This is a question I struggle with. In many instances, the agreement
to do the work includes a "no keep it" clause. That makes it simple.
When I was asked to digitize the Stan Rogers tapes, the producer
asked me if I kept copies, and I told him my general policy was to
only retain copies for 60-90 days after the client approved and
received the transfers, however in the case of Stan, he could be
certain that I would preserve these along with other important
"permanent" files. He seemed pleased.
I have retained digitized copies of all of the Jack Mullin and
related German tapes and provided limited distribution of one of the
recordings from the Pavek for the purpose of identifying the artists
involved. I have also provided a few clips to NPR when requested by
the person who helped arrange these tapes to be transferred and
originally curated them as part of the Ampex collection.
I also retain my masters that I actually record live (i.e. with
microphones) -- this goes back to tape masters from the 1970s. I am
actually slowly sending these back to the original clients or other
appropriate organization, sometimes with digitization thrown in, sometimes not.
But, as far as transfer work, I generally do not retain copies. My
clients are not paying me for long-term storage and I do not want to
be saddled with that responsibility--what happens when I kick the
bucket? I'm not really in a position to provide long-term storage and
I'm sure my insurance company would have a hissy fit if I offered it.
So, if I'm not getting paid for it, and I generally do not have any
long-term association with the clients (those that I do I keep during
the association), I delete them generally after 90 days. Big projects
may get deleted after 60 days, smaller projects, especially for
private clients, might stay around a bit longer.
With that said, I do have qualms about deleting copies of oral
histories that I have undertaken for small aboriginal bands around
Canada, as I'm not sure how well stored the CD/DVD copies will be,
so, for the time being, I'm holding onto these.
So, there are really no answers here, just a mutable set of
At 09:24 AM 2010-03-17, Steven Smolian wrote:
>This brings up an interesting point.
>Do other studios retain past work? If so, for how long? Should
>unique material make it the market or even to public access throgh
>posting, does this expose the studio to legal liability?
>----- Original Message ----- From: "Parker Dinkins" <[log in to unmask]>
>Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 8:48 AM
>Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] NPR reporter searching for news archive
>While I do have the original and processed audio on data b/u, the program
>>material belongs to MDAH.
>Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
>Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
>Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
>Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.