Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Proud Wednesday

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  • robbery,

    Rights owners and archives voluntarily licensed their work to us as a matter of public good, and they should be applauded for doing so.

    top people, their shout etc. just on my morning walk past the art gallery which shows works of public interest free of charge.
    it occurred to me that what they do is similar to what this archive project does.
    how do galleries acquire their works?

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    (I'm sure you wouldn't be keen on the government owning your master tapes if you took a recording grant.)

    if they fully funded the projects my argument would be flimsy, but any grants received are only every a tiny portion of the whole project so that's not really applicable.
    perhaps that's the same for the works on the archive site? Unless everyone on board gets their full normal pay for the project then its only partial funding. if everyone did get their fully normal industry rate pay then there is an argument to say its a commissioned work. I doubt if it is this way in nz though.

    If archives did want to make these culturally significant works available free to all nzers then they could look at buying the rights to the works, as the would with an item in a gallery.
    we've apparently got enough money as a country to flick a few million discretionary cash at america's cup race losers to keep em happy, so we're obviously not short of cash,

    have archives looked at purchasing the rights to any of this, or generating the funds to do so. I'm sure there is the argument that archives is skint but that's why you lobby and apply for funds, to be non skint. have archives actively pursued that angle?

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    perhaps that's the same for the works on the archive site? Unless everyone on board gets their full normal pay for the project then its only partial funding. if everyone did get their fully normal industry rate pay then there is an argument to say its a commissioned work. I doubt if it is this way in nz though.

    Most of the programmes will have been 100% funded by NZ On Air, the National Film Unit or whatever our public broadcaster was called at the time.

    For the NZOA content, the deal is that the producers retain the copyright. Even the other public content isn't entirely straighforward. TVNZ holds the copyright to older public TV, but the likes of Gloss is a minefield of residuals and individual actors' contracts. The only viable way to obtain that was to ask people to allow it to go forward on a non-commercial public good basis.

    If archives did want to make these culturally significant works available free to all nzers then they could look at buying the rights to the works, as the would with an item in a gallery.

    Not the same thing. A gallery that buys a work holds the copyright to it. And, frankly, the real-world commercial value of many older programmes is minimal, but buying those rights would be a nightmare. Happy to discuss this further, but I have a boarding call ..

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    A gallery that buys a work holds the copyright to it.

    the art gallery example may have been a bad one in some contexts cos an owner of a painting doesn't have the right to copy it unless it is expressly sought. when you buy a work from an art dealer you don't necessarily buy the right to use that work in duplication. I think its more complicated than that unfortunately.

    i agree with the real world commercial value of some of this stuff. you could probably pick some of it up for pocket change.
    nightmare though it may be that's what lawyers are for. some people are quite good at working though this shit apparently.
    With something like shortland street how hard can it be. they keep accurate records.

    people have used that excuse for licensing music but apra keep records of songwriters and publishers in an easily searchable data base. these people can be contacted, yes it can take a bit of effort, but it can be done. for every difficult one there 5 easy ones.
    I have people ring me up and ask to use my works in a commercial way. its pretty simple really.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    With something like shortland street how hard can it be. they keep accurate records.

    One suspects it would need to be put into all the actor's/extra's contracts at the beginning. A season of shortland street must include hundreds of people who have given up their rights to have it displayed on tv. Getting them all to agree to put it up on the internet must be a nightmare. And then if one disagrees, what do you do? Cut out that scene?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    Getting them all to agree to put it up on the internet must be a nightmare. And then if one disagrees, what do you do? Cut out that scene?

    not knowing enough about how it all works for tv but for film and short film you're paid and sign a release contract, and that's it, you don't have any rights or involvement after that. as far as I know that's how it is. none of this actors have control thing, unless they negotiated that into their contract, which is highly unusual and you have to have star power to ask for it, then its not in the picture.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Contracts will typically mention all the possible uses the actor's work and image will end up in.

    LOTR actors for example, had clauses in their contracts relating to merchandising. There may be differing clauses relating to the movie release, and dvds.

    The writer's strike in the US a while ago was about use of the writer's work on the internet, which was becoming an increasing use of their work, for which they felt they weren't being rewarded properly.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Brenda Leeuwenberg,

    Problems do arise because often, particularly with archival material, we're talking about contracts that were drawn up before the internet, and the implications for streaming or downloading video, were even a consideration.

    The issue of clearing and securing rights for the material on NZ On Screen has been a complex minefield of issues. Almost every single title has a different scenario.

    So while it would be great to have full length programmes of everything available for free for everyone to stream or download ... it isn't going to happen.

    We have had to get signed copyright clearance for all the material that is on NZ On Screen at the moment. It is at the discretion of the copyright holder how much they allow us to have - and often followed by a deal with the broadcaster as well - however they sign these agreements on the understanding that material is streamed (well, as you know, sort of streamed) through the site and not available for download or redistribution.

    We are not going to solve this problem easily - although we will continue to try and get access to as much material as possible for NZ On Screen.

    Wellington • Since Oct 2008 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The issue of clearing and securing rights for the material on NZ On Screen has been a complex minefield of issues. Almost every single title has a different scenario.

    Brenda, are NZ on Air looking ahead into the future on this one? Someone has mentioned previously that when funding music videos, having the video go on youtube is a requirement.

    Are the contracts for TV programmes being funded from now on being amended to allow for movement onto nzonscreen automatically? After a certain period of time for example?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Brenda Leeuwenberg,

    Brenda, are NZ on Air looking ahead into the future on this one? Someone has mentioned previously that when funding music videos, having the video go on youtube is a requirement.

    NZ On Screen isn't privy to the workings of NZ On Air's policy makers :) We are a project that is being funded by NZ On Air, much in the same way that a TV production company is funded to produce a programme.

    I do know that they are looking at the funding contracts with a view to inclusion in NZ On Screen. However NZ On Air, as Russell has pointed out above, does not hold any ownership of the programmes and music it funds, therefore it is not really in a position to say what happens to them.

    Note also that there are frequently additional funding partners - programmes are not all 100% funded by NZ On Air, therefore other players get to have a say too!

    Complex ...

    Wellington • Since Oct 2008 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Are the contracts for TV programmes being funded from now on being amended to allow for movement onto nzonscreen automatically? After a certain period of time for example?

    That would require an amendment to the Broadcasting Act, which is NZ On Air's enabling legislation.

    I imagine it would be tricky in the case of independent producers, because you're talking about them being required to relinquish concepts they've developed themselves.

    It would be much easier in the case of, say, National Film Unit material, to place public heritage works under a Creative Commons licence, but even then you have to acknowledge the rights of stakeholders, such as Maori who want control over their images. That's very much an issue with one important body of work NZ On Screen has had access to.

    As Brenda says, it all takes time and personal contact. But this is a long-term project -- who knows how things might be in five or 10 years?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    @robbery

    not knowing enough about how it all works for tv but for film and short film you're paid and sign a release contract, and that's it, you don't have any rights or involvement after that. as far as I know that's how it is. none of this actors have control thing, unless they negotiated that into their contract, which is highly unusual and you have to have star power to ask for it, then its not in the picture.

    As Brenda said, contracts vary enormously, and although you might not believe it, it is precisely these kinds of issues that continue to keep the likes of The Governor and Gloss off our TV screens.

    Believe me, TVNZ 6 would love to screen Gloss, but it's a contractual nightmare -- one actor has a residual clause that runs into the high six figures, which just isn't viable for anyone.

    On Screen's non-commercial standing helped get around some of the issues, but it's still a messy business.

    But please Rob, perhaps you could accept that people have worked really hard in all good faith to bring people the material that's on the site now, and the content that will be added every week.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    one actor has a residual clause that runs into the high six figures, which just isn't viable for anyone.

    I hope they also have a residual clause that states that if they're going to get more money now that they need to have the same hairstyle now as they did then!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I hope they also have a residual clause that states that if they're going to get more money now that they need to have the same hairstyle now as they did then!

    That's a fantastic suggestion.

    And what a great lineup on the site already, well done everyone involved.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    But please Rob, perhaps you could accept that people have worked really hard in all good faith to bring people the material that's on the site now, and the content that will be added every week.

    Totally.
    I'm just throwing some ideas around Russell, re the download thing and possible solutions to it. not meaning to offend, and its helping the discussion to explain the issues, so all good I think you'll agree.

    But.......while you're chatting to some of these people and you find an easy clearance for ownership (who the hell let a high six figure clause through in this country anyway. there should be anti ego clause in these things, unless its sam neil then its fair cop I guess), see what their selling price is. As you said, commercial value isn't massive on some of it.

    I know some of this stuff is hard to acquire and as brenda said there are frequently other funding partners that aren't nz on air as I though there would be, but still,
    ......down on their luck aging film maker, needs a few reddies to fund a habit, I'm just saying there's a potential opportunity there (do I have to say joking, yeah, probably.... joking)

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Davie,

    Whoa - is there an unexpected cameo in the Billy T bit with Howard Morrison? Or am I crazy?


    Screencap here

    Wellington • Since May 2008 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • paul sutherland,

    Will this material be made discoverable via Matapihi?

    How does this stuff relate to the online archival stuff at Archives New Zealand or the stuff at the Film Archive, Te Ara/NZ History or TVNZ on demand etc. Do we need so many different destinations?

    If the answer is who funds it - I challenge you to solve it - the NZ On Air model is stupid - MCH need to look hard at this issue - even Gloss has heritage and cultural value. Or is this an example of joined up government

    And why are there no "embed me" snippets

    Since Nov 2007 • 1 posts Report Reply

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