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Old March 22nd, 2006, 02:44 PM   #1
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Public Domain Recordings of 1800-1900s

I just read an interesting article in Wired about cylinder recordings. It seems there are some people who are digitizing these recordings and leaving them as free and public domain. So if you need some old, I mean OLD, songs or recordings for a production - here you go - 24bits WAV files, worry free, public domain.... You can also purchase the cleaned up MP3 versions I;m sure.


http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/index.php
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 03:28 PM   #2
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Thanks for that! I wish they had a way they could stream them so I could just listen on the side. I couldn't get through the "A" section and I was just looking, not listening.
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 06:34 PM   #3
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I know it's pretty extensive. I plan to download ALL the mp3s and if I find a recording I want to use I'll go back later and get the full blown WAV.
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 06:46 PM   #4
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If you read the legal materials on the site carfefully, you will find that all the recordings are not public domain "worry free". Before recordings were covered by U.S. copyright law, they were covered by various state laws that may still be in effect. So one still needs to research each recording and piece of music before using them.

To quote from the site "The nature of the various state laws and differing interpretations of these laws in state courts means that the legal status of many early recordings is unclear . . . While the Sonny Bono law was intended primarily to extend the copyright protection to the soon-to-expire copyrights of multinational corporations and heirs to songwriters, in effect it meant that all early recordings, no matter what their commercial potential, historical importance, or availability as reissues (with the exception of Edison Recordings) may be protected for well over 150 years after their creation. "
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 08:11 PM   #5
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If you use the wavs aren't they open? I'm not saying I'd be claiming the songs as mine, but as far as using them in production...???


From their site:
The wav files are not protected by copyright and can be used for either noncommerical or for-profit use. The restored versions (mp3 files) are licensed for use under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 License. For non-commercial use, all we ask is that you credit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project as the source. For commercial use, please contact project staff to license our restorations, or use the wav file. Radio stations (commercial and noncommercial) are free to program any of these recordings.
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 11:18 AM   #6
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Marco,

As I understand it, the right to use the recording and the right to use the song/music are two different rights.

What the statement means, I think, The University of California is not asserting copyright for their recordings off the cylinders for non-commercial use. Anyone who may owns the copyright to the music might still be entitled to object to a particular use.
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 11:29 AM   #7
 
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If the songs are public domain, and the persons responsible for creating the collection are freely giving up copyright to the collection (the collection may be copyrighted as a new work of public domain songs) then the songs are free for use. If they were recorded pre 1920, then there is no copyright that may be asserted on the Work, but the transcription of the work is indeed copyrightable.
In other words, I cannot copyright Dante's Inferno. But if I translate it, I may indeed, copyright my translation of Dante's Inferno. Same goes for the bible or any other public work.
Further, if there *is* copyright asserted, not only is there a mechanical and performance license, but there is also the required sync license.
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 06:47 PM   #8
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Wow how fun to figure all this out -tee hee. I still always approach the legal publisher of any work just to be sure. In the case of some of these songs, it's hard to tell how to proceed. I am going to give the U a call tomorrow and see what I can dig up.
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