Skip to main content

View Post [edit]

Poster: Jack Hardway Date: Aug 18, 2011 6:55pm
Forum: oldtimeradio Subject: Re: Sam aSpade et al. pulled

I'm not a lawyer, but I know it gets tricky here and there. The issue of unpublished scripts being under copyright is a separate one, and anyway, if they were the copyrights would belong to the author or, more likely, the sponsor or radio network because it was a work-for-hire deal.
That aside, any trademarks would be protected as long as the owners actively assert them; the trademark/patent website can tell you if a trademark is live or dead.
Other than these considerations, it seems to me that it would be unlikely that many of these old shows are still under copyright. Everything created before 1963 would have had to be renewed during the 28th year of its initial term, and I doubt that occurred for these shows. Nonrenewal of copyright in this 1923-1963 period is the reason you can buy those 20-packs o monster movies or $9, and why you can find old TV shows here at IA. they're in the public domain.
It seems highly unlikely that these old shows were renewed. There are some special considerations for music, which is why you don't see any old rock 'n roll songs here, and music might be construed to mean radio shows, but even if somebody were making a claim based on a trademark or an unpublished script or as music, that party would have to show that it owned the script or music copyright or the trademark. Wouldn't it?
Copyright was originally conceived to ultimately enhance the public domain, not to stifle it.

Reply [edit]

Poster: Lum Edwards Date: Aug 19, 2011 6:25pm
Forum: oldtimeradio Subject: Re: Sam aSpade et al. pulled

The Question I would like answered is how can a valid trademark prevent a non copyrighted/renewed series from being hosted here? Case in point Lum and Abner ( a valid trade/service mark), How can trademark and name and likeness apply to the radio shows but the seven lum and Abner movies are public domain? Same with Jack Benny, Many of the TV shows are PD but not the radio shows, Again I assume they are using name and likeness to put these shows off limits.

Hopefully someone will have working knowledge of how this all works and feel like sharing with us. We are at the one year mark since this happened.

Reply [edit]

Poster: R Pal Date: Oct 29, 2011 4:17am
Forum: oldtimeradio Subject: Re: Sam aSpade et al. pulled

As a holder of some OTR show tapes that have not been widely distributed, this issue is of concern. I would like to post the shows but do not want my work in converting and cleaning the sound up go to someone who then claims CR and profits from my attempt to make them public.
I would be willing to contribute a small amount to fund legal actions that might resolve the issue. I do not have the knowledge to do such a thing. Is there any such action ongoing?