At 11:24 AM 6/27/2003 -0400, Frank Forman wrote:
>I got a copy of the decision, which I can share with anyone who would like
>to read it. I am not sure whether it is legitimate to send it to this
>list, though.

It is public domain, so can be sent to the list. I know I posted it some
time ago either here or on another list, though there is a line missing (?)
from my copy.

>I can also send. My thanks to Joel Bresler for point to the
>Lessig article about his efforts. I have just e-mailed Lessig, telling him
>that a $1 fee for renewal of copyright would simply mean that publishers
>would routinely renew everything. I suggested $1000, to be bargained down
>to $500 (or $500 bargained down to $250, whichever is more saleable).

The idea is to distinguish abandoned from unissued material. My suspicion
is that most of those with rights to material of interest to us are unaware
that they have those rights - or even those recordings. Only if the item is
brought to their attention (e.g., by an "infringing" release) would they
take notice. Why Capitol initiated this contest is hard to imagine, but at
this stage I am delighted that they did.

Note that the numbers you are suggesting are quite substantial on the scale
we're dealing with. $1 may be too low, but reality for a 78- or 45-rpm side
would be no more than $10 unless there were a commitment for a substantial
release. Few sides other than those of the "superstars" would be worth $100
or anything approaching it.

IMHO, there should be a corollary: any title abandoned by that definition
should require some sort of "title fee" comparable to the renewal fee would
be needed for someone to issue the title without infringement. Needless to
say, a reissue of twenty sides that carried a title fee of $20000 would be
unthinkable; even $200 would decrease interest substantially. That fee
would not only address the costs of the paperwork but would also make the
proposal far easier to negotiate with holders of rights.

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