Jack White's Third Man records may face copyright claim over huge Paramount collection

Jack White's Third Man records may face copyright claim over huge Paramount collection

In 2013 Jack White's Third Man Records, in conjunction with Revenant Records released a massive vinyl box set called Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-1932). Now however a non profit group has come forward claiming the rights to about 800 of the songs.

According to jazz musician Lars Edegran, who belongs to the George H. Buck, Jr. (GHB) Jazz Foundation, Buck, who once owned a number of jazz record labels, actually purchased the rights to the Paramount catalog in 1970. However, they have yet to offer proof of that fact. According to Dean Blackwood, co-founder of Revenant in a press statement; “We informed the foundation that we would gladly come to an agreement with them if they could prove ownership of the recordings,” Blackwood wrote in an email. “To date, they haven’t produced anything that proves ownership. And although there is a more than 50-year history of labels large and small reissuing this material without their involvement, we remain open to discussions with them if they can prove ownership of the recordings.”

Edegran did respond, although the actual proof is still not available; “Paramount recordings have been issued under license agreements for a very long time going back to the first owners, the Wisconsin Chair Company who licensed material to Columbia and Decca and others. The next owner of Paramount, John Steiner, licensed Paramount recordings to Biograph, Milestone, Riverside and others. GHB Jazz Foundation has license agreements with Sony, Rhino, Rykodisc, Shout, Universal, Fantasy, Fox Music, HBO to name a few. All these companies recognize our ownership of Paramount Records. It is true that a number of small labels have used Paramount material without our permission but there has been no infringement on the scale of the box set issued by Third Man/Revenant Records—close to 800 tracks of Paramount recordings.”
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