My understanding of "protected" is that it is either under Federal or State copyright or I have heard, anecdotally, that is considered by some with significant pockets to no be free for anyone to use.
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Haley
Sent: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 4:28 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Another copyright question
Steve, I don't know what "protected" means. Something is either subject to copyright or it isn't. Law is one thing; assumptions are something else.
Orphan labels are a very interesting topic. But that is not really a copyright concern, at least under federal law--virtually all the orphan labels are for recordings way before 1972. The state law analysis is possible but usually messy. Still, because it is messy (uncertain), it serves as a deterrent that really should not be there.
Karl, as you no doubt know, many institutions have an overlay regarding copyright law coming from a separate (and very important) copyright rule about "fair use." Archives and libraries are often in a position to claim it, as an exception to otherwise valid copyright law. Personally, I wish they would be more aggressive about expanding it, but they generally don't want to. Fair use is unrelated to PD.
On Tue, May 23, 2017 at 3:42 PM, Karl Miller <[log in to unmask]>
> Putting stuff up on the web...While my label is very small...I have
> found instances where our recordings were posted on YouTube. I
> contacted YouTube and had to convince them that we owned the
> recordings. The poster had to remove the recording. We have no money
> to initiate legal action against the poster.
> Yet, in the instance of an institution posting without copyright
> clearance...as my father the lawyer used to say, "you don't sue anyone
> unless they have the money to pay you." In my experience at an
> institution...the University of Texas at Austin...the University
> developed a policy that if you, as an employee violate copyrights in
> any way, the University will not pay your legal expenses and you as an
> individual will be held responsible. Interestingly, when I was hired
> by the University, I was given instructions to do something which I
> believed to be in violation of the copyrights. I refused and the issue
> ended up in the Office of General Counsel. My unit had to stop that particular activity.
> As for this particular instance, you might want to contact the
> internet archive as they seem to posted materials which could be
> considered "problematic" with respect to the copyrights.
> Tread lightly.
> On Tue, May 23, 2017 at 11:44 AM, Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]>
> > As far as I know, just about everything from 1877 to the present is
> > protected in one way or another. There are orphan labels with
> > uncertain ownership.
> > In my opinion, putting commercial sound recordings on a web site has
> > a greater potential down than upside. Other opinions may differ.
> > There is a choice to be made between what you can probably get away
> > with and the probable liabilities, should things turn nasty. People
> > do this all
> > time. People acting as employees of institutions are putting their
> > institutions at risk. Institutions have lawyers on staff to advise.
> > My opinion.
> > Steve Smolian
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> > [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of James Roth
> > Sent: Monday, May 22, 2017 12:53 PM
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: [ARSCLIST] Another copyright question
> > Hello again
> > I have an LP made by A.B.C. (J. Naftali Records). Of singer Albert
> > (The Yiddish Golden Voice of)
> > I need to know if there's any chance of copyright issues.
> > Might there be a list of labels that are definitely not copyrighted
> > anymore.
> > Of course, there's are the artists that might still be alive and
> > copyrighted.
> > I don't intend to make copies or sell them, just to put it on a free
> > website.
> > Regards,
> > Ben