Monday, June 27, 2005

Music Clearances and Cartoons

To briefly combine two subjects I've written on quite a lot lately, music clearance costs and classic cartoons: can you imagine what the difficulties must be in clearing the music for old Warner Brothers and MGM cartoons? Carl Stalling at Warner Brothers and Scott Bradley at MGM filled their scores with popular songs that were, at the time, owned by their studios and therefore could be used without cost. But by now, the music publishing companies that WB and MGM used to own have changed hands, so when Stalling quotes, say, Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse," WB has to clear the song for the home video releases. Now multiply that by all the dozens of still-copyrighted songs that Stalling would quote, and it's easier to see why these cartoons took so long to appear on DVD.

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