On Wed, 5 Oct 2005, John Ross wrote:

> In many cases, the San Diego Festival recordings might be
> less-than-perfect performances or compositions that the musicians
> might not want in circulation. It's simply wrong to assume that
> "most, if not all of the performers will be happy to see their work
> of 30 or 40 years ago come to light for public enjoyment and
> scholarly research," especially if they do not receive any
> compensation. Putting these recordings on the Net without permission
> is little more than theft of intellectual property.

I agree in part...

On the other side of the coin...just because I wasn't at one of those
performances, should I be denied the opportunity to hear it...provided it
exists in recording?

I am reminded of composers who have withdrawn works. Grieg withdrew his
Symphony, yet it has been performed and recorded. I would doubt anyone
would say it is a great work, but it is worth a listen and gives one great
insight to the young Grieg. While Grieg's music is clearly public domain,
the question in my mind is, was it ethical to allow the music to be
performed. Unfortunately, Brahms destroyed so many of his works...

> As archivists, I believe we have an obligation to respect the rights
> of the performers.

Do you believe scholars and music lovers have any rights?

> Here at Northwest Folklife, we are making festival and concert
> recordings available to researchers and the public in listening
> stations, but we will not place the actual recordings online. We
> evaluate requests for copies form bona fide researchers on a
> case-by-case basis.

Does the performer have it in their contract that a recording will be made
and can be auditioned? If the contract states that they can be auditioned
at your facility, why not have a contract which would allow downloads with
the archive sharing any revenue with the owner of the recording?