12. oktober 2010

Copyright Is Destroying Historic Audio

You think only "pirates" and "freeloaders" rail against current copyright laws? Well, think again - even the Library of Congress seemingly has had enough. The topic is recorded sound preservation, and in a 181-page in-depth study, the Library of Congress concludes that apart from technical difficulties, US copyright law makes it virtually impossible for anyone to perform any form of audio preservation. The painted picture is grim - very grim.

The study doesn't just identify problems - it proposes solutions as well; five of them, to be exact:

  • Repeal Section 301(c) of the Copyright Act - this is the section that enacts the 2067 barrier as expained above.
  • Decriminalise the use and copying of orphaned works - which are works for which no rightsholders can be determined.
  • Bring US copyright terms in line with European ones - a maximum of 50-75 years. The study discovered that an additional 22% of US historical recordings are available in Europe, but not in the US, due to shorter copyright terms in Europe.
  • Third parties should be able to re-issue abandoned works without permission from rightsholders - as long as those rightsholders are properly compensated.
  • Libraries should be allowed to more easily copy and share material within the library and between other libraries, and restrictions on quality of the copies should be removed.
Kilde: US Library of Congress
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