Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Saturday, April 1, 2006

Smithsonian Deal With Showtime Upsets Some Filmmakers

The newly created Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between the Smithsonian and Showtime, has upset some documentary filmmakers, who say that it seriously limits their ability to offer the work they base on Smithsonian materials to media other than the new network, should that network choose to air the films. In its defense, the museum administration said it thought it should recoup some advantage from filmmaker use of its collections. Details of the contract between the Smithsonian and Showtime are not publicly available. Read more here in an article by the New York Times' Edward Wyatt. Congress is currently considering the Smithsonian's budget, and Representative Jim Moran (D-Va.) suggested that the museum begin charging admission.

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