On 29/08/2010, Steven C. Barr wrote:
> From: "Karl Miller" <[log in to unmask]>
>> While I don't know the particular site being discussed, I can only
>> guess that the market is so small that the copyright owner does not
>> see any economic incentiveto make the material available on CD. In
>> one of the publications Steve mentioned, one that I reviewed for the
>> ARSC Bulletin, it was mention that only a very small percentage of
>> early recordings have been reissued.
>> Then what of what interests me, non-commercial or broadcast
>> recordings? As a long time collector of a fairly esoteric aspect of
>> recorded music, (Symphonic works of the 20th Century), and as one who
>> will retire shortly, I wondered what will happen to my collection.
>> None of the libraries I contacted, including the one where I was
>> archivist, had any interest. And, upon reflection, why would I want
>> to donate to a library? The collection would likely sit in a basement
>> and not be cataloged or reformatted. Even if it were, you would
>> likely have to go to the library to hear it...not my idea of
>> reasonable access. Having my own record company, Pierian, I thought
>> about issuing some of this "pirate" material (old broadcasts). To see
>> if there would be a market for such material, I posted to three email
>> lists, the URLs for my uploads of the Symphonies of Daniel Gregory
>> Mason, conducted by the likes of Bruno Walter and John Barbirolli.
>> Out of approximately 3,000 total list members I had about 75
>> downloads. You can't even give it away. But for those 75 who did
>> download those symphonies, I would like to think that hearing that
>> music will have great meaning. Yet, even more to my point, is the
>> question of access. Say you were doing research on those symphonies.
>> You can't find any recording listed in OCLC. What does that say about
>> access, research and scholarship. Should libraries join those email
>> lists and start downloading? Should libraries be buying all of those
>> "pirate" CDs? For me, the answer is obvious. I believe, the US
>> copyrights are as ill-conceived as was prohibition.
> The problem is that the "record industry" (insofar as such s thing
> still exists?!)
> has chosen to market its product to VERY young "consumers"...and by
> doing so has reduced its product to "teen-friendly" "urban dance"
> material. Insofar
> as a market for classical music still exists, it is being fed by
> (often sold in $1
> stores) reissue CD's of various European recordings (often p.d. where
> they originated, but effectively untraceable in most cases...?!).
> I can drop by Dollarama (a Toronto-based $1-2 chain) and pick up any
> of an innumerable bunch of classical CD's for $1 each...?! Needless to
> say, this discourages BMG-RCA or CBS-Sony from trying to merchandise
> any classical CD's...even though they usually own the rights to
> virtually ALL such recordings...?!
Those companies nowadays release very few discs of new recordings (maybe
3 or 4 per month from Sony), but there are plenty of
releases from other companies.

The Gramophone magazine reviews about 140 new releases each month, and
that is around half of all releases.

Companies such as CPO or Dutton regularly release works which have never
been recorded before.

Several orchestras now have their own labels. LSO Live has been
particularly successful.

Although Sony, BMG, Universal and EMI all have big, valuable back
catalogs, I doubt if they own as much as a quarter of all classical
recordings. Naxos alone has a vast collection. 

Don Cox
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