Several of you may know that I have been uploading cassette tapes of 78s
to FileFactory.com, whose servers are in Austria. Also LPs that are more
than fifty years old, including reissues of 78s. My main task have been
uploading Columbia and Victor M-sets. I inherited 2000 cassette tapes
from Bill Lampe, a school teacher in Huron, SD, whose great life quest
was to get all the M-sets in one form or another. He managed to get all
but about a hundred of them and put them on cassettes before he died. I
decided not use CD transfers or LP transfers less than fifty years old.
I am given to understand that putting up CDs of these is legal, but
there is some litigation on the matter.
Now, there are three things: 1. what is legal, 2. what is moral, 3. what
you can get away with.
So, no. 3: WHO has gotten into trouble for putting CDs of CLASSICAL
MUSIC on open websites in Europe?
Of just CD reissues of older material? Which record companies care about
these recordings anyhow?
Of no. 2: I believe in copyright, but want a balance between private and
public interest. I would have copyrights last only ten years, with
renewals every five years if a STIFF fee is paid, like $500. Otherwise,
it goes into the public domain. Extensions could continue for up to,
well, thirty years. The difference between a 30-year annuity and a
perpetual one is slight.
I know from books back before the 1976 copyright revisions that few
books got renewed for a second 28-year term. Some presses, like Yale,
would routinely sent in a check at the end of every year to keep alive
its copyrights that were coming to the end of the first term.
What is really rare is for an author to become so well known that there
is profit to be made from issuing early books. In general, books that go
out of print rarely go back into print.
If it is legal, or if I can get away with it, I'd like to upload lots of
CDs of historical recordings that have gone out of print, the
operational definition being that they cannot be found at ArkivMusic and
a small number of other sources.
This is all my gift to the world. I had a cochlear implant operation
2006, which has rendered it almost impossible to hear music. The reason
is that there are only 16 electrodes bypassing my badly damaged inner
ear and go directly into my brain. By contrast, there are 88 keys on the
piano, which means I cannot distinguish tones closer that 70Hz apart. At
best I can make out solo piano music I know well, like the Beethoven
Sonatas and Gould's Bach. Even here it mostly my brain remembering.
There is also the matter of broadcast recordings. I have quite a few
less than fifty years old and am esp. strong in Scherchen and Rosbaud.
Again, WHO can claim copyright, and WHICH owners, in actual fact, care
about them AND think they can make money off them?
Several of you will remember me from ARSC meetings, earlier
participation on this list, as the author of "Acoustic Chamber Music
Sets", and as the co-author of a Mravinsky discography in the journal.
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