Author Topic: No Filming The Smithsonian Collection For You!  (Read 2299 times)

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Offline ajb

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Re: No Filming The Smithsonian Collection For You!
« Reply #50 on: July 17, 2019, 05:20:56 pm »
When I googled Smithsonian shortly after this thread started I found some info going back many decades where the Smithsonian wanted to charge entry fees for an additional source of revenue rather than rely on the whims of Congress. Each time Congress denied them the right to an entry fee and one can only presume additional funding was granted so that public entry would remain free.
Now there is a commercial arrangement giving exclusive filming rights in exchange for some dosh to help run the place it's little wonder the arrangement impacted on others filming rights.

It might seem the only way to reverse this is to get additional Congress funding and let the existing filming arrangement expire.  :popcorn:

I spoke to someone who works for SI a little while ago, and according to them the congressional allocation is basically enough to cover payroll, and that's it.  Most of the big donations are earmarked for specific functions, like when someone wants to have a big exhibit named after them that money can only be used toward that particular project.  So other sources of revenue, such as small individual donations, special events, gift shop sales, etc, which are all *undirected* and therefore free to be used however the organization needs, are the only way they can pay for all of the hundreds of millions of dollars of essential operating costs.  From the OP article, it sounds like SI didn't get any cash out of the deal, but the production of TV/film featuring their materials certainly has real value and gets them exposure or archival materials that they would have otherwise had to fund themselves.
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: No Filming The Smithsonian Collection For You!
« Reply #51 on: July 18, 2019, 03:10:02 am »
Page 37 even raises the Smithsonian issue that forms the basis of the thread: "The Smithsonian Institution and its for-profit division, Smithsonian Business Ventures, made news because of their deal to distribute the Smithsonian film collection through Showtime, a commercial film distribution company, a subsidiary of the CBS Corporation. Due to the exclusive nature of that deal and the fee based distribution model agreed to by Smithsonian, a public, non-profit museum, the public, politicians, film makers and cultural heritage professionals cried foul."  The entry is dated, however, as it suggests the deal was never concluded.  What is interesting is that the Smithsonian had to appear before a House Subcommittee to account for the deal, proving that there was political oversight exercised on that particular deal.

The comparison fails because most films are still under copyright in the US.  If Disney has their way, copyright will never expire again.

Instead consider Renascence age paintings where there is no copyright because of age, or the works of Beethoven, or the Declaration of Independence.  The LEM has no copyright or other IP protection attached.

They would have to file some sort of civil suit I'd imagine.

That is what others have done in the past but all of the examples I found involved live broadcasts or reporting, like if someone broadcast a sports game live from an adjacent building so there was no issue with trespass or any sort of formal agreement.

Or “crony capitalism”.

Just to be clear, no matter what they said in response, this is Showtime going after minor content producers or "citizen journalist" exactly like Fran.

Tom Hayden, general manager of Smithsonian Networks, said the partners did not intend the relationship to be exclusionary; rather, he said, they are trying to provide filmmakers with an attractive platform on which to display their work.

How it excluding them not exclusionary?  How does this help filmmakers other than those who work for Showtime?

Tom Hayden is a big fat liar.  The Smithsonian should be ashamed.  I expected no better of Showtime but they can die in a fire also.

Quote
It disgusts me the extent to which American politicians have forgotten that their job is to serve the public, not special interests.

There was almost never such a time when that was not the case.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: No Filming The Smithsonian Collection For You!
« Reply #52 on: July 20, 2019, 06:44:23 am »
And you can get whatever answer you want by phrasing the question the right way:
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The Smithsonian needs to supplement its income and they have two choices: (1) is charging visitors an admittance fee and (2) is charging for commercial filming.

The only people who are going to choose (1) are people doing commercial filming.
Don't you get it, man?? The issue isn't about them charging for commercial filming. It's that the agreement with Showtime means they block a lot of filming from occurring at all. And that a commercial entity essentially has the power to block access to items that "belong" to the public is an absolute outrage.

Yes, that is the issue here. Showtime can veto anyone's "commercial" film access, and the Smithsonian actively play first line defense in that regard due to that contract and the fact they are a bureaucracy who love to follow such rules to the tea. e.g. by them checking Fran's Youtube channel and then going "nope, no access for you, too much gray area there".
Even if the Smithsonian gave the OK, if showtime found out about it they could have anyone shut down and booted out.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: No Filming The Smithsonian Collection For You!
« Reply #53 on: July 20, 2019, 07:03:37 am »
Those in other countries who point things like this out as the ills of Capitalism - this is not Capitalism AT LL. This is a government permitted monopoly.

Apology if that offend you, its just we foreigner see thing differently, and forget that monopoly word you mentioned, its nothing.

As we saw too many and for too long, it looks like everything there has a price, and once the price is met, everything can be "capitalize".

Compare to say recent 737 Max fiasco, where Boeing "capitalized" the FAA  >:D, self certifying on air plane certification ?  :o ... or in law where a sex predator on young underage girls, convicted in court, still didn't serve any meaningful jail time (HERE), because the federal prosecutors had been .. again ... "capitalized"  >:D ... just Google words like "Acosta Epstein". And no one get jail time, isn't that nice ?

Btw, at the ongoing matter now as we speak, it looks like your upcoming new Defence Secretary is a Raytheon defense contractor lobbyist, well, your military was and looks like will be heavily capitalized too. Buy Raytheon stock now as looks like they will be selling things like crazy.  >:D

So back to square one, on Fran's issue to us foreigner, watching all these capitalism stunts happened for so long, it is so meaningless.


Let me know when you find a system of government where bribery, cronyism and corruption doesn't take place throughout all levels because I've never seen one. Absolutely everything and everyone has a price, whether that's in dollars, goods, favors or preferential treatment is irrelevant and the particular "ism" involved doesn't change this.
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: No Filming The Smithsonian Collection For You!
« Reply #54 on: July 21, 2019, 02:58:27 am »
Let me know when you find a system of government where bribery, cronyism and corruption doesn't take place throughout all levels because I've never seen one. Absolutely everything and everyone has a price, whether that's in dollars, goods, favors or preferential treatment is irrelevant and the particular "ism" involved doesn't change this.

It helps when the system of government does not encourage corruption as an emergent property.
 
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