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It sounds to me like the archive is being greedy.

I would drive a harder bargain. If they want the disks to sit there and be un-transferred, 
unaccessible and subject to breakage or loss, then fine. There will be other copies somewhere in the 
world if they were commercially released disks.

The archive is essentially getting a free transfer and digital assets, thus they don't need to 
budget for it or raise funds for it. For that, they shouldn't begrudge your commercial venture 
(unless they're communists or something). Make sure they know that you will do the transfers per 
their requested methods/protocols. In other words, if they want you to steam-clean the disks under 
full moonlight and transfer at 192/24, do it. It's a small price to pay vs what you might have 
preferred to do.

I wouldn't agree on any short-term reversion of commercial rights, especially for PD material. It 
may take you longer than you expect to recoup your costs. You might offer to revert rights if your 
commercial product goes out of print, that will then assuage any fears about the material going out 
of accessibility.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Joel Bresler" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 11:23 AM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Question about re-releasing commercial European 78 rpm recordings


> (Posted to the IASA, ARSC and 78s mailing lists)
>
>
>
> Dear colleagues:
>
>
>
> I am negotiating with a European archive for the rights to re-release a few
> dozen European ethnic music recordings held in their collection that were
> originally commercially released over 90 years ago. There are literally no
> other copies of most of these recordings anywhere in the world so we have no
> alternative source. They are proposing to let us make a small run of CDs and
> to stream the recordings for just a year, at which point our rights would
> lapse.
>
>
>
> I would like to tap the wisdom of this list for answers to a couple of
> questions.
>
>
>
> These recordings are all Public Domain. Isn't there the very real
> possibility that my group would pay for the transfers and restoration, as
> well as a payment to this archive, but others could then just rip a CD and
> mount the files online with impunity?
>
>
>
> If we process the raw digital files to clean up noise, hiss, crackles, etc.
> can our restoration be copywritten? Does that offer a measure of protection?
>
>
>
>
> Your comments or suggestions would be very welcome.
>
>
>
> Best,
>
>
>
> Joel
>
>
>
>
>
> Joel Bresler
>
> 250 E. Emerson Road
>
> Lexington, MA 02420
>
> United States
>
>
>
> 1-781-862-4104 (Telephone & FAX)
>
> www.joelbresler.org
>
> [log in to unmask]
>
> IN CASE OF VERIZON EMAIL PROBLEMS, PLEASE USE MY BACK-UP EMAIL:
>
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>