[Videolib] Public performance rights question

Mon, 20 Sep 2004 18:05:38 EDT

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Okay here's some arguments for all of you, that I answered off line to
somebody else.

1) I just spent four days and $20,000 on an amazing new high-def video master
of the 1925 silent film GRASS. If there were PD versions out there, I
couldn't do that.

2) Studios, because their catalogs can be worth as much as $4.5 billion, have
spent an incredbile amount in restoring and preserving their films. They have
done more in the past ten to twenty years than any archive can achieve. If
Meet Me in St. Louis was in PD, would the studio spend so much to create such a
gorgeous DVD.

3) Life of creator. Okay, George Gershwin lived to be 37 as I recall. Ira G.
lived into his 80s. Should George (if he had a wife or heirs) be screwed over
for his short lifespan while Ira gets to rake it in? And would George's music
be PD while Ira still own copyright on his lyrics?

4) Should a company who spent a million dollars to create a film in 1925 or
one who spends $300,000,00 for a film today should have less rights than an

The reality of copyright is such a gray and unfanthonable area that I would
be loathe to support any black-and-white solution. But leave me to say it is
far easier to be a consumer than a creator, trust me.

Dennis Doros
Milestone Film & Video
PO Box 128
Harrington Park, NJ 07640
Phone: (800) 603-1104 or (201) 767-3117
Fax: (201) 767-3035
Email: milefilms@aol.com
Website: http://www.milestonefilms.com

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