THE NATIONAL JUKEBOX.

Good news from the Library of Congress: the National Jukebox is back on line, now purged of Flash and ready for our brave new HTML5 world. Here, for example, is a recording of utter chaos by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band.

It may amuse listeners to note the “rights advisory”: “Inclusion of the recording in the National Jukebox, courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment.”

Dr. Boli cannot resist a quotation from the United States Constitution, which states that the Congress shall have power

…To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

For the executives of Sony Music Entertainment, Dr. Boli has a question: How much of the profit (which is pure profit) from a 102-year-old recording goes to the author or inventor thereof?

We have only a little more than a year before this recording enters the public domain. We hope Nick LaRocca, Tony Sbarbaro, and the rest of the musicians will not suffer too much when they lose their constitutionally mandated revenues.