Audio Drama rights - Big Effin' Headache

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JaySmith
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Audio Drama rights - Big Effin' Headache

Postby JaySmith » Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:55 pm

Greetings!

Doug Lane and Alex Berman suggested I post here because copyright is a subject near and dear to all of us. I produce original audio drama for the Internet and my current projects are winding down. Over the past few months I've been trying to come up with a new project to capitalize on my available talent and production expertise. One thing I've always wanted to do was produce a few of the classic shows like "Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar," "Pat Novak," and other detective shows partially because I love them and have always wanted to write them, but also as a tribute to the Golden Age that could bring a new audience to those old shows. The one thing that prevents me is, of course, copyright and trademark infringement so I never took it beyond the concept phase.

Attending a few conventions over the last year I discovered several books and comics that use properties they claim are in the public domain as well as those that are licensed. The books cite the creators but do not indicate rights were secured. Discussions with the publishers indicate they made an attempt to find an owner, but went ahead after a good-faith effort and have yet to be sued. I wondered why these companies were clear in this matter while others like Dynamite uses the same properties as license holders. A short answer is that Dynamite is using the pulp magazine or comic license and not the radio licenses which are allegedly expired. This gave me some hope that SOME properties are public domain because the scripts and characters were not trademarked or copyrighted (or renewed). Looking for the estates of several creators has been difficult and many of my emails go unanswered.

My plan is to produce a series of shows under Creative Commons license, non-commercial, free-for-download. I have no intention of hiding behind that to claim the right to jack-up someone's property.

Is there a database or other resource for OTR series that indicates who owns the intellectual rights or the right to produce audio shows based on the radio series?

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Steve Barber
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Re: Audio Drama rights - Big Effin' Headache

Postby Steve Barber » Sat Sep 27, 2014 10:04 pm

Not sure of the answer to that Jay, but these folks are probably as tuned in as you're going to get:

http://gregbellmedia.com

http://www.radiospirits.com/default.asp?sid=MzA2NjI2NTU6OS8yOS8yMDE0IDEyOjE2OjExIEFN&Svr=.62&l=1&source=wrw&scode=WRW2008
All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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JaySmith
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Re: Audio Drama rights - Big Effin' Headache

Postby JaySmith » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:13 am

Thanks, Steve!

Greg Bell is one of the experts I reached out to and haven't heard from. Radio Spirits is one I haven't yet. Martin Grams described them as very cautious about protecting themselves and the owners. I've heard stories about their policies from other OTR "experts" so I'm hoping they have a solution that is better than the one described as "pay anyone who claims ownership."

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Lori Koonce
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Re: Audio Drama rights - Big Effin' Headache

Postby Lori Koonce » Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:52 am

Alex

Transom.org may be of some help to you. It is for people sush asy yourself.


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