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Re: [dvd-discuss] Gaming the system (was: Specific ironies of the CTEA)

On Friday, December 13, 2002, at 11:45  AM, Richard Hartman wrote:

>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Jeremy Erwin [mailto:jerwin@ponymail.com]
>> Sent: Thursday, December 12, 2002 5:34 PM
>> To: dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu
>> Subject: Re: [dvd-discuss] Gaming the system (was: Specific ironies of
>> the CTEA)
>> On Thursday, December 12, 2002, at 08:03  PM, Kurt Hockenbury wrote:
>>> [*] For that matter, this discrepancy means that in the
>> case of music,
>>> where
>>> the song and the recording have seperate copyrights, the song
>>> belonging to the
>>> author and the recording to the studio, the two expire at different
>>> times
>>> unless the author dies exactly 25 years after recording.  If the
>>> author dies
>>> earlier, the song enters the public domain before his or
>> her recording
>>> does,
>>> by up to 25 years.  On the other hand, if the author recorded young
>>> (say 15)
>>> but lives a long time (100, like Strom Thurman), then the recording
>>> will enter
>>> the public domain sixty years before the song does.
>> Interesting. Suppose the recording enters the public domain,
>> before the
>> song does. Technically, the recording is a derivative work of
>> the song.
>> If an individual chooses to distribute the now PD recording,
>> could his
>> actions be thwarted by the songwriter's estate?
> I don't think so.  But that individual could not make
> a recording of his own performance of that song and
> distribute that w/o paying royalties.

Consider the case of "A wonderful life". The movie, is, IIRC, public 
domain. The screenplay, (or was it the story treatment?) however, is 
not. Since the movie is (in part) a derivative work of the screenplay, 
the work is governed by greedy copyright lawyers.