Re: [Videolib] Eyes on the Prize

Jessica Rosner (
Fri, 28 Jan 2005 10:31:50 -0500

> From: Art McGee <>
> Reply-To:
> Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2005 22:39:54 -0800 (PST)
> To:
> Subject: Re: [Videolib] Eyes on the Prize
>> Is EYES ON THE PRIZE in a superspecial category of
>> cultural significance
> Yes. The Civil Rights Movement was the effective beginning
> of Democracy in the United States of America. It had not
> heretofore existed.

Well in that case certainly NO films made before 1954 should be
under ANY copyright as the US was not even a democracy so how
could ANY law be valid.
>> What I found MOST interesting was the web sites claim that
>> showing this was NOT an act of civil disobedience but
>> essentially a public right.
> That's merely their way of making a claim to a moral
> value that goes beyond breaking the law, because the law is
> considered inherently invalid. It's a rhetorical claim to a
> human right to culture which supersedes the nation state.

Ok so long as you admit that this does break the "invalid"
law and are willing to accept the financial consequences for
all the people you are telling to break same if they get sued
by any of the dozens of artists & companies whose work you want
to use without compensation
>> However if this group is so convinced that copyright
>> should NOT prevent important films from being available
>> for both public & private use they ought to be willing to
>> show SONG OF THE SOUTH...
> Why in God's name would anyone want to see that racist crap?
> How disingenuous of you to suggest that the greatest American
> story ever told is comparable to what was effectively a legacy
> narrative of "The Birth of a Nation."

I use SONG OF THE SOUTH because it is a notorious case of a film that
is totally unavailable and certainly has major historical interest. Disney
fearing the kind of backlash exhibited in the above will not allow to EVER
show or be released thus depriving anyone of ever seeing it any format.
Sounds like you prefer that but some of us believe you need to SEE films
to understand their significance and role in history. ( You may not be aware
but my company Kino International releases ( in my humble opinion) the best
quality and most complete version of BIRTH OF A NATION. I have been
contacted recently by some libraries & universities about public showings
which I encourage by charging a VERY nominal fee of $20 just to protect our
rights on THIS particular DVD. I think it is probably the MOST important
film to screen to understand American history political , social and
cinematicbut I expect you would prefer that it never be seen or only in the
D.J Spooky version. When EYES is finally cleared I think starting a film
series with BIRTH OF A NATION and following it by screening EYES would be an
excellent program
>> or perhaps downloading & showing Charles Burnett's
>> wonderful KILLER OF SHEEP.
> "Killer of Sheep" is going to be released sometime this year
> on DVD by Milestone films. They've been working on clearing
> the music licensing, and the public will get the chance to
> enjoy a new look at a film from the greatest living
> African-American director.

Well you can go back to Dennis' e mail re the status of clearing the rights
Nice to know you are willing to accord Mr. Burnett the copyright protection
you are unwilling to give those whose material is in EYES and I trust you
will be sending Milestone a check for $30.000 which I think Dennis said
is the remaining amount needed to clear the music rights.
>> The idea sounds nice but who gets to decide what is and is
>> not worthy of copyright protection and under what
>> circumstances ?
> You make the decision sound so arbitrary, as if people woke
> up and said "let's stick it to The Man! Yeah!" Whether
> you're talking about resisting Nazis murdering Jews, or
> fighting the racist hypocrisy of segregation, at some point
> God and the rights of man take over, the law be damned. As
> Henry David Thoreau and many others realized, there comes a
> point when breaking the law is the only moral thing to do.

Well I guess you are head of the committee of what is so morally important
that seeing supersedes paying those who helped create it. Invoking Thoreau
and Nazis to support an illegal download does seem a bit over the top to say
the least.

( who is now going back to her Spring Training countdown , pitchers &
catchers report on 2/16, games begin on 3/4 YIPEE!!)

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