Re: [Videolib] VHS format

Jessica Rosner (jrosner@kino.com)
Mon, 18 Sep 2006 09:43:28 -0400

Personally I expect it will be several years possibly a decade before
You could not reasonably find a VHS player in the marketplace. There is just
Too much stuff on VHS for players not be around even if somewhat used

I guess my problem with this and the issue of dubbing titles that our lost
or stolen is that I do genuinely see this as taking advantage of rights
holders at least as far as feature films with known rights holders go
The basic premise seems to be, I bought a copy of OLD YELLER on VHS in 1992
And it has not yet made it to DVD but the copy was lost or damaged so I am
going to borrow one from another library and copy it on to DVD.
Ok this sounds extreme but it was it is being justified here and IF a studio
cared a rat's ass about it they would go to court and win but they have
bigger things on their mind. In the meantime small distributors like Kino
which from time to time work very hard to rescue films that fell through the
cracks ( Like the entire American Film Theater collection) face being
screwed. Yes I am sure everyone promises to replace a dub with a new copy
should it become available but in reality I can't count on that.

I think the bottom line is that I don't see why once purchasing a feature
film ( not some very rare independent film where you can't even find the
rights holder) entitles you to always have a copy. I don't recall that you
Get to make copies of books that get lost , damaged or stolen and are out of
print. As presented here from time to time it seems as if there would be an
INCENTIVE to "lose" a film because heck you could then justify dubing
another copy onto DVD.

I doubt this kind of thing is remotely wide spread but it is thought behind
that I find so disturbing.

On 9/18/06 8:31 AM, "clarkjc@jmu.edu" <clarkjc@jmu.edu> wrote:

> Folks,
>
> Regarding the obsolescence of the VHS format--so far as
> interpreting copyright law is concerned--one of the most
> important benchmarks, as with fair use factors, is in the
> commercial realm.
>
> I don't think any format can safely be considered "obsolete"
> until current model players are no longer available for sale
> in the marketplace. Note that this doesn't mean--as in the
> vague wording of sec. 108 for libraries, talking about "unused
> copies" of programming--that if you can still buy an
> old-stock, unused player (even if it's not a current year's
> model release) this counts toward not making the format obsolete.
>
> I just checked Circuit City. There are still offered about an
> even dozen models of VHS VCRs or combo players with VCRs.
>
> The sole manufacturer of the cassette carriage in VCRs has
> ceased production by now, I understand. So it won't be long
> before there are no new yearly models of players released.
> Then we'll start seriously talking about obsolete--instead of
> just inconvenient....
>
> Jeff
>
> ---- Original message ----
>> Date: Sun, 17 Sep 2006 16:36:05 -0400
>> From: jrosner@kino.com
>> Subject: Re: [Videolib] VHS format
>> To: videolib@lists.berkeley.edu
>>
>> I actually meant it in LEGAL terms in that there is no reason
>> for calling it "obsolete" as a justification for being able
> to dub
>> a VHS to DVD or other format in the Copyright section which gives
>> libraries some ability to preserve material which is damaged
> and can not
>> be replaced. There is in fact a specific defination but I
> can't look it
>> up at home right now but it has to do with the idea that
> there is basically
>> no equipment available on which to play the dying format. So
> while one
>> can certainly claim that old Beta format tape may be an
> obsolete format
>> I think it will a long time before you wont have equipment on
> which to
>> play a VHS
>>
>> As a practical matter it is very inconvenient but not dead format
>> Kino probably has at least 100 titles in VHS only. Our
> choices are
>> to keep them around in VHS or discontinue them completely because
>> we could not possibly justify the cost of making them
> available on DVD
>> We choose to keep them in print which is in fact somewhat
> unusual for
>> feature films. I think libaries should ALWAYS keep VHS copies
> of anything
>> they do not currently have in DVD as there are a LOT of
> titles that may
>> never make dvd
>>
>> Quoting Herownword@aol.com:
>>
>>> Jessica, I'm very intrigued with your comment that VHS is
> not an obsolete
>>> format and won't be for a long time. What's your evidence
> for/experience
>>> with
>>> this? Who is still using VHS? I recently (June '06)
> converted all 16 of my
>>>
>>> Women in Nontraditional Careers titles from VHS to DVD and
> am continuing to
>>> make the VHS format available (might as well, at least
> until my inventory is
>>>
>>> gone, was my original thinking). It's only been three
> months, but so far,
>>> given the choice, not one single customer has chosen VHS
> over DVD. Not one.
>>> I
>>> do still sell some VHS of my Women's History, Literature,
> & Art series that
>>> are still available only in VHS. I'm curious if you meant
> that preexisting
>>> VHS dubs will continue to be used until they wear out or
> that titles that
>>> are
>>> available only in VHS will still sell to reluctant
> customers who would
>>> really
>>> rather buy DVD if it were available or if you still see
> people who prefer
>>> VHS
>>> (and, if so, what their rationale is). Thanks for any
> insight and I'd love
>>> to hear from others on the list about this issue, too.
>>>
>>> Jocelyn Riley
>>> HerOwnWords.com
>>> NontraditionalCareers.com
>>
>>
>> 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.
>
> ===========
> Jeff Clark
> Director
> Media Resources MSC 1701
> James Madison University
> Harrisonburg VA 22807
> clarkjc@jmu.edu (email)
> 540-568-6770 (phone)
> 540-568-7037 (fax)
> 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.