RE: [Videolib] 1987 film "Chinese Ghost Story

Brewer, Michael (brewerm@u.library.arizona.edu)
Wed, 31 May 2006 10:31:07 -0700

Jessica,

I just wanted to bring this topic up, as it will be something that the
media field will need to know about in the coming years. The issues you
bring up are serious ones and I am not sure the law will address them
completely. I am just interested in how things will be sorted out in
those fuzzy areas. Your point especially about finding rights owners
for foreign titles. What will constitute "diligent" in this context?
As you mention, it may be impossible to once and for all determine a
film is an orphan, but my sense is that if a rights holder cannot be
located (after the "diligent" search), the work will be considered an
orphan unless a rights holder surfaces. One will not have to prove that
there is no rights holder, just show that one has searched
(appropriately, whatever that is) and come up empty.

I anticipate a lot of confusion over this for these types of works. For
example, if one is unable to ascertain who the REAL owner is among
several who claim ownership, could this constitute the work being an
"orphan" work? I don't have the answer here, but it seems that it would
relegate it to the same state of limbo "true" orphans are currently in.
I guess we'll have to wait and see how it all shakes out.

mb

Michael Brewer
Slavic Studies, German Studies & Media Arts Librarian
University of Arizona Library A210
1510 E. University
P.O. Box 210055
Tucson, AZ 85721
Voice: 520.307.2771
Fax: 520.621.9733
brewerm@u.library.arizona.edu

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-videolib@lists.berkeley.edu
[mailto:owner-videolib@lists.berkeley.edu] On Behalf Of Jessica Rosner
Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2006 3:39 PM
To: videolib@lists.berkeley.edu
Subject: Re: [Videolib] 1987 film "Chinese Ghost Story

I guess what I meant was that as a practical matter it is virtually
impossible to determine that any foreign film is an "orphan" in that the
research necessary for proving this would be infinitely more burdensome
than an American work and again I did correspond with the prime mover
behind
this legislation on another matter but he confirmed that this will have
very
little effect on FEATURE films save some independent ones.

Also this is far from being passed as it is and I suspect some even more
rigid restrictions will be added before it does.

There some irony in this discussion being started by CHINESE GHOST STORY
As Asian countries are notorious as hotbeds of piracy of both their own
and
foreign films and in which copyright protection is virtually non
existent

On 5/30/06 5:54 PM, "Brewer, Michael" <brewerm@u.library.arizona.edu>
wrote:

> Jessica,
>
> I agree that films will seldom be candidates for Orphan Works,
> especially if people do "diligent" searches. I just hope that that
term
> is really defined to keep people from cutting corners.
>
> I heard back from an international copyright specialist on this and
she
> mentions that, in the US, US law on orphan works will apply to all
> works, foreign and domestic.
>
> As for the research and scholarship limitation, that is for the
portion
> of section 108 that relates to works in their final 20 years of
> copyright protection (which, it seems, will largely be eclipsed by
> Orphan works).
>
> You bring up a good point about determining who, among many, holds the
> copyright. Orphan works won't help there. It seems those situations
> can only be worked out by the courts (if it ever gets that far), and
> that, unfortunately, means those films will more or less remain
> unavailable to most scholars.
>
> mb
>
> Michael Brewer
> Slavic Studies, German Studies & Media Arts Librarian
> University of Arizona Library A210
> 1510 E. University
> P.O. Box 210055
> Tucson, AZ 85721
> Voice: 520.307.2771
> Fax: 520.621.9733
> brewerm@u.library.arizona.edu
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-videolib@lists.berkeley.edu
> [mailto:owner-videolib@lists.berkeley.edu] On Behalf Of Jessica Rosner
> Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2006 1:54 PM
> To: videolib@lists.berkeley.edu
> Subject: Re: [Videolib] 1987 film "Chinese Ghost Story
>
> Well keep in mind that GATT supercedes US Copyright law and the
concept
> of
> Public Domain is virtually unheard of in Europe for instance so the
> likelihood of a feature film being without a rights holder in almost
non
> existent. The thing is you have lots an lots of messy legal issues
> involving
> say multiple parties claiming rights, bankruptcies etc which make
> getting
> PPR rights on many foreign films very, very difficult however it does
> NOT
> mean that the rights holders don't exist.
> My concern is someone thinking well Tai Seng is not being responsive
or
> MK2 did not answer our fax and therefore we exorcised due diligence in
> trying to clear this. Again at its BEST the Orphan Film work might
get
> you
> some limited access to American films almost entirely non feature
works
> that
> have fallen through the cracks but it is absolutely not intended to
> allow
> Public showings of foreign works
>
> I recently e mailed with one of the prime movers behind this on a
> related
> subject and he confirmed that it has little relevance to the vast
> majority
> Of feature films
>
>
> On 5/30/06 4:06 PM, "Brewer, Michael" <brewerm@u.library.arizona.edu>
> wrote:
>
>> Jessica,
>>
>> You bring up an interesting point, and one for which I don't have an
>> immediate answer. I had not thought about foreign works. There is
no
>> mention of this not applying to foreign works in any of the documents
> I
>> have read. My assumption, therefore, was that this would apply to
> uses
>> of works in the United States, regardless of country of origin, but
> I'll
>> have to check on this. This is pretty much how, for example, Fair
> Use,
>> or the TEACH Act, or section 108, or most other sections of US
> copyright
>> law works (an exception would be duration of copyright). I think
>> whether or not this would apply to foreign works would have more to
do
>> with whether or not they have signed Berne or some other
international
>> copyright agreement to which we also are a signatory.
>>
>> I'll look into this more and see what I can find.
>>
>> As for only applying to research, that, too, is not in the documents
I
>> have read. At the site for which I gave the previous URL, this is
the
>> stated purpose of the research into Orphan works in the first place:
>>
>> During 2005, the Copyright Office studied issues raised by "orphan
>> works"- copyrighted works whose owners may be impossible to identify
> and
>> locate. Concerns had been raised that the uncertainty surrounding
>> ownership of such works might needlessly discourage subsequent
> creators
>> and users from incorporating such works in new creative efforts, or
> from
>> making such works available to the public.
>>
>> I agree that most rights holders could be found were the search
> diligent
>> enough. I will be curious, though, to see how people (and the
courts)
>> define diligent.
>>
>> mb
>>
>> Michael Brewer
>> Slavic Studies, German Studies & Media Arts Librarian
>> University of Arizona Library A210
>> 1510 E. University
>> P.O. Box 210055
>> Tucson, AZ 85721
>> Voice: 520.307.2771
>> Fax: 520.621.9733
>> brewerm@u.library.arizona.edu
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: owner-videolib@lists.berkeley.edu
>> [mailto:owner-videolib@lists.berkeley.edu] On Behalf Of Jessica
Rosner
>> Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2006 10:42 AM
>> To: videolib@lists.berkeley.edu
>> Subject: Re: [Videolib] 1987 film "Chinese Ghost Story
>>
>> It would DEFINITELY not effect this film. The Orphan work can ONLY
> apply
>> to
>> American films and there is no question that this film has an owner
> and
>> a
>> very good high priced lawyer or researcher could track it down for
you
>> just
>> not worth the time and money
>>
>> The Orphan bill will have virtually no effect on feature films where
> you
>> can
>> With enough work find a rights holder 98% of the time. Also the
Orphan
>> work
>> is strictly copying for research etc and does NOT allow ANY public
>> showing
>> of a work. I think the main intent of the Orphan bill is to allow
>> indendent
>> films, short works, industrials etc better access for research etc.
>> Again
>> virtually no effect on feature films and none for films produced
> outside
>> the
>> US
>>
>>
>> On 5/30/06 1:12 PM, "Brewer, Michael" <brewerm@u.library.arizona.edu>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> All,
>>>
>>> I wonder what affect the Orphan Works bill, which is expected to be
>>> passed in some form by Congress and go into effect in 2008, will
have
>> on
>>> these sorts of situations. I think the key portion of it will be
>>> determining what constitutes a "good faith, reasonably diligent
>> search"
>>> for the copyright holder. My understanding of what is being
proposed
>> is
>>> that if this "reasonably diligent search" is done (however that may
> be
>>> defined), and a copyright holder is not found, then one can use the
>> work
>>> non-commercially without fear of any damages. If the use is ongoing,
>> and
>>> a copyright holder surfaces, "reasonable compensation" must be paid.
>>>
>>> There is more info on Orphan works here.
>>> http://www.copyright.gov/orphan/
>>>
>>> mb
>>>
>>> Michael Brewer
>>> Slavic Studies, German Studies & Media Arts Librarian
>>> University of Arizona Library A210
>>> 1510 E. University
>>> P.O. Box 210055
>>> Tucson, AZ 85721
>>> Voice: 520.307.2771
>>> Fax: 520.621.9733
>>> brewerm@u.library.arizona.edu
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: owner-videolib@lists.berkeley.edu
>>> [mailto:owner-videolib@lists.berkeley.edu] On Behalf Of Jessica
> Rosner
>>> Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2006 9:02 AM
>>> To: videolib@lists.berkeley.edu
>>> Subject: Re: [Videolib] 1987 film "Chinese Ghost Story
>>>
>>> If Tai Seng can't help , I doubt there is much you can do
>>> The Hong Kong titles are messy to say the least and you might
>>> Find 3 companies claiming to own it. I don't think anyone in the
>>> US could own it at this point and trying to untangle this in HK is
>> more
>>> trouble than it is worth
>>>
>>> FYI this is NOT an unusual situation for a foreign title
>>> There are thousands if not tens of thousands of titles where it is
>>> Difficult to impossible to get rights for a public showing which
does
>>> Not mean they are not protected , only that these rights are
>> considered
>>> So unimportant that they are rarely in the home video contracts
>> meaning
>>> You have to track the overseas rights holder to obtain them
>>>
>>>
>>> On 5/30/06 10:38 AM, "Rick Provine" <PROVINE@depauw.edu> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Howdy:
>>>>
>>>> One more try...
>>>>
>>>> We want to show the film, "Sinnui yauwan," (Chinese Ghost Story,
>> 1987)
>>>> for an arts festival next fall, and are seeking rights
>>>> holder/distributor info. The previous one (Tai Seng Entertainment)
>> no
>>>> longer has the rights.
>>>>
>>>> Jessica? Facets? Help!!!
>>>>
>>>> Thanks.
>>>>
>>>> Rick
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> _____________________________
>>>> Rick Provine
>>>> Director of Libraries
>>>> and Associate CIO for Library
>>>> & Information Services
>>>> DePauw University
>>>> 11 East Larabee Street
>>>> Greencastle, IN 46135
>>>> provine@depauw.edu
>>>> office 765-658-4435
>>>> mobile 765-301-0262
>>>> fax 765-658-4445
>>>>
>>>>>>> PROVINE@depauw.edu 5/26/2006 1:29 PM >>>
>>>> Greetings, Folks:
>>>>
>>>> Anyone know who currently has PPR for the 1987 film, "Chinese Ghost
>>>> Story?"
>>>>
>>>> Thanks!
>>>>
>>>> Rick
>>>>
>>>> VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion
of
>>>> issues relating to the selection, evaluation,
>>> acquisition,bibliographic
>>>> control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video
formats
>>> in
>>>> libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will
>>> serve
>>>> as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a
>>> channel
>>>> of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and
>> video
>>>> producers and distributors.
>>>> VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion
of
>>> issues
>>>> relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic
>>> control,
>>>> preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in
>>> libraries and
>>>> related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an
>>> effective
>>>> working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of
>>> communication
>>>> between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and
>>>> distributors.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> 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 is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of
>>> issues relating to the selection, evaluation,
>> acquisition,bibliographic
>>> control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats
>> in
>>> libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will
>> serve
>>> as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a
>> channel
>>> of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and
> video
>>> producers and distributors.
>>>
>>> VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of
>> issues
>>> relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic
>> control,
>>> preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in
>> libraries and
>>> related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an
>> effective
>>> working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of
>> communication
>>> between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and
>>> distributors.
>>
>>
>>
>> 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 is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of
>> issues relating to the selection, evaluation,
> acquisition,bibliographic
>> control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats
> in
>> libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will
> serve
>> as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a
> channel
>> of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and
video
>> producers and distributors.
>>
>> VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of
> issues
>> relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic
> control,
>> preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in
> libraries and
>> related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an
> effective
>> working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of
> communication
>> between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and
>> distributors.
>
>
>
> 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 is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of
> issues relating to the selection, evaluation,
acquisition,bibliographic
> control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats
in
> libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will
serve
> as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a
channel
> of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and video
> producers and distributors.
>
> VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of
issues
> relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic
control,
> preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in
libraries and
> related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an
effective
> working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of
communication
> between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and
> distributors.

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 is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of
issues relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic
control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in
libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve
as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel
of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and video
producers and distributors.

VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of issues relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and distributors.