Care about historic drum corps recordings?


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Plus there's the issue of a Mechanical License, which grants the rights to reproduce and distribute copyrighted musical compositions (songs) on phonorecords (i.e. CDs, records, tapes, and certain digital configurations), which DCI (or whoever) had to obtain to make the recordings in the first place - and it ain't free.

That's why the Harry Fox Agency is in business...

for sure,..................you and Jim make very good points,................but back in the day, the whole "rights" thing was largely ignored,................to be honest, I have no idea when DCA or DCI started paying attention to copyrights, but it cetainly wasn't from the beginning,................let alone recordings prior to the advent of these circuits,.................

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You know, 'cuz after all, WE wrote the music (or rewrote, as it were), and WE PLAYED the music. Seems kinda lame to have to support DCI letting us listen to it.

for sure,..................you and Jim make very good points,................but back in the day, the whole "rights" thing was largely ignored,................to be honest, I have no idea when DCA or DCI started paying attention to copyrights, but it cetainly wasn't from the beginning,................let alone recordings prior to the advent of these circuits,.................

Yep...

Up until DCI approved the 3-valve bugle (in 1990, I think?) there weren't many problems. But that change made the bugle a "legitimate musical instrument" and carried with it the resulting legal issues...

From "The Evolution of the Bugle"

http://www.middlehornleader.com/Evolution%20of%20the%20Bugle%20--%20Section%204.htm

" Opponents of the three-piston instruments offered several counter arguments against their legalization. Retribution from angry musician's unions, legal action from BMI and ASCAP for music copyright infringements and financial inaccessibility for small corps were arguments used to shift the focus away from fully-chromatic bugles.(87) Fearing an amended proposal would fail, the Brass Caucus forged ahead with its recommendation for the two-piston bugle."

Then, of course, along came the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998...

BTW, a piece of Trivia:

The DMCA ALSO gave copyright protection the boat hull designers!

Anyway, we're fraying this thread pretty severely...

Heh...

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to be honest, I have no idea when DCA or DCI started paying attention to copyrights, but it cetainly wasn't from the beginning,...

My understanding is that indeed they largely ignored them, until they caught the attention of some none-too-happy organizations that threatened major litigation if they didn't quickly come into legal compliance. Ignoring copyrights is no longer an option if drumcorps wishes to remain in existence, at least in the U.S.

Even our small-time DCW historic DVD releases are fully compliant with synchronization copyrights - which explains the high price... sync rights are NOT cheap. It was that or nothing. We are getting a very tiny amount of the retail price; most is going to copyright holders. I'm barely paying my fixed costs to duplicate and mail them, which probably comes as a surprise to those who have paid as much as they did for them.

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Well, that just SUX! :huh: I spent 8 years of my life PAYING to travel and perform, performed music written for me to play, worked my ### off two nights each week and for two and half months every summer. And now I have to PAY to hear what "we" accomplished. Including myself playing the music DCI is charging me to listen to.

That's like KISS paying to hear their own albums....only they NEVER make any money... only pay to play it in front of audiences.

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Well, that just SUX! :huh: I spent 8 years of my life PAYING to travel and perform, performed music written for me to play, worked my ### off two nights each week and for two and half months every summer. And now I have to PAY to hear what "we" accomplished. Including myself playing the music DCI is charging me to listen to.

That's like KISS paying to hear their own albums....only they NEVER make any money... only pay to play it in front of audiences.

So what's new? I always had to pay to get the DCA recordings even when I was on them.

As far as KISS, KISS writes or has people writing the stuff they perform. Drum Corps (unless it's an original piece) uses music other people write. Drum Corps would be more like a cover band who has to pay for the rights to perform (and get paid for) KISS music.

Edited by JimF-LowBari
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Even our small-time DCW historic DVD releases are fully compliant with synchronization copyrights - which explains the high price... sync rights are NOT cheap. It was that or nothing. We are getting a very tiny amount of the retail price; most is going to copyright holders. I'm barely paying my fixed costs to duplicate and mail them, which probably comes as a surprise to those who have paid as much as they did for them.

Thanks Scott for this piece of info as it helps explain the sticker price of the 1974 Carlisle DVD I bought. LOL, I'm out there.... somewhere.... one of those little figures out there.... :blink:

What about costs to clean up the original media and digitalizing? Well we're kinda on topic as it relates to saving old recordings cost $$$$.

Edited by JimF-LowBari
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What about costs to clean up the original media and digitalizing? Well we're kinda on topic as it relates to saving old recordings cost $$$$.

Well, those particular recordings (the Troopers EIAJ library) cost relatively little to clean up and digitize because I did it all myself. Luckily I already had the right kind of deck (open reel 1/2" EIAJ) and time base corrector. The only expenses for that step then was postage, a bit of travel, hard drive space (which when the project started cost a bit more than it does now), and some additional software. We didn't need to outsource any of the restoration. Oh, and printer ink for the DVDs... now THAT sux!

So as I said, the vast majority of the expense was synchronization rights. It doesn't matter if a tune is quoted for only 5 seconds, you have to buy the sync rights. Shows from the 1970s covered a LOT more tunes than corps today, so they are more expensive. I think we just finished paying off the sync rights for the 1972 set, and getting close on the 1975 set.

Looking forward, I also can do 16mm and 8mm film formats, UMatic, and hopefully by the end of the week CV skipfield (I'm refurbishing a deck). I've already digitized several old films from the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and a slew of colorguard from the late 60s up to mid 70s.

There are some formats that I can't do and if footage turned up in one of those formats it would have to either be outsourced, or DCI would need to find someone within the fan base... 1-inch and 2-inch formats are just out of my league. 1/4" also... and there are very few places that can handle that. And 35mm film, but I doubt there is any drumcorps on that format. I also don't have a betamax deck.

There is also some very important footage being held in some of the large film archives around the world (Pathe, Movietone, etc.) -- early American Legion conventions that include some corps footage. The cost there is not digitization, but duplication rights as the film archives cater to major networks and sell the rights at about 50 cents per second (I'm not kidding). And they NEVER negotiate, even with museums or non-profits. I hope that if DCI gets this grant, they'll spend some of this money acquiring the rights to some of this footage.

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Well, that just SUX! :huh: I spent 8 years of my life PAYING to travel and perform, performed music written for me to play, worked my ### off two nights each week and for two and half months every summer. And now I have to PAY to hear what "we" accomplished. Including myself playing the music DCI is charging me to listen to.

Where have you been? That's been the case for a long time now. Unfortunately, that is how the music publishing world works. There are many artists who don't have the rights to their own recordings, not just drumcorps. Releasing covers of other people's tunes isn't a right, no matter how hard you work. These days, drumcorps often start planning next year's repertoire a year or more in advance, just to ensure that they can obtain sync rights in time for the beginning of the season. Remember when the Troopers had a segment of their show chopped off the DVD because DCI wasn't able to get the sync rights for that tune in time?

Complicating this is that drumcorps is very small time compared to other artists, so publishers often just ignore requests for sync rights if they think it isn't worth their time to draw up a contract (the amount they get might not even pay the for their lawyer's time). It can take months just to get a response... this was our experience with the DCW sets.

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Looking forward, I also can do 16mm and 8mm film formats, UMatic, and hopefully by the end of the week CV skipfield (I'm refurbishing a deck). I've already digitized several old films from the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and a slew of colorguard from the late 60s up to mid 70s.

LOL now you have me drooling.... Music and history are two of my big personal interests and I work in the IT field so used to playing with different "toys" err.. equipment.

Just wanted to say thanks for the info as never dreamed this stuff would even be seen again (or even existed), outragious high cost or not...

Edited by JimF-LowBari
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  • 3 weeks later...

Scott Gordon, Ken Mason, Glenn Kubacki, the folks at Fleetwood Sounds, The Beat Goes On, Steve Vickers and everyone else involved in archiving our drum corps audio history are doing important work and deserve our support.

These recordings are the literature of our activity and must be preserved. Legal process must be followed. This is not optional.

I too have played on dozens of recordings but do not hold the copyrights for the music. Those belong to the composers and their assigns, and the right to copy the recordings themselves (to make "mechanical copies" of the music), having been granted to the labels (and their asigns) belong to them in turn. These people rightfully deserve to be compensated. This is as it should be.

The composers for their efforts and vision which resulted in creating their intellectual property (not unlike a book or play), and the recording companies who bore the expense (and risk) of producing the recordings should rightfully derive some benefit. We as consumers enjoy the opportunity of hearing this music on demand, in turn.

These principles have been in place for a hundred years in this country and never had anything whatsoever to do with how many pistons were on anyone's bugle. That said, there are some exceptions to copyright, but drum corps is not among them.

Edited by ironlips
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