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From an IP attorney I once talked to digital restoration is not particularly creative, nor is it particularly transformative, so any new copyright protection would be "thin" protection as best. But I'd still claim copyright on them (as we do on UCSB's cleaned up cylinder transfers) to discourage subsequent commercial use without payment. 

I would push hard for a perpetual license. Nobody licenses anything these days for anything less than forever, because if you need to repurpose the work and have to relicense, the cost may have become prohibitive. A famous example is Eyes on the Prize, which was in limbo for years because nobody could afford to relicense all the footage that was in the original production and had subsequently become iconic. If you were asking for an exclusive license for reissue, then a limited term makes sense, but for a non-exclusive license it's absurd for them to limit your term to one year. 

David Seubert
UC Santa Barbara 

On Nov 19, 2014, at 11:23 AM, Joel Bresler wrote:

> (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
> 
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