See my reply to Lofty. Nobody has questioned the right of remastering and restoration work to be copyrightable in itself. That's long been established. But the new federal copyright that overrides the state laws is a new and very significant wrinkle. For instance, under this new ruling, anyone can "remaster" or "restore" a 1955 Frank Sinatra recording, copyright it, and owe nothing to Capitol Records at all. And for this reason alone, I doubt that the ruling will stand.
All opinions personal, etc.
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Haley
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 12:44 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Copyright ownership
I don't think that summary of the decision is correct, James. The case (correctly, I think) recognized that the restoration itself was copyrightable. This would not extend to the original work, just the restoration work itself that was performed. I think that is perfectly rational.
I think under the circumstances, Louis's clients request is reasonable, although I would suggest that an assignment would be more appropriate than a release. Or both.
On Tue, Apr 25, 2017 at 12:31 PM, Wolf, James L <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 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/
> 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.
> -----Original Message-----
> 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
> 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 ?