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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    xs (profile), 15 Sep 2010 @ 2:52pm

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

    If those people made their home movies and then somehow allowed other people to make copies, they probably wouldn't be lost.

    If you father had let his personal papers's content be known to the public and allowed people to copy them, as he was accruing them, then you wouldn't have to worry about archiving it after his death. Copies of his papers would have already been out there.

    Although these are unlikely scenario because of privacy and other personal reasons, the concept is the same. If you allow people to copy your work from the beginning, it's more likely than not that you can find a copy out there when your original was destroyed.

    Going back to the original story, had movie studios not destroyed all but the few copies of movies left for archive purposes, it would have been more likely than not that we would find a copy of a particular film out there in better shape. Thus making expensive restoration unnecessary.

    And why was there only a few copies left? Copyright holders don't want the material spread around, so they recovered them all. Why were most destroyed? Because copyright holders have no need for hundreds of copies of the same thing. Why are they in bad shape? Because copyright holders, by themselves, can't find enough economic use for the old copy, and thus don't have the economic incentive to maintain them properly.

    Hope you can see the point, finally.

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