I am in total agreement with Tom. While I contribute to ARSC, I would contribute substantially more if I knew that a requirement for any grants would be that the recipient provide a reasonable methodology for obtaining permission for off site access to what is being preserved.
Similarly, it has always bothered me that our tax payer dollars are being used to preserve recordings which are the assets of other organizations, especially when, as a tax payer, I cannot expect reasonable access to what is being preserved. Yes, I understand the copyrights.

    On Monday, December 14, 2015 4:54 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

 Hi Nathan:

Thanks to you and Suzanne for this information.

I personally am not interested in contributing to "closed access" restoration projects, but perhaps 
others are. I don't see a lot of sense in contributing to preserve archival audio unless one of the 
purposes of preservation is mass availability, preferably no-cost mass availability. Since the world 
is not perfect and copyright laws are Draconian, I don't mind if a grant-funded project is destined 
for market-price commercial release. But I don't believe that ARSC should contribute funds to 
preserve audio that just sits in a digital vault rather than an analog vault. Also, as we've 
discussed ad nauseum on this list, the BEST digital preservation strategy is many copies in many 
places, ie mass availability.

One man's opinions ...

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Nathan Georgitis" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2015 5:23 PM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] ARSC preservation grants and dissemination of recordings

Posted on behalf of Suzanne Flandreau, Chair, ARSC Grants Committee



This reply is for Tom Fine and anyone else who is wondering why the recordings ARSC preserves are 
not freely available online.

Unfortunately, ARSC does not have final control over the dissemination of the preservation 
recordings, especially online dissemination. That is up to the organizations we fund, because they 
have the best knowledge of the circumstances in which the recordings were originally made, and of 
the legal issues involved.

There are two major obstacles that keep digital preservation copies from being universally available 
on the internet. The first obstacle is copyright. Nearly every piece of music performed is under 
some form of rights restriction, and clearing rights, usually involving licensing, is cumbersome and 

The second obstacle is the contractual agreements performing organizations make with musicians, 
which usually cover recordings and broadcasts and may require that musicians be compensated for any 
later use of a performance. For the recordings preserved, the contracts were negotiated long before 
the Internet. There were no provisions for online access.  The organizations must abide by the 
existing contracts.

We wish that all the projects we fund could be broadly available.  ARSC recommends that copies be 
placed in multiple trusted repositories, providing multiple places for on-site research use.  But 
the organizations we assist, particularly the orchestras, would not even apply for preservation 
grants if we required universal online access, because they could not meet the requirement.

Isn't it best, given legal and contractual restrictions, to preserve at-risk recordings even if 
access to them can't be universal?

Suzanne Flandreau

Chair, ARSC Grants Committee


Grant guidelines:


Nathan Georgitis
Executive Director, Association for Recorded Sound Collections
1299 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403
[log in to unmask] | 541-346-1852