Re: UbuWeb: Bad for Business!

From: DOMINIC ANGERAME (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Jun 15 2008 - 14:00:53 PDT

Hi Zev....I will try to answer your questions...dvd
sales have fallen dramatically from Canyon
Cinema......yes....and this has been constant during
the past five will not become rich by
selling dvds for $19.99 unless you are or

My personal opinion is that dvds are going to be
obsolete within two years....the bulk of Canyon's
business is 16mm film rentals...and we are staying
alive through that.......dvd museum projection rental
is also very alive.....

I must keep some things non public as I do run a
business and there are many people who try to steal it
every year......I could re arrange their faces and
give them all another name.....however this is
continuous.....throughout my 30 years of being a

Once someone sees lets say 'FUSES" on line...why buy
the dvd..they have seen it....easy come easy
go....unless they want some fancy packaging....I own a
16mm print of ENTRACTE and watch it many times on my
projector......if I find that on UBU or
youtube.....and watch it....I have no desire to see it
again!!! let alone buy it...

For a teacher and class room situation it is a
different matter and for studying and research.....

Internet sites like UBU do allow accessibility,
however, at what fast food restaurants I
guess they satisfy an immediate urge.....I question
the staying power and the ultimate health of motion
picture viewing....


8ther distributors position, justthat it is much more
complicated than outright theft in that noteverything
viewed on the web means a loss for the film maker
ordistributor, and _may_ at time be beneficial.

And if you're saying that a lo res digitization is not
the actual work,then what people are
seeing/downloading is just a reproduction, not
thetheft of the original. Reproductions of paintings
have a role in peoplevisiting museums, and people buy
more reproductions/catalogues/bookswhen they do visit,
and an interest in art causes some of those peoplemay
buy paintings/photographs/videos as well. There's no
directcorrelation, but one has to look at the broader
cultural context, andnot that the purchase of a framed
reproduction means that they won'teventually buy a

It's not exactly the same thing, just thatone has to
look at the broader context.

So I'm asking, are people going to less screenings of
this type ofwork? Have dvd sales to individuals and
institutions fallensignificantly over the last few
years? And given that you can't takeubu or
digitization of film works out of the context of
thedigital/internet age that we live in, are artists
working with movingimages worse off overall than they
were a decade or two or half acentury ago?



Zev Robinson

As a ps......I believe it was me that wrote to UBUsome
time ago asking that they remove Bruce Conner,Peter
Kubelka, and other filmmakers whom I knew onlyhad
thier work with Canyon Cinema and had no
desire,intention, or inclination to digitize their
work andpresent it to the public that way....for
eitherpreview or exhibition purposes......they do not
needto pad their resumes and add another lecture tour
atleast no thru UBUDominic AngerameCanyon Cinema---
Zev Robinson <email suppressed>
wrote:--------------------------------- I'd like to
question thebasic assumption that Joelstarted off
with, not saying that he'sentirely wrong,but just that
it is not that it is not as simple ashestated, 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 ofinternet (ubuweb, utube, p2p)more or less
likely toincrease sales of dvds or cds? Are their
overallearnings more or less likely toincrease via
lectures, commissions,teachingopportunities, screening
fees, purchases byinstitutions, andotheropportunities?
On the whole, does ubu increase the
popularityandrenown of the artists on the site, and
thus increasesales? ordoesn't it? And how many people
_do_ buy advd because they first sawit on ubu and
decide thatthey want a better quality copy? Just
becausesomeonedoes see something on Ubu or utube, it
doesn'tnecessarily meanthat they would purchase a dvd
if itwere not available. Nor doesseeing something on
Ubumean that someone won't buy a dvd to view on
alargerscreen and with better quality. I noticed that
there are some links to re:voir topurchase the dvd
ifone wishes to.I recently read that obscurity is a
much greaterdangerto artists than file sharing. There
are many articlesanddebates out there on the
complexity therelationship between filesharing and
sales and theoverall earnings of bands and how often
itmeans anincrease in revenues. My feeling is that Ubu
providesaservice where people can see a copy or
reproduction,quality issuesaside, of things that they
may otherwisenot see or know about, andthat broadly,
enhances anddisseminates an alternative culture,
andthat can onlybe good for artists.ZevZev
S Bachar wrote: Dear Frameworkers and Directors of
the Board ofUbuWeb:We would like to address some
serious concernsof ours and
theartists/labels/distributors werepresent in regards
to the practices ofUbuWeb, andsome of the opinions
posted about it on thisListserv.The recent threads
have shifted to thequality of online viewing which
wewould not like toaddress here as this is another
issue.We feel thatsome of UbuWeb's practices are
illegal and unethicaland weintend to make every effort
to protect ourbusiness and the property of ourcompany
and/or theartists and company's we represent should we
seesuchpractices occurring.Let's begin by quoting
aquestion direct from the UbuWeb's FAQ:Q: "Can I
usesomething posted on UbuWeb on my site, in a paper,
inaproject, etc.?"A: Sure. We post many things
withoutpermission; we also post many withthings
withpermission. We therefore give you permission to
takewhat youlike even though in many cases, we have
noreceived permission to post it.We went ahead and
didit anyway. You should too.
Source: It
isunfathomable to us that the Board of Directors as
wellas the variousPartners of UbuWeb, including
theinstitutions that fund and support thiswebsite,
findthis an acceptable practice! This has nothing to
dowithCreative Commons or Copyleft or Fair Use - this
isoutright infringement ofcopyright and theft and
thistype of practice is a direct threat to ourbusiness
andlivelihood and thus the livelhood of the hundreds
ofartists werepresent.One direct example are the
filmsof Maya Deren. We are the exclusive NorthAmerican
DVDdistributor of her collected films and the film
TheDivineHorsemen, through an agreement with the
label,Mystic Fire Video. MysticFire has been informed
ofthis and is not in agreement with these
filmsbeingmade available on UbuWeb.Other infractions
have beenfound in relation to the short films of Man
Rayand UnChien Andalou. In all of these cases, these
films arereadilyavailable on DVD for reasonable prices
- bothfor retail and EducationalPPR. In addition
ourcompany as well as many other are spending
time,moneyand resources to develop quality
streamingsolutions for these importantfilms. We agree
withUbuWeb's lamentation that many works are
onlyavailablethrough distribution via prohibitive
pricingbut we do not agree that theanswer is to simply
floutthe system. This ignores the fact
thatmanydistributors are adjusting the
changingmarketplace and other new entrantare
developing newways to do legal business.We have every
intention ofdoing a thorough search on an ongoing
basis ofUbuWebfor any film (s) that we distribute and
we encourageothers to do soand take the appropriate
action - whichis to have these films taken offunless
properpermissions are given. In addition - the
Presidentsof theUniversities where the UbuWeb Board
Members workand their respectiveGeneral Counsels
should be madeaware of the practices their faculty
membersaresupporting. The IRS should also be informed
as theUbuWeb Foundationshould have its 501 c 3
statusrevoked. I guess this will earn us a nice spot
onUbuWeb's self-righteous Hall ofShame.
(Doctorow'slight essay is about HIS decision to give
HIS workawayby the way...) Maybe you should get
permission togive work away. A lot of our time and
energy andresources is spent researching
rights,negotiatingcontracts, selling and marketing and
promotingfilmmaker's worksand paying royalties. Most
of thetime this work is done in consultationwith the
rightsholders. We are not getting rich off of this
but itis ourlivelihood and we like to think that we
areproviding a service to thefilmmakers and the
industry.We do not have the luxury of having a paid
positionand then moonlight tosteal copyright
protectedmaterial under the loose veil of academia or
worseyet501 c 3 status. We assume the reactions to
all thiswould be different if Ubu was part of
afor-profitcompany like Google or owned by a company
incorporatedin a statethat has lax copyright laws.One
Frameworkerasked about UbuWeb:"Does the economy of
this kind ofwork mean ubuweb's "grab and post"attitude
is the onlyway such a comprehensive archive could
comeintoexistence? "Our answer:Not necessarily - there
aremany movements afoot in the industry which aregoing
inthe direction of providing better and cheaper
accessforall..whether it be by commercial or
legitimatenon-profit means. Our guessis that it will
be abalance of private, public, and 501 c 3
concernsthatfind some way to communicate.But the
continuedweak reaction of our industry for illegal
activitieswouldmake the case for this stronger as time
goes by. Grab and post is not an"attitude" it is a
self servingphilosophy. New web technology and
changingconsumer,copyright owner's attitudes are
changing and the daywill comewhen a legal Ubu-web type
entity will existin harmony with allinterests..our
company is workingtowards that goal.but when we
seecompanies like Ubuweb(with respectable board
members??) walk alloverartists and copryright holders
whilstphilosophizing - it makes us wince.Like them or
notthere are copyright laws in this country
thatequateintellectual property to physical
property.If wecould steal gasoline with impunity right
now we wouldstart a verysuccessful airline - that
would benefitsociety and stop us all from havingto pay
suchoutrageous prices for air travel and remedy
terribleservice. Next I will start stealing wheat.
Thenelectricity. We ask that UbuWeb's Board of
Directors,content partners, filmmakers andall of you
onFrameworks and in any media-making community
begintake a VERYhard look at these practices and
thinktwice about being involved with themand/or
endorsingthem in anyway.UbuWeb Board of
S.Bachar and Patrick Kwiatkowski, Founders
ofMicrocinemaInt'l/Microcinema DVD1636 Bush Street,
#2,San Francisco, CA
on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov
at<email suppressed>.
on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov
at<email suppressed>.__________________________________________________________________For
info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at
<email suppressed>.

info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at
<email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.