From: Tony Conrad (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Feb 06 2006 - 23:49:25 PST
Thanks for some welcome clarity!
The situation is comparable in video, where rentals were from the first
pegged strangely high----clearly influenced by the unstated supposition
that anyone renting was mos' likely gonna run off a dub!
A comparable "system" prevails among media artists who swap their work
around informally (while selling "official" copies for a fortune)---so I
could take a look at (say) Cremaster 5 but would not "officially" be
able to show it to anybody.
These dualistic "systems" function dynamically, embodying two opposing
philosophies, with conflicting practices each of which is both
supportive of, and damaging to, the other. That there is a desirable
balance between the above-board system and the alternative system may
seem unthinkable, unfair, or unstable to the absolutist souls among
us------but (as David points out) our best option is to scream only when
the balance flies off too far in EITHER direction.
Quoting David Tetzlaff <email suppressed>:
> steve asked;
> > This always comes up---these places which rent films
> > and make unauthorized dupes... No one ever names the
> > culprits. Has anyone heard of a distributor taking any
> > sort of action against this or is this just some
> > sub-cultural "urban myth"?
> As i wrote recently here, this is not an urban myth in the sense that
> never happened, but may have taken on mythological qualities of
> exaggeration as i do not believe the practice continues to be
> since fewer film scholars have access to working film chains.
> re: lawyers
> Big universities may have lawyers (plural) but small colleges usually
> have one attorney. These lawyers, like most corporate lawyers see
> job as reducing the client's (read administration and trustees)
> 'exposure', and as such answer 'no' to almost any questions and are
> complete cowards when it comes to defending any of the legitimate
> rights of faculty (including the use of frame stills in research
> They will almost always instruct faculty to cave when any copyright
> says 'boo'.
> re: contracts
> I know CC has a list of rental conditions on their site (an
> 'agreement' if
> not a 'contract') that explicitly forbids any sort of copying and
> pretty sure fmc has the same. however, there would be several reasons
> the coops NOT to sue a school for violating said agreement:
> 1. the lawyers would cost them money they don't have, and the
> likely wouldn't yield either the coops, or more importantly the
> any money.
> 2. it's difficult to pursue civil suits across state lines. you need
> attorneys licensed to practice in both states.
> 3. since any schools that do any illicit taping are probably also
> the co-op's most frequent renters, unlike the riaa the co-ops are
> stupid and arrogant enough to attack their best customers
> 4. the co-ops may know that any academic pirates as may still be
> really do restrict the tapes for study fairly stringently, and the
> circulation is low enough to be a non-issue economically. dominic's
> complaint was about legit video copies cutting into rental numbers.
> 5. the co-ops may well be smart enough to know that the grad students
> view the crappy bootlegs today, and maybe even squirrel away a 2nd or
> generation copy of a favorite film or two, are there customers who
> will be
> renting films in the future. (i spend more of our budget in one
> renting films for the experimental class i teach than we spend on
> acquisitions for all the other classses we offer over a several year
> period combined.)
> [this btw is how the software industry works. officially all piracy
> unequivically denounced. but the industry knows kids use warez
> versions of
> maya and softimage to train themselves as animators, creating a
> and future professionals who _will_ by licenses once they start
> succesful because its easier than hassling with the piracy system
> because their careers depend on projecting legitimacy to their
> folks, bootlegs are one of the most common ways people outside of
> urban centers develop a lasting love for these odd little works of
> outsider art -- somebody initiates them into the world of
> film by showing them a crappy video they're not supposed to have.
> it's great for those who have endless passion, energy, time and
> grantwriting ability to dream the utopian dream of starting up a new
> screening series in tierra del fuego. i, for one, have no idea how
> beebe does it, what with teaching and writing and making his own
> maybe he's cloned himself. i do know that i am not him and i cannot
> that, nor can anyone else i know.
> i wish the purists on this list would just get over it, and realize
> art is always an open text, that different people find different
> things to
> value in it, and that a awful lot of people who care for experimental
> do so for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with the
> between video and film or between film formats or between good prints
> bad prints or good venues and crappy venues. it is arrogant to say
> least for the critic or even the maker to elevate their particular
> of a work to the form that _everyone_ must experience. (in politics
> call this 'fascism'). fred, who believes in the sanctity of light
> celuloid advocates that we pursue that experience by any means
> so we wait 20 years and travel hundreds of miles to catch the rare
> screening of that Markoupolous film. if that's your passion that's
> you should do. but please, people, stop telling me that your way of
> appreciating art is the _only_ correct way. some of us have other
> other perspectives, other agendas, which we too may choose to pursue
> any means necessary...
> and while i'm ranting, i might note that i can't recall anyone here
> explaining _why_ we should fetishize the artist's intent. it just
> asserted over and over. it's as if no one here seems to realize that
> new criticism to cultural studies to post-structuralism there have
> been a
> lot of strong arguments againt author-worship (if not against author
> existence altogether). in the academy, you generally have to refute
> opponent's argument with some sort of substance, and support your
> position with same. anybody up for trying to theorize obedience to
> artistic intent (as if we could always determine what that is
> anyway, post-duchamp...)
> diatribe out. (that's an American Idol joke, for the pop-cult
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.