AFAIK, there is still some question as to what exactly was purchased by whom. Many myths, few facts.

It is true that none of these recordings are in the Public Domain in the US, but they may be effectively orphaned if no clear owner can be established. GHB's documents will need to show a clear series of transfers of ownership of the *rights to reproduce* these recordings. 

We shall see.


All opinion personal, no reflection of Library policy, etc.

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Arthur Gaer
Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 4:52 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Paramount Wonder Cabinet accused of Copyright Infringement

I was wondering about the ownership/copyright status of the Paramount recordings used in Jack White's Paramount Wonder Cabinet art piece.

Apparently the George H. Buck, Jr. Jazz Foundation was wondering the same thing.

"GHB Jazz Foundation, a non-profit organization that specializes in keeping jazz and other American musical forms available to the public by issuing LPs, CDs, books and videos, claims ownership of the rights to the Paramount (and its associated labels) sound recordings. GHB purchased the Paramount catalogue from John Steiner of Chicago in 1970," Edegran declared in a statement.

"Steiner himself acquired Paramount from the Wisconsin Chair Company (the original owner) in the late 1940s. There are documents for both of these transactions. Sound recordings published before 1972 are not under federal copyright but are covered under common law or state anti-piracy statues.Third Man/Revenant Records claim that Paramount recordings are in the public domain."

Arthur Gaer