzzard can keep on
> it. I have a few of his compilation cassettes and I'm glad he's made this
> stuff available. Plan B would be to travel the backroads of the south and
> try to get to attic-fulls of 78's before he does. I'll take plan A.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Steven C. Barr" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Friday, October 07, 2005 10:11 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] 78's and PD, was Curatorial Responsibility,
> Copyright of treasures
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
>> > Does anyone have any idea what percentage of commercially-produced 78's
>> > now in the PD?
>> In the US of A, exactly 0.00%. I don't know if the copyright laws placed
>> them under Federal copyright until 2067, or simply left the various state
>> laws (most of which have NO terms and thus no expiry dates) to protect
>> them. There are some 78's, such as Grey Gull, where the existing
>> holder "died intestate" (the company went broke without selling their
>> masters or copyrights) which are functionally p.d. -- that is, there
>> is no one qualified to sue infringers!
>> > When, for instance, CBS/Sony re-issues Duke Ellington 78's as
>> > multi-CD collections, are those now re-copyrighted for 50+ years? And
>> > about that guy Joe Buzzard down in Maryland -- is he just flying under
>> > radar or is it perfectly legit for him to reissue all of his obscure
>> > country and bluegrass 78's? He comes off as a somewhat goofy collector,
>> > I get the sense he's a very shrewd business man too, and I wouldn't be
>> > surprised if his venture is pretty profitable even though it seems
>> > labor-intensive. I've read several interviews with him, but he never
>> > squarely addresses the copyright issue except to say he's never been
>> > or prosecuted.
>> As far as current reissues, this won't matter until 2068; nothing is p.d.
>> in the US of A until then. In other venues, I suspect it would be a
>> matter of proving that the processing used to prepare the reissue
>> might make those separate musical entities (which is how lawyers
>> get rich!). As far as small-scale private reissues, I would assume
>> that it is simply a case of their not seriously threatening the
>> business of the valid copyright holders (so don't try reissuing
>> The record companies fought this battle once, in the late forties
>> (see Record Changer). A number of companies started reissuing dubs
>> of jazz rarities, and they sold well. The copyright holders,
>> such as CBS (which held the rights to a lot of stuff via ARC)
>> took exception...and two things happened. First, CBS filed suit
>> (against a party who had reissued some Armstrong sides...since
>> Armstrong had a contract calling for royalties on record sales,
>> which the indie guy wasn't paying, the court acted...), and then,
>> having discoved there was gold in them thar vaults, they
>> started reissing the stuff themselves!
>> However, the US record industry is in a fightin' mood these days,
>> what with all the digital piracy of current product...so I dunno
>> as I would want to cross them...
>> Steven C. Barr
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