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Re: [ARSCLIST] Copyright Alert

At 09:24 AM 11/24/2004 -0800, John Ross wrote:

Is there any reason why you can't make a separate donation to the NY
Philharmonic that is not a quid pro quo payment?

One can - and I have done the equivalent.

I had made a CD-ROM of non-broadcast historic material from the San
Francisco Opera. Because I refused to recover any costs except
out-of-pocket (pressed discs, packaging, postage) but for practical reasons
had to charge $5 per copy, I had money left over when the thousand sold
out. That was contributed to the Opera, as was my colleague's net when we
produced volumes 2 and 3. SFO was not forced to acknowledge what we were
doing (the gifts were personal), though many staff had copies and there was
substantial publicity in the appropriate press.

Soon thereafter, I gave up distribution and turned it over to a company
that's in the business. They made the mistake of raising an issue of
additional pubication officially, so the lawyers were involved. (Stupid in
the extreme, but they neither thought nor asked.) So I received a
cease-and-desist letter with which I complied immediately and without
argument. Interestingly, they did not complain about copyright violation at
all; only about violating their trademarks on "San Francisco Opera" and
"SFO". The argument is that I was 'promoting' the CD-ROMs through
unauthorized use of their trademark - i.e., in the WWW page listing all the
titles in the series.

Incidentally, avoiding IRMA proved simple enough. I had an established
relationship with a broker who handled graphics, pressing, etc. When the
push began, he asked me to sign an agreement which essentially said I was
responsible for any violation. I did and he has remained happy. I
considered using a larger operation recently, but came a cropper because I
could not prove that I had a royalty-free license for a program on the
disc. It announced when it came up that it was licensed to me in that way,
but that was not good enough. I stayed with my proven broker.

The Teatro Colon has been a boon to opera lovers now that the tapes are
showing up. There, only Argentine law applies and they did not recognize a
recording as fixing audio until 1985. On the other hand, trying to prove
that to a pressing plant observing IRMA constraints would cost a fortune.

Mike -- mrichter@xxxxxxx http://www.mrichter.com/

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