The CLASSICS copyright law (2018) has further lengthened the time until recordings are released into the Public Domain. Recordings from 1957 to 1972 will be protected until 2067 – but only if one owns the original recording.This is where we come in …..
Yes, US Copyright for music is ridiculously long. But even worse, if you own remasters or re-issues, new copyrights are attached that extend far into the future.
Copyright attaches to the recording and to the media it is recorded upon. George Gershwin’s “An American In Paris” will fall into the Public Domain (in the U.S.) around 2020. But only owners of the original 1929 recording can benefit from that. Any later release – on record, tape or even digital will continue to be protected for many years.
Looking at more modern Stereo tape recordings we can safely assume that those tapes can not be played anymore once their copyright expires.
We started to re-master hours and hours of analog stereo material to super high quality digital without attaching any new copyright. This allows the music to be released into the public domain as soon as the copyright expires.
Someone said: “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.“
Though we are trying to get at least some of the tapes released earlier, we most likely won’t be around in 2067 when our work can finally be enjoyed by the public. So we are storing the remastered digital files on M-DISC and other digital media with several law firms who are asked to release the data as soon as it is legal.
Here is an excerpt of the recordings we have remastered and stored:
A reunion of famous jazz musicians recreating the early 1900 Chicago jazz vibe.
This VERVE 7 1/2 IPS tape doesn’t have any Copyright on the box and should already be in the public domain.
A performance of the Benny Goodman band, very cool recording.
This Command Stereo 7 1/2 IPS tape doesn’t have any Copyright on the box and should already be in the public domain.
One of the best recordings of Beethoven’s Symphony No.3
This Columbia Stereo 7 1/2 IPS tape doesn’t have any Copyright on the box and should already be in the public domain.
Beethoven Piano Concertos No. 1 & 2 – Wilhelm Backhaus, Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt Vienna Philharmonic Orchester
The last recording of Bruno Walter conducting the Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Original Copyright: 1963
Recorded in 1958, with the bells of the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Carillon at the Riverside Church in New York City and a 12 pound, Napoleon-era (1775), bronze siege cannon.
This Mercury Stereo 7 1/2 IPS tape doesn’t have any Copyright and should already be in the public domain.
We have more than 50 hours of classical music, jazz, military marches and pop music already done and 100’s of tapes are in our archive ready to be remastered.
Want to help? Here’s what we need:
A legal opinion as to music published without copyright of any kind. As per Circular 3 of the United States Copyright Office, any recording without Copyright (prior to 1978) and if the publisher didn’t add notices after the omission was discovered:
.. The work went into the public domain in the United States five years after publication. At that time, all U. S. copyright protection was lost and cannot be restored ..
Circular 22 of the United States Copyright Office states in addition:
.. For works first published before 1978, the complete absence of a copyright notice from a published copy generally indicates that the work is not protected by copyright….
It would be great if copyright lawyer would be willing to look into this for us. It would also be a big deal because we literally have hundreds of tapes without Copyright marks ready to be published.