Over the last week, ALA was in DC. As an archivist, and because I attended ARSC and will be attending SAA soon, I did not attend. However, I received an email to attend a focus group on the fair use of video last Sunday. I took the opportunity to meet some librarians to see if they had answers to some of my questions dealing with preservation and rights releasing of moving image media, especially concerning the ability to stream this media.
Generally, the focus group believed that original media should be freely preserved and accessible in a carrier format. The iffy area is when material of somewhat vague copyright is loaned, or in more recent demand, streamed. As long as the librarians can protect the content by a reserve login, especially for a class, streaming or files on demand for a limited time is alright. Sounds good to me. However, no one had an answer for my question--in less than a decade, maybe in five years, carrier formats (DVDs) will probably be gone, blue-ray or not. What are librarians going to do about fair use with only streaming or only files that reside on a harddrive? Are they making plans for the future? The librarians agreed they had no answer for me, and the commercial needs usually dictated what happened in their library.
I ask though--Knowing this trend will happen, knowing we will have to adapt again, WHAT IF WE COULD SET THE STANDARDS FOR ONCE?!