WWI-Era Sound NOT Public Domain

By 2010.08.05 1 Comment»

Some disturbing news from Techdirt: “Why World War I Recordings Won’t Enter The Public Domain Until 2049.” Seems sound-recordings were left out of the 1909 Copyright Act, purposely:

First, Congress wondered about the constitutional validity of such protection. The Constitution allows Congress to protect “writings,” and Congress was uncertain as to whether a sound recording could constitute a writing. Second, Congress worried that allowing producers to exclusively control both the musical notation and the sound recording could lead to the creation of a music monopoly.

Turns out, tho, even tho Congress intended sound-recordings to have less or no © protection, by not covering it in the 1909 © Act, sound now has greater protection. The article has all the arcane details, and a mention of this nifty Cornell list: public domain tracker.

Meanwhile, HV continues its ongoing effort to flagrantly violate the law:

“Over There” sung by Billy Murray, written by George M. Cohan (3:34 mp3):

Cover of sheet music with painting of soldiers singing

First World War.com – Vintage Audio – Over There
Virginia Tech Special Collections: Early Sheet Music

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Comment added by documentary on 06.18.14

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