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Sabicas’s recordings in the Public Domain?   You are logged in as Guest
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Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1636
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

Sabicas’s recordings in the Public... 

I’ve been listening to and studying Sabicas’s material all my adult life, so at one time I used to make a point of providing detailed reviews on Amazon for all the available recordings.

In the last couple of years, however, these have proliferated beyond all reasonable expectation. In particular, there are scads of releases on no-name labels with tracks apparently selected at random and wildly inaccurate labelling. The content of The Art of the Guitar seems particularly to be a victim of this.

Sabas’s grasp of legal and financial matters was never the greatest*. And so I’m wondering if some (at least) of recordings have gone into the Public Domain.

Is anyone here qualified to judge, or at least to make an informed speculation?

*For instance, Jac Holzman (of Elektra records) said:

quote:

Sabicas was distrustful of record companies ever paying royalties and insisted on receiving a flat sum, in cash—for his first album on Elektra it was $1000, the largest advance we had ever paid. For the cover we did a photo of his hands in motion, a Gjon Mili time-lapse knockoff. The album sold wondrously well, so we recorded another. Sabicas could sell between fifteen and twenty thousand units, which was a bargain for us. If he had accepted royalties he would have earned four times his cash fee.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2019 16:00:57
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2944
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Sabicas’s recordings in the Pu... (in reply to Paul Magnussen

This will be of little help to you, Paul, but a few years ago there was a Foro member named Giacomo (posted under the monicker GJ Michelob) who was an attorney and very erudite in his explanation of legal issues regarding copyright, public domain, and the like. Unfortunately, he stopped posting several years ago. He was a real resource who could probably answer your question. His comments on everything, from legal issues to flamenco, were always a great read.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2019 17:52:10
 
Auda

 

Posts: 144
Joined: Sep. 28 2019
 

RE: Sabicas’s recordings in the Pu... (in reply to Paul Magnussen

quote:

Public Domain


I have been considering public domain and transcriptions of his music. I am new to flamenco and have searched the internet mostly for Sabicas' music. I do wonder about the legality of my downloads and use sites that appear to have been around awhile so I hope it is legit.

Some of the transcriptions are a bit dodgy musically and I have asked some ignorant questions on the forum concerning them. I did find yesterday a complete transcription of the "El Rey Del Flamenco" from what appears to be a reputable site. My concern it that the transcription is by Faucher and I think it is likely a true transcription of his so wonder if it is in the public domain. As an added surprise it also included the complete "Puro" album in notation transcribed by Trotter. When I searched Trotter I came across a review of the transcription by yourself singing its praises.

Cheers
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2019 18:19:25
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2778
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Sabicas’s recordings in the Pu... (in reply to Paul Magnussen

As you well know, Paul, the mislabeled knockoffs have been going on for some time. More than ten years ago my somewhat indiscriminate purchasing habits acquired a CD. It had a copy of a tape of Sabicas pieces, followed by a later generation copy of the same tape, in much poorer sound quality. The liner notes went on in tones of connoisseurship about the "different takes" of the same pieces!

I recollect the sadness I felt when I read in April 1990 that Sabicas had passed away. That's more then 19 years ago. Seventeen years used to be a significant period in copyright law--but things have changed so much I have lost track of what the law is today. Nor do I know who actually owned (owns?) the copyright to Sabicas's many recordings.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2019 20:05:15
 
kitarist

Posts: 794
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Sabicas’s recordings in the Pu... (in reply to Paul Magnussen

Sabicas died in 1990 so there is no way his recordings would have become public domain recently. Current general copyright law such as it is, the minimum copyright is life+50 years (Berne convention), meaning 1990+50. However both Spain and the USA's laws are life+70 years, so the earliest his recordings would be in the public domain is 2061.

There are some weird scenarios. In the US, the above applies to works created past Jan 1, 1978. For works published or registered before 1978, the maximum copyright duration is 95 years from the date of publication, if copyright was renewed during the 28th year following publication.

But this seems to exclude sound recordings which are slightly different again, in the US, due to the Music Modernization act of 2018. From the wiki: The first sound recordings to enter the public domain will be those fixed before 1923, which will enter the public domain on January 1, 2022. Works fixed 1923–1946 are public after 100 years and works fixed 1947–1956 after 110 years. Works fixed 1 Jan 1957 – 14 Feb 1972 are all public 15 Feb, 2067.

All this to say, there is nothing in general or US-specific law to make these recordings public domain now. But it's one thing what the law is, and another if and when and how it can be enforced in specific cases. For example, how is anything going to be enforced if the company pressing the CDs is in communist China?

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2019 20:34:24
 
kitarist

Posts: 794
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Sabicas’s recordings in the Pu... (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

Seventeen years used to be a significant period in copyright law


In the US, fourteen and its double 28(*) used to be magic numbers. First copyright was 14 + another 14 renewal; then it became 28+14; then 28+28. Then in 1976 everything moved to the current system, effective 1978, amended 1998.

So basically only works published 1922 and earlier could have made it into the public domain before 1978 - unless they screwed up and did not renew - but then these would have been in the public domain since 1978, not entering it recently.

(*) Curious random fact: 28 is a perfect number. In math this means it is equal to the sum of its divisors. (28 = 1+2+4+7+14). They are pretty rare on human scale - 6; 28; 496; 8128; 33,550,336. Then it gets ridiculous

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2019 20:50:55
 
Auda

 

Posts: 144
Joined: Sep. 28 2019
 

RE: Sabicas’s recordings in the Pu... (in reply to kitarist

quote:

There are some weird scenarios. In the US, the above applies to works created past Jan 1, 1978. For works published or registered before 1978, the maximum copyright duration is 95 years from the date of publication, if copyright was renewed during the 28th year following publication.

But this seems to exclude sound recordings which are slightly different again, in the US, due to the Music Modernization act of 2018. From the wiki: The first sound recordings to enter the public domain will be those fixed before 1923, which will enter the public domain on January 1, 2022. Works fixed 1923–1946 are public after 100 years and works fixed 1947–1956 after 110 years. Works fixed 1 Jan 1957 – 14 Feb 1972 are all public 15 Feb, 2067.

All this to say, there is nothing in general or US-specific law to make these recordings public domain now.


The first 2 paragraphs would suggest works that had been in the public domain are again under copyright.

I would also say a good portion of Sabicas' work was recorded/published prior to 1978. The date of his death might not have an effect on public domain as seen from above (though contradictory) with the 28 year expiration date if not renewed.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2019 20:53:07
 
kitarist

Posts: 794
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Sabicas’s recordings in the Pu... (in reply to Auda

quote:

The first 2 paragraphs would suggest works that had been in the public domain are again under copyright.


No, this can't happen. Also, remember this is only about the US, and in the US sound recordings are different from the general US copyright. Before 1970s there was a dual system of state and federal copyright, but sound recordings did not have federal copyright rules. However, under state rules, common law set the rules (judges decisions as a result of court proceedings/suits), and because of that US sound recordings basically had no copyright expiry date (several judges had ruled that way).

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2019 21:01:17
 
Auda

 

Posts: 144
Joined: Sep. 28 2019
 

RE: Sabicas’s recordings in the Pu... (in reply to kitarist

quote:

No, this can't happen. Also, remember this is only about the US, and in the US sound recordings are different from the general US copyright. Before 1970s there was a dual system of state and federal copyright, but sound recordings did not have federal copyright rules. However, under state rules, common law set the rules (judges decisions as a result of court proceedings/suits), and because of that US sound recordings basically had no copyright expiry date (several judges had ruled that way).


I think the issue can get muddied by music publications and also video/film recording. There are many films in the public domain and obviously they have sound. This could impact performances recorded on film and the sound of those film recordings. As you have shown in your previous post the legal parameters are not straight forward or fully resolved.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2019 21:52:25
 
kitarist

Posts: 794
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Sabicas’s recordings in the Pu... (in reply to Auda

quote:

There are many films in the public domain and obviously they have sound.


We are talking here about Sabicas's sound-only recordings.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2019 23:15:49
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11604
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Sabicas’s recordings in the Pu... (in reply to Paul Magnussen

The entire point of those reissues that keep popping up (back in the 1990’s when selling music mattered) was so the owners of (p) could keep control of those rights ever longer. Each new reissue or compilation will extend the years on the (p). Sabicas name was never on any (p) so he never owned anything. No flamenco ever owned any (p) except PDL who owned sirocco on mercury. And Nuñez owned gallo azul materials but that’s all I remember. Sony owns all vicente for example, polygram /philips (now universal I think) has most PDL and things like tauromagia.

Anyway none of this matters since Spotify so I don’t really get what the point of concern is?? Music value and copyright is garbage now.

All Faucher’s transcriptions were done illegally and sold under the table until he made Affedis company to legitimately sell printed books, the content of which he had already set pen to paper illegally years before. (C)+ flamenco = a big ridiculous joke.

Ps (c)= printed score, (p)= sound recording.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 5 2019 11:41:44
 
kitarist

Posts: 794
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Sabicas’s recordings in the Pu... (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Sabicas name was never on any (p) so he never owned anything.


As the author of any original compositions, he still owns the copyrights to these musical compositions, though likely not to the particular recordings of them that he did, as you point out.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 5 2019 18:27:16
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11604
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Sabicas’s recordings in the Pu... (in reply to kitarist

quote:

ORIGINAL: kitarist

quote:

Sabicas name was never on any (p) so he never owned anything.


As the author of any original compositions, he still owns the copyrights to these musical compositions, though likely not to the particular recordings of them that he did, as you point out.


Wrong... the PUBLISHER owns the (c) and (p). The only musicians on earth that own their own music are ones that
A. Never recorded it or wrote it down, or
B. Published it themselves

Talking about the pre-streaming era of course

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 6 2019 11:19:51
 
kitarist

Posts: 794
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Sabicas’s recordings in the Pu... (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: kitarist

quote:

Sabicas name was never on any (p) so he never owned anything.


As the author of any original compositions, he still owns the copyrights to these musical compositions, though likely not to the particular recordings of them that he did, as you point out.


Wrong... the PUBLISHER owns the (c) and (p). The only musicians on earth that own their own music are ones that
A. Never recorded it or wrote it down, or
B. Published it themselves


I am talking about the (a) authorship copyright i.e. rights of the author of a musical composition. I did a quick search (it is likely very incomplete as it only searches US stuff past 1978 and by keyword so if he didn't use sabicas on some they did not show up), and of the 16 copyright records it finds, all of them look like this below; only the title and date particulars change. They are all renewals of (also published/recorded, I am pretty sure) musical compositions copyrights, after an initial term of 28 years, by Sabicas himself as copyright claimant, of stuff he wrote between 1958 and 1961:



P.S. Actually I don't know how many compositions Sabicas has. It is not just 16, right? How many, even as a rough estimate?

Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

Attachment (1)

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 6 2019 17:11:31
 
Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1636
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

RE: Sabicas’s recordings in the Pu... (in reply to kitarist

quote:

Actually I don't know how many compositions Sabicas has. It is not just 16, right? How many, even as a rough estimate?


I have my recordings indexed: 228 distinct tracks here in the US*, that’s excluding whatever more I may have on LP in England.

Plus all the stuff he recorded on 78s that never made it to CD.

So several hundred, for certain (even allowing for more than a few repeated falsetas).

*And that’s treating everything entitled simply Soleares (for example) as a duplicate.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 7 2019 1:49:11
 
kitarist

Posts: 794
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Sabicas’s recordings in the Pu... (in reply to Paul Magnussen

quote:

I have my recordings indexed: 228 distinct tracks here in the US*, that’s excluding whatever more I may have on LP in England.


Thank you, Paul. It makes sense too, since the 16 ones are just 1958-1961 vintage.

I did read a cautionary note that the US copyright office online catalogue is still incomplete (meaning even for items registered post-1978), and this seems to confirm it.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 7 2019 7:54:43
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