It almost looks like this is a deliberate attempt to wave a red flag at the bull (a metaphor for the major record companies that really isn't too far from the truth). Maybe they think they are powerful enough to become a test case. It's a win-win for them. The majors don't want to get embroiled in a lawsuit against them because they might have deep enough pockets to withstand the onslaught. So what happens if their policies - which are now pretty much out there for all to see - go unchallenged?
> Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2013 16:07:46 -0800
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Vinyl Vault lights fuse on cop yright time bomb—but is it armed?
> To: [log in to unmask]
> >Amoeba Records' new out-of-print music service, Vinyl
> >proves a deep knowledge of the industry it cherishes. But the much-loved
> >music store's archive of obscure classics is also a potential time bomb,
> >ticking away inside a bizarre legal tangle that few in the business are
> >inclined to unravel.
> It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I'm glad to see Amoeba doing
> this, if only to see what sort of legal precedents come out of it.
> The onerous copyright restrictions in place today are keeping a massive amount
> of material locked up and deteriorating inside vaults around the world, and
> provides a disincentive for preservation efforts.
> It has been my great fortune to be able to work on the preservation of
> thousands of hours of very significant historical recordings, the vast
> majority of which will not be made available to the general public until the
> laws regarding "orphan works" are reformed.
> In most cases, the material that I was digitizing had not been heard by anyone
> for 20-30 years or more, and it sickens me that they may not be heard by anyone
> for another 20-30.
> I think Wolfgang's Vault (http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/) presents a good
> model for the future, though I must admit, I haven't been a visitor since they
> went to a subscription model, but I wonder how they are able to do what they are
> doing. I recall early on in their history when they were being threatened with
> lawsuits, but they are still there and going strong.
> The cost of tracking down and securing rights to recordings can easily
> exceed the cost of preserving the material, and this is something that must be
> figured into any grant proposals submitted, since grant providers want to see
> some benefit for their contribution, and grant providers want to see access to
> the materials provided.
> My 2C
> -Matt Sohn