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I searched for a copyright renewal in the Catalog of Copyright Entries for 1962 through to 1964, but I cannot find a renewal. I believe we should mark our scores as PD-USA.
(searched for both 'Lulu' and 'Alban', being the most unique search terms). I am a bit surprised that UE would have left these open. I have nevertheless marked the pages with the relevant template, so if all else is OK, a copyright reviewer can now retag these items. Thanks.
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Nice find homerdundas! I just finished searching the same volumes for both berg and lu1u (just in case Archive.org's OCR misinterpreted lower case L as a number 1) and didn't locate a renewal either. Interestingly, in the Jan.-June, 1961 issue are two renewals for two items from Schoenberg's Gurre-Lieder in vocal score by Berg being renewed by Berg's widow. Both show an initial copyright date of Feb. 14, 1927 and a renewal date of May 31, 1961. Wouldn't the initial copyright period have expired in 1955 and required a renewal at that time? Would the Copyright Office have granted the copyright owner a six year window to renew?
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That's very curious. The Gurre-Lieder vocal score (for the entire work) was issued in 1912 or 1920 as I recall, so it would be free in the USA and the 50 pma countries by now. The six-year delay could have been due to extended correspondence between Helene Berg and the copyright office - she may have actually applied for renewal in 1955 - or possibly the result of a presidential proclamation allowing an extended renewal period for citizens of Austria since they were unable to conduct business with the copyright office during WW II. What was different about the excerpts that warranted a separate copyright claim, etc.? It's very odd in any case.
I will double check on the Lulu score. If there was no renewal, it is very possibly free in the USA. However, you also have to check the copyright office online database to see if they filed an NIE back in 1996-98 - possibly anytime up through the end of 2005. Berg was still under copyright in Austria when GATT/TRIPS came into effect (1996), so it would have been eligible.
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