"Also, I think that we can add most recordings of radio broadcasts to this category. 99.9% of them have certainly been abandoned by their rights holders, at least until a party with rights gets wind of someone trying to distribute them. It could be argued that these are the opposite of "orphans." They have too many parents. But the problems surrounding them are the same as those for orphans."
I am particulary interested in this. We have in our collection some interviews recorded from a local radio station in the early 70's. The station was short-lived and no longer exists. There are some very interesting interview subjects (Professor Longhair, Al Stricklin, and...Leonard Nimoy, among others). I would love to put some clips of these interviews up on our web site. The content is interesting, and the "big names" (well, Nimoy anyway...I am more interested in the piano players, but Spock IS currently in a big summer blockbuster) might help us attract a few page hits and attention. However, the copyright status of this sort of thing is so muddled that I wouldn't really know where to begin. And I'm told that, should you ask, the legal department's answer regarding anything complicated is usually "NO".
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Sam Brylawski
Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 9:58 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Orphan Audio Symposium?
Victoria's summary is really useful, I think. In the case of audio, consider this, too:
There was no federal copyright registration process for sound recordings before Feb. 15, 1972. In my opinion, many "pre-'72"
recordings *might* be considered orphans, too, because their rights holders are so difficult to track down. We may know how to contact Sony Music Entertainment rights offices for Victor and Columbia output but what about all the post-WWII independent labels? The challenges faced in compiling the NRPB study conducted by Tim Brooks and Steve Smolian, "Survey of Reissues of U.S. Recordings"
(http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub133/pub133.pdf) are cases in point.
Also, I think that we can add most recordings of radio broadcasts to this category. 99.9% of them have certainly been abandoned by their rights holders, at least until a party with rights gets wind of someone trying to distribute them. It could be argued that these are the opposite of "orphans." They have too many parents. But the problems surrounding them are the same as those for orphans.
May I suggest that someone involved in the film orphans symposia summarize the objectives and accomplishments of these conferences?
Then we can see how audio orphans might benefit from such attention.
Editor and Project Manager
Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Recordings University of California, Santa Barbara http://victor.library.ucsb.edu
On Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 10:39 AM, VICTORIA <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> To reference orphan films, the definition of "orphan" by way of Dan
> Streible is the following:
> Narrowly defined, it's a motion picture abandoned by its owner or caretaker.
> More generally, the term refers to all manner of films outside of the
> commercial mainstream: public domain materials, home movies, outtakes,
> unreleased films, industrial and educational movies, independent
> documentaries, ethnographic films, newsreels, censored material,
> underground works, experimental pieces, silent-era productions, stock
> footage, found footage, medical films, kinescopes, small- and
> unusual-gauge films, amateur productions, surveillance footage, test
> reels, government films, advertisements, sponsored films, student
> works, and sundry other ephemeral pieces of celluloid (or paper or glass or tape or . . . ).
> For orphan audio one could adapt the terminology to include:
> A work or collection of audio that has been abandoned by its owner or
> caretaker. More generally, the term refers to all manner of audio
> outside of the commercial mainstream: public domain materials, home
> made, unreleased audio, independent documentary recordings,
> ethnographic recordings, early and public radio programming, censored
> material, underground works, experimental pieces,early recordings,
> government tapes, advertisement recordings, student works, and sundry
> other ephemeral pieces surrounding audio recordings, and other obsolete format recordings not under copyright.
> I think orphan audio can mean a number of categories similar to those
> above mentioned, but basically a work or collection that has been
> abandoned, and those collections that have no current known rights
> holders. So the term "orphan" is more of an umbrella term for a number
> of categories , all which have no current place for recognition or prolonged preservation /storage.
> In saying that, can we further model the above terminology to better
> suit audio? And can we perhaps bring this area of topic to a platform
> for broader discussion-is a symposium a worthy option to recognize these "orphan"
> Best, Victoria
> On Wed, Jun 17, 2009 at 7:35 PM, Michael Biel <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Could you give us a definition of what you mean by "Orphan Audio"?
> > I can think of several meanings, one being recordings made by people
> > or companies which have no current known rights holders. This is
> > how I have heard this term being used, specifically by Sam Brylawski
> > and Tim Brooks in discussions of copyright searches and use of
> > recordings by companies which have disappeared. But reading your
> > messages, looking at the referenced web sites, and even looking at
> > transcripts of several of the talks, it looks like it could also
> > mean collections that have been put together by private collectors,
> > now deceased, or institutions which no longer are actively caring for them or making them accessible.
> > Considering several of the postings earlier today by people
> > wondering what to do with their collections, this is also a major
> > issue. So, what do YOU mean by "Orphan Audio"?
> > Mike Biel [log in to unmask]
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: VICTORIA
> > >
> > > I am wondering if anyone knows of any symposium dedicated to
> > > orphan audio collections? I know the Orphans Symposium dedicated
> > > to film collections
> > has
> > > included audio components in the past. But as far as i know, no
> > > such symposium for audio as feature, exists. (aside from the ARSC
> > > conference which covers an array of issues surrounding audio) Let
> > > me know if i am wrong, and who is doing this with regards to
> > > orphan collections. Or, perhaps what can be done as a community to launch such efforts. ?
> > >
> > > I have been working with a number of un-housed audio collections,
> > > and am curious as to how to shed more light on this expansive area
> > > of
> > unpreserved,
> > > orphaned audio.
> > >
> > > Very best,
> > > Victoria Keddie
> > On Wed, Jun 17, 2009 at 4:33 PM, Barnett, Kyle
> > <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
> > > Victoria,
> > >
> > > While I don't know of a symposium specific to orphan audio,
> > > however, I
> > know
> > > that Dan Streible of the Orphans Film Conference is also
> > > interested in
> > sound
> > > as well as image. In lieu of an orphan audio conference, you might
> > consider
> > > applying to present at future Orphans film conferences (
> > > http://www.nyu.edu/orphanfilm/orphans7/).
> > >
> > > And, of course, with ARSC's interest in recorded sound and
> > > intellectual property issues, I'm sure the ARSC conference would
> > > be amenable to an expanded conversation with orphan audio -- and
> > > conversations may already
> > be
> > > going on.
> > >
> > > Best,
> > > Kyle
> VICTORIA KEDDIE
> T 646.684.5494
> E [log in to unmask]