Re: UbuWeb: Bad for Business!

From: Mike Rollo (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Jun 10 2008 - 13:46:55 PDT

Mike Rollo

--- On Tue, 6/10/08, MARLON GONZALEZ <email suppressed> wrote:
From: MARLON GONZALEZ <email suppressed>
Subject: Re: UbuWeb: Bad for Business!
To: email suppressed
Received: Tuesday, June 10, 2008, 3:53 PM

I agree with the both of you and I don't want to sound rude either but what
about youtube? Don't people put all kinds of things up without permission
there as well? I know I've seen Maya Deren's films there (I already
had the DVD's- If you want the best quality you still have to pay for it
right?). No matter what people will always "swap tapes". Can you
really stop everyone?
> Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2008 20:11:18 +0100
> From: email suppressed
> Subject: Re: UbuWeb: Bad for Business!
> To: email suppressed
> I'm sorry I dont want to be rude or anything, i fully agree with your
> post and attitute, but what kind of industry are you talking about
> exactly? Is there such thing as an industry involving experimental
> films? I'm not aware of any artist being able or was able to earn
> enough money to make ends meet just making films, am I wrong here? You
> could say it is bad for your business and for the 3 or 4 labels that
> dedicate themselves to release experimental films. But that is hardly
> an industry at all. Quoting Ken jacobs from some interview I do not
> remember anymore and probably not by these exact words: 'What I love
> in this, is no matter how famous you are, you are never able to make
> it your livelihood'.
> You can stop UBUWeb, take it down, but other places will appear.
> Bittorrent sites like The Pirate Bay are unstoppable even by Hollywood
> and the swedish police and the MPAA combined.
> Dont take this as an attack of any kind please, i'm just stating what
I think.
> I'm not offering any solutions because that would be pedantic of me, i
> dont have any. While before the internt people swapped bootlegs under
> the table they now put it on the internet. And ubu just grabbes it of
> Emule and such places and puts it up there. They are not the people
> that made the copies, they just "found" them on the internet.
> Just my thoughts, please dont eat me alive.
> love,
> j.
> 2008/6/10 Joel S Bachar :
>> Dear Frameworkers and Directors of the Board of UbuWeb:
>> We would like to address some serious concerns of ours and the
>> artists/labels/distributors we represent in regards to the practices
>> UbuWeb, and some of the opinions posted about it on this Listserv.
>> The recent threads have shifted to the quality of online viewing which
>> would not like to address here as this is another issue.
>> We feel that some of UbuWeb's practices are illegal and unethical
and we
>> intend to make every effort to protect our business and the property
of our
>> company and/or the artists and company's we represent should we
see such
>> practices occurring.
>> Let's begin by quoting a question direct from the UbuWeb's
>> Q: "Can I use something posted on UbuWeb on my site, in a paper,
in a
>> project, etc.?"
>> A: Sure. We post many things without permission; we also post many
>> things with permission. We therefore give you permission to take what
>> like even though in many cases, we have no received permission to post
>> We went ahead and did it anyway. You should too.
>> Source:
>> It is unfathomable to us that the Board of Directors as well as the
>> Partners of UbuWeb, including the institutions that fund and support
>> website, find this an acceptable practice! This has nothing to do with
>> Creative Commons or Copyleft or Fair Use - this is outright
infringement of
>> copyright and theft and this type of practice is a direct threat to
>> business and livelihood and thus the livelhood of the hundreds of
artists we
>> represent.
>> One direct example are the films of Maya Deren. We are the exclusive
>> American DVD distributor of her collected films and the film The
>> Horsemen, through an agreement with the label, Mystic Fire Video.
>> Fire has been informed of this and is not in agreement with these
>> being made available on UbuWeb.
>> Other infractions have been found in relation to the short films of
Man Ray
>> and Un Chien Andalou. In all of these cases, these films are readily
>> available on DVD for reasonable prices - both for retail and
>> PPR. In addition our company as well as many other are spending time,
>> and resources to develop quality streaming solutions for these
>> films.
>> We agree with UbuWeb's lamentation that many works are only
>> through distribution via prohibitive pricing but we do not agree that
>> answer is to simply flout the system. This ignores the fact that many
>> distributors are adjusting the changing marketplace and other new
>> are developing new ways to do legal business.
>> We have every intention of doing a thorough search on an ongoing basis
>> UbuWeb for any film (s) that we distribute and we encourage others to
do so
>> and take the appropriate action - which is to have these films taken
>> unless proper permissions are given. In addition - the Presidents of
>> Universities where the UbuWeb Board Members work and their respective
>> General Counsels should be made aware of the practices their faculty
>> are supporting. The IRS should also be informed as the UbuWeb
>> should have its 501 c 3 status revoked.
>> I guess this will earn us a nice spot on UbuWeb's self-righteous
Hall of
>> Shame. (Doctorow's light essay is about HIS decision to give HIS
work away
>> by the way...) Maybe you should get permission to give work away.
>> A lot of our time and energy and resources is spent researching
>> negotiating contracts, selling and marketing and promoting
filmmaker's works
>> and paying royalties. Most of the time this work is done in
>> with the rights holders. We are not getting rich off of this but it
is our
>> livelihood and we like to think that we are providing a service to the
>> filmmakers and the industry.
>> We do not have the luxury of having a paid position and then moonlight
>> steal copyright protected material under the loose veil of academia or
>> yet 501 c 3 status.
>> We assume the reactions to all this would be different if Ubu was part
of a
>> for-profit company like Google or owned by a company incorporated in a
>> that has lax copyright laws.
>> One Frameworker asked about UbuWeb:
>> "Does the economy of this kind of work mean ubuweb's
"grab and post"
>> attitude is the only way such a comprehensive archive could come into
>> existence? "
>> Our answer:
>> Not necessarily - there are many movements afoot in the industry which
>> going in the direction of providing better and cheaper access for
>> all..whether it be by commercial or legitimate non-profit means. Our
>> is that it will be a balance of private, public, and 501 c 3 concerns
>> find some way to communicate.
>> But the continued weak reaction of our industry for illegal activities
>> make the case for this stronger as time goes by. Grab and post is not
>> "attitude" it is a self serving philosophy. New web
technology and changing
>> consumer, copyright owner's attitudes are changing and the day
will come
>> when a legal Ubu-web type entity will exist in harmony with all
>> interests..our company is working towards that goal.but when we see
>> companies like Ubuweb (with respectable board members??) walk all over
>> artists and copryright holders whilst philosophizing - it makes us
>> Like them or not there are copyright laws in this country that equate
>> intellectual property to physical property.
>> If we could steal gasoline with impunity right now we would start a
>> successful airline - that would benefit society and stop us all from
>> to pay such outrageous prices for air travel and remedy terrible
>> Next I will start stealing wheat. Then electricity.
>> We ask that UbuWeb's Board of Directors, content partners,
filmmakers and
>> all of you on Frameworks and in any media-making community begin take
>> hard look at these practices and think twice about being involved with
>> and/or endorsing them in anyway.
>> UbuWeb Board of Directors:
>> Joel S. Bachar and Patrick Kwiatkowski, Founders of Microcinema
>> Int'l/Microcinema DVD
>> 1636 Bush Street, #2, San Francisco, CA 94109
>> (415) 447-9750
>> __________________________________________________________________
>> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at .
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at .
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