JJJJ <[log in to unmask]> wrote: 

>Yes, Edison National Historic Site does have the original donation 
>paperwork from 1956-57 documenting the gifts of the Edison Laboratory 
>and its contents from the McGraw-Edison company to the National Park 
>Service.  We searched through it all recently, but could find no mention 
>of copyright in relation to Edison phonograph records.  I've heard it said 
>many times that the copyright on Edison recordings turned to public 
>domain with the gift of the laboratory.  But I've never been able to tie 
>down the source of this idea or verify its accuracy.  
>-Jerry Fabris, ENHS

Logic would suggest that since there was no federal copyright on sound
recordings at that time anyway, and that had there been a copyright on
sound recordings that McGraw-Edison would not have renewed said
copyrights, having abandoned the entertainment phonograph business
over two decades prior to their gift, that the Edison materials should
be public domain on general principle.

Then again, logic is the furthest thing from the current copyright

Michael Shoshani