The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #166031   Message #3989186
Posted By: punkfolkrocker
25-Apr-19 - 08:28 AM
Thread Name: Making folk club recordings available
Subject: RE: Making folk club recordings available
Howard - like I said, "..call me naive and idealistic..."

I am not alone in becoming sick of petty legalistic disputes between stubborn embittered greedy old men
[and perhaps a few women..]
resulting in music, movies, & TV shows being permanently witheld from the world;
whilst the tape and film decays beyond any further usability.

Where are their 'morals'...???

How many classic and obscure old TV series and films are locked up rotting away
because of disputes regarding music and song rights...???

How annoying is it, when a boxset does finally get released,
and the familiar title theme is missing or replaced,
or vital scenes cut because of a song playing in the background....???

Moral highground in these circumstances is a misplaced concept...

However, here we are talking about amateur taping for non commercial use.
I still ask folks to consider that informal unwritten agreements made 40 years or more ago
should carry a certain degree of flexibility,
when weighed up against loss to enthusiasts of valuable taped material..

The recent Live Young Tradition CD comes to mind, an excellent tape from 50 years ago,
recorded secretly without permission by a keen young folk fan.
Who was too timid to confess what he had done until only a few years ago..
What if he'd asked and been refused consent to tape.
How 'immoral' of him to do it on the sly...

'Morality' is not the most meaningful concept to apply to archiving and availability of our social/cultural history...

Gentlemen's agrements are a nicety, and ought to apply until they are no longer reasonable
or rational...

I actually agree that my word should be my bond, and I have a quite stern personal moral compass.
But I accept it cannot be the final word in all circumstances.


Now in an age of phone cams and Zoom mini recorders, how many even even bother to ask anyone anymore
before recording and uploading all minutae of life to social media.

But back then taping was not so easy and convenient, and fewer social events were recorded for posterity.
These few remaining tapes and super 8 films can be important and entertaining social history artifacts.
Their value far outweighs words said and often barely remembered about their creation...

My dad was a rarity in the 1950s and early 60s,
a factory machinist with a keen interest in amateur photography,
and a decent camera.
I have negatives of all kinds of council estate & pub social activities,
which should not be left to rot in my mum's attic.
It's on my to do list, but I daresay at least an odd higher principled over opinionated mudcatter will insist
I should destroy all but those I can identify and trace back to surviving family members
to ask their permission...???

Morality is a guidline, not an excuse to willfully withhold and destroy our social history...

We should respect agreements with folks as best as we can,
but after a long enough time also ought to be willing to reconsider
when and if these old words of ours are too binding and restrictive
beyond good sense...

Unseen and heard archives of amateur recordings
are recognised by museums as invaluable assets
whose holders should be positively encouraged to share what they have
or our hidden national heritage...