RE: [Videolib] Warner Brothers Entertainment vs Institutions?

Gary Handman (
Mon, 29 Aug 2005 08:39:21 -0700 (PDT)

I've been out for a few days and have missed this exchange...interesting.

Like it or not, Gary, movies have exerted more influence on the
collective, global psyche and on world culture than ANY form of print. If
that's librarian heresy, so be it. Hollywood has both reflected and
shaped popular culture for a century and a half now. Trying to ignore the
impact of movies or the popularity of the form is simply irresponsible.
The notion that movies are corrupting, less worthy or "educational" than
other forms of media is a pecularliarly victorian notion--one that, in my
view, endangers the viability of libraries as vital centers of learning,
entertainment and community.

The trick is to build collections of movies and other media that reflect
the needs and wants of a particular user population...much in the same way
we build book collections. Movies are many thing: sources of
entertainment, cultural and social "texts" (snapshots of the cultures that
created them), a port of cultural entery for non-native speakers, an
enduring aesthetic form (just as the novel is an enduring aesthetic
form)...and lots of other things. Building effective collections of
moving image materials demands a complex balancing of these functions, an
assessment of other community resources...

If the evils of the producers and distributors of movies are stumbling
blocks for you, you might as well also give up anything in print that
Rupert Murdoch or Ted Turner or countless other media moguls have had a
hand in putting on the shelves. You'd have pretty bare shelves.

Gary Handman
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000

"You are looking into the mind of home video. It is innocent, it is aimless,
it is determined, it is real" --Don DeLillo, Underworld

On Thu, 25 Aug 2005, Chris McNevins wrote:

> Gary,
> You're missing the boat here (and the shoreline, for that matter....)
> Our video collection is almost exclusively driven by faculty request to
> support their curricula. More and more, courses are being built around
> what Hollywood puts out. For example, the English Dept. is offering
> "Fiction into Film" this fall. There was another course offered by the
> Italian Language Dept. awhile back on Italian stereotypes in film and
> media. Social Sciences rely on feature films and commercially produced
> documentaries as well. How women, minorities and [insert your group
> here] are represented in the media all hot topics. This is a trend
> that's not going away anytime soon.
> I cannot comment on current teaching methods that seem to support the
> Hollywood machine. It's the "necessary evil" byproduct of having to
> capture the attention of the post-TV generation.
> I just order the stuff (and call it job security...)
> Chris McN
> Chris McNevins
> Non-Print Coordinator
> University of Connecticut
> Homer Babbidge Library
> 369 Fairfield Rd. Unit 2005AM
> Storrs, CT 06269-2005
> PH: 860-486-3842
> FAX: 860-486-6493
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> [] On Behalf Of Gary Daniels
> Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2005 2:54 PM
> To:
> 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
> 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
> >
> >
> >_______________________________________________
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> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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