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----- Original Message -----
From: "James L Wolf" <[log in to unmask]>
> Steve, I think you're correct about the "work for hire" status of most 78
> recordings. Some big stars (as in the Naxos/Capitol case) must have had
> royalty agreements, but each contract would have to be seen to know how
> long it applies, what stipulations there were, etc. In Europe, where the
> 78 era is almost completely PD, I can't imagine that any contracts still
> hold.
Apparently, Caruso's estate is still entitled to royalties, since he was
one of the few who received royalties and the contract with Victor called
for them to be paid for 99 years! As a side issue, since royalties became
payable to all recording artists as a result of the AFM strike, I wonder
if recording contacts thereafter assigned ownership of the masters to
the record companies; if that is a default if nothing appears in the
contract; or if post-ban recordings are still legally "works for hire?"
>    What do you know about particular artists who established ownership
> of dead companies or at least their own performances? I'm very curious.
> Thanks.
I recall seeing a number of articles on the subject in Billboard c. 1947
(in a library, NOT as current issues!) involving the artists, including
Eddy Howard, Louis Prima and others, who worked for Majestic when the
label folded...but can't recall exact details. I'll ask on 78-L...
Steven C. Barr
>
> James
>
> >>> [log in to unmask] 07/23/03 05:14PM >>>
> ----- Original Message -----
>  As I understand it, virtually all
> of the 78-era recordings are considered "works for hire," since the
> artists
> usually received a fixed salary for the sessions, and thus the
> copyrights
> belong to the employer or their assignees. However, there are cases
> where
> artists were able to establish ownership subsequent to the demise of
> the
> companies involved...
> Steven C. Barr
>