Notice: We do not own the copyrights to any
of the shows available on this site. To the best
of our knowledge the shows are in the public domain
because they were never copyrighted or the copyrights
have expired. We will remove any recording from this
site that is shown to violate a copyright.
information contained on this page is not meant to be
legal advice. It is just
intented to give an overview of the various copyright
Length of copyrights:
Time Radio copyright info:
for Old Radio)
are some arguements showing Old Time Radio Shows are not
covered by any copyrights:
From the site
"we have checked with the Library of Congress regarding the status of old time
radio recordings made prior to 1978, and have been informed by their staff that
all such recordings are generally in the public domain, as sound recordings were
not allowed under the previous copyright law and that such recordings have not
been granted copyright status under the new laws (since to change their status
and move them out of the Public Domain would be a violation of Ex-Post-Facto).
Once a piece is placed into the public domain for any reason, it remains there
legally unless someone brings a case to the Supreme Court to decide otherwise."
From the site
Library of Congress statements that the original recordings presented here
are within the Public Domain, since they were NOT qualified for copyright
protection when presented, nor was any attempt to place them under such copyright
protection was made when the window of opportunity for such existed in 1978-1979
when the copyright law regarding such recordings changed. (Such had to be
submitted to the Congressional Record for reinstatement at that time, and
NO US Broadcasts from the 1929 thru 1950 period was filed for at that time
in the Congressional Record - only a few foreign language audio recordings
were so filed for in that period, none of which are here in our Library Collection.
feel that the old time radio trademarks are abandonded
since they were never enforced and are virtually worthless: http://www22.brinkster.com/paradio/pages1/abandon.htm
Any lawsuit for
copyright infringement needs to be brought about by the
real parties in interest (the actual copyright holder or
assignee), not somebody else on their behelf. Without a
federally registered copyright (which automatically would
carry a presumption of validity), the burden of proof is
on the person bringing the lawsuit to prove that they own
a valid copyright for the work.
Issues: Although failure to register a copyright does not
affect its validity, a copyright must be registered before
an infringement action can be filed under current federal
copyright law. Registration must be made within three months
after publication or before the occurrence of an infringement
in order for statutory damages and attorney's fees to be
available to the plaintiff. Otherwise only actual damages
may be awarded (17 USC §§ 411, 412).
Radio shows created
before January 1, 1978 are protected by the Copyright Act
of 1909 rather than the Copyright Act of 1976 ( http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.html#hlc )
because according to case law any copyright determinations
must be made according the copyright law as it existed
before that date.
old time radio shows were in the pbulic domain from from
the Copyright Act of 1909, the update of 1976 could not
suddenly place them under copyright because they were already
in the public domain, and the status of a pbulic domain
work is not allowed to ever be reversed.