If Sonny Bono weren't dead, I'd kill him

More

If you had any question as to whether the copyright extension was a travesty, here's a gem I came across while looking for some music to stick in a podcast:

Sound Recording Rule of Thumb:
There are NO sound recordings in the Public Domain in the USA.

Records, cassettes, CD's, and other music recordings come under a general category called Sound Recordings or Phonorecords. The publication of Sheet Music placed a song or musical work under copyright protection. Sound recordings, however, were protected by a hodge-podge tangle of state laws, but were not covered under Federal copyright law. It was even determined that there was no federal criteria to actually "publish" a sound recording. This was fixed with the 1972 US copyright act which officially "published" all sound recordings in existence on February 15, 1972, and 75 years of copyright protection was enacted for essentially every sound recording created in 1972 or earlier. (1972 + 75 years = 2047). The Sony Bono Act of 1998 extended all copyright protection an additional 20 years. Therefore, the earliest that copyright protection will expire for any sounding recording in the USA is 2067 (2047 + 20 years = 2067).
Jump to comments
Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Technicolor Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In