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Very good article of the planned lobbying by the recording industry
to extend the copyrights on sound recording performances in Europe
from the present 50 years.

http://www.indexonline.org/news/20040812_unitedstates.shtml


One question which no one seems to be asking is if the recording
industry wants retroactive copyright status applied to older sound
recordings which have already passed into the Public Domain in
Europe (those recorded before 1953.) This would set a very bad
precedent to begin wholesale movement of Public Domain material back
to a copyrighted status.

Also, another aspect not discussed is the so-called "Harmonization"
argument the recording companies use to try to extend copyright terms
for sound recordings by using the U.S. 95 year term for post-1972
recordings. First, one can argue that harmonization can go the other
direction -- why didn't the U.S. conform to the 50 year term found in
Europe. Second, and more interestingly, pre-1972 U.S. recordings are
not protected by Federal Copyright law! (Instead they are protected by
State copyright and other laws, often with "perpetual" terms.) How
does one harmonize with U.S. Federal Copyright law for the 1953-1972
recordings when there is nothing recognizable to harmonize with?

Just a few thoughts for discussion.

Jon Noring

(Some may be interested in a related article I wrote late last year:
http://www.projectgramophone.org/TeleRead-Article-01Nov2003.html )