Common Tradition Nook

The opposite day, I wrote about Netflix ending its DVD plan, and the problem I had determining which “remaining” DVD I needed to get, which I might be allowed to maintain.  And I ended up selecting the basic TV particular, Hal Holbrook in Mark Twain Tonight!, tailored from his one-man Broadway present.

As I famous, although I get chided for it (wrongly, I’d add, as I believe will grow to be clear), I like DVDs for a number of causes.  I believe they deal with fast-forwarding a lot better than streaming, DVDs embrace “extras” which I often like to take a look at — streaming video typically solely provide the films, and there are films, TV collection and TV specials obtainable on DVD that aren’t obtainable for streaming.  These are all private causes, I do know, however I believe they’re good ones.  Not everybody may care about all of them (or any), however that is life.

Nevertheless, there’s a bigger precept that I spotted just a few months again when Netflix introduced its resolution to drop DVDs.  It is associated to availability, however on a much more vital degree.

DVDs all the time exist and can be found as bodily entities anybody can have, however a streaming service can take away films and TV exhibits from their library — and commonly do — and they also stop to exist.  I not solely factor it is a private downside, not having the ability to discover one thing you need to watch, however much more, I believe is is a possible enormous downside for cultural “historical past.”

I discussed it is a screenwriter good friend who did not know why I saved insisting on sticking with DVDs.  He loves streaming.  However once I talked about this, he had a form of “lightbulb” second.  He stated that over time, his films generated a pleasant sum of WGA royalties for him.  Having the ability to personal a downloaded a duplicate on a web site to lease shouldn’t be the identical factor.  And he pointed to the music trade.  As he requested, “How can a playlist probably compete with a group of LPs”

And that’s spot on.  His private expertise is Exhibit A.  However I’ll go even a giant step additional — not solely can lots of streaming materials not be downloaded to personal, even when one needed to, and rented solely…however a ton of fabric isn’t even obtainable to stream!  (One fast instance:  “Mart Twain Tonight!” — the DVD I chosen as my final DVD so I might hold it —  shouldn’t be obtainable to stream, interval, no less than not on Amazon Prime or Netflix.  Solely DVD.  That’s the principle motive I selected it as my final the DVD.)

It’s truly (I believe) a really enormous downside with the leisure trade’s full reliance on streaming, some extent pushed house all of the extra by Netflix dropping DVDs — which has gone near-unreported.  I’m not even positive how vital the varied Guild’s have addressed it (not that they will do a lot, I believe, apart from draw consideration to it.)  They most I’ve seen is particular person producers or administrators complain when their film or TV collection has been taken out of the rotation of a streaming service that has unique rights to it.
And that’s the opposite factor — providers purchase the unique rights to stream issues.  So, if — for instance — Netflix or Disney+ or Apple+ buys the only rights to a film or TV collection after which drops it from circulation, everyone seems to be out of luck.  Arguably ceaselessly.

Beforehand, it was as much as people and the general public to resolve what they need to hold and transfer the favored tradition of a society.  Now, that is turning into extra the choice of a companies backside line.

To this point, this hasn’t been a difficulty as new applied sciences arrives.  Wax cylinders gave approach to data which gave approach to LP albums which gave approach to reel-to-reel tape which gave approach to cassettes which gave approach to CDs.  Even MP3 recordsdata are bodily entities you possibly can have copies of.  VHS tapes gave approach to DVDs.  There have been all the time bodily copies obtainable that helped spready the cultural historical past of society.  Which streaming — that is dwindling.

Hopefully, this will likely be one thing that positive aspects consideration as DVDs disappear, and folks start to find that a lot of what they need to see is gone.  Here is hoping.

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