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
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2010 @ 11:45pm

    Deliberate Destruction

    It is not just hungry bugs that are destroying the film heritage. Movie studios like to keep all film copies under their control. Then when some film is approaching the date when it would fall into the public domain, they deliberately destroy it. If asked, they would claim to be just having a cleanup and tidying their shelves. The real reason is that they do not want any old stuff competing with their paid offerings.

    The only way of fixing that problem is for Congress to write into copyright law that a best-quality copy must be deposited with an official film archive as soon as copyright is granted. If there is no deposit or it is not the best possible quality -- no copyright. The archive must check, independently and skeptically.

    Seriously, what are the chances of Congress being that smart?

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