Digital Collections

Universal masters donated to Library of Congress

This is really exciting, but I'm curious about the intellectual property issues that aren't discussed in the press release. Copyright issues for sound recordings produced before 1972 are very complicated and the materials are subject to miscellaneous state laws and other factors. Per Cornell's very useful copyright guide, pre-1972 recordings won't indisputably enter the public domain until 2067. It would be really nice if this donation came with intellectual property rights as well, but I have a sneaking suspicion that isn't the case.

We've worked with a lot of sheet music here at UNCG (and we'll be doing more in the next few months) but never much with sound recordings. And the issues surrounding them will probably keep us from doing much in the foreseeable future as well.

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