Tuesday, February 4, 2014

New Orleans Jazz Foundation Claims Copyright Infringement Over Third Man and Revenant Records' Paramount Box Set

Posted By on Tue, Feb 4, 2014 at 6:08 PM

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Regular Cream readers and fans of Jack White's sonic-candy shop, Third Man Records, will recall that the label teamed with reissue specialists Revenant Records back in November to unleash the whopping Paramount Records tribute. The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-1932) — as described by Scene editor-in-chief Jim Ridley in detail in this here blog post — was a huge hit among audiophiles, and it features 800 remastered tracks from 172 artists, restored original 1920s ads, six vinyl LPs, a cloth-bound hardcover art book and more. The thing is as pretty as can be.

Well, according to Louisiana music mag Offbeat, the George H. Buck Jr. Jazz Foundation is claiming to own the rights to nearly 800 tracks in the Paramount collection. Lars Edegran — a rep for the foundation — issued a statement, and here's how it was run by Offbeat:

“GHB Jazz Foundation, a non-profit organization that specializes in keeping jazz and other American musical forms available to the public by issuing LPs, CDs, books and videos, claims ownership of the rights to the Paramount (and its associated labels) sound recordings. GHB purchased the Paramount catalogue from John Steiner of Chicago in 1970,” Edegran declared in a statement.

“Steiner himself acquired Paramount from the Wisconsin Chair Company (the original owner) in the late 1940s. There are documents for both of these transactions. Sound recordings published before 1972 are not under federal copyright but are covered under common law or state anti-piracy statues.Third Man/Revenant Records claim that Paramount recordings are in the public domain.”

Revenant co-founder Dean Blackwood — an attorney who's certainly no stranger to copyright law — said the following in an emailed statement: "We informed the Foundation that we would gladly come to an agreement with them if they could prove ownership of the recordings. To date, they haven't produced anything that proves ownership."

Click after the jump to see the episode of Charlie Rose in which Blackwood and Jack White talk about the Paramount collection and show off the craftsmanship of the box. A second volume in the Paramount collection is set for release in November.

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