On 11/19/2014 10:23 AM, Joel Bresler wrote:
> 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?

Probably. Here the lack of audience for material like this works in your 
favor: if few people care about hearing it, there's no profit in ripping 
it off.

You're planning to publish it, not because you think there's a huge and 
profitable market for it, but to preserve the recordings. That wouldn't 
apply to a pirate.

> 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?

That's still being adjudicated, and I've heard of court rulings on both 
sides of the issue.

I would hope, however, that you wouldn't over-process the files. It's 
always a temptation to try to make old field recordings sound like they 
were made last week, but (a) it can't usually be done, and (b) when 
recordings like this are aggressively processed, the result sounds awful 
every time.

At the very least there should be unprocessed transfers stored in 
archives -- multiple archives.