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In a message dated 2/13/2006 6:46:59 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

What  would be the copyright term in the US for video...or would the fact
that  these are sound recordings of a sort place them under the  eternal-
copyright coverage applied to  phonorecords?


 
Though I know that it is provocative, the following is my copyright point  of 
view as a longtime producer and chief consultant to companies on the  
acquisition and/or licensing of content. 
 
From the copyright point of view, it appears to me that no copyright  
agreement signed in the past is perfect.  Therefore, I like the National  Archives 
approach.  Somewhere on their web site, they say that they have  listed the 
copyright owner when they know who it is.  When they don't, they  take no 
responsibility.  If a copyright owner appears who proves they have  copyright, any 
funds gotten from the program will be passed through to  them.
 
In checking with the National Archives, this has almost never happened to  
them. Almost never has a copyright owner with proof of copyright appeared
 
The fact is, although people make noise about copyright issues, for  many 
programs, the legal issue question should it ever get to court  is, what damage 
was done to the person or family by playing this  program. The question of 
commercial value is not the predominant one  because not that  much money is made 
from any individual audio program even  if commercially offered. 
 
This is a 100,00 Ft overview of my point of view and experience  with audio 
copyright issues for spoken word programs that are not clearly owned  by some 
one but are mostly radio programs, or off the record interviews done in  a 
public forum, etc.
David Hoffman
_www.thehoffmancollection.com_ (http://www.thehoffmancollection.com/)