As outsourcing and privatization marches unchallenged through our public
realm, when will the LOC itself be put on the auction block?
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Karl Miller
Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 9:50 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] CBS News on LOC efforts to preserve video history
From: Tom Fine <tflists@BEVERAG
From: Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 4:57 PM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] CBS News on LOC efforts to preserve video history
If the taxpayer is to pay for preserving these items, there should be
universal access to them!
-- Tom Fine
I agree. As I wrote some years
Libraries are often expected to preserve recordings in which the content of
the recording is owned by another organization. Consider the broadcast
recordings held in the Library of Congress. Public money is being used to
preserve and maintain the assets of organizations like the Boston Symphony.
However, libraries, subject to the copyrights, rarely have the right to
provide reasonable access to the public.
Some of these recordings feature unpublished concert performances, of
substantive historic importance, by our nation's most significant musical
organization. Under the copyrights, the ownership of the audio of these
recordings most likely resides with the performing organization. Since the
library does not own the content of these recordings, they must limit access
to on-site listening. As a researcher, because I do not have the financial
resources to travel to a library that holds such a unique recording, I am
not able to study it. I have written many organizations including the Boston
and National Symphonies and, even with the offer of paying money, been
refused permission to obtain a copy of a live performance I needed for
study. Further, even if I did have the resources to travel to the holding
library, without permission for a copy, I would not be able to share the
recording with my students. What good is preserving history when it cannot
be reasonably accessed for research, or used in the process of teaching?
History belongs to the people. If we believe there is history to be found in
recorded sound, we must provide a means of making it reasonably available.
Unless there are matters of national security or propriety involved, the
public should be provided reasonable access to intellectual property held
and preserved in our publicly funded institutions. It is not unreasonable to
argue this point under the notion of eminent domain. The rights of ownership
need to be balanced with the public's right to reasonable access. There must
be some changes to our copyrights, which address these issues.