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 @ 4:29pm

    How many of you are saving/documenting everything you've created?

    I'll bet none of you is saving every photo you've taken, every video you've shot, everything you have ever written.

    Now let's say there are companies that aren't bothering to save what they have created.

    And let's say consumers aren't bothering to save whatever copies they might have made of those products, particularly if the copies are starting to rot.

    So over the course of 100 years, you discover that something that was available at one point has not been saved by anyone. That's what has happened with certain cultural artifacts. Buildings haven't been saved. Products haven't been saved. Meeting notes haven't been saved. Films and videos haven't been saved.

    There are products that were mass produced that have more or less disappeared because no one bothered to save them. Maybe we have pictures of them, if we are lucky, but think of all the stuff produced in the 19th and 20th centuries that are gone, not because people were prevented from making copies, but because no one thought the copies were worth saving. They took up space. They required maintenance. They wore out. They fell out of favor or became a political liability so people destroyed them.

    Saving history is a complex issue.

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