Re: [Videolib] Warner Brothers Entertainment vs Institutions?

Jessica Rosner (
Thu, 25 Aug 2005 15:31:57 -0400

While I understand your frustration I don't feel this is appropriate
analogy. Libraries can not curate material based on their feelings towards
publishers or distributors. They face limited budgets and conflicting needs.
The question of buying what is "popular" Vs what is perceived as more
culturally significant and or harder to get is always going to be there

However I can't really see a library media collection NOT having CITIZEN
KANE in it's collection anymore than it would not have a copy of MOBY DICK.
Studio films are clearly more available for rental at stores or by mail but
the reason for libraries to exist is for the public to have access to
materials locally and freely. Studios own and distribute some of the best
and most important films ever made and it is not practical to "boycott"
HBO owns and distributes some of the best documentaries of the last decade.
Do you not have them in a collection because they are out on an HBO label ?

I confess that I am often VERY , VERY frustrated when Kino releases what I
believe to be a very important title and very, very ,very few public
libraries buy it for their collections. I know that libraries will probably
Buy tens of thousands of copies of the latest HARRY POTTER film and no
libraries have many communities to serve and many pressures to deal with
and it is not realistic to think that they will in essence ONLY carry
books and films from small independent companies that will frankly not be
as popular as things owned by those big companies.

I do sincerely share your concerns that libraries are not getting enough
independent material in their collections and hopefully that is something
we can work on. Alas I fear that in terms of this listserv that would be
Preaching to the converted


I would once again submit this question:
> Why would you want to help use limited library acquisition funds to help
> subsidize a Hollywood corporation who CLEARLY doesn't respect you or
> your educational mission. You are just extra profits for them and if
> they can extract another dime from you by lieing to you about your legal
> rights, they will. You mean nothing to them.
> So why subsidize them with taxpayer dollars if you're a public
> institution or your foundation's dollars if you're private? Why not
> spend that money with educational video producers who create their
> content with YOU in mind.....not as some ancillary market to be shaken
> down for a few more dollars to help boost quarterly earnings reports.
> I feel like the Chic-Fil-A cow "Eat more chiken"...."Buy More From
> Independent Producers"
> Trust me, if Warner Bros, et al, were told they could have a major tax
> cut but it would mean libraries across the country would be shut down,
> which do you think they'd choose? I think they'd take the tax cut and to
> hell with the libraries. Every time someone checks out one of their
> videos from your library they see this as an erosion of
> less potential customer. When someone checks out my video from a
> library, I'm thinking, " more person has just helped me
> accomplish my mission of educating people about the amazing Native
> American civilizations that once existed in this country."
> This all sounds like battered-wife syndrome- you love the one who abuses
> you the most. A company straight up lies to you about your rights under
> the law and says "We don't want anything to do with you, don't use our
> videos in the classroom", yet you still consider purchasing from
> them????????????????????????? Or maybe it's crack-whore syndrome--- she
> stays with the pimp that beats her because the crack is cheap. Their
> DVD's might be $19.99 but look at the monster you're supporting.
> independents! That's my mantra and I'm sticking to it.
> -Gary Daniels
> Native American History Videos
> Jessica Rosner wrote:
>> HBO can say what they want but the law is clear
>> YOU CAN USE THEM IN A CLASS. The law allows any legally purchased item to be
>> used in standard "face to face" teaching instruction. The ONLY way a
>> distributor could supercede this is to require the purchaser to wave these
>> rights by contract. There are small companies who handle educational
>> material who can use two tiered pricing as they can control each purchase
>> I don't see anyway HBO can do this as I assume all of their titles are out
>> in the retail market. Unless you are talking about some unusual titles which
>> Are not sold or rented to the public you can use it in classes
>> Streaming is a TOTALLY different issue. For instance believe it or not
>> It is most unlikely HBO even OWNS those rights with many of its titles
>> Traditionally Public Performance rights are separate from Home Video and
>> Much of the HBO product ESPECIALLY the documentaries are independent
>> productions. Additionally there has been an issue for years regarding
>> SAG contracts and made for TV fiction films which prevents many of them
>>> From public showings particularly if any money is involved.
>> Much as I felt about say campus cable use of films is the same with
>> Streeming, the rights are simply going to be too complicated for foreign
>> And independent films. There are way too many different owners, different
>> contracts to distributors etc. Basically it would be a NIGHTMARE to clear
>> Say Chaplin, Fellini, Wim Wenders, British Comedy classics etc.
>> This might work for educational films and studio films but not the others.
>> So unless the Prof wants to stop teaching these you might be seeing physical
>> Media for a lot longer than you think
>> Jessica
>>> I had a conversation with a representative from HBO and was told that
>>> ALL of their titles are for HOME USE ONLY, and are not to be used in
>>> face-to-face instruction, over a network, or digitally reproduced. No
>>> public performance rights were available. This leaves me thinking the
>>> titles we own which were produced and/or owned by HBO can only be
>>> checked out by students for their personal use. Has anyone else had
>>> dealings with HBO with different results than these?
>>> Our library has recently begun to investigate rights for all of our new
>>> VHS and DVD titles before we purchase, to ascertain what is permitted,
>>> with or without extra fees and licenses, so we know in advance what
>>> restrictions apply. And if we choose to pursue options such as video
>>> streaming a title, etc., what additional charges we would have to incur
>>> at the time of purchase, or later. I have devised a standard email query
>>> which asks specific questions regarding Public Performance Rights,
>>> statewide fiber optics viewing (close-circuit), Video Streaming and
>>> Cable-casting rights, with a brief explanation for each. It has
>>> generated much discussion with various producers and rights owners. I
>>> have found that the larger companies are more inclined to charge larger
>>> fees. Some of the independents are excited about the opportunity to make
>>> their works available to larger audiences and have chosen to allow all
>>> or at least most of the rights in question without extra fees.
>>> Passwording is a frequent request for video streaming, so that only
>>> those faculty and their currently enrolled students can view during a
>>> semester. For cable-casting rights, a few have stated we need to show a
>>> message before the title begins stating where the audience can purchase
>>> from. I have discovered that the majority do not allow cable-casting,
>>> even to a public access, educational cable channel.
>>> If anyone wishes to discuss this topic with me off the list, you can
>>> contact me via email at
>>> Thanks.
>>> Jeanne
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Videolib mailing list
>> Proud Resident of a BLUE STATE
>> Jessica Rosner
>> Kino International
>> 333 W 39th St. 503
>> NY NY 10018
>> 212-629-6880
>> _______________________________________________
>> Videolib mailing list
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Proud Resident of a BLUE STATE

Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018

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