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. icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), 15 Sep 2010 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Preservation is costly

    No, without copyright issues, there would likely be many more copies of films in much better conditions out there in the wild, making the elaborate effort to restore and preserve that single copy we have left a moot point.

    But that's what I am trying to say. The old copies were unstable. Even if there had been 1000s of copies, they weren't being kept, or they weren't being kept well. These were fragile items and also more useful when they were recycled, so the idea that they should have been saved for generations wasn't the norm.

    It's a bit like saying that if there weren't copyright issues, we'd have multiple copies of your home photos. People just didn't save them.

    It was more of a technology issue than a copyright issue why the films weren't preserved. Same with old TV shows. The producers saw them as live shows with no replay value. There are exceptions, like the Lucy shows, but most early TV shows are gone.

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