Friday, April 07, 2006

Boing Boing: Smithsonian becomes Showtime's exclusive first-refusal archive:

The Smithsonian has sold exclusive first-refusal rights to its enormous film archive (including tons of public-domain material) to Showtime, a commercial network. This means that anyone who wants to use Smithsonian footage in a documentary will have to take a back seat to Showtime's execs.

What's more, if the US signs the evil WIPO "Broadcast Treaty," it means that Showtime will get a new, 50-year copyright over the public domain material they air as part of this deal, so doc-makers won't even be able to piece together works from the crumbs that Showtime chooses to air.
3:57 AM