Copyright Cancels Rare Recordings
“Archivists and collectors have long lamented the lack of access to older recordings. So the Library of Congress commissioned a team to find out just how many are out of print. The report — released in August — suggests that over 70 percent of American music recorded before 1965 is not legally available in the United States.
“But it’s not just economics that keep older recordings out of print. It’s also a matter of copyright. Sound recordings made after 1972 are protected by federal law. Recordings made before that were covered by state and common law copyright. These laws do not have expiration dates.”
Joel Rose. Copyright Laws Severely Limit Availability of Music. National Public Radio. Jan. 9, 2006.
June M. Besek. Copyright Issues Relevant to Digital Preservation and Dissemination of Pre-1972 Commercial Sound Recordings by Libraries and Archives. Council on Library and Information Resources. December 2005.
Tim Brooks. Survey of Reissues of U.S. Recordings. Council on Library and Information Resources. August, 2005. (“The purpose of this study was to determine the legal accessibility of sound recordings published in the United States. The survey was designed to quantify the degree to which rights holders of historical sound recordings have made available, either directly or through licensees, past recordings that they control.”)
CopyCense™: K. Matthew Dames on the intersection of business, law and technology. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.