- - August 28, 2020 Subject:
COPYRIGHT PRIMER FOR ARCHIVE.ORG MEMBERS
Sound recordings, music publishing over 50 years old and all radio broadcasts (including podcasts) may LEGALLY be posted!
1. It is not the original product, but a recording of the original product. This counts for sound recordings UNDER 50 years, —and many that are FAR younger.
2. The source is from an analogue product, and, therefore, NO LONGER REPRESENTS the original product.
3. If it were not out of copyright, how is it that USED RECORD STORES, eBay, Amazon and many other COMMERCIAL sources SELL USED records?! NONE of this money ends up in the original owner's pocket.
Also, you have a right to distribute 5 recordings of any record/CD you buy. The law is basically unable to deal with the intangible aspects of a NON PROFIT, web site that has NO WAY to enrage in commerce. ARCHIVE.ORG is in a relaxed legal situation.
ARCHIVE.ORG has no means to engage in FINANCIAL commerce. This one fact, protects ARCHIVE.ORG from most complaints. YES, you can post most vinyl and CDs) without violating copyright, Relax.
I worry far more about the crazy hate group, nut-jobs that have, recently, unfortunately, discovered our dear web site. —E.g
. the neo-nazi, white supremacists nuts that have a few postings. The ANTI-HATE LAWS in the USA and Britain are clear and serious. Moreover, despite general misconception, ENGLAND does NOT offer's its citizens anything like the FIRST AMENDMENT (in the USA). England, LEGALLY, does NOT necessarily support free speech (e.g
., the infamous "D-Notice"). England is often called a "Constitutional Monarchy". NOPE. The U.K. has NO Constitution. —Nope the Magna Carta has NO legal standing or even direct meaning for the modern world. It is purely an historic document. —That you can see and read in The British Museum. It's in a glass case that you can stand over and poke your nose as close as 3 inches from the Latin text on sheep skin. I did this for about 6 hours one day.
In practise, ironically, the U.K. allows FAR more free speech latitude than the USA.
4. Even MUSIC PUBLISHING rights are not a problem as ASCAP and BMI BOTH maintain a strict formulae for collecting royalties for music that is broadcast or played by many cover bands. It is NOT the individual radio stations or cover bands that directly pay these fees. Think of ARCHIVE.ORG as a radio station or cover band playing a record. This is considered by ASCAP and BMI as PRODUCT PROMOTION.
The complete original product is NOT being posted. Just like radio stations, almost ALL album (vinyl and CD) content posted on ARCHIVE.ORG is LEGAL! Surely, a mechanical transfer of a 60 year old Smother Brother's record is FAIR GAME!!! Somebody out there is terrorising poor ARCHIVE.ORG members and it is high time that ARCHIVE.ORG become learned of international copyright law. Alas, Members of, and ARCHIVE.ORG need to update their knowledge on copyright law!
5. IF a violation does occur, only a Cease and Desist letter FROM THE PRESIDING COURT, Sovereign country's court or elective legal office is LEGAL reason for removing the posting (you have a reasonable time to remove the post, —e.g
., 60 - 90 days). Also, a C&D letter from the recordings LAST OWNER OF RECORD or SOLICITOR is NOT necessarily reason to remove the posting; however, I would remove the content as a SIMPLE COURTESY. IF, the current owner FILES an injunction with a sovereign court and wins, THEN you MUST remove the content. Alas, this almost NEVER happens.
C & D letters from representing solicitors or, even, corporations are BUMPKUS! (I.e
. they are fodder and can be safely ignored!) It matters NOT if the Solicitor is a bloody Q.C. or Knight of The Garter, Lord and Peer of the Realm! Even if an MP or Congress man parks his Bentley in front of your home, you are NOT obligated to remove the posting. —E.g
. the C & D letter MUST be from a government District Attorney (USA) or Government Civil Court (Europe and USA). Fancy letters from independent counsels or individuals DO NOT COUNT! If they did, there would be NO law suits. Please, my ARCHIVE.ORG BROTHERS, learn a minimum of international TORTS LAW, and you will rest easy.
6. IF a posting IS in copyright violation, and de-posting is performed in a timely manner (60 - 90 days), no Court (Old Bailey included), Judge or District Attorney in the WORLD will choose to penalise ARCHIVE.ORG! Honest mistakes, reasonably corrected, are NOT actionable.
7. Remember; NO MONEY CHANGES HANDS on ARCHIVE.ORG. ARCHIVE.ORG is NON-PROFIT. This counts for quite a LOT. —I.e
. there is NO FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING POSSIBLE in any copyright challenge on ARCHIVE.ORG. This means that ARCHIVE.ORG is practically impossible to successfully be prosecuted for copyright violation as there NO significant FINANCIAL aspect to a complaint. An ARCHIVE.ORG Member would have to post one of the NEW Beatle RE-MIXES, in the original digital WAVE files taken from the product CD (released last year) to even make a stir, but there would STILL probably be NO REAL LEGAL action. E.g
., No D.A., Prosecuting Attorney, Judge's order, etc. The law is NOT a free-for all. A legal COURT must make a CLEAR RULING. As this cost money, this almost NEVER happens, —and if it does; what do you do? DE-POST in a timely manner. END OF STORY! Life and The Law are far easier for this stuff than you might imagine. HOWEVER; even then, it is NOT a clear violation as the liner notes and product packaging cannot be posted in original product form. The WEB IS VIRTUAL. Therefore, the copyright violation is NOT BLATANT. This includes high quality SCANS of the product material (they are also NOT the actual product).
8. ALL BROADCAST MATERIAL IS PUBLIC DOMAIN. If this includes Bob and Ray, it also includes Howard Stern (BUT, NOT his cable pay-for programme material —without consent). BTW: A simple request for consent letter will OFTEN bring GOOD NEWS. ARCHIVE.ORG functions for many artists and companies as a promotion vehicle; —i.e
. they love your FULL postings. Once the programme material is willingly transmitted into the RADIO OR WEB ETHER, it is PUBLIC DOMAIN. This is true in the USA, EUROPE and most of the 3rd world.
., even a C & D letter from a Knighted Lord or Q.C. (Queens Counsel) employed by the B.B.C. retains NO LEGAL POWER TO FORCE ARCHIVE.ORG TO REMOVE A POSTING!
9. I have noticed a few BBC radio dramas removed from ARCHIVE.ORG. This is incredibly distressing. Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre Radio Programmes from 1938 might as well ALSO be removed from the site! ARCHIVE.ORG need NOT be intimidated by PRIVATE sources.
The LAW, comes from GOVERNMENTS, NOT private sources. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
PLEASE, DEAR FELLOW MEMBERS, when in doubt, go by the 50 year, vinyl/CD or broadcast standard. This even applies to the Beatles, E.g
., the Capitol Records re-release CDs (i.e
. WAVE files) of the 1960s re-organised American Beatle records are FAIR GAME for posting. They have NOT been changed in any way from the original records. (E.g
., no remixing, balance or content changes).
FURTHER, as of 1 Jan 2020, ANY original British or American Beatle recording is LEGAL to be posted on ARCHIVE.ORG. (Except for the new REMIXED Abbey Road and "White Album", —even then, EMI would likely not care. The original product run has not sold out and is not likely to for a long time. Remember; IF you DID post the new Abbey Road REMIX in WAV format and EMI's attorneys sent a C& D letter, it would mean NOTHING until a Judge of THE COURT signs an injunction order. Even then, as long as you remove the posting in reasonable time, YOU HAVE COMPLIED AND OWN NO LEGAL LIABILITY.
—This is intended to provide a basic introduction to international copyright law.
Obviously, the LAW GREATLY FAVOURS NON-PROFIT, NON COMMERCE organizations such as ARCHIVE.ORG. Yes, some record companies might be upset by this, but the LAW COMES FROM GOVERNMENT, NOT independent, for-profit, professional corporate or legal sources (such as, solicitors, Q.C.s
, barristers, para-legal workers, etc.). This matters NOT where the ARCHIVE.ORG physical servers are located. This site has NO way of engaging in commerce. NO MONEY can change hands on this site! (I cannot say this enough!!!)
It is HIGH TIME THAT ARCHIVE.ORG MEMBERS LEARN MORE ABOUT INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT LAW, as the laws FAVOUR our dear web site.
KEEP THE FAITH.