Music from 1932 for use on podcast

Copyright matters affecting music and musicians.
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looksliketrouble
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Music from 1932 for use on podcast

Post by looksliketrouble » Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:45 pm

Hi,

I have a podcast and for my intro have used part of a song written by Lawton, Brown, Smith, Lang and Benson. It was recorded in 1932 by British band leader Henry Hall and his Orchestra, with vocals by Val Rosing, the song is Hush, hush, hush here comes the boogeyman

I can't seem to find any copyright on this music though if i'm totally honest I don't even know where to begin looking.

Has it run out of copyright?

and is there anywhere that I can look to see what music has what copyright on it?

TIA

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AndyJ
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Re: Music from 1932 for use on podcast

Post by AndyJ » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:22 pm

Hi TIA

Bear in mind that there are two forms of copyright here: copyright in the song (probably owned by a music publisher, but with a term based on the lifetimes of the authors), and a copyright in the sound recording. If you intend to use a digitised version of the sound recording, it is possible that someone is claiming a new copyright in that digital version which would be much more recent than the original recording of 1932.

Since the list of the authors of the song doesn't appear to include any well-known composers/ lyricists from that era, your best bet is to check the PRS for Music database. They should certainly have some details about the Henry Hall recording. My instinct would be that the song is quite possibly still in copyright, given that, for it to be out of copyright today, all the authors named would have had to have died before 1948, which seems unlikely given the date of the song. However if all the authors are American and they wrote the song there, different rules will apply and it may be that the song is out of copyright due to US copyright law. If you find that the song is in copyright, PRS can sort out a licence for you to use it for your podcast.

If you want to use the original Henry Hall recording from 1932, then copyright in the recording will have lapsed as copyright in sound recordings only lasts for 70 years from the date of release. But that would depend on you having access to an actual 78rpm record and making your own digital version. If, as mentioned, you want to use a digital version someone else has made, there may be a new copyright involved. Check what your proposed source says on the matter. Alternatively, PRS for Music may be able to help over this aspect.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

looksliketrouble
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Re: Music from 1932 for use on podcast

Post by looksliketrouble » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:51 pm

Thank you Andy this is a great help

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