/ 27 January 2005

An interesting day of copyright today. Kenneth Crews is with us in Minnesota and gave a great workshop for our staff today (faculty get a taste tomorrow). And when I got home I found Mary excited about a project at Downhill Battle to encourage people to copy Eyes on the Prize. This classic documentary about the civil rights movement of the 1960’s is not in legal distribution because the rights granted for the clips used have expired and new rights have not been cleared yet by the production company. Civil disobedience over copyright issues. Interesting times.So it may be a bit much to ask the Libraries to get on the criminal side of a copyright issue, but what if Libraries around the country (and ours in particular) took part in the Downhill Battle 2/8 Black History Month event to host public showings of episodes of the documentary? Of course, we would not show the illegally downloaded versions from the net, but the legal copies from our collections. The discussion fostered, though, could still be about the difficulty of preserving critical pieces of culture in an era of tough copyright enforcement.

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