Opposing Copyright Extension  

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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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Luck's Music Library

Specializing in Orchestra Music Fax (810) 583-1114 810) 583-1820

P.O. Box 71397                                                                                                                       Madison Heights
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 # 1                1911      450.00                             1987                    155.00
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.


cc: Xavier Becerra               Dianne Feinstein                     Patrick Leahy
     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:

Barenreiter Vertag          Elkan-Vogel            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. . .