Sample Letters to Congress
Letter dated June 28, 1996, from Randolph P. Luck, President of Luck's Music Library, to Senator Spencer Abraham of Michigan, opposing copyright term extension in the 104th Congress
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Specializing in Orchestra Music Fax (810) 583-1114 810) 583-1820
32300 Edward Michigan 48071
June 28, 1996
The Honorable Senator Spencer Abraham
SD-241 Dirksen Office Bldg.
Washington, D C 20510
Dear Senator Abraham,
This letter is to apprize you of the financial hardship that Senate Bill S.483 and House Bill HR 989 will place on orchestras if passed in its present form, extending pre-1978 copyrights an additional 20 years (over and above the present 75 years).
The list below encompasses only a few of the many compositions which recently became Public Domain and are not protected under Coipyright Act. The original publishers of these works enjoyed 75 years of protection under the Act, allowing them the freedom to collect both rental fees and royalties. We feel that 75 years is sufficient time to have produced the original incentive, and any extension to this monopoly opens itself up to abuse, increasing the financial burden on the Arts and Educational communities. As our example clearly shows, the public benefits once a composition becomes freely available, providing orchestras and schools the additional resources to expand and venture into new areas.
Copyright Public Domain
Composition Date Rental fee* VS. Date Purchase Price
Ravel - Daphnis et Chloe Suite #
Ravel - Mother Goose Suite 1912 540.00 1988 70.00
Ravel - Daphnis et Chloe Suite # 2 1913 540.00 1989 265.00
Griffes - The White Peacock 1917 335.00 1993 42.00
Puccini - O Mio Babbino Caro 1918 252.00 1994 26.00
Respighi - Fountains of Roam 1918 441.00 1994 140.00
Ravel - Le Tombeau de Couperin 1919 510.00 1995 86.00
Respighi - Ancient Aires & Dances Ste. # 1 1920 441.00 1996 85.00
Elgar - Cello Concerto 1921 550.00 1997 140.00
Holst - The Planets 1921 815.00 1997 300.00
Ravel - Alborada Del Gracioso 1923 360.00 1999 105.00
*Rental fees based on two performances/Does not include ASCAP fees.
The rental fees used in our example are the current fees levied against community and youth orchestras with annual budgets of $150,000 or less. Large Metropolitan and Regional Orchestras can expect to pay substantially higher than what our examples show. Recently the Center for Performing Arts at Interlochen performed Holst - The Planets, and was required to pay a rental fee of approximately $700. Starting in 1997, this work should enter into the Public Domain giving Interlochen unrestricted rights to own and perform this composition.
Clearly, one can see the financial hardship orchestras will face if no new works enter into the Public Domain during the next twenty years. The Detroit Metropolitan area alone has over twenty community orchestras, not including churches, schools, colleges and other performing ensembles. Imagine the financial impact this legislation will have nationally on the arts community.
The intention of equating the protection of post-1978 works with that which is afforded to their European counterparts is perfectly legitimate, even laudable. However, any kind of modification of the term of earlier, pre-1978 works, is neither desirable nor justifiable. At the very least, S.483 and HR.989 must be amended to remove any provisions which would in any way alter the status of these pre-1978 works.
s/Randolph P. Luck
President, Luck's Music Library
P.S. We are interested in knowing your position on extending pre-1978 copyrights from 75 to 95 years in order that we may inform our customers.
Howard Berman Elton Gallegly Carlos Moorehead
Sonny Bono George Gekas Jerold Nadler
Barbara Boxer Bob Goodlatte James Quillen
Bob Clement Bart Gordon Patricia Schroeder
Howard Coble Orin Hatch Alan Simpson
John Conyers, Jr. Howell Heflin Fred Thompson
Offering Titles Published By:
International Music Luck's Music
Library Editlons Salabert
Belwin Mills Editions Eschig Edwin F. Kalmus Ludwig Music G. Schirmer
Boosey & Hawkes Edition Eulenburg Kendor Music Merseburger Verlag Sikorski
Bosworth & Co. European American E. C. Kerby Willy Mueller N. Simrock
Breikopf & Hartel Galaxy Music Neil A. Kjos Co. Musician's Publications B. Schotts Sohne
Broude Brothers Haydn-Mozart Presse Kneusslin Novella Shawnee Press
Columbia Pictures G. Henle Verlag Musikverlag Ludwig Krenn Oxford University Universal Edition
Musikverlag Doblinger Highland/Etling Edition Kunzelman C. F. Peters Warner Brothers
Dover Publications Hinrichsen Edition Hal Leonard Theodore Presser Wynn Music
Durand & Cle Edition Hug F. E. C. Leuckart G. Ricordi Many More. . .