Tolkien Collector's Guide
1957 'Carnival of Books' interview acetate

1957 'Carnival of Books' interview acetate

Jul 9

Seller: oxfam_f3706_oxford (511)
Ended Jul 1, 2018
£77.00
[3 Bids]
I was wondering if anyone else saw this pop up on eBay; one of the earliest audio interviews (or the earliest?) of Tolkien from a 1957 radio show in Chicago. There's a smattering of info/quotes from it here and there (H&S Chron. p 527, RG p514, 516; Annot. Hobbit p8, 210; ALA Bulletin, Feb 1957, p120, etc.) but I'm curious if there are other audio copies floating around (not including the 'tape recording' stored at the Library of Congress). Oxfam was selling it on eBay and in response to my question they surmised that, "perhaps only one acetate set was made at the recording session and that either that or a copy was used for the US broadcast." Does anyone here have additional info about this they'd be willing to share?

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Jul 11
Why would the Tolkien Estate ever own any interview with Tolkien?
Jul 12

Khamûl wrote:
Why would the Tolkien Estate ever own any interview with Tolkien?


Because they have more expensive lawyers than anyone else. I would have thought the copyright lies with the original radio station that made the recording, but expensive lawyers are actually all that matters with this kind of thing, thanks to Disney, mostly.
Jul 12
"I would have thought the copyright lies with the original radio station that made the recording" — Nope, not unless Tolkien assigned the copyright to them. Which he may well have done; but it's not a default/automatic arrangement. His words are his words.
Jul 12

Aelfwine wrote:
"I would have thought the copyright lies with the original radio station that made the recording" — Nope, not unless Tolkien assigned the copyright to them. Which he may well have done; but it's not a default/automatic arrangement. His words are his words.


Is that definitely the case? It would render pretty much any interview impossible to broadcast. Surely the radio station must at least effectively have an implied perpetual license to use the words, even if the copyright remains with the interviewee.
Jul 12
This post is interesting (albeit the legal precedent is Canadian)

http://www.entertainmentmedialawsigna ... copyright-in-an-interview
Jul 12
That is interesting & certainly follows what you'd have guessed; namely that the person interviewed (audio & or visual) is certainly not the copyright holder. How on earth would any broadcaster be able to operate otherwise.

My point about the Tolkien Estate was really along these lines. They'd have had to acquire the copyright as I don't believe they would have originally owed the copyright to random interviews Tolkien had given 50+ years ago.
Jul 12
Interesting discussion! Did a bit of Googling just out of interest, and it really seems like for spoken interviews, the copyright lies only with the "recording" (and the entity making the recording), not the speakers, except in very unusual cases.

For example, from https://www.newmediarights.org/are_interviews_copyrighted :
Recently, in Taggart v. WMAQ Channel 5 Chicago, the court held that an inmate had no copyright ownership over his speech during an interview recorded by (and later broadcast by) the television company. The inmate argued that his speech was protected by copyright law because his responses were a “performance”. The court disagreed saying the inmate’s speech was only an idea, and that ideas are not protected by copyright law. Further the court said, “the copyright itself lies within the photographing or otherwise recording of the event, not in the event itself.” This means that the owner of the copyright was the broadcast company because they video recorded (fixed) the interview.
Jul 12
"Surely the radio station must at least effectively have an implied perpetual license to use the words, even if the copyright remains with the interviewee." — Nope. I don't doubt that such an assignment of rights to republish, etc., is routinely requested by interviewers, and probably often granted; but such rights are neither implicit nor granted by default.
Jul 13
(edited)

Aelfwine wrote:
"Surely the radio station must at least effectively have an implied perpetual license to use the words, even if the copyright remains with the interviewee." — Nope. I don't doubt that such an assignment of rights to republish, etc., is routinely requested by interviewers, and probably often granted; but such rights are neither implicit nor granted by default.



What you are saying does conflict with what is written elsewhere, and I don't believe live radio would even be possible if it worked that way. That said, I imagine it differs by jurisdiction (thankfully US copyright law doesn't yet apply here in NZ, despite the attempts to make it so via TPPA..). I suspect this one needs a lawyer to give an answer that is somewhat definitive.

That said, I do fully believe that the winner will always be the party with the most money in any dispute. The legal system is essentially only accessible to the wealthy, certainly in the United States and UK, but elsewhere too. Unless you really want to defend yourself in court, most people find it is easier to simply roll over if the other party has deep pockets.
Jul 13
Well OK then....
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