RE: [Videolib] Illinois State University Copyright Controversy

Tiar, Marc (MTiar@washoecounty.us)
Thu, 9 Feb 2006 09:48:58 -0800

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I don't particularly have an interest in this myself - I'm just a =
librarian, our library doesn't have public screenings of any sort, so =
I'm not really on the side of the surreptitious screeners or the =
distributors. =20
=20
That said, I can't say I can completely agree with the "distributors are =
just helping out the filmmakers by collecting the money for them so they =
can pay their rent and make more fine films" perspective. Yes, the =
groups in question should have paid the PP fees, because that's the law. =
Distributors aren't exactly starving artists - they're businesses, and =
businesses exist to make money. What about the fees collected by =
distributors for films where the filmmakers are dead? Those don't go to =
the poor filmmaker described below, or his composers, cinematographers, =
or actors, do they? (Forgive me if I'm misspeaking here, I'm not =
well-versed on the fine points of the money chain of the film =
distribution industry.)
=20
Like I said, I'm not defending the poor little film society, nor =
accosting the rich greedy film distributor for collecting what's theirs =
to collect. I'm sort of just playing devil's advocate, pointing out =
that it's probably not often as clear cut as described or that =
distributors always have such goodhearted motivations when they seek to =
collect PPR fees. Those distributors on the list that differ, please =
accept my apologies, I don't mean to portray you as the bad guys at all. =
(Dennis, I don't know that I've seen your words on how profitable =
distributors are, that may be prior to my videolib subscription, so =
again, I'm not speaking as informedly as some others could. I actually =
tend to agree more with your perspective that the universities should be =
funding these screenings in the first place and avoid the whole =
problem.)
=20
Marc Tiar
Washoe County Library

-----Original Message-----
From: videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu =
[mailto:videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu]On Behalf Of =
MileFilms@aol.com
Sent: Thursday, February 09, 2006 7:32 AM
To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
Subject: Re: [Videolib] Illinois State University Copyright Controversy

In a message dated 2/8/06 4:57:35 PM, mbailey@carleton.edu writes:

To summarize briefly: A student film group at Illinois State=20
University has received from New Yorker Films a bill for $8000 for=20
past VHS and DVD screenings on campus for which public performance=20
rights were not purchased. The film group feels that the screenings=20
were part of the educational activities of the University; New Yorker=20
begs to differ.

I agree with Jessica and New Yorker with this. It's always posed as us =
(the poor little film society) versus the rich, greedy film distributor. =
We won't get into how profitable film distributors are -- I've expressed =
my viewpoints here before on that matter.

However, when you look at it as any institution with a multi-million =
dollar endowment (who should be spending more on the liberal and fine =
arts, but that's besides the point) against a filmmaker who depends on =
his royalties to pay his rent (and we have MANY more of those than we do =
filmmakers with houses on the beach), it takes on a different =
perspective. That also doesn't even get into the fact that many of them =
are still paying their composers, cinematographers and actors from these =
royalties as well.

I am sure that a filmmaker is totally glad for the "free" exposure as he =
struggles to raise money to make his next documentary.

I noticed that the ISU film society has removed all past schedules from =
the websites, so I suspect they feel New Yorker and the other =
distributors might be right. So I hope this raises the issues at other =
campuses with similar situations.

Dennis Doros
Milestone Film & Video
PO Box 128
Harrington Park, NJ 07640
Phone: (800) 603-1104 or (201) 767-3117
Fax: (201) 767-3035
Email: milefilms@aol.com
Website: http://www.milestonefilms.com

"Welcome to New Jersey.
Big Hair, Big Heart, Big Fun!"
- Amy Heller

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I=20 don't particularly have an interest in this myself - I'm just a = librarian, our=20 library doesn't have public screenings of any sort, so I'm not really on = the=20 side of the surreptitious screeners or the distributors. =20
 
That=20 said, I can't say I can completely agree with the "distributors are just = helping=20 out the filmmakers by collecting the money for them so they can pay = their rent=20 and make more fine films" perspective.  Yes, the groups in question = should=20 have paid the PP fees, because that's the law.  Distributors aren't = exactly=20 starving artists - they're businesses, and businesses exist to make=20 money.  What about the fees collected by distributors for = films where=20 the filmmakers are dead?  Those don't go to the poor filmmaker = described=20 below, or his composers, cinematographers, or actors, do they?  = (Forgive me=20 if I'm misspeaking here, I'm not well-versed on the fine points of=20 the money chain of the film distribution=20 industry.)
 
Like I=20 said, I'm not defending the poor little film society, nor accosting the = rich=20 greedy film distributor for collecting what's theirs to collect.  = I'm sort=20 of just playing devil's advocate, pointing out that it's probably not = often as=20 clear cut as described or that distributors always have such goodhearted = motivations when they seek to collect PPR fees.   Those=20 distributors on the list that differ, please accept my apologies, I = don't mean=20 to portray you as the bad guys at all.  (Dennis, I don't know that = I've=20 seen your words on how profitable distributors are, that may be prior to = my=20 videolib subscription, so again, I'm not speaking as informedly as some = others=20 could.  I actually tend to agree more with your perspective that = the=20 universities should be funding these screenings in the first place and = avoid the=20 whole problem.)
 
Marc=20 Tiar
Washoe=20 County Library
-----Original Message-----
From:=20 videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu=20 [mailto:videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu]On Behalf Of=20 MileFilms@aol.com
Sent: Thursday, February 09, 2006 7:32 = AM
To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
Subject: Re:=20 [Videolib] Illinois State University Copyright=20 Controversy


In a message dated = 2/8/06 4:57:35=20 PM, mbailey@carleton.edu writes:


To summarize briefly: A student film group at = Illinois=20 State 
University has received from New Yorker Films a bill = for=20 $8000 for 
past VHS and DVD screenings on campus for which = public=20 performance 
rights were not purchased. The film group feels = that=20 the screenings 
were part of the educational activities of = the=20 University; New Yorker 
begs to = differ.


I agree = with Jessica and=20 New Yorker with this. It's always posed as us (the poor little film = society)=20 versus the rich, greedy film distributor. We won't get into how = profitable=20 film distributors are -- I've expressed my viewpoints here before on = that=20 matter.

However, when you look at it as any institution with a=20 multi-million dollar endowment (who should be spending more on the = liberal and=20 fine arts, but that's besides the point) against a filmmaker who = depends on=20 his royalties to pay his rent (and we have MANY more of those than we = do=20 filmmakers with houses on the beach), it takes on a different = perspective.=20 That also doesn't even get into the fact that many of them are still = paying=20 their composers, cinematographers and actors from these royalties as=20 well.

I am sure that a filmmaker is totally glad for the "free" = exposure as he struggles to raise money to make his next = documentary.

I=20 noticed that the ISU film society has removed all past schedules from = the=20 websites, so I suspect they feel New Yorker and the other distributors = might=20 be right. So I hope this raises the issues at other campuses with = similar=20 situations.

Dennis Doros
Milestone Film & Video
PO = Box=20 128
Harrington Park, NJ 07640
Phone: (800) 603-1104 or (201)=20 767-3117
Fax: (201) 767-3035
Email: = milefilms@aol.com
Website:=20 http://www.milestonefilms.com

"Welcome to New=20 Jersey.
        Big Hair, = Big=20 Heart, Big=20 = Fun!"
          &nbs= p; -=20 Amy Heller
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