the national jukebox … have a listen …

Critics, including myself, of the extension of copyright that resulted from the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 (a law that extended copyright to last for the life of the author plus 70 years), should be elated by the recent arrival of a new treasury of streaming audio offered by the Library of Congress. Called “The National Jukebox,” LOC launched access to this collection of over 10,000 sound recordings in May 2011.

Although the works in the collection would seem to be in the public domain (the materials date from 1901 to 1925) they are still copyrighted, because rights to sound recordings differ from those for books and sheet music; you can listen to the recordings, but you may not make copies. Nonetheless, the Sony Music Corporation granted LOC a “gratis license” to use the recordings, and even helped the Library digitize the master recordings. The license enables the mass distribution of these recordings as streaming sound files, and though the files cannot be downloaded, you may embed them on your website or store them in playlists.

Here is a link to a baseball oriented playlist I made at the Jukebox.


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