copyright

Old Radio Copyrights

ThoseOldTimeRadioShows.com does not have ownership over copyrights to any radio shows on our site. The show copyrights are believed to be expired. We try and ensure that these shows are expired through our research.

More Resources on Copyrights

http://www.unc.edu/~unclng/public-d.htm

Below are some quotes showing Old Radio Show copyright are not covered.

  • “We have checked with the Library of Congress regarding the status of old time radio recordings made prior to 1978, and have been informed by their staff that all such recordings are generally in the public domain, as sound recordings were not allowed under the previous copyright law and that such recordings have not been granted copyright status under the new laws (since to change their status and move them out of the Public Domain would be a violation of Ex-Post-Facto). Once a piece is placed into the public domain for any reason, it remains there legally unless someone brings a case to the Supreme Court to decide otherwise.”
  • “Library of Congress statements that the original recordings presented here are within the Public Domain, since they were NOT qualified for copyright protection when presented, nor was any attempt to place them under such copyright protection was made when the window of opportunity for such existed in 1978-1979 when the copyright law regarding such recordings changed. (Such had to be submitted to the Congressional Record for reinstatement at that time, and NO US Broadcasts from the 1929 thru 1950 period was filed for at that time in the Congressional Record – only a few foreign language audio recordings were so filed for in that period.”

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 public 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 public domain work is not allowed to ever be reversed.