[Videolib] RE: Antares

Brandenburg, Anna (ABrandenburg@SpringfieldLibrary.org)
Tue, 19 Apr 2005 15:45:59 -0400

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Hello,
This letter was posted to the PUBLIB listserv by Brian Downing (Recorded =
Books) in response to librarians' concerns about the Antares Decision.=20
He said it would be fine if I posted it to this list.
-Anna Brandenburg
Springfield (MA) City Library
=20
=20
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2005 22:17:33 -0700 (PDT)
From: Downingbt@aol.com
To: publib <publib@sunsite3.berkeley.edu>
Subject: re: Recorded Books censors Film Movement
Message-ID: =
<Pine.GSO.4.10.10504152217310.23532-100000@sunsite3.berkeley.edu>

Hello Everyone,

I guess it is my turn at the soap box now.

Rather than say anything at this point, I guess I will say I am as =
always-- learning.

I am certainly aware of ALA's policies toward intellectual freedom, and =
we have always practiced it as a publisher. We have never even sent a =
warning sticker about an audiobook, although we have had lots of =
requests. We publish from all points of view, and all stations of life, =
and without regard to opinion or sensibilities.

We were deluged with hostile complaints about these films (Alexandra's =
Project and Antares) from public libraries. My company's actions were =
not based on any personal feelings but only in response to complaints. =
We stopped distribution of Antares only after complaints from dozens of =
public libraries.

The film in question has an a very graphic sex scene which you would =
have to pay to see in any urban city. It would have earned an "X" rating =
under the old system of doing things. I would very much appreciate some =
off-line feedback as to the appropriate action from a distributor that =
is selling these not as "you choose" but as a subscription where you are =
getting these automatically. We only learned about the film after =
shipping out half the copies and I really struggled before sending out =
the letter.

I'm sure may people were alarmed at my poor choice of words in our =
attempt to prevent a surprise showing of this film without knowing what =
the content is. This is what the Washington Post said, "some audiences =
will find this (film) as indistinguishable from pornography." The =
newspaper also inserted this warning in their review: Antares (119 =
minutes, at the AFI Silver Theatre) is not rated and contains graphic =
sex scenes, as much as you would find in an XXX film, and scenes =
containing violence, drug use and profanity.

I appreciate the candid feedback, regret the verbage and would =
appreciate more off-line feedback if you care to share it.

And just for the record--Film Movement approved of our actions. So we =
didn't censor them.

Brian T. Downing
Publisher
Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skipjack Road
Prince Frederick, Maryland 20678
bdowning@recordedbooks.com=20

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charset=3Diso-8859-1"></HEAD><BODY><DIV><FONT face=3D'Arial' =
color=3D#000000 size=3D2>Hello,</FONT></DIV>=0A=
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>This letter was posted to the PUBLIB =
listserv by =0A=
Brian Downing (Recorded Books) in response to librarians' concerns about =
the =0A=
Antares Decision.&nbsp;</FONT></DIV>=0A=
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>He said it would be fine if I posted it =
to this =0A=
list.</FONT></DIV>=0A=
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>-Anna Brandenburg</FONT></DIV>=0A=
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Springfield (MA) City =
Library</FONT></DIV>=0A=
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>=0A=
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>=0A=
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2005 22:17:33 -0700 =0A=
(PDT)<BR>From: Downingbt@aol.com<BR>To: publib =0A=
&lt;publib@sunsite3.berkeley.edu&gt;<BR>Subject: re: Recorded Books =
censors Film =0A=
Movement<BR>Message-ID: =0A=
&lt;Pine.GSO.4.10.10504152217310.23532-100000@sunsite3.berkeley.edu&gt;<B=
R><BR>Hello =0A=
Everyone,<BR><BR>I guess it is my turn at the soap box =
now.<BR><BR>Rather than =0A=
say anything at this point, I guess I will say I am as always-- =0A=
learning.<BR><BR>I am certainly aware of ALA's policies toward =
intellectual =0A=
freedom, and we have always practiced it as a publisher. We have never =
even sent =0A=
a warning sticker about an audiobook, although we have had lots of =
requests. We =0A=
publish from all points of view, and all stations of life, and without =
regard to =0A=
opinion or sensibilities.<BR><BR>We were deluged with hostile complaints =
about =0A=
these films (Alexandra's Project and Antares) from public libraries. My =0A=
company's actions were not based on any personal feelings but only in =
response =0A=
to complaints. We stopped distribution of Antares only after complaints =
from =0A=
dozens of public libraries.<BR><BR>The film in question has an a very =
graphic =0A=
sex scene which you would have to pay to see in any urban city. It would =
have =0A=
earned an "X" rating under the old system of doing things. I would very =
much =0A=
appreciate some off-line feedback as to the appropriate action from a =0A=
distributor that is selling these not as "you choose" but as a =
subscription =0A=
where you are getting these automatically.&nbsp; We only learned about =
the film =0A=
after shipping out half the copies and I really struggled before sending =
out the =0A=
letter.<BR><BR>I'm sure may people were alarmed at my poor choice of =
words in =0A=
our attempt to prevent a surprise showing of this film without knowing =
what the =0A=
content is.&nbsp; This is what the Washington Post said, "some audiences =
will =0A=
find this (film) as indistinguishable from pornography." The newspaper =
also =0A=
inserted this warning in their review: Antares (119 minutes, at the AFI =
Silver =0A=
Theatre) is not rated and contains graphic sex scenes, as much as you =
would find =0A=
in an XXX film, and scenes containing violence, drug use and =
profanity.<BR><BR>I =0A=
appreciate the candid feedback, regret the verbage and would appreciate =
more =0A=
off-line feedback if you care to share it.<BR><BR>And just for the =
record--Film =0A=
Movement approved of our actions. So we didn't censor them.<BR><BR>Brian =
T. =0A=
Downing<BR>Publisher<BR>Recorded Books, LLC<BR>270 Skipjack =
Road<BR>Prince =0A=
Frederick, Maryland 20678<BR>bdowning@recordedbooks.com</FONT><FONT =
lang=3D0 =0A=
face=3DArial color=3D#000000 size=3D2> <BR></FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>
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