(no subject)

From: Sellam Ismail <foo_at_siconic.com>
Date: Sat Jan 18 11:42:00 2003

On Sat, 18 Jan 2003, Wayne M. Smith wrote:

> Often it simply isn't worth it to build upon something unless you enjoy
> exclusive rights. The restoration of old films is a good example. The
> studios that hold copyrights to old pictures spend huge amounts of money
> to restore the prints for issue in DVD format precisely because they
> hold exclusive rights and can make back what they spend. In the case of
> public domain films, this simply doesn't happen. As a result, you cannot
> obtain a decent quality copy of most public domain films because no one
> is willing to spend money on remastering when the public domain
> distributors are selling the film for $6.99 or less a pop. If you want
> an example, go on Amazon and read the DVD reviews for "Royal Wedding" a
> 1951 Fred Astaire/Jane Powell film that went public domain in 1979 when
> MGM neglected to renew the copyright.

I disagree. I am certain there are many people who would prefer to pay
more for a higher quality edition of the same movie. I know I would.

And in fact, a concrete example would be VHS vs. DVD. DVD's cost more
than VHS tapes with the same content. Of course you get a little more
content with the DVD, but that's part of the premium.

So I wholly disagree with the MPAA's argument that copyrighted works would
suffer if they fell into the public domain, as I heard the other day on
the radio.

Look at us: we're a bunch of stupid hobbyists holding on to old computers.
Not only that, we clean them up, fix them up, keep the software running,
make archival copies of it, scan in old documentation, spending countless
hours and dollars on it. And for what? Because we appreciate them.

The same could/would go for any creative work that falls into the public
domain. Unless it's complete crap (and deserves to die) someone with a
passion for it will keep it alive, and do a good job of it.

Sellam Ismail Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger http://www.vintage.org

 * Old computing resources for business and academia at www.VintageTech.com *
Received on Sat Jan 18 2003 - 11:42:00 GMT

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