Re: copyright question

Gary Handman (ghandman@library.berkeley.edu)
Fri, 28 Feb 2003 13:23:04 -0800 (PST)

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Nuts, maybe...but i think we've been cowed by copyright paranoia and
bullied by media content owners for so long that we (that's we, as in
librarians) tend to automatically roll over and play dead or to throw away
whatever slim fair use rights we do have. If I sign a commercial contract
that says "Life of film" and if my film dies an ignominious death, it's a
matter of my adhering to contract law, not copyright (which allows me to
make a preservation copy under certain conditions). In such a case, I'll
adhere to my contract obligations. If, on the other hand, I've purchased a
work that is not otherwise governed by contract conditions, you damn well
better believe I'm going to take the prerogative to act on the rights
granted to me by Title 117 and make a useable copy for my clients.

At 01:03 PM 2/28/2003 -0800, you wrote:
>Gary
>Our lasts posts crossed but let me put this as nice as I know how
>I THINK YOU ARE NUTS to say that it is ok to copy a 16mm just because
>a rights holder HAS CHOSEN not release it on video or another format
>THOSE RIGHTS BELONG TO THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER. If you seriously believe that
>because a library had LIFE OF PRINT lease on a FEATURE film OWNED BY A
>STUDIO it can make a VIDEO copy if the print is breaking down , than I think
>you need some redial copyright study. Forgetting the studios for a minute I
>will give a Kino example, We own the rights to two important and rare films
>which in fact were ONLY available in 16mm, THE EMPEROR'S NAKED ARMY MARCHES
>ON by Hara and the short AMERICAN BOY by Martin Scorsese. We did do one life
>of print lease on each title but WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO PUT THEM ON VIDEO.
>Supposing we could not "replace" the 16mm copies is they were degrading, you
>advocate giving the library a right to make a video which even WE don't
>have rights for. Also suppose you COULD replace a 16mm but given today's lab
>cost and the fact that it might have to be re-timed it might cost $3,000
>or more for one film.
>I can not emphasize too strongly that you would NEVER have the right to make
>a video copy of copyrighted feature film WITHOUT the right's holders
>permission. I assure you that this is not just my "guess " when this issue
>came up before, I consulted two of the best copyright authorities who have
>NOTHING to do with MPAA or studios and they both laughed at the idea
>The legal liability you would face in copying a studio picture to video
>would be huge. Again you probably would not get "caught" but it is VERY
>dangerous to suggest you would have ANY legal protection
>--
>Jessica Rosner
>Kino International
>333 W 39th St. 503
>NY NY 10018
>jrosner@kino.com
>
> > From: Gary Handman <ghandman@library.berkeley.edu>
> > Reply-To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
> > Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 12:25:24 -0800 (PST)
> > To: Multiple recipients of list <videolib@library.berkeley.edu>
> > Subject: Re: copyright question
> >
> > I'm gonna go out on a limb here, Jessica. A feature film that was legally
> > acquired on 16, is no longer commercially available (with a documented good
> > faith attempt to acquire replacement), and is physically at risk is, in my
> > book, grist for preservation copying (yes, onto video even). You're
> > basically proposing that libraries allow a legally-acquired title in a
> > collection crumble into celluloid and dust because the item is not
> > replaceable and transfer rights are not forthcoming...I say that's not an
> > option for responsible for collection managers. I do it first; cease and
> > desist later...
> >
> > At 12:07 PM 2/28/2003 -0800, you wrote:
> >> We have been through this one. You need to do EVERYTHING in your power to
> >> contact the rights holder to get permission ( which there is almost NO
> >> chance of getting). Basically you can pretty much forget this on feature
> >> films. Just because whatever studio or rights holder has decided not to
> >> release a film on video ( which ITSELF may be an endangered format) NEVER
> >> gives you the right to make a transfer without permission you will never
> >> get.
> >> If you are talking about non-fiction films, it may be more problematic.
> >> You can't just send a letter to last known address of company you got it
> >> from and assume that would cover you legally. You would FIRST have to do
> >> a copyright search to determine if it was copyrighted and to whom.
> >> If AFTER that you made a really good faith but unsuccessful effort to
> locate
> >> copyright holder , you might have a case for a copy but don't delude
> >> yourself into thinking you are "preserving" it for anyone but your own
> use.
> >> Realistically it would cost you a few hundred dollars in time & legal fees
> >> to do the above so it is not very practical
> >>
> >> Basically most media formats have a finite life and when your item
> comes to
> >> the end of its life , that is pretty much it. The VAST majority of
> 16mm were
> >> sold or leased as EITHER a limited term contract ( 7 years) or a "life of
> >> print lease" In NEITHER case would have any legal right to copy it because
> >> it was deteriorating . Them's the breaks
> >> --
> >> Jessica Rosner
> >> Kino International
> >> 333 W 39th St. 503
> >> NY NY 10018
> >> jrosner@kino.com
> >>
> >>> From: Sarah Andrews <sarah-andrews@uiowa.edu>
> >>> Reply-To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
> >>> Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 11:49:34 -0800 (PST)
> >>> To: Multiple recipients of list <videolib@library.berkeley.edu>
> >>> Subject: Re: copyright question
> >>>
> >>> What if your 16mm has degraded, is nearly unplayable, and you need
> to make
> >>> a preservation copy because it is out of print?
> >>> Do you need to make a 16mm copy again?
> >>>
> >>> Sarah Andrews
> >>> University of Iowa Libraries
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >
> > Gary Handman
> > Director
> > Media Resources Center
> > Moffitt Library
> > UC Berkeley
> > ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
> > http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC
> >

Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley
ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC
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Nuts, maybe...but i think we've been cowed by copyright paranoia and bullied by media content owners for so long that we (that's we, as in librarians) tend to automatically roll over and play dead or to throw away whatever slim fair use rights we do have.  If I sign a commercial contract that says "Life of film" and if my film dies an ignominious death, it's a matter of my adhering to contract law, not copyright (which allows me to make a preservation copy under certain conditions).  In such a case, I'll adhere to my contract obligations.  If, on the other hand, I've purchased a work that is not otherwise governed by contract conditions, you damn well better believe I'm going to take the prerogative to act on the rights granted to me by Title 117 and make a useable copy for my clients.


At 01:03 PM 2/28/2003 -0800, you wrote:

Gary
Our lasts posts crossed but let me put this as nice as I know how
I THINK YOU ARE NUTS to say that it is ok to copy a 16mm just because
a rights holder HAS CHOSEN not release it on video or another format
THOSE RIGHTS BELONG TO THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER. If you seriously believe that
because a library had  LIFE OF PRINT lease on a FEATURE film OWNED BY A
STUDIO it can make a VIDEO copy if the print is breaking down , than I think
you need some redial copyright study. Forgetting the studios for a minute I
will give a Kino example, We own the rights to two important and rare films
which in fact were ONLY available in 16mm, THE EMPEROR'S NAKED ARMY MARCHES
ON by Hara and the short AMERICAN BOY by Martin Scorsese. We did do one life
of print lease on each title but WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO PUT THEM ON VIDEO.
Supposing we could not "replace" the 16mm copies is they were degrading, you
advocate giving the library a right to  make a video which even WE don't
have rights for. Also suppose you COULD replace a 16mm but given today's lab
cost and the fact that it might have to be re-timed it  might cost $3,000
or more for one film.
I can not emphasize too strongly that you would NEVER have the right to make
a video copy of copyrighted feature film WITHOUT the right's holders
permission. I assure you that this is not just my "guess " when this issue
came up before, I consulted two of the best copyright authorities who have
NOTHING to do with MPAA or studios and they both laughed at the idea
The legal liability you would face in copying a studio picture to video
would be huge. Again you probably would not get "caught" but it is VERY
dangerous to suggest you would have ANY legal protection
--
Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018
jrosner@kino.com

> From: Gary Handman <ghandman@library.berkeley.edu>
> Reply-To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
> Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 12:25:24 -0800 (PST)
> To: Multiple recipients of list <videolib@library.berkeley.edu>
> Subject: Re: copyright question
>
> I'm gonna go out on a limb here, Jessica.  A feature film that was legally
> acquired on 16, is no longer commercially available (with a documented good
> faith attempt to acquire replacement), and is physically at risk is, in my
> book, grist for preservation copying (yes, onto video even).   You're
> basically proposing that libraries allow a legally-acquired title in a
> collection crumble into celluloid and dust because the item is not
> replaceable and transfer rights are not forthcoming...I say that's not an
> option for responsible for collection managers.  I do it first; cease and
> desist later...
>
> At 12:07 PM 2/28/2003 -0800, you wrote:
>> We have been through this one. You need to do EVERYTHING in your power to
>> contact the rights holder to get permission ( which there is almost NO
>> chance of getting). Basically you can pretty much forget this on feature
>> films. Just because whatever studio or rights holder has decided not to
>> release  a film on video ( which ITSELF may be an endangered format) NEVER
>> gives  you the right to make a transfer without permission you will never
>> get.
>> If you are talking about non-fiction films, it may be more problematic.
>> You can't just send a letter to last known address of company you got it
>> from and assume that would  cover you legally. You would FIRST have to do
>> a copyright search to determine if it was copyrighted and to whom.
>> If AFTER that you made a really good faith but unsuccessful effort to locate
>> copyright holder , you might have a case for a copy but don't delude
>> yourself into thinking you are "preserving" it for anyone but your own use.
>> Realistically it would cost you a few hundred dollars in time & legal fees
>> to do the above so it is not very practical
>>
>> Basically most media formats have a finite life and when your item comes to
>> the end of its life , that is pretty much it. The VAST majority of 16mm were
>> sold or leased as EITHER a limited term contract ( 7 years) or a "life of
>> print lease" In NEITHER case would have any legal right to copy it because
>> it was deteriorating . Them's the breaks
>> --
>> Jessica Rosner
>> Kino International
>> 333 W 39th St. 503
>> NY NY 10018
>> jrosner@kino.com
>>
>>> From: Sarah Andrews <sarah-andrews@uiowa.edu>
>>> Reply-To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
>>> Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 11:49:34 -0800 (PST)
>>> To: Multiple recipients of list <videolib@library.berkeley.edu>
>>> Subject: Re: copyright question
>>>
>>> What if your 16mm has degraded, is nearly unplayable,  and you need to make
>>> a preservation copy because it is out of print?
>>> Do you need to make a 16mm copy again?
>>>
>>> Sarah Andrews
>>> University of Iowa Libraries
>>>
>>>
>>>
>
> Gary Handman
> Director
> Media Resources Center
> Moffitt Library
> UC Berkeley
> ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
> http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC
>

Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley
ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC

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