I just found out something interesting. The reason it took so long to get WKRP episodes out on DVD has nothing to do with any lack of demand – apparently is was perennially a top request. But yet it took from the 1982, when the show ended, 25 years to get released last year. The problem was, that because it was set in a rock radio station, there is always music from popular 70s and 80s bands playing in the background — and Fox didn’t have the rights to sell that music! Just to get the first season released, they had to track down the owner of every song played in every episode, and buy the rights to redistribute them on DVD.
This seems weird. Artists want to have their work played on the radio to boost album sales. They don’t want unauthorized copying of their work because it would hamper album sales. But no-one is going to NOT BUY your music because they can hear it “for free” on a WKRP DVD. In fact, they’re more likely to get exposed to it for the first time by watching the DVD, especially if it doesn’t get a lot of airplay any more.
Read more of my ranting about over-protective copyright clutchers here. Or don’t. Your call. Really.