On Thu, 6 Oct 2005, Steven Smolian wrote:
> If they are donated to or otherwise obtained by an institution and the
> institution makes preservation copies, it is usual for that institution to
> allow a sevice copy to be auditioned by qualified visitors, usually defined
> as scholars. Some are more lax about this definition than others.
> Allowing copies to circulate, however, even if returned, opens issues of
> liability to the institution, especially if they turn up on a CD issued in,
> say, China.
You raise an interesting point...
I think we all know that if someone wants to make a copy, they will find a
way...Theremin was able to bug the US Embassy years ago...these days the
technology is much easier to use.
If one were to issue that recording, the copyright owner would
have a clear case...even in China...well, at least in theory.
I am reminded of the copy of the Horowitz, Barbirolli Rachmaninoff Third
(at the Library of the Performing Arts) that made its way around
collecting circles...of course I have a copy. While neither the NYPhil nor
the Horowitz estate sued when that performance, possibly from a different
source, was issued in the UK and sold in the US, I wonder, if they had,
could the library have been sued as well (assuming the release came
from the library copy).
Of course, it wouldn't make any sense to do so since...it would be like going
after the organization that preserved your work...which brings up the
notion of libraries not being paid by copyright owners to preserve the
work of those owners...say, tax payer money being used to preserve the
NBC broadcasts, and yet tax payers (unless they travel to
the holding institution) not being able to hear those recordings. In the
case of a broadcast network, it seems to me it could be federal money
being given to a for profit organization. No doubt most organizations
would just as soon let the stuff rot away, or, as in the case of the
Houston Symphony, the union required that the broadcasts (Stokowski years
in particular) be destroyed...fortunately some off air copies survive. So
libraries and archives try their best to preserve, even if the
organizations don't...but should you try to do something with the
recordings...I guess I wonder, if an institution preserving a recording,
should not, at the very least, have some rights?
One can, of course say that the long term preservation of these materials
is for the common good, hence a justification for the use
of tax payer money...however...the fact that I can't hear the good
sounding copies of say the Stokowski NBC broadcasts ...which have been
preserved, I believe, with taxpayer money...without going to LC, rubs me
the wrong way, even if it is the law.
...not to mention the hassles I have been having trying to get rights to
issue some of them...anyone with some names?...Bridge records made some
> Institutions accepting gifts have curitorial responsibilty, a topic yet to
> be fully explored.
A notion which is increasingly having institutions refuse to accept
collections that come without endowments to cover the preservation
costs... Plus, as we have read in the pages of the NY Times, museums and
such compromising the trust of donors, and the public by selling off
materials...in the name of keeping the museum, archive...etc. functioning.