In late April, You Tube took down the website MusicProf78 for copyright violations. A British Company has asserted (possibly bogus) copyright claims to his record postings. I don’t know. Many of us doubt the validity of many these claims for the following reasons: First, traditionally the copyright belongs to the writers of a song’s music or lyrics, not to the actual records. Works by Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and many others were covered under copyright which lasted for a fixed period of time and was renewable up to the point that it fell into the public domain. Second, it was not in the interest of the composer, lyricist, or publisher to restrict performance or recording to a single performing artist. As long as record company paid the percentage royalty per record, everyone was happy. Eventually, radio play was seen as an advantage rather than a disadvantage. Of course, the actual pressing at that time of a record without a payment agreement with copyright holder, say, Jimmy Dorsey’s Tangerine, would have been a copyright violation. Third, in some cases involving blues and country artists, they were conned out of royalties by alleged “co authors.” In reality, these “co-authors” were con men who stole their money.
In the early days of the 78 records sold in record shops, radio play was specifically forbidden on the label. It took a while for the record industry to wake up to the idea that if you couldn’t play the records on the radio, how were people supposed to know the records existed? They were using their own lawyers to insure that their business was penny wise and pound foolish.
The same thing applies here. The people who know and love this music have been targeted here with the only likely result is acrimony and no records sold.
In any event, I am not a copyright lawyer . Most of the recordings I play are pre-1950. The actual compositions are usually much older. Most of the performers and songwriters are deceased. I like to think that I am keeping their memory alive. I have a number of posts scheduled but I might have to shut down. Thanks for your support. Yours truly, Richard Rollo