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Additional info on Copyright Info and Old Time Radio
The following are some arguements showing Old Time Radio Shows are not covered by any copyrights:
From the site at:
From the site at:
Many people feel that the old time radio trademarks are abandonded since they were never enforced and are virtually worthless: http://www22.brinkster.com/paradio/pages1/abandon.htm
Any lawsuit for copyright infringement needs to be brought about by the real parties in interest (the actual copyright holder or assignee), not somebody else on their behelf. Without a federally registered copyright (which automatically would carry a presumption of validity), the burden of proof is on the person bringing the lawsuit to prove that they own a valid copyright for the work.
Registration Issues: Although failure to register a copyright does not affect its validity, a copyright must be registered before an infringement action can be filed under current federal copyright law. Registration must be made within three months after publication or before the occurrence of an infringement in order for statutory damages and attorney's fees to be available to the plaintiff. Otherwise only actual damages may be awarded (17 USC §§ 411, 412).
Radio shows created before January 1, 1978 are protected by the Copyright Act of 1909 rather than the Copyright Act of 1976 ( http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.html#hlc ) because according to case law any copyright determinations must be made according the copyright law as it existed before that date.
Assuming the old time radio shows were in the pbulic domain from from the Copyright Act of 1909, the update of 1976 could not suddenly place them under copyright because they were already in the public domain, and the status of a pbulic domain work is not allowed to ever be reversed.
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