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Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby James Perrett » Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:49 am

kla1 wrote:The tape doesn't sound good on a number of tape players I tried. This was a low quality recording to begin with, that has only worsened with age. Do you believe a higher quality tape player, would make the tape sound better?

I'm really surprised that an unplayed recording would deteriorate after as little as 20 years. Much of my collection is double that age or more and still perfectly playable - even the budget own brand tapes.

My other thought is that maybe it never sounded as good as you though it did. I've had this happen with old recordings that I haven't listened to for years. I spent years thinking one particular recording sounded really great but when I revisited it recently I realised that it was actually rubbish by the standard of my later recordings.
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:50 am

kla1 wrote:Thanks. Alot of good info. Can I copyright the music from 2001 again, by mailing a better recording of the same music?

It may well be that you can, but at this point you're really better off contacting the copyright office directly and asking them that question.

Tapes do deteriorate over time but it's usually a lot longer than 20 years. I have cassettes that are 35+ years old stored in the roof of my house that are still viable, if not hi-fi quality (not that they ever were hi-fi to begin with). I did see an article recently about the shortcomings of the storage facilities the US copyright office use but it is to be expected that every individual who contacts them will get a different answer.

In short, verify the state of your lodged copy. Then, if necessary, follow up with a refreshed version of the work for them to archive.

There is a world of difference between a tape that has deteriorated for the listener vs. a tape that has deteriorated to the point that the material on it is no longer recognisable. I would be surprised if the copyright office needed pristine recordings, as for their purposes they only really need recognisable ones.

It sounds very much to me as if you should contact them with your concerns and see what they have to say about it. If you were to share the results of that conversation with us then I am sure that future readers would benefit from it.
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby kla1 » Fri Jul 10, 2020 3:06 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:
kla1 wrote:Thanks. Alot of good info. Can I copyright the music from 2001 again, by mailing a better recording of the same music?

It may well be that you can, but at this point you're really better off contacting the copyright office directly and asking them that question.

Tapes do deteriorate over time but it's usually a lot longer than 20 years. I have cassettes that are 35+ years old stored in the roof of my house that are still viable, if not hi-fi quality (not that they ever were hi-fi to begin with). I did see an article recently about the shortcomings of the storage facilities the US copyright office use but it is to be expected that every individual who contacts them will get a different answer.

In short, verify the state of your lodged copy. Then, if necessary, follow up with a refreshed version of the work for them to archive.

There is a world of difference between a tape that has deteriorated for the listener vs. a tape that has deteriorated to the point that the material on it is no longer recognisable. I would be surprised if the copyright office needed pristine recordings, as for their purposes they only really need recognisable ones.

It sounds very much to me as if you should contact them with your concerns and see what they have to say about it. If you were to share the results of that conversation with us then I am sure that future readers would benefit from it.

I wan't to thank you, James, and everyone else. I will try to contact the copyright office.
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby MOF » Fri Jul 10, 2020 6:21 pm

Can I copyright the music from 2001 again, by mailing a better recording of the same music?
Not much point because it would be copyrighted with today’s date, since the original that you deposited, if as bad as you say you think it will be, won’t be listenable and so who’s to say it’s the same song.
What do you mean by battery powered cassette recorder canno't tell when it was made?
Because it’s ‘mains’ borne noise, however I read that battery recorders can pick up mains interference too so may also have the mains ‘date stamp’.
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby kla1 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:18 am

MOF wrote:
Can I copyright the music from 2001 again, by mailing a better recording of the same music?
Not much point because it would be copyrighted with today’s date, since the original that you deposited, if as bad as you say you think it will be, won’t be listenable and so who’s to say it’s the same song.
What do you mean by battery powered cassette recorder canno't tell when it was made?
Because it’s ‘mains’ borne noise, however I read that battery recorders can pick up mains interference too so may also have the mains ‘date stamp’.

I believe the tape is listenable, but I do not know about years from now. That is why I wan't to mail a cd to replace the tape if possible.
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:53 am

Is this replacement a commercially made pressed CD or a home burned CD? A cassette is likely to be playable for longer than the average home burned CD.
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby kla1 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:08 am

James Perrett wrote:Is this replacement a commercially made pressed CD or a home burned CD? A cassette is likely to be playable for longer than the average home burned CD.

It is a home burned cd, that I thought lasted way longer, than home made cassettes? You know way more about this than I, but I thought some cd's could last forever?
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby Tim Gillett » Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:37 am

Unfortunately nothing lasts forever, not even digital! True story. An early cassette of a wedding ceremony and reception recorded in 1965 had survived almost perfectly for 55 years. Then in 2020 an unskilled person tried to digitise it and destroyed a section of it when the playback machine 'ate' it. It took expert work to retrieve the cassette from the machine and then to play what remained properly with no further damage. The belief that anything digital lasts forever is actually making things worse. People are making poor digital copies of analog recordings including films, and then throwing away the originals. New is not always better or longer lasting.
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:14 pm

kla1 wrote: I thought some cd's could last forever?

A glass mastered, moulded commercial CD should last for a long time if properly treated but most modern CD-R's are made very cheaply and may not last more than a few years. I'm still using up my stock of Japanese Taiyo Yuden CD's (which last at least 25 years) so I've not tried many other brands but, when I have, the results have always been disappointing. I check the error rates on the CD's I create and many previously respectable brands (like TDK or Maxell) nowadays show horrendously high error rates compared to the Taiyo Yudens.
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby kla1 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:23 pm

Tim Gillett wrote:Unfortunately nothing lasts forever, not even digital! True story. An early cassette of a wedding ceremony and reception recorded in 1965 had survived almost perfectly for 55 years. Then in 2020 an unskilled person tried to digitise it and destroyed a section of it when the playback machine 'ate' it. It took expert work to retrieve the cassette from the machine and then to play what remained properly with no further damage. The belief that anything digital lasts forever is actually making things worse. People are making poor digital copies of analog recordings including films, and then throwing away the originals. New is not always better or longer lasting.

I agree. I say Digitize, and always hang on to the original.
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby kla1 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:30 pm

James Perrett wrote:
kla1 wrote: I thought some cd's could last forever?

A glass mastered, moulded commercial CD should last for a long time if properly treated but most modern CD-R's are made very cheaply and may not last more than a few years. I'm still using up my stock of Japanese Taiyo Yuden CD's (which last at least 25 years) so I've not tried many other brands but, when I have, the results have always been disappointing. I check the error rates on the CD's I create and many previously respectable brands (like TDK or Maxell) nowadays show horrendously high error rates compared to the Taiyo Yudens.


I have used alot of cd-r, and cassettes over the years, and very much prefer cd. I have yet to pull a cd-r out of storage, that has failed to work, but I could buy better brands. (I've used maxell, memorex, and verbatim.) The best quality tapes in my collection are tdk. tdk are better than most of my sony, and maxell tapes.
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby CS70 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:04 pm

kla1 wrote:
James Perrett wrote:Is this replacement a commercially made pressed CD or a home burned CD? A cassette is likely to be playable for longer than the average home burned CD.

It is a home burned cd, that I thought lasted way longer, than home made cassettes? You know way more about this than I, but I thought some cd's could last forever?

Regular, read-only CDs store information by physically burning the pits and then covering the thing in plastic. So if properly stored (no scratches) it will last practically forever - it's like etching writing in stone and then protecting it from the elements.

A CD-R uses dye instead, and the problem is that all dyes are more or less susceptible to fading (and much more so if exposed to light). That's why they degrade. The ones with gold reflective surface and a specific class of dyes (dont recall the name) tough last very very long if they are kept mostly in the dark.

A CD-RW uses a sliver alloy which "phase changes" from crystalline (reflective) to amorphous (non-reflective) when heated up a lot over a short time (high power), and can revert again to crystalline if, in amorphous state, is heated up a little over a longer time (low power). The heating is done by the writing laser in both cases.

Without going into details this is a more hazardous process because of the disk material and its phase stability in the field and the necessity of very precise laser power control to minimize degradation when reading.

So a good CD-R, well packed so light does not reach it and not subject to temperature swings can last quite a bit. A CD-RW, if you burn it once and you plan to read it once or twice (for example to image it into a different medium) it can.. but it's a bit of a lottery.
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby innerchord » Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:29 pm

Anybody else using M-DISC? I burn data files (including WAV, of course) to them. They should be readable for a very long time I am led to believe. I trust them more than my hard disk backups.
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby James Perrett » Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:48 am

innerchord wrote:Anybody else using M-DISC? I burn data files (including WAV, of course) to them. They should be readable for a very long time I am led to believe. I trust them more than my hard disk backups.

Have you checked the error rates? Have they changed over time?
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Re: Copyright, and a Deteriorated cassette.

Postby innerchord » Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:57 am

James Perrett wrote:
innerchord wrote:Anybody else using M-DISC?

Have you checked the error rates? Have they changed over time?

No, I've not been using them more than a couple of years. What do you suggest I use to do that?
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