Big win for CBS and other radio operators…
ABS Entertainment has been battling CBS Radio over its use of pre-1972 classic recordings for some time now.
ABS says CBS isn’t authorized to play the recordings given a lack of federal copyright protection, while CBS Radio was trying to toss the case based on bogus claims. 1972 was the year when United States federal copyright protection started covering recordings, a shift that replaced a patchwork of statewide statutes on the matter.
ABS claimed that CBS Radio is over-extending its exemption and playing pre-1972 music without authorization. But, CBS Radio argued that if those recordings were remastered after 1972, then federal copyright law applies. That was the basis of CBS’ request for summary judgment.
CBS put together some persuasive examples that swayed U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson’s final decision and caused the case to be thrown out.
CBS had some clever tactics up their sleeve by hiring expert, Dr. Durand Begault – an acoustic engineer, research scientist and specialist in forensic investigation of audio evidence. Begault found that the plaintiffs’ pre-1972 sound recordings “have undergone sufficient changes during the remastering process to qualify for federal copyright protection.”
These professional findings ultimately helped the Judge come to a conclusion that was in favour of CBS’s claims.
The Judge on the case said…
“Plaintiffs have not identified any cases supporting the wholly separate conclusion that a derivative work is not copyrightable if the original contributions in the derivative work are not perceptible after removing the original work.”
The win is a massive victory for CBS, as the Judge’s decision means that radio operators like CBS have a way of publicly performing older works without liability