Re: censorship of Farocki's film

Dennis Welker (
Thu, 24 Sep 1998 09:51:25 -0600

I think this is an interesting discussion. Can it really be considered
censorship to refuse to duplicate a film that violates the company"s
standards? This is to say that the company is simply there to do
everything that you bid them to do. Considering it from the point of view
of the lab, isn't it like saying they have no right to set their own
standards? I think to simply argue that the material doesn't violate your
standards does not obligate them.

It seems to me that if this argument is valid, then no company who provides
similar services has a right to refuse work they deem inappropriate just
because the client wants it done. There seems to be no obligatory
relationship here. It may be to their financial benefit (from your point of
view) to accept the job, but insistence to go against their standards may
lose other business and certainly doesn't say very much about the client.
They don't seem to be preventing the duplication, only saying they won't
take the job. As far as I can see, they have no legal or moral obligation
to take your job. They do however, have a moral obligation to abide by
their standards.

To label this as censorship attaches a legal stance to their refusal. To go
against their company's standards/policies would destroy their integrity
and may have negative repercussions on their business. I certainly hope
they do not succumb to threats. In a country where there is little moral
conscience from the White house down, I applaud them for maintaining their

It is their choice to refuse your job, not censorship. You have other
legal choices to get the film duplicated, which may not be as convenient,
but certainly are available.
Dennis L. Welker
Faculty Services Coordinator
Brigham Young University
Media Services
251 Fletcher Building
Provo, Utah 84606
Ph: (801) 378-6781
Fax: (801) 378-5265