[Videolib] Public performance rights question

jed horovitz (jedh@internetvideoarchive.com)
Tue, 21 Sep 2004 19:07:25 -0400

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Dennis, Susan and Jessica,

A. Dennis, I have been in the film and video business for almost 30
years. I have worked for independents (roger corman, pierre gaisseau,
hugh hefner) and studios and educational producers and myself. I know
lots of people. I am sure I don't know most of the people who work in
independent media production. I don't think you can claim that you or
Jessica know everyone. I don't even think you can claim you know
everyone in the educational film area. I wish you would stop trying to
lord it over people.

B. We all know you don't get rich from educational anything. Everyone
on this list thinks creators should be paid (at least those who have
posted) and I am willing to bet that most of them (like me) think
publishers and distributors serve a valuable function and should be paid
as well. From what I can tell, the objection is to over-reaching
copyright, unlimited copyright, intimidating copyright and the resulting
loss of cultural continuity and the opportunity to participate in
audio-visual use and re-creation without hiring a lawyer. Technological
change has made some great uses (and abuses) of copyright possible.
Large corporations, in their soul less way, have tried to stop the tide
of progress. Why do you put yourself in the role of the little Dutch
boy? It is not your fight.

C. I was the one who sees a totalitarian attitude in copyright law.
If you walk across my lawn I can ask you to leave. If you don't, you
are trespassing. Unless I post a sign, I have to assert my property
right. If I sue you for damages, I have to prove that you hurt me by
walking across the lawn. Copyright law assumes you are guilty until
proven innocent and awards statutory damages that far exceed the cost of
most users' rights. This CHILLING EFFECT is what has made things so
unbalanced. Do you really want to live in society where you have to get
permission to do everything? Controlling media expression is the first
step to controlling expression is the first step to controlling thought
is the first step to controlling action. Please don't take this
personally, I doubt you would ever use your copyrights to control other
free thoughts and this is just about business to you BUT this is
unfortunately a law that applies to all (not just the nice) people.

D. The copyright 'needs' of the educational media sector (creators,
aggregators and users) is different than the copyright 'needs' of the
independent feature sector which is different than the 'needs' of the
mass entertainment arena. The fact that they all have the same rules is
a symptom of what is wrong. This is a difficult OPTIMIZATION problem
not the maximization of property values problem you have bought in to.

E. As a creator, I am aware that I may lose a bit of control in exchange
for a culture with more freedom. I doubt it will hurt me much since
'piracy is a progressive tax'. I doubt it will hurt you or any other
distributor to the library market. In fact, I doubt the 'hurt' would be
much for everyone. You can always raise your prices.

Jed

-----Original Message-----
From: videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu
[mailto:videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu] On Behalf Of
MileFilms@aol.com
Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2004 5:00 PM
To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
Subject: Re: [Videolib] Public performance rights question

In a message dated 9/21/04 12:28:47 PM, BGriest@ci.glendale.ca.us
writes:

You speak of incentives and profits as if those are the only reasons
films are made. I say that's pretty narrow minded, and that's the nicest
thing I can say.

I'm too tired of this topic to respond anymore. HOWEVER, this is getting
very personal. I know Jessica and everyone else in the independent film
world. NONE of us went into film to make a ton of money, and almost none
of us will end up with much either. She may have no clue on which
baseball team will win the World Series since she's been wrong for the
past 95 years (and she can latch on to this topic with an ancient
mariner's death grip), but she absolutely knows what she's talking about
when it comes to film.

I suggest that you a) intern at an archive, independent distributor or a
studio for a month to learn any semblence of the business, or b) lobby
hard to have the copyrights changed.

Otherwise, we're just wasting our time on this listserv. I'm finding
this somewhat troll-like to be frank about it.

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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