Image Processing Reference
Hidden Benefits of Allowing Casual Copying
You could think of this as a distributed backup solution. We are only able to enjoy some
archival content because someone did bend the rules a bit and keep a private copy of a
classic TV program. When that copy is later “donated” back to the owner, it turns out the
owner lost or destroyed the original. The so-called pirate copy turns out to be the only one
in existence. This has happened several times in the case of classic and important BBC-TV
programs from the 1960s.
It is also possible to lose recordings through human error or because the tapes are
labeled ambiguously. Archivists should take note and check a tape before recycling it.
Users who are about to record over a used tape should check before pressing the record
button. But we are always in such a hurry, aren't we?
Background Music in Home Movie Audio Tracks
If you plan to digitize and redistribute your home movies, you may not have the rights to
use the audio on the soundtrack. Rights management was far less sophisticated and oner-
ous in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s when some of this footage might have been shot and edited.
It is very likely that some background music from non-authorized sources will have been
used, and you may need to re-record some of the audio to clear up the rights issues before
selling copies of your films.
If this problem rears its head in a professional environment, then some extra lever-
age may be possible if funding is available to apply a technical solution. Fuji Television
Network has developed some software that erases music from the background of an audio
track but leaves the speech intact. This is a useful tool because a lot of archived material
cannot be reused until the music rights are cleared for secondary use.
Where It All Breaks Down
All of the techniques that might be deployed have a means of circumvention. It may some-
times be challenging but it is always possible given sufficient effort and willingness to
break into the protection system.
Those people with the most to gain from the break-in attempt are those who will
steal the content, blatantly duplicate it, and distribute pirated copies. This problem will
persist as long as the public is willing to buy these pirated copies.
No amount of policing will completely eradicate it because there is a public
perception that this content has a certain value and to buy it legally, the cost is somewhat
higher than the public is prepared to pay, and the illegal copies are available more cheaply.
Fuji TV Network: http://www.fujitv.co.jp/en/