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I agree that tracing ownership of record company holdings is very
difficult. Not only can it be hard to find out who bought what when, but
parts of a company may have been split up.
  Unfortunately, the burden is on whoever wants to do something with
maybe-copyrighted material to make a reasonably thorough effort to find
the copyright holder, if any.

James

>>> [log in to unmask] 07/21/03 19:18 PM >>>
The problem is we don't always know what is and isn't "public domain."
Take NYRL (Paramount) for example...they apparently sold out to Gennett
in 1932, and Gennett apparently sold out to Decca in 1934...but that's
only as best I know, and depends on whether the buy-outs included
perpetual rights to everything they had ever recorded. Oberstein
reissued a fair amount of Crown on his Varsity/et al lines...but did
he buy the rights or just find the stampers at RCA from the days when
the latter pressed Crown?
...stevenc