[Videolib] Re: [Vidalia] Warner Brothers Entertainment vs.

Jessica Rosner (jrosner@kino.com)
Sat, 27 Aug 2005 13:12:58 -0400

I don't know where to begin. Again I sympathize with your views but I think
they are just a tad over the top. Making "popular" films and books available
to the "masses" is hardly "subsidizing" popular entertainment. While I am
sure the big publishers & studios don't mind the extra revenue they get from
libraries it is hardly their main source of revenue for their best sellers.
Libraries are there to serve THE WHOLE COMMUNITY. Libraries make a very
great effort to target their collections, thus those with particular ethnic
populations try to buy a material of special appeal to those groups but I
am willing to bet that Harry Potter & Stephen King books & films are MUCH
more popular with black, white, Native American etc patrons
than a documentary on poverty in America. I don't suppose you now want to
tell the users what THEY should take out. Should people in the lower incomes
be forced to rent from Blockbuster or Netflix to see Harry Potter or
Citizen Kane because you think their local libraries should not carry them ?

Most librarians work VERY hard to provide a diverse collection of material
for their patrons but if they had only material you deemed appropriate I
doubt they would get much circulation. They are under enough pressure from
the right not to carry material which might be deemed offensive or
politically objectionable. I don't think it is a good idea to also tell them
They are ignoring the needs of the poor and minority communities.


> Some statistics from the Southern Poverty Law Center:
> median net worth for Hispanic households is $7,932
> median net worth for blacks $5,998
> median net worth for whites $88,651
> http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?pid=918
> If any public librarian can read those statistics and not think their
> funds should be spent more on trying to educate blacks and hispanics and
> less on entertaining whites, then public libraries should be shut down.
> A poor person's need for education far, far outweighs some middle class
> person's need for cheap or free entertainment.
> The government subsidizes the local symphony but not the local boy band
> for a reason.
> The government subsidizes PBS but not the WB Network for a reason.
> The government subsidizes libraries but not Blockbuster video for a reason.
> The government doesn't have to subsidize popular entertainment because
> popular entertainment is by definition readily available to the masses.
> In fact, it takes effort to avoid it. (Somehow I know the words to quite
> a few pop songs for which I don't even own the CD. I know the plots to
> dozens of Hollwood movies I've never seen. I know every plot twist in tv
> shows such as Friends that I've never seen a single episode of. Why?
> Because the culture around me is saturated with popular culture.)
> When I can go into a library and find a copy of Jaws but not find a
> documentary on Great Whites, there's a serious problem. When I can find
> Citizen Kane but not a documentary on his life and career or even a
> biography about the man, there's a serious problem.
> I would much prefer the library have the Stephen King novels than the
> Stephen King movies. At least reading is a gateway activity to becoming
> educated. I'd prefer to see the Harry Potter books in libraries but not
> the movies. I'd prefer they, instead, bought an educational CD-ROM on
> Alchemy which they would recommend to the kid who turns in the book.
> Alchemy is the origins of modern chemistry. Maybe the kid would get
> interested in science. If you want to use Harry Potter books to hook the
> kid to get him through the library doors, great. Sounds like a clever
> idea. But to then waste that opportunity by sending him to the Harry
> Potter DVD or Lord of the Rings DVD seems unfortunate.
> Another startling statisitic:
> There are more and more foreign students in our graduate programs and
> less and less American students and the deficit is growing at an
> astonishing rate. Do those foreign kids have libraries that supply them
> with the latest hollywood movies.....is that why they're so interested
> in education? Do their undgrad programs use chase scenes and car crashes
> in hollywood movies to entice them to learn physics and that's why
> they're the top students in our university physics programs????
> We put coke machines and candy machines in middle schools and then we're
> surprised at the childhood obesity rates going up. We turn libraries
> (and now college classrooms) into government subsidized Blockbuster
> Videos and we're surprised that American kids are more interested in
> being Brad Pitt than Thomas Edison.
> Research studies have shown that, if given the choice between cocaine
> and food, a mouse will starve to death because it will always choose
> cocaine. Hollywood movies are cocaine. Books and other educational
> materials are food.
> If you can figure out a clever way to use a hollywood movie to redirect
> the person who checked it out to an educational product later, perfect.
> That's why you have a college degree: to figure these things out. But if
> you can't then that movie shouldn't be in your collection.
> As always....just my opinion.
> Gary C. Daniels
> http://school.lostworlds.org?gad=CPjfzOoBEgieuiFYPHFugxjIgoT_AyCy_rUL
> Native American History Videos
> interrupt Productions, LLC
> http://www.interruptProductions.com
> Randy Pitman wrote:
>> Hi Gary,
>> Whoa. I'm all for depth and breadth in video collections, but public
>> libraries are responsible to those same taxpayers you mention, and
>> until the day that John Q. makes PBS his number one viewing choice
>> (roughly about the time Hades experiences permafrost), libraries will
>> continue to fulfill their mission of providing for the information,
>> education, and recreation needs of their communities by collecting
>> materials across as wide a spectrum as possible--including Hollywood
>> blockbusters. This argument has come up before, and the simple answer
>> has always been that libraries are not going to stop collecting
>> Stephen King or the Harry Potter series (and rightfully so), nor
>> should they skip "Batman Begins" (to use an upcoming Warner title).
>> Whether or not Warner respects us in the morning is irrelevant :)
>> Best,
>> Randy
>> Randy Pitman
>> Publisher/Editor
>> Video Librarian
>> 8705 Honeycomb Ct. NW
>> Seabeck, WA 98380
>> Tel: (800) 692-2270; Fax: (360) 830-9346
>> Email: vidlib@videolibrarian.com
>> Web: www.videolibrarian.com
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Gary Daniels"
>> <Gary@interruptProductions.com>
>> To: <videolib@library.berkeley.edu>
>> Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2005 11:53 AM
>> Subject: Re: [Videolib] Warner Brothers Entertainment vs Institutions?
>>> 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
>>> sales....one less potential customer. When someone checks out my
>>> video from a library, I'm thinking, "Cool....one 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.
>>> Please.....support independents! That's my mantra and I'm sticking to
>>> it.
>>> -Gary Daniels
>>> http://school.lostworlds.org
>>> 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 Jeanne.Little@uni.edu.
>>>>> Thanks.
>>>>> Jeanne
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> Videolib mailing list
>>>>> Videolib@library.berkeley.edu
>>>>> http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/mailman/listinfo/videolib
>>>> Proud Resident of a BLUE STATE
>>>> Jessica Rosner
>>>> Kino International
>>>> 333 W 39th St. 503
>>>> NY NY 10018
>>>> jrosner@kino.com
>>>> 212-629-6880
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Videolib mailing list
>>>> Videolib@library.berkeley.edu
>>>> http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/mailman/listinfo/videolib
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Videolib mailing list
>>> Videolib@library.berkeley.edu
>>> http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/mailman/listinfo/videolib
>> _______________________________________________
>> Videolib mailing list
>> Videolib@library.berkeley.edu
>> http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/mailman/listinfo/videolib
> _______________________________________________
> Videolib mailing list
> Videolib@library.berkeley.edu
> http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/mailman/listinfo/videolib

Proud Resident of a BLUE STATE

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

Videolib mailing list