Re: Personal copies of videos on reserve

Gary Handman (ghandman@library.berkeley.edu)
Wed, 28 Oct 1998 13:15:07 -0700

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Sorry if you took exception to the tone Carolyn. I have a genetic
propensity to snideness, I fear. My comments weren't particularly
addressed to your company specifically--they were, in fact, aimed at the
general practice of many distributors of parading higher prices under the
mantle of public performance. The fact is that academic libraries such as
mine are often among the only institutions still willing (or able) to shell
out several hundred dollars for quality videos (tell me if I wrong, public
library colleagues out there). We do this willingly, knowing that the
unfortunate economics of independent filmmaking in the country frequently
demand these types of prices. I am in complete sympathy with the plight of
indie filmmakers and film distributors. What I do resent, however, is the
notion that I must pay for something that, under the law, is my right (one
of the very few granted to me under the copyright law): the right to use
copyrighted materials in teaching. This may be a matter of semantics, or
maybe not. If you want to flatly charge higher prices to institutions than
individuals because you feel your market demands it, that's your commercial
prerogative...those of us who have been in this business for awhile have
come to expect such. But please, let's get our signals straight on what's
going on here.

There are fairly few librarians or educators who "do" film and video as a
regular part of their jobs, although they may be occasional video buyers
and users. In teaching video librarianship around the country, it has
become clear to me that these folks are often completely at sea about a)
the workings of the video distribution marketplace b) the means of locating
materials c) copyright and other intellectual property issues attached to
video. It seems to me incumbent on the sellers of quality product to help
steer potential buyers of this sort right...that includes playing straight
about the content and playing straight about rights to use this content in
various contexts.

Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
510-643-8566
ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC

"You are looking into the mind of home video. It is innocent, it is aimless,
it is determined, it is real" --Don DeLillo, Underworld
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Sorry if you took exception to the tone Carolyn. I have a genetic
propensity to snideness, I fear. My comments weren't particularly
addressed to your company specifically--they were, in fact, aimed at
the general practice of many distributors of parading higher prices
under the mantle of public performance. The fact is that academic
libraries such as mine are often among the only institutions still
willing (or able) to shell out several hundred dollars for quality
videos (tell me if I wrong, public library colleagues out there). We
do this willingly, knowing that the unfortunate economics of
independent filmmaking in the country frequently demand these types of
prices. I am in complete sympathy with the plight of indie filmmakers
and film distributors. What I <underline>do</underline> resent,
however, is the notion that I must pay for something that, under the
law, is my right (one of the very few granted to me under the copyright
law): the right to use copyrighted materials in teaching. This may be
a matter of semantics, or maybe not. If you want to flatly charge
higher prices to institutions than individuals because you feel your
market demands it, that's your commercial prerogative...those of us who
have been in this business for awhile have come to expect such. But
please, let's get our signals straight on what's going on here.

There are fairly few librarians or educators who "do" film and video as
a regular part of their jobs, although they may be occasional video
buyers and users. In teaching video librarianship around the country,
it has become clear to me that these folks are often completely at sea
about a) the workings of the video distribution marketplace b) the
means of locating materials c) copyright and other intellectual
property issues attached to video. It seems to me incumbent on the
sellers of quality product to help steer potential buyers of this sort
right...that includes playing straight about the content and playing
straight about rights to use this content in various contexts.

<color><param>1E1E,1B1B,1B1B</param>

Gary Handman

Director

Media Resources Center

Moffitt Library

UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000

510-643-8566

ghandman@library.berkeley.edu

http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC

</color><color><param>FFFF,0000,0000</param>"You are looking into the mind of home video. It is innocent, it is aimless,

it is determined, it is real" --Don DeLillo, Underworld</color>

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