@Jeremy Smith,

While I do share sympathies with the loss of cultural objects. I have to
ask: ** was this really an archive or was it an institutional repository?**
Preservation activities happen at both types of institutions, however
institutional repositories are designed to further the good of their owning
organization. In this case the owner was not an institution of government
and was therefore not responsible to anyone but the owners of the company!
(And if it was a publicly traded company then the fiduciary responsibility
is not to the preservation of the materials, but the the financial well
being of the shareholders.)  While such a tragedy (as this fire) will
certainly have a have an impact on US and global cultural heritage
preservation, we need to be careful also to not leverage this situation to
lobby for a restriction on the the freedoms that are common across the USA
with regards to data management, and historical preservation of corporate

We must remain aware that there are differing opinions about what is
actually "public good", and also freedoms to enjoy the rights of ownership.
I see a great need to endorse a certificate of "compliance with management
best practices in the Preservation Industry".

Let's also not forget that even though these objects were "archived", few
of us or the general american public would have had the opportunity to
listen or view them. These are not public treasures. The value of these
objects are likely more valuable on an insurance policy than they ever were
on a shelf from the perspective a company's asset books.

- Hugh Paterson III

On Thu, Jun 27, 2019 at 12:54 PM Jeremy Smith <[log in to unmask]>

> As I was reading this follow up article, I kept thinking: where are the
> “good archivists”? Although I am not a member of ARSC, so I don’t have a
> huge amount of leverage here, it seems to me that while the spotlight is on
> this issue, it would really behoove the organization to take this
> opportunity to make a public statement criticising UMG’s practices before
> and after the fire and to illustrate best practices around the preservation
> of our cultural music heritage. It seems that an opportunity to reach a
> large mass audience with these issues will rarely come again. I’m sure Jody
> Rosen, the author of these articles, would be responsive.
> Jeremy
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> On Jun 27, 2019, at 12:00 AM, ARSCLIST automatic digest system <
> [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
> Date:    Wed, 26 Jun 2019 01:44:54 -0400
> From:    Jeff Willens <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
> Subject: New UMG fire follow up
> ------------------------------