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The oldest and most common way to solve this problem is to open an 
escrow or savings account where any royalty money (mechanicals, 
songwriting and publishing) generated by  projected sales of the CD are 
stashed. If the lawyers decide to go after you you can send them a check 
and you should be covered. If not the money can remain in the account 
for however long you or your lawyer decides it should stay there. I do 
not know if there's a time limit on this. I do not know if there is a 
clause in the copyright laws that state that if you actually search for 
the writer(s) or performers you show that your intent is good (is this 
called  "consideration?") and any fine you may incur may be lessened. I 
just do not know.
The going rate for mechanicals right now is 9.1 cents for each tune on 
the CD that's less than 5 minutes long. Check the Harry Fox website for 
other info and rates at http://www.harryfox.com/index.jsp
Since there are no performance rights at question here, and any radio 
station who may want to play a cut is already covered by their own 
agreements with ASCAP and.or BMI, these should not be a problem.
There may be other licensing criteria, such as those for digital 
downloads so do check the Harry Fox website, but I cannot think of any 
off the top of my head.
Comments are welcome!
Mal Rockwell

*******

On 3/23/2011 12:31 AM, Tom Fine wrote:
> The way I've noticed that this works in the actual marketplace today 
> is that people put stuff out, either for download or sales as CD's. 
> They have a website. If they get a lawyer letter, the material comes 
> down and I assume that in some cases, the people who hired the lawyer 
> get paid some small damages. There doesn't seem to be a pot of gold in 
> any of this material -- it's a tiny niche market, including for 
> out-of-print commercial recordings dubbed off old LPs or duped reels. 
> So it seems like in most cases, the copyright owners don't feel it's 
> worth hiring a lawyer and the online seller then has a little cottage 
> industry that probably won't make him rich but may provide some meals 
> or new sound gear or feed his collecting habit. I'm talking about 
> little operations within the US, not the operators who exploit liberal 
> copyright laws in other countries. Some of those businesses are very 
> large and profitable, but the copyright owners don't have a leg to 
> stand on in their countries of operation.
>
> -- Tom Fine
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Bob Olhsson" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 12:56 AM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Thank You for responses to Unpublished Sound 
> Recordings query
>
>
>> There'd be a big problem if an owner or their estate finds out and 
>> sues you!
>> The owner is a combination of whoever made the recording and all of  the
>> people who were recorded.
>>
>> Federal copyright laws are what place limits on copyright protection.
>> Anything not covered under Federal law is subject to common law 
>> copyright
>> which only has limitations that have been imposed by state laws. 
>> According
>> to http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm, No 
>> recording can
>> be assumed to enter the public domain before Feb. 15, 2067 unless 
>> there is a
>> state law that limits the copyright term to an earlier date.
>>
>> Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
>> Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
>> Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined!
>> 615.562.4346 http://www.bobolhsson.com http://audiomastery.com
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Roger Kulp
>> Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 10:20 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Thank You for responses to Unpublished Sound
>> Recordings query
>>
>> I have a few acetates/lacquers of unpublished recordings,mostly on 
>> recording
>> studio labels.If they are before 1972,I assume there would be no problem
>> loaning them to someone who wanted to put them out on a CD?
>>
>> Roger
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --- On Tue, 3/22/11, Phil Nohl <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>> From: Phil Nohl <[log in to unmask]>
>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Thank You for responses to Unpublished Sound 
>> Recordings
>> query
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2011, 12:00 PM
>>
>> Thanks to all who have so far responded to my email.
>>
>> The following links have been forwarded to me.
>>
>> http://www.clir.org/pubs/abstract/pub144abst.html
>>
>> http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm
>>
>> The report commissioned for and sponsored by The National Recording
>> Preservation Board on Pre-1972 Copyrights is fascinating, though much 
>> still
>> remains confusing to me. With amateur recordings, there are often no
>> "recorded on" dates written on a label (and many times not even a full
>> name). All that remains is the recording itself.
>>
>> Phil Nohl
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>