The TOTP 1971-74 Disco bits, technically now they belong to ZDF, and as it is part their show (which is their property) and the BBC trashed thir copies in the early 70's.
it's not that straightforward either, as partway through some or most of the stuff has cutaways to the ZDF studio crowd and presenter (bopping etc)
as we speak, the rights to the performances are beeing sorted, and then maybe the clearances will happen.
maybe a ZDF/BBC agreement my be hatched fpr a series of special "TOTP Disco specials" for playing for both channels, that seems the best way forward. (alike the pop goes the 60's special)
hmmmmmm, TOTP goes Disco...... sounds good
There are two things here: the legal ownership of the material (tapes) on which the clips are recorded, and the copyright within the pictures/sound thereon. These are different things.
ZDF obviously owns the physical tapes, but this doesn't mean the BBC have given them complete copyright control to do what they want with the content of the clips! It would be interesting to see what the original contracts said - quite possibly the BBC licenced the clips to ZDF for the original/first transmission only, in which case all the later 3Sat/Disco-Hits/Best Aus Disco etc showings are technically in breach of contract. On the other hand, the BBC might have licenced them to show the clips as many times as they liked. On the other other hand, the contracts may be unspecific as to how ZDF can show them after the initial tx.
In the former case, the BBC might have some leverage to getting the clips back free, or at a discounted rate. If the second, it's totally up to ZDF whether they want to sell the clips back to the BBC (in terms of the physical act of copying their tapes, and the price of the media) or not. Almost certainly ZDF have no authority to sell the clips onwards, but they can still charge (what they like) for their time and labour for copying their masters for the BBC to get back.
What is interesting is that *I know* that ZDF have offered these clips for archive sales as their own, without differentiating them from "proper" Disco clips. Almost certainly an oversight by their sales people, but nevertheless something they should not have done.
And, as the poster above says, the cutaways back to the Hamburg studio are yet another matter.... Remember some of the soundtracks of TOTP at that time were BBC-rerecordings, not the same versions as on records bought in the shops (e.g. the T Rex "Hot Love" clips). In such cases we might have:
A song with the publishing/performance rights owned by company A (whoever it is). The actual sound recording owned by the BBC. Some of the pictures owned by the BBC and licenced to ZDF. Other pictures (the cutaways) owned by ZDF
Also I believe that, to confuse things even further, in the case of some of the clips, ZDF are claiming the contested items aren't from TOTP originally, but Disco- originated material (although I don't see how they can possibly claim this in some cases as the sets and general style are clearly TOTP and in a few cases the TOTP DJ or even a bass drum with the TOTP logo are visible!)