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Thursday, September 1, 2005

the price of copyright

if there is any example of the cost to culture, this could be it. it has apparently been illegal to show eyes on the prize, even in classrooms, since 1993.

Cash Rescues Eyes on the Prize [wired, 2005.08.30]

The 14-part series, which chronicles the history of the civil rights movement in America, has been blocked from television rebroadcast and DVD release by a thicket of copyright restrictions on the hundreds of photos, music tracks and video clips used in its making.

But thanks to a $600,000 grant from the Ford Foundation and a philanthropist’s $250,000 donation, the process of re-licensing that material has begun.

assuming my math is correct, that means it just cost $850,000 to save this amazing piece of work from rotting away in a vault forever (and it could be more, i suppose…)

also of note, this $850,000 ransom to copyright holders, which apparently also includes people singing “happy birthday” to martin luther king, jr., will not be enough to secure rights for home-video release.

more from npr.

posted by roj at 4:25 am