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Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
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Good article. I hope these recordings are eventually released. If it helps to relieve your anger, consider that the body of great recorded jazz that is available to be heard is far too vast for an individual to absorb in a lifetime.
 

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I love mosaic records! If there is a record of lester young and herschel evans together live then it is already a must buy. I'm really really exited about this thanks for the link.
 

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Btw this news is a year old, has anything changed since then?
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian
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Don't expect it to. Jazz and vintage recording are fringe interests even among those who work for greater intellectual freedom. Print literature is really where the hearts and minds go.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Ain't justice great.

...Im not gonna hold my breath.
I don't think it's necessarily to do with justice, clearing the copyrights on something like that must be a monster task, but the rewards for doing it I'm sure would make the investment worthwhile.
 

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Not in the US, I don't think. American media are really fighting to preserve a business model that they have dedicated themselves to come hell or high water. They employ a lot of litigators, and at some point may have to rely on litigation as a key source of revenue. You can make a hell of a lot more money at $10 million per bootleg case than you can at $9.95 per album download, and it's a lot surer money, too. No worrying about merchandising or popularity.

Indeed, 1930s jazz and big band music has got to be worth much more at this point as a source of lawsuits than as a salable product.
 

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Not in the US, I don't think. American media are really fighting to preserve a business model that they have dedicated themselves to come hell or high water. They employ a lot of litigators, and at some point may have to rely on litigation as a key source of revenue. You can make a hell of a lot more money at $10 million per bootleg case than you can at $9.95 per album download, and it's a lot surer money, too. No worrying about merchandising or popularity.

Indeed, 1930s jazz and big band music has got to be worth much more at this point as a source of lawsuits than as a salable product.
I love your cynicism and unfortunately agree. There are institutions like ASCAP whose job it is to collect revenue from plays and sales of copywritten music. My family still receives royalty cheques from music written by my father in the late 1920s. I don't know if it's possible to even tell them NOT to collect and let the copywright lapse. It's not in their interest as they make a % on anything collected. The tide is certainly turning much more towards enforcing copywright as the internet erodes the prospect for holding on to one's creative efforts in order to make $$. It's not a simple matter, but you can be guranteed that wherever there is $$ to be made and litagants who smell an opportunity, it will get tied up.

A possible solution might be for the curators of the collection to "sell" downloads with funds going into an accont that can be dispersed at some point in the future when all of the copywright holders can be contacted. Would probably require the approval of any/all of the recording companies who had those artists signed to exclusive contracts at that time. Collecting $$ ensures that all those greedy SOBs have the potential of grabbing some $$ whareas to do nothing means that no $$ are being collected.

My family has an enormous collection of scratched old 78s and original recordings (we had a machine that cut records). I have no idea what's in there and frankly don't care. Many of the records and privately made discs were made by my father with his music buddies. Not sure who's on them, but he had in his radio orchestras (that's what they called bands at the time) some up and coming youngsters who later became well known like the Dorsey Brothers and Benny Goodman. He also played with other bands and recorded with Bix Biederbecke, Duke Ellington (Jungle Band), Paul Whiteman, Joe Venuti, Jack Teagarden, etc. Anyone want to throw money at my family? The collection is at my sister's place in Victoria BC.
 

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Don't expect it to. Jazz and vintage recording are fringe interests even among those who work for greater intellectual freedom. Print literature is really where the hearts and minds go.
Well mosaic has also released collectors box sets by chu berry and jimmy lunceford. I think you'll be amazed how many people like that music.
 

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I love your cynicism and unfortunately agree. There are institutions like ASCAP whose job it is to collect revenue from plays and sales of copywritten music. My family still receives royalty cheques from music written by my father in the late 1920s. I don't know if it's possible to even tell them NOT to collect and let the copywright lapse. It's not in their interest as they make a % on anything collected. The tide is certainly turning much more towards enforcing copywright as the internet erodes the prospect for holding on to one's creative efforts in order to make $$. It's not a simple matter, but you can be guranteed that wherever there is $$ to be made and litagants who smell an opportunity, it will get tied up.

A possible solution might be for the curators of the collection to "sell" downloads with funds going into an accont that can be dispersed at some point in the future when all of the copywright holders can be contacted. Would probably require the approval of any/all of the recording companies who had those artists signed to exclusive contracts at that time. Collecting $$ ensures that all those greedy SOBs have the potential of grabbing some $$ whareas to do nothing means that no $$ are being collected.

My family has an enormous collection of scratched old 78s and original recordings (we had a machine that cut records). I have no idea what's in there and frankly don't care. Many of the records and privately made discs were made by my father with his music buddies. Not sure who's on them, but he had in his radio orchestras (that's what they called bands at the time) some up and coming youngsters who later became well known like the Dorsey Brothers and Benny Goodman. He also played with other bands and recorded with Bix Biederbecke, Duke Ellington (Jungle Band), Paul Whiteman, Joe Venuti, Jack Teagarden, etc. Anyone want to throw money at my family? The collection is at my sister's place in Victoria BC.
This was recorded before there was copyright on the recordings themselves, the biggest problems will be tracking down the estates of the artists and finding the people who own the songs. i hope that thy would be able to make some sort of deal with the organization that handles copyright in the us
 

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This was recorded before there was copyright on the recordings themselves, the biggest problems will be tracking down the estates of the artists and finding the people who own the songs. i hope that thy would be able to make some sort of deal with the organization that handles copyright in the us
Copyright is filed with the government (like a patent). Copyright from my recollection is on the song/composition but can also be on the recording itself. It's understood that the performances were not copywritten, but the compositions they played probably were. So if they have a list of the compositions/tunes then that can be checked fairly simply. The other part is a little more complex as you have many of these people who would have had exclusive recording contracts at the time of the broadcast. Most contracts would have put the $$ into the hands of the recording company first then distributed to the "artist" afterward. Where exclusive contracts didn't exist, then one would need to find the closest living relative or heir.

Copyright infringement wouldn't necessarily involve penalties (where it can cost a lot) if the standard fees have been banked in an account waiting to be claimed. If the curators have good legal advice and some cajones I think they could release this material. As it is, my cynical mind considers the possibility that the curators are protesting a bit much and are probably quite happy to entice those interested to their museum (the only place you can hear the music). If they charge admission and this music is considered a "draw" then it's just as possible that they could be had up for copyright infringement (it makes them money without any of the $$ going to the artists, composers or recording companies).
 

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Copyright is filed with the government (like a patent). Copyright from my recollection is on the song/composition but can also be on the recording itself. It's understood that the performances were not copywritten, but the compositions they played probably were. So if they have a list of the compositions/tunes then that can be checked fairly simply. The other part is a little more complex as you have many of these people who would have had exclusive recording contracts at the time of the broadcast. Most contracts would have put the $$ into the hands of the recording company first then distributed to the "artist" afterward. Where exclusive contracts didn't exist, then one would need to find the closest living relative or heir.

Copyright infringement wouldn't necessarily involve penalties (where it can cost a lot) if the standard fees have been banked in an account waiting to be claimed. If the curators have good legal advice and some cajones I think they could release this material. As it is, my cynical mind considers the possibility that the curators are protesting a bit much and are probably quite happy to entice those interested to their museum (the only place you can hear the music). If they charge admission and this music is considered a "draw" then it's just as possible that they could be had up for copyright infringement (it makes them money without any of the $$ going to the artists, composers or recording companies).
I'm not an expert on this but copyright is automatic and not like a patent. The copyright on recordings dates after 1970 something so it doesn't apply to this. I don't think that the recording contracts are a problem since there is also no problem with the louis smith record with cannonball adderley(on which he uses a pseudonym because of a commitment to another record company.)

The restoration will take a lot of time and money and I think that's an issue to.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Copyright is filed with the government (like a patent).
It can be, but does not have to be. A copyright automatically exists in a work once the work is first published.


The other part is a little more complex as you have many of these people who would have had exclusive recording contracts at the time of the broadcast. Most contracts would have put the $$ into the hands of the recording company first then distributed to the "artist" afterward. Where exclusive contracts didn't exist, then one would need to find the closest living relative or heir.
I think you've hit the nail on the head.

In this case there is no issue with copyright in the compositions, they are easily cleared for use. The copyright in the recording however does depend on the musicians' contracts, and any companies who have/had an exclusive right to those musicians' performances on record are most likely the issue here, nothing to do with copyright laws. The thing is I wouldn't mind betting that most/all of those record labels with a potential claim have lost the contracts from the 30s or 40s or whenever it was.
 

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It can be, but does not have to be. A copyright automatically exists in a work once the work is first published.




I think you've hit the nail on the head.

In this case there is no issue with copyright in the compositions, they are easily cleared for use. The copyright in the recording however does depend on the musicians' contracts, and any companies who have/had an exclusive right to those musicians' performances on record are most likely the issue here, nothing to do with copyright laws. The thing is I wouldn't mind betting that most/all of those record labels with a potential claim have lost the contracts from the 30s or 40s or whenever it was.
But how do you explain the Louis smith record with cannonball adderley as buckshot lefonque? Isn't that the same.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I can only hope that a couple of lawyers who are also jazz fans are willing to help them.
Well, yes, to take on such a project without lawyers isasking for trouble.

RE: your question about Cannonball Adderley. Presumably that's a pseudonym used in order to get round an exclusive contract.

In this case, I can't see how using pseudonyms would be relevant.
 
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