[Videolib] Public performance rights question

Sat, 18 Sep 2004 15:06:40 EDT

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In a message dated 9/18/04 12:27:28 PM, BGriest@ci.glendale.ca.us writes:

> I realize I'm just a lowly public librarian with only an=A0loose grasp of=20=
> intricacies of copyright laws, but still. Walt Disney and/or everyone else=
> that had a hand in creating Mickey Mouse is most likely long since dead. H=
> would having the Mouse in=A0the PD infringe on their freedom?
> Bryan Griest

Well first and foremost, I never made that claim -- I just suggested that=20
proper respect and adherence to copyright is not a sign of a totalitarian st=
but a society who values the work of the individual artist. The fact that=20
studios and large corporations also benefit may be an unpleasant side effect=
, but=20
the cost of doing free enterprise.=20

There can be many complaints about $400 videos and PPR restrictions, but I=20
find it very hard to feel bad for a populace with such an amazing wealth of=20
resources and goods.

I would love to see statistics of the cost of a media center building a 16mm=
film collection in 1969, a VHS library in 1980 and a DVD library in 2005. Ba=
in the old days, 16mm films used to cost $200 to $2000, VHS tapes were on=20
average about $80, and only libraries and schools could purchase these. Toda=
ANYONE can go into a store and buy a gorgeous DVD of SINGIN' IN THE RAIN for=
or less. In many ways, this is a sign that copyright works. Make adjustments=
for inflation, and the results would truely be close to Utopian.

We deal with a lot of artists and filmmakers who receive royalty checks from=
us (and this applies to the other distributors like Kino and their=20
filmmakers). They will never achieve the level of wealth like Bill Gates or=20=
the Walmart=20
heirs much less a day laborer for some, so you wouldn't believe how happy th=
are to receive checks for films they made twenty -- even sixty -- years ago.=
That's the upside of copyright and one that the librarians of America should=
proud of contributing to when they make purchases of books, videos and CDs.=20

Dennis Doros
Milestone Film & Video
PO Box 128
Harrington Park, NJ 07640
Phone: (201) 767-3117
Fax: (202) 767-3035
Email: milefilms@aol.com
Website: http://www.milestonefilms.com

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