To get to the important stuff first, about the Capitol v. Naxos
decision, I haven't been able to find any new info either. The
Entertainment Law Digest ( may have a lot of
information on the case, but I don't have a subscription. Does anyone on
the list have one, and can summarize what's happening with the case
right now?

  I had asked that this message be ignored, but oh well. There is a bit
of time lag, and I hope no harm done. I think Steve, Mike and others
have had good points on the issue of finding a way to increase access to
recordings with no commercial value without incurring undue financial
harm on record companies. I hope this debate continues off and on and
that perhaps ARSC, as an institution, can someday work with some members
of Congress to get some legislation rolling.
     As far as I can see, any solid solution is going to have to come
through Federal legislation, and I believe that with the right approach
positive change can be brought about this way. Since what the record
companies are most worried about right now is the pirating of
money-making material (and it really is their right to protect that
stuff - at least in some ways) the key would be to separate, somehow,
issues of money making and non-moneymaking materials, perhaps based on
some rule about how long a work can remain out-of-print (e.g. 15 years?)
to retain a particular level of protection. This makes sense to me
because it would be keyed to the record companies' willingness to devote
the resources to particular recordings in order to make money off them.

    Classic-but-not-big-name jazz and blues is a good example of this.
Clearly BMG has decided that it is not financially worth it to either
re-issue Frank Stokes or go after Yazoo for doing so. BMG still owns the
recordings but they have no real value to BMG. Under current law,
European companies can issue these legally but US companies are barred.
So why not open up that field to US companies that are willing to take
on the risk. It could be done in such a way that risk and expenses for
both small and large companies are low, and everyone, including
consumers, would come out ahead.
    The big companies are too scared (and too preoccupied with Brittany
Spears downloaders) to try anything like this themselves, which is why
the impetus has to come from a coalition of interest groups (including
US small label owners?) and then go through Congress. That's my 2 cents
for the day.
   Of course, these opinions are purely my own and do not in any way
represent any opinion or position of the Library of Congress. Have a
swell day.


>>> [log in to unmask] 10/06/03 04:27PM >>>
If I were a record compnay which possibly held rights to a recording,
want my lawyers to look at any relevent paperwork to be sure there was
nothing that might come back and bite me later, regardless of
sales.  This is just good corporate policy.

And that's were the expense comes in- no small edition reissue label
bear this cost, especially when multiplied by, say, 20 cuts.

At $ 5.00 per cut, wouldn't the companies loose money just on the cost
posting and other bookkeeping expenses?

A solution should be proposed that covers the issues as seen by the
copyright owners as well as those based on our own collector's

Perhaps a "hold harmless" insurance policy for which a small reissuer
apply might be worth consideration.

Speaking of Capitol-Naxos, enough time should have elaped by now to
determine if Capitol actually did file an appeal.  If not, the case
as decided.  Anyone know?

Steve Smolian