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Robert was loading his gear into the van when he dropped an amplifier onto his left hand and broke his forefinger. The second night he just reinvented all his chords for three fingers. Most amazing thing I ever did see - Robert Junior Lockwood, by Chris Smith on prewarblues list

Author Topic: Paramount label ownership?  (Read 1948 times)

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Offline poymando

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Paramount label ownership?
« on: July 18, 2005, 08:01:27 PM »
Curious..Is the Paramount logo/label now in the public domain? Just wondering how the reissue folks deal with this relative to both sound and image copyrights. Thanks in advance for any ideas.

Offline Slack

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Re: Paramount label ownership?
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2005, 07:13:21 AM »
Welcome to WeenieCampbell.

You might email John Tefteller - he uses the Paramount Label art on a lot of stuff and also owns the rights to quite a bit of Paramount poster artwork - and he tracks it to make sure folks do not use it without permission.  john@tefteller.com  He is a very nice guy.

As far as Paramount recordings (assuming you are talking about pre-war 78's) - much of this music is in the public domain - or at least nobody can find contracts that assign copywright to these recordings.  Maybe someone could find contracts if there was some real money in re-issuing this music -- but I think the re-issue business is marginal to begin with.  Copyright is  complicated, I'm far from knowledgeable, and I don't think a simple answer can be given.  Your best bet is to ask a copyright lawyer.

Cheers,
slack

Offline poymando

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Re: Paramount label ownership?
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2005, 07:28:13 AM »
Thanks Slack!
Email sent to Tefteller.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Paramount label ownership?
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2005, 09:15:11 AM »
A month or so ago I posted a link to an article in the NY Times that discussed the expiration of the 50 year international/European (non-US) copyright on recordings. Perhaps you could search the WC archives, find it, and see if there was any follow up. It might help to explain the inexpensive JSP, Proper, etc., sets. In addition, you should read "Paramount's Rise and Fall" by Alex van der Tuuk if you haven't already for info on Paramount.

Here's the link to the press:

http://www.mainspringpress.com/book_paramount.html

Hope this helps,

Stu

Offline Stuart

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Re: Paramount label ownership?
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2005, 09:27:59 AM »
Here's a link to the text of the NY Times' article:

http://www.library.yale.edu/~llicense/ListArchives/0301/msg00008.html

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Paramount label ownership?
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2012, 06:57:04 AM »
Reviving an oldie to ask a question. In the recent Lemon CD thread, Bruce N. referred to the murkiness of John Steiner's ownership of rights to the Paramount material. This wikipedia article says the rights were acquired in 1970 by George H. Buck of Jazzology Records (no citation given). I haven't read Alex van der Tuuk's Paramount book, but does it clear any of this up? Does anyone clearly own rights to Paramount material now?

Offline dj

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Re: Paramount label ownership?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2012, 07:39:23 AM »
Van der Tuuk's account of the Paramount label (as opposed to the Wisconsin Chair Company) ends with Decca's return of metal masters to John Steiner in 1950.  That's not saying he doesn't know what happened after 1950.  It might be worthwhile asking him.

Offline misterjones

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Re: Paramount label ownership?
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2012, 08:36:11 AM »
To quote the Tom Cruise character from "A Few Good Men", a surprsingly accurate movie from a legal standpoint (except for the unrealistic "Hollywood" ending):  "It doesn't matter what I believe.  What matters is what I can prove."

The issue with Paramount might simply boil down to what a claimant can prove.  If he, she or it does not have the evidence to establish chain of ownership, copyright protection becomes irrelevant.  It strikes me that those asserting ownership of Paramount copyrights (as well as those of the recorded artists) would have a difficult time in this regard.

(I'll insert another Seth Winner anecdote here.  He indicated the reason the 1990 Robert Johnson box set was not blocked was simply because those asserting contrary copyright claims simply could not find the relevant paperwork to prove their claim.  Who "conveniently" had it, I cannot recall.)

My recollection is that the basic rule in the US was lifetime + 50 years, complicated somewhat with respect to corporate owners (i.e., works for hire) and those works created before the 1976 Copyright Act.

I recently wondered whether the works of people like Buddy Holly soon would become public domain, since he died about 50 years ago.  My somewhat brief research indicated that Congress had extended copyright protection (for at least recorded music) for pre-1976 works.  I forget the details, though.

Also, I note the link to the New York Times article above.  I wouldn't believe anything that paper asserts . . . except for (perhaps) the previous day's sports scores.  They certainly have no ability or inclination to accurately state the law.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 07:15:00 PM by misterjones »

 


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