Thanks to BOfH for bringing a very interesting article about a a music fan in the US who is bringing his collection of 78’s into the twenty first century by converting them to MP3. The full article can be found at Listening Post from Wired.com. Clif Bolling has been ripping his notable collection of old 78s to MP3 and posting them to his website so that he could access the MP3s from anywhere he wants. Hits in the website had been low until information about Cliff’s activity hit Reddit and StumbleUpon at which point interest and the number of hits his site had went through the roof.
The interesting thing is issues of copyright, it would seem that concern was not over possible copyright breach; Cliff is working on the principle of no takedown notice must mean all is ok – a little naive, but given the likelihood that this material isn’t available anymore (some of the recordings at 70+ years old) it would be hard to prove he has inflicted losses on the record companies. Given the copyright risk, it is strange to read that Cliff’s wife was more concerned about how the music might be perceived as the recordings weren’t subject to modern political correctness or legislation over sexism or racism.
It will be interesting to see if the interest in Cliff’s efforts result in the master recordings for some of this material are tracked down, cleaned up and made available through more legitimate channels. In the meantime we can probably look upon Cliff’s efforts as twenty first century equivalent to the great archivist Alan Lomax.