(no subject)

From: Wayne M. Smith <wmsmith_at_earthlink.net>
Date: Sat Jan 18 22:03:00 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.
There are some who would, but not enough to make it worth the expense.
As you know, I work for a company that is in this business and if we
thought for a moment that there was money in releasing high quality
versions of public domain titles where we own the original negatives
(and there is a long list of such titles where we do own those
negatives) then we would have done it yesterday. You are free to
disagree all you want, but this won't change the reality that companies
won't spend money to lose money, meaning that there are virtually no
remastered versions of public domain titles, and the quality of most of
what is out there will remain crap.

Received on Sat Jan 18 2003 - 22:03:00 GMT

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