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Howard Jones Bright Phoebus reissued (75* d) RE: Bright Phoebus reissued 03 Dec 18

This is hardly surprising. Let's face it, if any other small folk label had its copyright infringed like this we would all be outraged on its behalf. It is only the back story which makes this different but that doesn't alter the fact that, like it or not, Celtic Music own the copyright, and while Domino may have the moral high ground legally they don't have a leg to stand on.

The good news buried in here is that Celtic Music is apparently reviewing its back catalogue and planning a programme of re-releases. Let's hope they do it properly this time. We should at least give them the benefit of the doubt until we see what this means.

It might also be helpful if they could offer an explanation for Dave Bulmer's behaviour. Perhaps it was a response to some real or imagined slight by the folk scene, or perhaps he genuinely believed it was not economic to release these commercially (and in the days of vinyl he may well have been right, but CDs are now cheap to produce, and albums can be distributed digitally for very little cost). His response to criticism was apparently to turn inwards rather than challenge it, and intentionally or not this came across as putting up two fingers to the folk scene and to the original artists. He apparently was well-regarded as a musician and for his contributions to Irish music in particular, and his acquisition of the Leader catalogue possible saved this from being lost forever, but his reputation is badly tarnished by the way he subsequently managed it. Properly handled, an explanation and perhaps an apology could go some way to restoring his reputation. What would really help would be to find a way to share the financial proceeds with the artists, although legally they probably don't have to do that.

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