This brings up an interesting story. A friend and fellow music lover had
amassed decades of classical and opera record company catalogs. He finally
ran out of space and remodelled his kitchen and decided to purge. He
graciously offered up the opportunity to get between this pile and a
dumpster. I figured it was worth at least seeing what was in the pile, and
indeed I found a couple of catalogs of personal interest and kept them. The
rest, I couldn't bear to throw out. I kept them in my office, stubbing my
toe on them frequently (one of the benefits of being part-owner is that my
office has as much audio/music stuff in it as stuff related to the business
at hand).

I sent out inquiries to music schools I knew about but no one was
interested. Then, through this very list, I found a library who actually did
have a specialized collection of this sort and actually was interested. It
further turned out that this collection was endowed by a deceased friend and
mentor of my friend, so it was great serendipidy.

The point of my story is that I don't blame institutions for not being able
to handle large volumes of stuff dumped on their door. I was very interested
to learn just how different the various music libraries are vis-a-vis their
collections and interests. But what I do wish is that the institutions would
get together, perhaps through associations like the ARSC, and create some
sort of a clearing house as to which institution is interested in which type
of material. That would make a donor much more likely to put material in the
hands of someone with the means and interest to care for it.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Karl Miller" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005 11:27 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Curatorial Responsibility, formerly Copyright of

> On Thu, 6 Oct 2005, Steven Smolian wrote:
> > If they are donated to or otherwise obtained by an institution and the
> > institution makes preservation copies, it is usual for that institution
> > allow a sevice copy to be auditioned by qualified visitors, usually
> > as scholars.  Some are more lax about this definition than others.
> >
> > Allowing copies to circulate, however, even if returned, opens issues of
> > liability to the institution, especially if they turn up on a CD issued
> > say, China.
> You raise an interesting point...
> I think we all know that if someone wants to make a copy, they will find a
> way...Theremin was able to bug the US Embassy years ago...these days the
> technology is much easier to use.
> If one were to issue that recording, the copyright owner would
> have a clear case...even in China...well, at least in theory.
> I am reminded of the copy of the Horowitz, Barbirolli Rachmaninoff Third
> (at the Library of the Performing Arts) that made its way around
> collecting circles...of course I have a copy. While neither the NYPhil nor
> the Horowitz estate sued when that performance, possibly from a different
> source, was issued in the UK and sold in the US, I wonder, if they had,
> could the library have been sued as well (assuming the release came
> from the library copy).
> Of course, it wouldn't make any sense to do so would be like
> after the organization that preserved your work...which brings up the
> notion of libraries not being paid by copyright owners to preserve the
> work of those owners...say, tax payer money being used to preserve the
> NBC broadcasts, and yet tax payers (unless they travel to
> the holding institution) not being able to hear those recordings. In the
> case of a broadcast network, it seems to me it could be federal money
> being given to a for profit organization. No doubt most organizations
> would just as soon let the stuff rot away, or, as in the case of the
> Houston Symphony, the union required that the broadcasts (Stokowski years
> in particular) be destroyed...fortunately some off air copies survive. So
> libraries and archives try their best to preserve, even if the
> organizations don't...but should you try to do something with the
> recordings...I guess I wonder, if an institution preserving a recording,
> should not, at the very least, have some rights?
> One can, of course say that the long term preservation of these materials
> is for the common good, hence a justification for the use
> of tax payer money...however...the fact that I can't hear the good
> sounding copies of say the Stokowski NBC broadcasts ...which have been
> preserved, I believe, with taxpayer money...without going to LC, rubs me
> the wrong way, even if it is the law.
> ...not to mention the hassles I have been having trying to get rights to
> issue some of them...anyone with some names?...Bridge records made some
> suggestions...
> > Institutions accepting gifts have curitorial responsibilty, a topic yet
> > be fully explored.
> A notion which is increasingly having institutions refuse to accept
> collections that come without endowments to cover the preservation
> costs... Plus, as we have read in the pages of the NY Times, museums and
> such compromising the trust of donors, and the public by selling off
> the name of keeping the museum, archive...etc. functioning.
> Karl