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