Re: 70% of American Music recorded before 1965 Not Available
Wow, I knew it was bad, but I didn't know it was that bad.
The thing that really stinks is that they just sit on all their back catalog, without making it available to anyone, and then start threatening people like you who attempt to share out of print music! All in the guise of "protecting the rights of the artists". Outrageous!
I should be clear: NO record company or anybody threatened my site. We were cordial. No mention of lawyers or penalties or anything like that. But I would say the encounter has had a chilling effect, for sure. I sure didn't want to escalate a fight.
There's a movement afoot to have what are called "orphaned works" move into the public domain. They are works for which you can't locate the rights holder. Broader than that are abandoned works: works for whom you know the owner, and the owner isn't doing anything with them, but you still can't do anything yourself, even not for profit. Oh well!
Then again, maybe 70% of that music isn't worth keeping after all! Cajun music might be the exception!