Joined: Feb. 2007
||Posted: Feb. 16 2007,23:30
Who's going to come round and enforce their rights under copyright laws if the works are unattributed (and cannot be attributed)? The Queen Mother?
The OP suggested creating a business around multimedia and his question asked specifically about copyrighted content. Who'd enforce copyrights under such circumstance where a work was distributed without attribution or without regard for copyright? Anyone represented by ASCAP, BMI, RIAA, or other such bodies that seek to protect their copyright holders.
|Only first-year undergrad law students would even think about such a situation. |
Hardly! Just because you get your hands on a particular tune that lacks any information about its origin or its copyright status doesn't give you carte blanche to use it or distribute or even listen to it. You sure as hell couldn't use it in other content like a movie, a remix, an ad, etc., without finding out its origins, who's copyrighted it, and what the reuse of it would require (royalty, permission, attribution, etc.).
| On a more serious note, |
Copyright law is a pretty serious issue. Groups like the RIAA and FSF are spending millions of dollars to keep it a pretty serious issue.
| what about unattributed quotations in the English language, |
There's a huge distinction between borrowing a line and reprinting or redistributing another's copyrighted work against the terms the copyright holder permits.
|and very old records that have been sampled and converted to MP3 and redistributed?|
Under US law?
|The copyright has long expired and everyone's probably dead anyway.|
There's no controlling authority if the copyright has expired; many "classics" are republished without royalties to an estate because the copyrights have expired. Death of a copyright holder doesn't terminate rights. Those are usually held in trust, by an estate, or transferred to heirs.
|As an example, I recently uploaded and distributed samples from a 1960s Deben Bhattacharya record with classical Indian music recording. I don't think there's any historical record of this recording. It would have been a crime not to share it with the world, rather than the other way around.|
That's according to your judgment. If it's a copyrighted work, that's not your decision to make. You may think you're doing a service while a copyright holder may think you're stealing or otherwise diminishing the value of his or her work. The courts go along with case law. Digital reproduction, size, age, etc., doesn't change anything: copyrights are still copyrights. And ignorance of the law isn't an exculpatory excuse.
"It felt kind of like having a pitbull terrier on my rear end."
-- meo (copyright(c)2008, all rights reserved)