JOE PYNE -- The first and best of the Shock Jocks!

 Physical Materials; Copyright Status; Clearances

Both of Hartwest's  Joe Pyne Television Show and Joe Pyne Radio Show were produced between 1965 and 1971.  Both series were purchased by Hartwest Productions, Inc. from Metromedia, Inc. in 1965.  The shows were produced in Los Angeles in separate facilities.  The 1/4" magnetic reel-to-reel tape masters for the radio programs, and the and 2" videotapes for the television programs,  were sent to Hartwest in New York, where they were edited into complete programs, which were then syndicated -- i.e., licensed for broadcast to independent television and radio stations -- nationally by Hartwest's sales force.  After his death, Hartwest purchased all rights to both series in perpetuity, from his Estate.

Hartwest has none of the pre-1965 television programs, which either were not recorded for subsequent syndication (delayed) broadcasts, or if recorded, were either subsequently lost or destroyed; we believe that because the 2" videotapes were so expensive at that time,  that they were recorded over after broadcast.  The catalog for the television show which follows on this website is based on 120 90-minute 2" tape masters; generally, there are three 30-minute segments per tape, but a few have only two segments, and a few have four segments.The catalog lists 332 separate interviews, not including the “Beef Box” segments, in which audience members questioned (and confronted) the guests. There are many more than 120 tapes in the inventory; since there is no catalog other than the one set out on this website, we do not know if the additional tapes represent interviews that were not included in the catalog, or if they are separate segments that were edited into the 90-minute programs. 

The 2" master tapes are in color, and are relatively high-quality, in a technical sense. However, the adhesive which binds the metal oxides to the tape base, is now more than fifty years old, and when the tapes are played the oxides tend to flake off, seriously degrading the video and sound information.  As a result, we treat each videotape playing as if it is a final “suicide run” across the tape machine heads, after which the tape is no longer useful. Therefore, we make a digital master when the tape is played, from which unlimited clones can be made.  The cost of the transfer, together with tape stock for the digital master and clones, is approximately $700 per 90-minute program, with cost variations reflecting changes in the cost of stock, and any minor restoration which may be required. We generally do not transfer on speculation, but do so only when a third party who has a particular interest in a program or in one of its segments, pays a fee which covers the transfer cost; DVD screeners of the tapes which have been transferred, are loaned, not sold, to them.

Hartwest has more than 1,000 1/4" reel-to-reel magnetic radio tapes, probably reflecting the longer runtime of the daily radio programs, but since they are uninventoried and undated, we can only say for certainty that they were made prior to 1971. About a third of the reel storage boxes have engineers' hand-written notes identifying the guests; this website includes a catalog of those guests. Sound recordings produced after February 15, 1972, can be protected from infringement under federal copyright law, but there is no such protection for earlier audio recordings such as the Pyne radio programs.  However, in the case of interview programs, the written transcripts of Joe's side of the interviews, can be registered for copyright.  In addition, they would be subject to New York State's copyright law, since the final broadcasts were created in New York by Hartwest employees, which protects them in perpetuity.  The television programs, being visual recordings, were created well within the “automatic good copyright” cutoff date in the 1978 Copyright Act, and if they had not been previously "published" -- and none of the Pyne television programs have been "published" -- they are good copyright and can be registered for copyright.  Some of the tapes we have transferred, have a copyright notice in the name of Metromedia; as successor in interest, Hartwest inserts its own copyright notice when a tape is transferred. 

We found hundreds -- maybe even a thousand -- of mimeographed release forms, signed by the guests, which uniformly give Hartwest reuse/rebroadcast rights for the interviews, in perpetuity.

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