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From: "Pete Tinker" <[log in to unmask]>
>  Hello, all!  Educate me, please!
> A web site that offers MP3s on CD media makes this claim:
>> The pre-1972 selections on these MP3s are assumed to be in the PUBLIC 
>> DOMAIN. Further, they were digitized by the --company name-- team from 
>> analog sources in our archives. We spent hundreds of hours creating 
>> WAV files from our Records (78s, 45s and LPs) and Tapes (reel to reel 
>> and casette). The WAV files were later ripped to MP3s. If anyone has 
>> written proof that any selections are not PUBLIC DOMAIN, please notify 
>> this Web-Site. Those selections will no longer be offered for TRADE or 
>> SALE. 
> 
> I say they are NOT PD.
> 1.  They are advertised as from the 1920s-1030s.
> 2.  They are not for "safe backup" by the owner of the original disks.
> 3.  "Pre-1972" in the case of recordings from the 20s and 30s has no 
> bearing on the copyright limitation.
> 4.  The media change (called "time-shifting," I believe) has no bearing 
> on the copyright issues.
> 
Oddly enough...they are HALF right...! Sound recordings were NOT
copyrighted (nor COULD they be) in the US until 1972; however,
the "Digital Millennium Copyright Act" (thanks Sonny Bono?!) created
a copyright for sound recordings...and at the SAME time placed ALL
previous sound recordings "fixed" in the USA inaccessible for reissue
until 1/1/2067...!

Note that a LOT of companies issuing older material on CD neatly
evade this issue by "nominally" claiming origins in Canada or in
Europe...where a 50-year term for sound copyrights puts everything
recorded before 1/1/1960 in the "public domain!"

Steven C. Barr