While I agree with the overall pessimism expressed here, I don't think the characterization of state copyright laws is accurate. These have existed for a very long time and have explicitly applied to pre-1972 recordings since the dawn of federal sound recording copyright in 1972 . The ruling in the EMI v. Naxos case was, IMO, a fair reading of the law as it stands. The problem is that the current state of the law is actually that bad, and incentives for legislators to change it hardly exist, especially in these post-Citizens United days.
All opinions personal, no reflection of Library policy or position, etc.
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Haley
Sent: Monday, November 03, 2014 12:32 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] "UK opens access to 91 million Orphan Works"
Thanks very much for posting that, Stephen. What a totally enlightened, simple good idea that is. Orphaned works still under copyright can be licensed for a fee (hopefully a small one) by the government, and then if someone comes forward claiming ownership (which as we know from ARSC research, is never going to happen 99.99% of the time), that person's rights can be established and acknowledged, and payment duly made. I presume that this person claiming ownership must provide adequate proof.
Simple, fair and elegant. A "win" for everyone, including most of all the public.
This system shows such decency and good sense that it probably has no chance of being considered in a country such as ours (US), where obfuscation and deliberate confusion of all copyright law seems to be our national goals. What is currently going on in US state courts with the active creation of new state copyright law for pre-1972 recordings that are not covered by federal copyright law, spurred on by New York's making up new state law some years back in the EMI v. Naxos case (in which "new"
precedents are cut from whole cloth), is truly insane, exacerbating an already hopeless crazy quilt of wildly various state law. ARSC has been the only bright light on the horizon in offering real solutions. It becomes obvious that there are heavily vested businesses and institutions that prefer things the way they are.
On Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 11:47 AM, Leggett, Stephen C <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> "A new licensing scheme launched today (29 October 2014) could give
> wider access to at least 91 million culturally valuable creative works
> - including diaries, photographs, oral history recordings and
> documentary films.
> These works are covered by copyright, but rights holders cannot be
> found by those who need to seek permission to reproduce them. Under
> the new scheme, a licence can be granted by the Intellectual Property
> Office so that these works can be reproduced on websites, in books and
> on TV without breaking the law, while protecting the rights of owners
> so they can be remunerated if they come forward.
> Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister for Intellectual Property said:
> The UK's trailblazing orphan works licensing scheme enables access to
> a wider range of our culturally important works.
> The scheme has been designed to protect right holders and give them a
> proper return if they reappear, while ensuring that citizens and
> consumers will be able to access more of our country's great creations, more easily.
> The scheme also aims to reunite copyright holders with their works and
> ensure they are paid for their creations, by requiring the applicant
> to conduct a diligent search and allowing the right holder to search
> the register of granted licences. "