by Mike Masnick
Tue, Feb 12th 2008 6:49pm
Slashdot points us to the absolutely fascinating story of how Woody Guthrie's daughter was able to restore the only recording of her father's live performance, that had been bootlegged using an old obsolete recording device. It took quite a bit of effort to restore the recording on an old wire-based device, and the effort got the mathematician who handled the restoration nominated for a Grammy, which he won. However, what struck me most about the story is that these days, people would be focused on how that simple act of recording would have been copyright infringement back when it occurred. Shouldn't we be happy that exactly that kind of infringement is now what allows us to hear Guthrie perform live? I'm sure Guthrie himself would agree. After all, he famously had a rather similar view of copyrights to many of us around here: "This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright # 154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don't give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do." Unfortunately, those who manage Guthrie's estate haven't always been so kind -- so it's nice to see they recognized this recording as a potential gem, rather than an unauthorized recording.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- Happy Birthday Copyright Bombshell: New Evidence Warner Music Previously Hid Shows Song Is Public Domain
- Even If The State Of Georgia Can Copyright Legal Annotations, Should It?
- Topsite Operator, Who Admitted To Operating Servers With Tons Of Pirated Movies, Gets Off With Just Probation
- State Of Georgia Sues Carl Malamud For Copyright Infringement For Publishing The State's Own Laws
- Geniuses Representing Universal Pictures Ask Google To Delist 127.0.0.1 For Piracy