[Videolib] History of PPR... College/University film societies?

From: Shoaf,Judith P <jshoaf@ufl.edu>
Date: Wed Nov 04 2009 - 06:03:12 PST

Thanks to Dennis and Jessica for enlightenment.

So: if one (library, university, distributor) bought a 16mm copy of a film (a bulky, fragile, expensive and expensive to reproduce item) one usually had not only fair/educational use rights but what is now PPR (the right to show it without charging an entrance fee). Thus the Alliance Francaise did not charge our film club for showing its copy of Beauty and the Beast in 1971, except probably postage.

Libraries which owned films could show the films in their own facilities and loan the films but not if admission was charged and possibly not to university groups or film societies. I wonder to what extent this was contractual and legal, and to what extent it was simply public library policy.

Distributors had the right to rent the films to anyone, including those who charged entrance fees. So even if an institution or person owned a copy of the film they could not sell tickets to see it (?).

This extended for the life of the physical object, at which point it would have to be replaced with a new copy (or perhaps the money would be spent on a different film, since film students/local audiences would have gotten tired of that one). A library or university which owned films would also need film repair equipment and projectors.

The distributors controlled the rental fees and would charge different rates for the same film depending on the type of showing. Presumably if young Martin Scorsese walked in to Janus to borrow The Red Shoes because he wanted to see it one more time, he was not charged too much. If a college club wanted to rent the same movie to show its members (and of course they WOULD card people because the membership fees determined how many movies they could rent), it would be more expensive (plus of course they had to pay for shipping). If a film society or whatever wanted to show it to the public for tickets sold at the door, it would cost more.

And, finally, there was a huge differential between what it cost to rent a recent "art film" for a campus showing and what it cost to rent Top Hat-or perhaps The Red Shoes.

I find it almost a pity that there wasn't something like the Kinko's case (or was there?) which would generate a popular understanding and support for the concept of PPR. It seems as though the home video situation is the equivalent of going from typing with carbon copies to xeroxing beautiful clear copies of whole books.

I know that classic films on VHS were often too obviously made by running a well-worn copy of the film with a videocamera pointed at it. So some people/businesses who owned 16mm reels of classic films felt that they had the right to profit from their original investment by making copies of it and selling them.


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.
Received on Wed Nov 4 06:04:17 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Apr 07 2010 - 15:16:25 PDT