I'll see if anyone in a position to know has any info!
Thomas Stern wrote:
> The following is excerpted from Marston Records March Newsletter. (For
> those unfamiliar with Marston, they have one of the best catalogs of
> historical classical vocal recordings. Ward Marston has been responsible
> for many reissues on the Pearl, Opal, Romophone, and Naxos labels).
> Hope you find it of interest - I would like more details of the
> agreement if anyone knows....
> Best wishes, Thomas.
> > Copyright and Silence
> > Not since we began this company have we been out of touch with those
> > who support the work that we do. We havent released a CD, issued a
> > newsletter, or provided the slightest explanation for many, many
> > months. Well, the truth is, we simply werent able.
> > The reason for our lapse in production stems for a New York court
> > ruling, which clarified US copyright law; our silence will be
> > explained below. We have always operated under the assumption provided
> > to us by legal counsel that recordings published 75 or more years ago
> > are in the public domain. The April 2005 case in New York proved that
> > recordings published prior to 1972, with very rare exception, are in
> > copyright in the United States until 2067! This situation is
> > potentially grave for the preservation and dissemination of historic
> > recordings.
> > The legal decision of the state of New York was brought to our
> > attention shortly after the release of Faust. This effectively shut us
> > down, and initially we saw little way to continue. The problem is that
> > even if the owners of underlying copyright (the record labels that
> > initially released this material) were willing to license these
> > obscure recordings, the cost would be onerous to us. Furthermore, with
> > various sales, mergers, and closings of many record companies during
> > the last 100 years, tracing ownership is not always that simple. We
> > needed a creative solution.
> > As often is the case with difficulties, friends rise to the fore. EMI
> > owns the vast majority of underlying copyright of the work that we
> > produce. With the advice of a subscriber and friend, and the
> > generosity of EMI, we entered into confidential discussions to reach a
> > solution. The confidential nature of these discussions explains our
> > silence. Gratefully, the negotiations were fruitful and we are now in
> > a position that allows us to continue in much the same manner as we
> > have in the past!