The rather novel strategy by the CBS legal team involved a deep dive into the U.S. Copyright Office's Circular #56 (see bottom page 3 and top page 4 here. https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ56.pdf
Not sure if this will stand but at least an A- for legal creativity by a researcher!
Pre-1972 sound recording copyright is (pardon my strong language) insane. :-)
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Wolf, James L
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 12:32 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Copyright ownership
Your client is probably referring to the bizarre decision last year from a US District Court in California. A judge decided that remastering a pre-1972 recording essentially created a new work, copyrightable by the remastering engineer. This article provides an analysis and contains a link to the decision itself: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20160602/07371934600/this-is-bad-court-says-remastered-old-songs-get-brand-new-copyright.shtml
As far as I know, this decision hasn't been tested by an appeals court yet, but I can't imagine that it will stand for very long. Still, I can't blame your client for being worried.
All opinions personal, no representation of LC policy, etc.
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Louis Hone
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 11:46 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Copyright ownership
I just finished audio restoration for a client who recorded an LP 60 years ago. He owns the original copyright and all the rights (including
publishing) associated with this LP. I digitized the vinyl, did the appropriate cleaning up with RX5, and a bit of mastering to top it off.
Sounds good, everybody is happy.
However at the end of the project, the client was adamant that I sign him a "release" stating that I was not the owner of this new digitized version of his LP. He had read somewhere that if a recording that is out of copyright, is digitized and cleaned up and rereleased, then the person or company doing this restoration is now the owner of the copyright.
I have been doing audio restoration for 20 years now and that is a first for me. Yes I did sign the release (otherwise he wasn't paying me).
Anyone else have that situation ?