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Country Blues => Super Electrical Recordings! => Topic started by: uncle bud on March 11, 2008, 06:20:30 PM

Title: Availability of Licensed Recordings
Post by: uncle bud on March 11, 2008, 06:20:30 PM
This came through on another list and I thought I'd pass it along as further evidence of the completely fucked up nature of the record business, misquotations of Hunter Thompson notwithstanding...

> Greetings from your friends at Bluebeat Music.............
> Due to recent lawsuits brought by large multi national music
> corporations, many legitimately licensed titles from such respected labels as ACE &
> BEAR FAMILY will be unavailable here in the US soon. Even though these same
> corporations have no intention of reissuing these titles here in the US,
> they do not want these imports sold in the US................
> This follows on the heels of a push to eliminate the PROPER labels fine &
> reasonably priced box sets from the shelves in the US as well..........
> Needless to say, this shows what can happen when those who dont care
> about music take over the music industry...................
> ..............
> We have stocked up on as many titles as we can find, but the supply is
> limited........
> Thanks for all your support Sincerely, Charlie Lange, owner
> Bluebeatmusic.com
Title: Re: Availability of Licensed Recordings
Post by: Rivers on March 11, 2008, 06:32:51 PM
It's a race against time... can Big Music spend their entire legal budgets before finally going bankrupt, to resounding cheers all round (except from shareholders and employees)? I suspect the two might occur simultaneously. Very slow-moving Karma.
Title: Re: Availability of Licensed Recordings
Post by: rjtwangs on March 11, 2008, 07:49:03 PM
I got the same e-mail from Bluebeat this afternoon, I talked to Charlie for a while, soon we won't be able to buy the JSP, Proper and other sets that we have been buying so inexpensively. All good things come to an end...

 RJ       
Title: Re: Availability of Licensed Recordings
Post by: unezrider on March 11, 2008, 10:57:26 PM
i was having such a good day too, andrew.....
is this a done deal, or are there any people we can contact about this absurdity? why doesn't big music (if they're so concerned with these companies issuing this music) put their money into releasing their own compilations instead? as#holes!
chris
Title: Re: Availability of Licensed Recordings
Post by: Parlor Picker on March 12, 2008, 02:22:30 AM
Reminiscent of prohibition days.  They'll soon be importing 'em in plain brown paper wrappers....
Title: Re: Availability of Licensed Recordings
Post by: dj on March 12, 2008, 04:51:35 AM
Quote
is this a done deal, or are there any people we can contact about this absurdity? why doesn't big music (if they're so concerned with these companies issuing this music) put their money into releasing their own compilations instead

It's my understanding,and I could be wrong here, that the ability to bar importation of recorded titles not specifically licensed for sale in the U.S. was written into U.S. copyright law quite some time ago, in the early 80s if my memory is correct.  This has never been a very big deal, but I think two things are combining to make the international conglomerates take more interest in pursuing this path now. 

The first is the continued plunge in sales of recorded music, which is driving the record companies to try to eliminate competition, no matter how seemingly insignificant that competition is.  You've already seen this at work, though you probably haven't noticed it.  Take the second JSP Memphis Minnie box.  It included all her post-war work except for the titles she recorded for Chess.  Why?  Because Universal (or whatever they're called these days) will sue to prevent importation into the U.S. of virtually anything containing Chess recordings not specifically licensed for sale in this country.  This to keep their Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Chuck Berry, etc. recordings, which still generate sales, from foreign competition.     

The second is that mechanical copyright - the right to exclusively copy and sell a given piece of music - has now expired on the early works of rock and roll in the European Union, and expiration is fast approaching on the earliest works of the Beatles and Rolling Stones and other bands whose sales still generate real money.  I don't know for sure, but I imagine that EMI is starting to get nervous about losing the exclusive franchise to the Beatles recordings and is trying to set legal precedents now.
 
Title: Re: Availability of Licensed Recordings
Post by: CF on March 12, 2008, 06:25:39 AM
Oh man this is truely upsetting. My bank account allows for little CD purchasing & JSP & Proper & Document are very choice for the earnest but financially humble pre-war blues fan. Are there even any North American companies that release completish recordings?
Title: Re: Availability of Licensed Recordings
Post by: uncle bud on March 12, 2008, 06:56:14 AM
Well, it's conceivable that these records will be available still, just not in the US. It is, after all, people in the UK and Europe who care enough to put out this music and keep it in print. Not many in the US do, I'm sorry to say.
Title: Re: Availability of Licensed Recordings
Post by: dj on March 12, 2008, 07:38:51 AM
Quote
It is, after all, people in the UK and Europe who care enough to put out this music and keep it in print. Not many in the US do...

If copyright laws were the same in the US and EU, I think you'd see similar activity by reissue labels in both places.
Title: Re: Availability of Licensed Recordings
Post by: Norfolk Slim on March 12, 2008, 07:45:12 AM
Quite possibly.

In practical terms- I dont suppose that US Customs open and check every incoming package for unlicensed recorded material.  I imagine you guys will be able to buy these sets cheaply from the EU and have them imported, quietly, by post?
Title: Re: Availability of Licensed Recordings
Post by: uncle bud on March 12, 2008, 07:56:23 AM
Yes, but Document was putting this music out in the LP era. Had copyright expired in Europe then? And I think copyright on a good percentage of material from 1920s is hard if not impossible to prove.

But here's to the record companies and their lawyers. First they shut down the Juke with internet radio fees that exceed total revenue, now they'll stop people from buying and listening to the music at all.
Title: Re: Availability of Licensed Recordings
Post by: waxwing on March 12, 2008, 08:20:18 AM
So, what will be the deal in Canada? Will the annual pilgrimage to PT include a ferry over to Victoria to load up fender caches full of CDs? I assume they'll be able to stop downloads of mp3s on any US computer.

This is really disturbing. At a gig last night I was talking to the MC (a bit of a kook, but not dumb, either) about fascism in America. He was saying that according to some 10 point yardstick of fascist policies, the US already has the seeds of 9 in place. I wonder if they'll make it "unpatriotic" to listen to music that doesn't have a current US copyright? This smacks of isolationism, which, given the fact that we now manufacture very little in this country, is a sure sign of disaster. Well, as I've said before, you can't help an alcoholic in denial 'til they reach their bottom, and I, for one, don't think this country has reached it's bottom yet. It's gonna be a bumpy ride.

All for now.
John C.
Title: Re: Availability of Licensed Recordings
Post by: dj on March 12, 2008, 08:27:30 AM
Quote
And I think copyright on a good percentage of material from 1920s is hard if not impossible to prove.

Unfortunately, I don't think it's a question of "proving" anything.  If you're Document or Classics or JSP or Properor some small mail order distributor and Universal/MCA or EMI or someone like that with a huge legal department sends you a letter saying "cease and desist or we'll see you in court", you'll cease and desist, because the major corporations don't actually have to win a court case, they just have to bankrupt you with legal fees.  And that's easy for them to do.


Title: Re: Availability of Licensed Recordings
Post by: uncle bud on March 12, 2008, 08:37:09 AM
Very true. And that looks like what they'll be doing. Hopefully these companies will keep things in print, just not for sale in the US.

Even record companies like Columbia haven't done anything about keeping material they own in print, aside from a few minor cash cows like Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson and the like. Most of the Roots 'N Blues series is out of print, isn't it?

Wax, I don't think it's fascism, it's more being fine-printed to death. With apologies to any lawyers here, who obviously have good taste and strong morals  :D, it's the damn lawyers.
Title: Re: Availability of Licensed Recordings
Post by: waxwing on March 12, 2008, 08:46:22 AM
I didn't say this was, per se, but I do think the foolish notion of trying to hold on to a dying market, as well as a dying power structure, are motivating forces in this country for very unsavory groups.

So, what is (or will be) the deal in Canada?

All for now.
John C.
Title: Re: Availability of Licensed Recordings
Post by: uncle bud on March 12, 2008, 08:55:37 AM
Well, copyright as I understand it in Canada is not the same as the US, and is comparable to the UK. JSP and Proper sets would be legal here, ASFAIK. However I could be wrong. The fact of the matter is that our copyright laws can be largely irrelevant, since we are dependent on US business. There is serious strong-arming of the Canadian government going on right now by American companies with regards to Canadian copyright law. It's not endearing, to say the least.

So while the products from JSP or Proper may be legal here, fat lot of good it does us if the companies are forced out of business.
Title: Re: Availability of Licensed Recordings
Post by: Stuart on March 12, 2008, 10:46:11 AM
Just a reminder:

http://elderly.com/search/elderly?terms=JSP+records&x=12&y=11

http://elderly.com/search/elderly?terms=Proper+records&x=9&y=10


The search for "Proper" was less than perfect, but it's close enough.
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