Copyright and Sound
Recommendations for Changes to the United States Copyright Law
Preservation of and Access to the Audio Heritage of the United States [pdf]
The Copyright and Fair Use Committee has developed five specific recommended
changes in U.S. copyright law to assure that our rich audio heritage
preserved and accessible and that it remains available for generations
while protecting the legitimate interests of the artists and enterprises
created this national treasure.
These recommendations have been endorsed by six major scholarly organizations, and ARSC welcomes the support of others as well. The recommendations are as follows.
- Place pre-1972 U.S. recordings under a single, understandable
national law by repealing section 301(c ) of Title 17, U.S. Code,
the provision that currently keeps pre-1972 recordings under state
law until 2067.
- Harmonize the term of coverage for U.S. recordings
with that of most
foreign countries, i.e. a term of between 50 and 75 years.
the use of orphan recordings, those for which no owner can be
- Permit and encourage the reissue by third parties of "abandoned" recordings,
those that remain out of print for extended periods, with appropriate
compensation to the copyright owners.
- Change U.S. copyright laws to allow the use of current technology
and best practices in the preservation of sound recordings by non-profit