From: Zev Robinson (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Jun 15 2008 - 12:46:45 PDT
As a ps......I believe it was me that wrote to UBU some time ago asking that they remove Bruce Conner, Peter Kubelka, and other filmmakers whom I knew only had thier work with Canyon Cinema and had no desire, intention, or inclination to digitize their work and present it to the public that way....for either preview or exhibition purposes......they do not need to pad their resumes and add another lecture tour at least no thru UBU Dominic Angerame Canyon Cinema --- Zev Robinson <(address suppressed)> wrote: --------------------------------- I'd like to question thebasic assumption that Joel started off with, not saying that he'sentirely wrong, but just that it is not that it is not as simple as hestated, nor is it necessarily one side or the other. Is it really bad forbusiness? Are there any stats on claims of a loss of revenue? Are thoseartists who become better know because of internet (ubuweb, utube, p2p)more or less likely to increase sales of dvds or cds? Are their overallearnings more or less likely to increase via lectures, commissions,teaching opportunities, screening fees, purchases by institutions, andotheropportunities? On the whole, does ubu increase the popularityand renown of the artists on the site, and thus increase sales? ordoesn't it? And how many people _do_ buy a dvd because they first sawit on ubu and decide that they want a better quality copy? Just becausesomeone does see something on Ubu or utube, it doesn't necessarily meanthat they would purchase a dvd if it were not available. Nor doesseeing something on Ubu mean that someone won't buy a dvd to view on alarger screen and with better quality. I noticed that there are some links to re:voir to purchase the dvd ifone wishes to. I recently read that obscurity is a much greaterdanger to artists than file sharing. There are many articles anddebates out there on the complexity the relationship between filesharing and sales and the overall earnings of bands and how often itmeans an increase in revenues. My feeling is that Ubu provides aservice where people can see a copy or reproduction, quality issuesaside, of things that they may otherwise not see or know about, andthat broadly, enhances and disseminates an alternative culture, andthat can only be good for artists. Zev Zev Robinson www.artafterscience.com www.zrdesign.co.uk Joel S Bachar wrote: Dear Frameworkers and Directors of the Board of UbuWeb:We would like to address some serious concerns of ours and theartists/labels/distributors we represent in regards to the practices ofUbuWeb, and some of the opinions posted about it on this Listserv.The recent threads have shifted to the quality of online viewing which wewould not like to address here as this is another issue.We feel that some of UbuWeb's practices are illegal and unethical and weintend to make every effort to protect our business and the property of ourcompany and/or the artists and company's we represent should we see suchpractices occurring.Let's begin by quoting a question direct from the UbuWeb's FAQ:Q: "Can I use something posted on UbuWeb on my site, in a paper, in aproject, etc.?"A: Sure. We post many things without permission; we also post many withthings with permission. We therefore give you permission to take what youlike even though in many cases, we have no received permission to post it.We went ahead and did it anyway. You should too. Source: http://www.ubuweb.com/resources/faq.html#4 It is unfathomable to us that the Board of Directors as well as the variousPartners of UbuWeb, including the institutions that fund and support thiswebsite, find this an acceptable practice! This has nothing to do withCreative Commons or Copyleft or Fair Use - this is outright infringement ofcopyright and theft and this type of practice is a direct threat to ourbusiness and livelihood and thus the livelhood of the hundreds of artists werepresent.One direct example are the films of Maya Deren. We are the exclusive NorthAmerican DVD distributor of her collected films and the film The DivineHorsemen, through an agreement with the label, Mystic Fire Video. MysticFire has been informed of this and is not in agreement with these filmsbeing made available on UbuWeb.Other infractions have been found in relation to the short films of Man Rayand Un Chien Andalou. In all of these cases, these films are readilyavailable on DVD for reasonable prices - both for retail and EducationalPPR. In addition our company as well as many other are spending time, moneyand resources to develop quality streaming solutions for these importantfilms. We agree with UbuWeb's lamentation that many works are only availablethrough distribution via prohibitive pricing but we do not agree that theanswer is to simply flout the system. This ignores the fact that manydistributors are adjusting the changing marketplace and other new entrantare developing new ways to do legal business.We have every intention of doing a thorough search on an ongoing basis ofUbuWeb for any film (s) that we distribute and we encourage others to do soand take the appropriate action - which is to have these films taken offunless proper permissions are given. In addition - the Presidents of theUniversities where the UbuWeb Board Members work and their respectiveGeneral Counsels should be made aware of the practices their faculty membersare supporting. The IRS should also be informed as the UbuWeb Foundationshould have its 501 c 3 status revoked. I guess this will earn us a nice spot on UbuWeb's self-righteous Hall ofShame. (Doctorow's light essay is about HIS decision to give HIS work awayby the way...) Maybe you should get permission to give work away. A lot of our time and energy and resources is spent researching rights,negotiating contracts, selling and marketing and promoting filmmaker's worksand paying royalties. Most of the time this work is done in consultationwith the rights holders. We are not getting rich off of this but it is ourlivelihood and we like to think that we are providing a service to thefilmmakers and the industry. We do not have the luxury of having a paid position and then moonlight tosteal copyright protected material under the loose veil of academia or worseyet 501 c 3 status. We assume the reactions to all this would be different if Ubu was part of afor-profit company like Google or owned by a company incorporated in a statethat 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 intoexistence? "Our answer:Not necessarily - there are many movements afoot in the industry which aregoing in the direction of providing better and cheaper access forall..whether it be by commercial or legitimate non-profit means. Our guessis that it will be a balance of private, public, and 501 c 3 concerns thatfind some way to communicate.But the continued weak reaction of our industry for illegal activities wouldmake the case for this stronger as time goes by. Grab and post is not an"attitude" it is a self serving philosophy. New web technology and changingconsumer, copyright owner's attitudes are changing and the day will comewhen a legal Ubu-web type entity will exist in harmony with allinterests..our company is working towards that goal.but when we seecompanies like Ubuweb (with respectable board members??) walk all overartists and copryright holders whilst philosophizing - it makes us wince.Like them or not there are copyright laws in this country that equateintellectual property to physical property.If we could steal gasoline with impunity right now we would start a verysuccessful airline - that would benefit society and stop us all from havingto pay such outrageous prices for air travel and remedy terrible service. Next I will start stealing wheat. Then electricity. We ask that UbuWeb's Board of Directors, content partners, filmmakers andall of you on Frameworks and in any media-making community begin take a VERYhard look at these practices and think twice about being involved with themand/or endorsing them in anyway.UbuWeb Board of Directors: http://www.ubuweb.com/resources/board.htmlJoel S. Bachar and Patrick Kwiatkowski, Founders of MicrocinemaInt'l/Microcinema DVD1636 Bush Street, #2, San Francisco, CA 94109(415) 447-9750www.microcinema.com__________________________________________________________________For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <(address suppressed)>. __________________________________________________________________For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <(address suppressed)>. __________________________________________________________________ For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <(address suppressed)>.
__________________________________________________________________ For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <(address suppressed)>.