I don't know much about IRMA. From looking at their web site, it
seems they count as members some non-US plants, but do they cover them
all? I can't see how it would be actually illegal for a pressing plant
in Canada, or anywhere in Europe, to press the material you're talking
about, since it is material that is PD in their countries, correct? At
very least this is true for France.
   My assumption is this. If there are no legal issues for Canadian or
European plant to press your stuff, only pressure from IRMA to comply
with U.S. definitions of copyright and intellectual property, then there
should be plants in those countries which are willing to tell IRMA where
to stick it and go ahead and take your business. If I'm wrong then this
is a very sad state of affairs indeed.
   As far as selling in the US even if it's not PD here, wouldn't it
require a US copyright holder to object to the issue, and then only for
US sale (like some Naxos releases)? As far as I know, the US courts are
not open for "copyright tourism" the way that British courts are open
for libel tourism. And as with Document and Classics issues, even those
in a position to object usually don't bother.

James Wolf

The opinions expressed are mine alone and do not reflect Library of
Congress policy at any level, natch.

>>> [log in to unmask] 11/24/2004 11:04:33 AM >>>
On Wed, 24 Nov 2004, [log in to unmask] wrote:

> > I want to issue some
> > pre 1954 programs from the French Broadcasting Corporation. Some of
> > probably remember the series "Masterworks from France." These
> > are public domain in France, yet, my reading of the law suggests
> since
> > they were not public domain in the US in 1996? they are subject to
the US
> > copyrights and I cannot issue them in the US.
> I am not following you here Karl.
> If the performances originated in France and the original copyright
> to a French entity and has now expired, it would seem that there
would be no
> copyright holders in the US. that could come after you. Even if
> existed here at one time, only a copyright holder could make trouble.
> would that be?

Well, I doubt there would be trouble with the French, but to press in
US one has to demonstrate clear ownership...or IRMA will get you!