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Abstract

Protection for Pre-1972 Sound Recordings under State Law and Its Impact on Use by Nonprofit Institutions: A 10-State Analysis

Commissioned for and sponsored by the National Recording Preservation Board, Library of Congress

Prepared by the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property
Washington College of Law, American University
Under the supervision of Peter Jaszi with the assistance of Nick Lewis
September 2009. 101 pp. $30
ISBN 978-1-932326-34-5
CLIR pub 146

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This is the third of three studies of copyright and sound recordings commissioned by the National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB) in support of the congressionally mandated study of the state of audio preservation in the United States. All three studies have focused on how laws pertaining to sound recordings made before 1972 affect preservation of and access to audio recordings. As readers of the previous two studies know, sound recordings made before February 15, 1972, do not benefit from federal copyright protection. In the absence of a national law, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, individual states passed anti-piracy and other laws to protect producers of sound recordings from unauthorized duplication and sale of recordings.

In this study, Professor Peter Jaszi and students in the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at American University's Washington College of Law examine criminal and civil laws of 10 states, as well as judicial decisions and common law, pertaining to sound recordings fixed before 1972. The authors provide a brief history of the formulation of these laws and examine the laws and court cases that may determine the extent to which nonprofit institutions may preserve and disseminate pre-1972 recordings.

The other two reports in this series, both by June M. Besek, can be found on this Web site at the following links:

(pub144) Copyright and Related Issues Relevant to Digital Preservation and Dissemination of Unpublished Pre-1972 Sound Recordings by Libraries and Archives >>

(pub135) Copyright Issues Relevant to Digital Preservation and Dissemination of Pre-1972 Commercial Sound Recordings by Libraries and Archives >>

 

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