12/1/2013 10:15 pm  #1


An interesting bit of news in ''CNN Money' for 13 January about a limited issue of a Bob Dylan CD in order to ensure retention of copyrights in the European Union, where an extension of rights occurs in 2014.

''By releasing just 100 copies of a CD containing unreleased early material recorded by Bob Dylan, Sony Music is practically inviting pirates to download the album.

FORTUNE -- Sony Music's decision to issue an extremely limited edition of what immediately became one of the most highly collectible Bob Dylan recordings ever -- including many rare bootlegs -- reveals the essential, and possibly intractable, problems of protecting intellectual property in the Internet age, as well as the clumsy approaches to copyright policy by governments around the world. It also reveals what looks like a bit of a flub by Sony (SNE).

Just 100 CDs were pressed of  The 50th Anniversary Collection: The Copyright Extension Collection, Vol. 1.(Yes, that's the real subtitle.)

Sony is releasing the CD because the European Union's copyright laws are changing. The life of copyrights on recorded works will be extended to 70 years from 50 years, but not until 2014. So works recorded in 1963 and before, but not yet published, are in danger of being stuck under the old copyright regime, which the record labels have fought hard to extend. The 86 Dylan tracks on the album are studio outtakes and live cuts from 1962 and 1963. They would have gone into the public domain if Sony hadn't released them.

"This isn't a scheme to make money," a Sony Music source told Rolling Stone, stating the obvious. (Sony's bottom line wouldn't be helped much by selling 100 CDs at between $40 and $140 apiece, depending on the country of sale.) Under the new law, "there's a new 'Use It or Lose It' provision," the Sony source said. And since the company didn't want to release any Dylan material so soon after his recent album Tempest was released, this seemed like the best solution. "The whole point of copyrighting this stuff is that we intend to do something with it at some point in the future," the Sony exec told Rolling Stone. There are "other things we want to do in 2013, though."

The music is also available on Dylan's Sony-managed Web site, but only to people signing onto the Internet from Germany and France. But people really want the CDs. A copy of the album sold on eBay for more than $1,400.

The full report here http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/01/10/sony-musics-bob-dylan-copyright-disaster/


13/1/2013 2:31 am  #2

Re: Copyrights

It sounds like this may hurt great companies like Sepia Records then, won't it?


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