Film Archives Being Eaten Away; Would Be Nice If People Could Make Copies To Preserve

from the but-would-that-be-'theft'? dept

Sneeje points us to a recent BBC article about how many old films are being literally eaten up by fungus, such that important elements of our history are being deleted via the "archival" process. Of course, if this content was digitized and allowed to be shared, this wouldn't be a problem, as there would be more and more copies available, rather than relying on a single point of failure made up of film with a gel coating that happens to be "ideal food for fungi like Aspergillus and Penicillium."

Filed Under: film, fungi

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  1. identicon
    Pedro Vasconcellos, 15 Sep 2010 @ 12:10am

    The economics don't favor it

    The answer is simpler than a conspiracy theory or the situation of the rights. It's simply not cost effective.

    I've looked into the issue myself and the consensus is that investing in generalized digitization has a negative return (in other words, even with VOD and whatever you think about, you will never monetize it enough to pay for the digitization costs).

    That is why all major film digitization/preservation efforts have somehow been funded with tax-payers' money - CCTV in China, BBC in the UK and so on.

    Of course, one could cherry pick what is worth preserving and what is not, but if the choice is left for the rights owners, they will obviously choose only the valuable material - and not necessarily what is historically relevant.

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