Common Law versus Copyright Commons

New York State Court of Appeals ruled that common law in New York "protects ownership interests in sound recordings made before 1972 that are not covered by the federal copyright act."
Capitol Records v. Naxos of America, N.Y., April 5, 2005. (Graffeo, J.): Sound recordings produced after February 15, 1972 can be protected from infringement under federal copyright law but Congress did not extend statutory protection to recordings created before that date. In a certified question, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit asks us whether there is common-law copyright protection in New York for sound recordings made prior to 1972. [pdf] [wiki]
If memory serves, this case would affect the outcome of the Grey Album scenario were that case litigated.

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