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ARSCLIST  July 2013

ARSCLIST July 2013

Subject:

Libaries/Fw: [ARSCLIST] Folk Music in America

From:

Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 3 Jul 2013 09:50:47 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (113 lines)

Karl's got his e-mail set so reply-to goes to him and not ARSC, so this never made the list 
yesterday ...

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
To: "Karl Miller" <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, July 02, 2013 7:57 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Folk Music in America


> Hi Karl:
>
> It's nice to be a stickler for legal technicalities, but here's how it works on the ground, as 
> observed by me over a decade of borrowing music CDs from the Westchester County NY Library System.
>
> A popular CD seems to have a life of less than a year in circulation before it gets scratched so 
> badly that it is not playable (or rippable with most CDRW drives, so as to make a playable CDR 
> copy). Since it is a popular CD, it is likely to still be in print, and a library is likely to be 
> demanded by patrons to replace it, so it gets replaced.
>
> A more "obscure" CD like most classical recordings (NOT The Three Tenors or the latest "Bach for 
> Babies by Bieber" crossover hit) will last several or more years before it, too, gets too 
> scratched to play well in most players. This also applies to "obscure" jazz CDs (ie pretty much 
> all the good jazz but not "1-percenter lawn-party music" CDs). Eventually, I and others might 
> complain to enough people that a CD gets slated for replacement. But, by then, in all too many 
> cases, it's out of print! It CAN'T be replaced!
>
> Add to that short-sighted policies by libraries -- I see CDs that I know are out of print in the 
> $1 sale bins. In a few cases, because I know that there are one or two circulated copies and both 
> are scratched beyond playability, I've bought the playable CD for a dollar and sent it to the 
> library holding the unplayable one. In all cases, I have been thanked and I do know that the $1 
> CDs were put into circulation and the unplayable discs retired. I've asked -- why doesn't every 
> library (ALL OF WHICH HAVE BARCODE SCANNERS BUILT INTO EVERY TERMINAL) scan all the donated CDs 
> that get dropped off for the book-sale table to make sure there are good copies in the system's 
> libraries, and why don't libraries keep a centralized "want list" to replace scratched CDs. The 
> nutshell answer is poor organization and territory pee-matches.
>
> So, if I were running a library and I knew patrons liked and used my CDs and DVDs, I'd damn well 
> be testing the very edge of fair-use. I wouldn't circulate any original discs because experience 
> says they will all get destroyed and be non-replaceable, eventually.
>
> By the way, I'd also train librarians how to check and assess condition of returned media and fine 
> patrons who misuse the discs. And I'd FORBID libraries from sticking barcodes, "protective" sheets 
> or other stickers onto discs. Basically, circulating an unplayable CD or DVD is dysfunctional, 
> unhelpful and downright rude to the taxpayers who subsidize the library.
>
> -- Tom Fine
>
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Karl Miller" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, July 02, 2013 6:46 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Folk Music in America
>
>
>> ________________________________
>> From: Tom Fine <tflists@BEV
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ________________________________
>> From: Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Sent: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 3:53 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Folk Music in America
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> I keep telling my local library -- study up on fair use and don't be afraid to assert your 
>> rights. It's a good time to figure out the boundaries because I highly doubt a megaglomerate or 
>> their RIAA lapdogs would go after a local library for anything but horrible abuse of fair-use. 
>> The negative publicity would be considerable so the legal precedent would need to be worth it.
>>
>>
>> *********************
>> Tom,
>>
>> I think it has to do with what side of the fence you are on. I think much of the copyright law is 
>> irrational. As an individual...as I have written before...I try to fly below the radar. Yet, with 
>> my record label, I go by the book. As a librarian, I went by the book, even when my superiors 
>> thought I was being too strict in my interpretation of the law. However, shortly after I raised 
>> my concerns, our University was threatened by a class action suit for copyright violation...it 
>> had to do with a choral director who was making photocopies of music and then taking his music 
>> budget for "other" purchases. As a result, the University said it would not support you if you 
>> were in violation of copyright. Well...as I pointed out in a previous note, at the time of my 
>> employ, I had been put in a position of having to supervise staff who were making illegal copies 
>> of discs. It was that photocopy situation that eventually forced the library administration to 
>> forward my
>> concerns to the Office of General Counsel at the University.
>>
>> Yet, there are...or at least were...ways around some aspects of the law. For example, at least at 
>> one time, it was legal for a library to have an unsupervised dubbing facility on site, just as 
>> one could have a photocopy machine in a library. Perhaps the law was changed? It placed the 
>> liability on the shoulders of the library patron. True, some materials could have been deposited 
>> with the proviso that they could not be auditioned in any way which would allow for illegal 
>> copying.
>>
>> I am also reminded of a discussion I once had with Gerry Gibson at Library of Congress. I asked 
>> him about accepting collections where individuals might have recorded broadcasts. Strictly 
>> speaking, the ownership of the broadcast could be questioned...both the individual's right to 
>> have recorded and keep the broadcast, and the library accepting and holding such material. As 
>> Gerry said to me, "for God's sake keep the stuff." I cannot tell you how many times I accepted 
>> donations of in house and broadcast recordings which had been refused by other libraries. Some of 
>> the material I did accept eventually made its way (with the permission of the appropriate 
>> estates) to releases on Pearl and Arbiter.
>>
>> Karl
>>
>>
> 

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