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On 01/10/2013, Tom Fine wrote:

> I do agree with Steve that copyright law is not a good area for States
> Rights. It's one of the few legal areas where I strongly favor
> federalization and standardization of the laws/rules/enforcement.
> 
> However, do understand that anything we (we being Americans and our
> elected officials) throw into the public domain becomes worthless or
> near-worthless to its copyright owner and therefore any efforts to
> make a good reissue out of antique master media will not come from the
> owners of that master media. Current copyright law is the only
> (slight, thin, flawed) guarantee of a profit margin, the only
> incentive to dig an old master out of the vault and hire an expert to
> make a good transfer. If you like what Naxos and the gray-market jazz
> "labels" out of Europe are pushing, then throw all the pre-1972
> masters into the PD.
> 
I think the transfer engineers who do work for Naxos would resent your
suggestion that they are not experts. 

> I favor a "use it or lose it" approach. Basically, if you own the
> master tape or disk to a pre-1972 recording, you would get XX years to
> reissue it and have a period of XX years of a renewed, hopefully
> global, copyright. This would be a huge incentive for mass
> digitization and release. I'd add years to the copyright if some sort
> of expert protocol were followed, although I know that's a huge
> potential trap and inept bureaucracy mess. If there's a better way to
> incent high quality, then I'd favor it, I just haven't thought of it.
> After this period of renewed copyright, the high-quality digital files
> would pass into the PD.
> 
> -- Tom Fine
> 
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Steven Smolian" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2013 12:52 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Compact Discs with lossy compression
> 
> 
>> If this is the way the copyright laws work, then your complaint is
>> not with the companies but with the governments who write and enforce
>> them.
>> 
>> Bottom line: Get the U.S. copyright laws for pre-1972 recordings
>> under US
>> government control rather than that of the 50 states plus
>> territories, etc.
>> That will substantially reduce the squishyness of the US legal
>> process.
>> Then there should be enough credibility for the U.S. to negotiate
>> with other
>> countries to deal with the large variety of sound copyright-related
>> issued
>> that remain.
>> 
>> There isn't likely to be too much in the "instant gratification"
>> department
>> but not doing anything about it is hardly a solution.
>> 
>> If you come to ARSC conferences, join the Copyright Committee. We
>> usually
>> have a lunch meeting (paid for by individual attendees). You might
>> also
>> consider a donation to ARSC dedicated to furthering this committee's
>> work.
>> We've done some amazing stuff, considering we're micro-Davids in a
>> world of
>> Goliaths.  ARSC President Tim Brooks is chair.
>> 
>> Steve Smolian
>> 
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Donald Clarke
>> Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2013 12:32 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Compact Discs with lossy compression
>> 
>> Chuck Nessa and Bob Sunenblick produced a wonderful compilation of
>> all the
>> 78s Charles Mingus made in California in the 1940s - early '50s.
>> Sunenblick
>> even bought one of the obscure labels to get the access, discovered
>> unknown
>> Mingus comps and turned the rights over to his widow. The booklet
>> was a
>> 96-page masterpiece about west coast jazz of the era. This took
>> years and
>> lots of money; the tracks were IMMEDIATELY ripped off by somebody,
>> probably
>> in the microstate of Andorra.
>> 
>> Donald Clarke
>> 
>> On Oct 1, 2013, at 12:08 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
>> 
>> Yeah, but you guys just raised a key issue. My bet is that Rhett's
>> Duane
>> Eddy compilation may have come from overseas. It's a gray-market
>> product
>> from the get-go. Using liberal copyright rules in other countries,
>> producers
>> of cheap compilations get someone to make a quicky transfer of an LP
>> or 45
>> because they can't license the master tapes. If they did this in the
>> U.S.,
>> Australia and a few other places with strict copyrights, they'd be
>> prosecuted as pirates. Naxos is the king of this, operating out of
>> Hong Kong
>> and selling cheapo discs made from garage sale LP dubs. Pure junk,
>> but they
>> exist because the labels sit on their vaults and won't invent a
>> viable
>> business plan to unleash all of the contents of their vaults.
>> 
>> Even more insidious than cheapo junk reissues of LP and 45 dubs from
>> gray-market operators overseas is taking a high-quality reissue like
>> a
>> Mosaic box, ripping the CDs and then repackaging them into original
>> album
>> sequences with usually blurry scans of the cover art. There are
>> several jazz
>> reissue "labels" based in Europe that specialize in this practice.
>> It's
>> worse than LP dubs because they are stealing Mosaic's investment in
>> quality
>> remastering and Mosaic buyers are thus subsidizing these gray-market
>> goods.
>> Again, if the record labels would do this themselves, after Mosaic
>> sells out
>> its licensed number of sets, then at least legitimate copyright
>> owners would
>> be profiting and it's more likely that artists would eventually get
>> whatever
>> royalties they are due.
>> 
>> There's a whole hornet's nest of issues here but it boils down to
>> two big
>> trends. First, consumers want to pay prices that do not tend to
>> allow for a
>> profit margin that can build in quality work on the transfer and
>> mastering
>> end. Second, big record companies tend to make slow, dumb decisions
>> about
>> materials in their vaults because they are set up to chase quarterly
>> hits.
>> These two factors open the door to the gray-market leeches, which
>> further
>> erodes the margins and markets for legitimate reissues.
>> 
>> -- Tom Fine
>> 
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Donald Clarke"
>> <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2013 11:53 AM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Compact Discs with lossy compression
>> 
>> 
>> Good point here. It may be impossible to get into vaults or to get
>> to
>> master tapes, but if you're going to put out a cheesy bootleg, it's
>> like the
>> food in a bad restaurant: every foodie I know agrees that it's just
>> as easy
>> to do it better.
>> 
>> Donald Clarke
>> 
>> On Oct 1, 2013, at 11:20 AM, Jamie Howarth wrote:
>> 
>> Agreed w Tom on most points. If we could get a couple grand to do a
>> Duane
>> Eddy it would be done.It doesn't cost much more to do it right than
>> do it
>> wrong.
>> 
>> The labels will license-out for vinyl physical product, but not
>> digital
>> physical product. If they did the rich hedgie would be backing a new
>> custom
>> label done by us.
>> 
>> You guys should be making the adamant case that there's a quality
>> floor,
>> and to repackage an existing set of 44/16s as new is sketchy, and
>> certainly
>> that repackaging mp3s is caused for flaming brooms and pitchforks.
>> It is
>> imperative that you guys speak up, and realize that your reissue
>> market may
>> be mispriced - you're Red Seal/Shaded Dog, not Roulette records w
>> ground up
>> labels in the vinyl. And even back then there was honor among some
>> of the
>> thieves. Morris mandated re-used vinyl, Berry mandated against it.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Please pardon the misspellings and occassional insane word
>> substitution I'm on an iPhone
>> 
>> On Oct 1, 2013, at 9:01 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>> 
>> I'm assuming Jamie was referring to a filthy-rich hedgefund guy
>> who's
>> also an audiophile. His point was, the guy was willing to pay extra
>> for
>> better audio quality. We already see in the LP market that a healthy
>> niche
>> can exist for people willing to pay more for perceived "better"
>> quality. In
>> the LP niche, I would argue it's as much for the cachet and the nice
>> packaging (a real artifact, as opposed to a cheap-looking commodity
>> product)
>> as for the allegedly "better" sound quality.
>>> 
>>> There does seem to be an emerging niche for higher-quality digital
>>> audio,
>> but most of the excitement is in the now-tiny download niche. For
>> the
>> mainstream market, despite wishes by some of us for things to be
>> otherwise,
>> there simply is not the production budget or profit margin to "do
>> things
>> great", at almost any stage of the process. This is especially true
>> with
>> reissue material, which has a limited end market. Comparing the
>> market for a
>> deluxe Grateful Dead reissue to the market for less-popular (with
>> today's
>> buyers) Duane Eddy is comparing apples and oranges. No reissue
>> producer in
>> his right mind is going to spend very much money putting together a
>> Duane
>> Eddy greatest hits single-CD. He will likely make a very slim margin
>> on it,
>> as is.
>>> 
>>> That said, it's inexcusable to over-use digital "cleanup" software
>>> or use
>> a low-resolution source. My bet is, the source material for the CD
>> that
>> Rhett got is old singles and/or LPs. Some "engineer" decided to go
>> overboard
>> with DSP to "clean up" the surface noise and ticks and pops, used a
>> heavy
>> hand, and ended up with garbage that sounds like bad Napster-era
>> MP3. Most
>> people would probably be surprised how many master tapes are lost or
>> are now
>> unplayable without costly restoration measures (for which there is
>> no
>> budget), so many old-time pop and rock retrospectives are coming off
>> singles
>> and LPs.
>>> 
>>> I can tell you from personal experience that it is very hard to
>>> make the
>> numbers work on a per-disc basis spending more than a handful of
>> thousands
>> of dollars, soup to nuts (transfer to finished authored Red Book
>> disc,
>> hopefully with processed high-rez and Mastered for iTunes download
>> files
>> also). That's a very, very constrained budget. Given that the
>> transfer takes
>> place in real-time, and careful listening must be done before and
>> after, and
>> especially if any DSP is performed, you get to very low wages
>> quickly. So
>> very few projects have the time or budget to go to anything
>> approaching
>> extraordinary strides toward high quality. I don't like it either,
>> but
>> that's the simple reality of today. Ask yourselves, how many of you
>> are
>> willing to pay $25 for a single CD. Adjusted for inflation since
>> 1984,
>> that's the low end of what one should cost today. Given that they
>> tend to
>> sell for under $10, you get what you are willing to pay for. Not
>> enough
>> "hedgies" out there to bend the curve.
>>> 
>>> -- Tom Fine
>>> 
>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Donald Clarke"
>>> <[log in to unmask]>
>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2013 8:41 AM
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Compact Discs with lossy compression
>>> 
>>> 
>> I'm using this list to improve my vocabulary. Please, sir, what's
>> a
>> hedgie?
>>>> 
>>>> Donald Clarke
>>>> 
>>>> On Oct 1, 2013, at 12:23 AM, Jamie Howarth wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> Here's a brain teaser: I asked a wealthy hedgie what is favorite
>>>> album
>> is. Ok U2 War... Alright what would you pay for an HD download ...
>> 29.95$..
>> Ok how much would you pay for a mirror copy of the master tape...
>> 500bucks!!! In a heartbeat.
>>>>> 
>>> 
>> 
>> 
Regards
-- 
Don Cox
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