In a message dated 2/13/2006 6:46:59 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:
What would be the copyright term in the US for video...or would the fact
that these are sound recordings of a sort place them under the eternal-
copyright coverage applied to phonorecords?
Though I know that it is provocative, the following is my copyright point of
view as a longtime producer and chief consultant to companies on the
acquisition and/or licensing of content.
From the copyright point of view, it appears to me that no copyright
agreement signed in the past is perfect. Therefore, I like the National Archives
approach. Somewhere on their web site, they say that they have listed the
copyright owner when they know who it is. When they don't, they take no
responsibility. If a copyright owner appears who proves they have copyright, any
funds gotten from the program will be passed through to them.
In checking with the National Archives, this has almost never happened to
them. Almost never has a copyright owner with proof of copyright appeared
The fact is, although people make noise about copyright issues, for many
programs, the legal issue question should it ever get to court is, what damage
was done to the person or family by playing this program. The question of
commercial value is not the predominant one because not that much money is made
from any individual audio program even if commercially offered.
This is a 100,00 Ft overview of my point of view and experience with audio
copyright issues for spoken word programs that are not clearly owned by some
one but are mostly radio programs, or off the record interviews done in a
public forum, etc.