Steve, I don't know what "protected" means.  Something is either subject to
copyright or it isn't.  Law is one thing; assumptions are something else.

Orphan labels are a very interesting topic.  But that is not really a
copyright concern, at least under federal law--virtually all the orphan
labels are for recordings way before 1972.  The state law analysis is
possible but usually messy.  Still, because it is messy (uncertain), it
serves as a deterrent that really should not be there.

Karl, as you no doubt know, many institutions have an overlay regarding
copyright law coming from a separate (and very important) copyright rule
about "fair use."  Archives and libraries are often in a position to claim
it, as an exception to otherwise valid copyright law.  Personally, I wish
they would be more aggressive about expanding it, but they generally don't
want to.  Fair use is unrelated to PD.


On Tue, May 23, 2017 at 3:42 PM, Karl Miller <[log in to unmask]>

> Putting stuff up on the web...While my label is very small...I have found
> instances where our recordings were posted on YouTube. I contacted YouTube
> and had to convince them that we owned the recordings. The poster had to
> remove the recording. We have no money to initiate legal action against the
> poster.
> Yet, in the instance of an institution posting without copyright
> my father the lawyer used to say, "you don't sue anyone
> unless they have the money to pay you." In my experience at an
> institution...the University of Texas at Austin...the University developed
> a policy that if you, as an employee violate copyrights in any way, the
> University will not pay your legal expenses and you as an individual will
> be held responsible. Interestingly, when I was hired by the University, I
> was given instructions to do something which I believed to be in violation
> of the copyrights. I refused and the issue ended up in the Office of
> General Counsel. My unit had to stop that particular activity.
> As for this particular instance, you might want to contact the internet
> archive as they seem to posted materials which could be considered
> "problematic" with respect to the copyrights.
> Tread lightly.
> Karl
> On Tue, May 23, 2017 at 11:44 AM, Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > As far as I know, just about everything from 1877 to the present is
> > protected in one way or another.  There are orphan labels with uncertain
> > ownership.
> >
> > In my opinion, putting commercial sound recordings on a web site has a
> > greater potential down than upside.  Other opinions may differ.
> >
> > There is a choice to be made between what you can probably get away with
> > and
> > the probable liabilities, should things turn nasty.  People do this all
> the
> > time.  People acting as employees of institutions  are putting their
> > institutions at risk.  Institutions have lawyers on staff to advise.  My
> > opinion.
> >
> > Steve Smolian
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> > [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of James Roth
> > Sent: Monday, May 22, 2017 12:53 PM
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: [ARSCLIST] Another copyright question
> >
> > Hello again
> >
> > I have an LP made by A.B.C.    (J. Naftali Records). Of singer Albert
> Ortiz
> > (The Yiddish Golden Voice of)
> > I need to know if there's any chance of copyright issues.
> >
> > Might there be a list of labels that are definitely not copyrighted
> > anymore.
> > Of course, there's are the artists that might still be alive and
> > copyrighted.
> >
> > I don't intend to make copies or sell them, just to put it on a free
> > website.
> >
> > Regards,
> > Ben
> >