Re: copyright question

Jeffrey Clark (
Tue, 4 Mar 2003 13:17:12 -0800 (PST)

I think what we need here are a legal mind or two to weigh in. I don't
think we have any on this list, but I may try asking elsewhere and would
report back if I get a response.

I think in most cases, the question of the transfer right hinges on the
primacy of contract law over copyright law, and whether this holds in all
and every case. Or will continue to hold. The issue of transferring from
film to video--because it's the format of choice today--is secondary. It's
whether there's a defensible right to preserve the orginal item in any
acceptable format, when it is otherwise unavailable for continued access.
If the preservation is sanctioned, the form need not be identical to the
original (with, under U.S. copyright law, some restrictions such as where
any digital copy can be used if that's the transfer choice).

I take your response below, Jessica, in a light manner. I doubt we need to
ask the late Mr. Bono for his interpretation of the Constitutional clause,
because he probably hadn't thought about it that much and in any event was
no authority on the matter. He's not in sparse company, though. For
starters... anyone who considers "intellectual property" to be "property"
in the same sense as real property--rather than as a "legal fiction" (pace
the user's great legal advocate, Ray Patterson), conveniently applied and
effective only for certain purposes of disseminating works--is already on
shaky ground, philosophical assumption-wise. (Jack Valenti, are you
listening, too?)

Sorry. I mean this in the form of friendly combat. At least at the moment.;)


--On Tuesday, March 04, 2003 12:22 PM -0800 Jessica Rosner
<> wrote:

> You will have to get a Medium to ask Sonny Bono
> --
> Jessica Rosner
> Kino International
> 333 W 39th St. 503
> NY NY 10018
>> From: <>
>> Reply-To:
>> Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2003 12:18:32 -0800 (PST)
>> To: Multiple recipients of list <>
>> Subject: RE: copyright question
>> US Constitution Article 1 Section 8
>> "
>> 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; "
>> I wonder what exactly was meant by "the progress of science and useful
>> arts." I also wonder what exactly was meant by "for limited times."
>> Just a thought
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From:
>> [] On Behalf Of Jessica Rosner
>> Sent: Tuesday, March 04, 2003 3:09 PM
>> To: Multiple recipients of list
>> Subject: Re: copyright question
>> Just for fun any volunteers who have a 16mm Hollywood feature film that
>> is deteriorating that is willing to transfer it to video and SEND a
>> letter to rights holder telling them you had rights to do it since they
>> did not release it on video?
>> Honestly I am NOT sure if we are arguing apples and oranges but you
>> simply have no right to transfer something that is in what is basically
>> in "inconvenient format " ( what is you definition of deteriorating or
>> dying for 16mm by the way?) to one you find more useful because the
>> rights holder has chosen not to release it. I STRONGLY suspect and hope
>> that most of you mean rare educational material that you have no real
>> chance of finding ownership on , rather than cases where you COULD find
>> the owner and they just say no. I am assuming you don't really mean
>> feature films ( which as far as I know were NEVER sold other than either
>> life of print or limited term pre- previous discussion). I am just
>> worried that in not being specific enough you are proposing an excuse to
>> copy stuff some profs can't live without regardless of copyright
>> situation All of my rants on this have related to feature films.
>> Jessica
>> --
>> Jessica Rosner
>> Kino International
>> 333 W 39th St. 503
>> NY NY 10018
>>> From: Rick Faaberg <>
>>> Reply-To:
>>> Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2003 11:29:43 -0800 (PST)
>>> To: Multiple recipients of list <>
>>> Subject: Re: copyright question
>>> On 2/28/03 12:25 PM "Gary Handman" <>
>>> sent this
>>> out:
>>>> 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...
>>> Badda boom! :-)
>>> I agree.
>>> Rick Faaberg

Jeff Clark
Media Resources (MSC 1701)
James Madison University
540-568-6770 (voice)
540-568-3405 (fax)