[f_minor] GG and Wolferl

Kevin Bazzana kevinbazzana at shaw.ca
Sun Nov 2 14:34:40 MST 2014

         Greetings. Regarding the Mozart film: Please, don't start an
e-mail-writing campaign to the Paley Center and the GG Foundation. That's
pointless, because neither owns the rights to the film in question. The
Paley Center physically possesses a copy of the film, but that doesn't mean
they "own" it in terms of copyright, and the GG Foundation is not the GG
estate; it doesn't control any Gould copyrights. The Mozart film was made
for NET (what became PBS), and so the rights would be controlled by PBS
(presumably along with the estate). I wonder if PBS is "difficult" on
matters like this. GG's program "The Well-Tempered Listener" was a CBC-NET
coproduction, and you'll notice that only part of that program (the musical
performances, not the 40 minutes of conversation) appeared in the recent
10-DVD boxed set, with a note that the interview portion "has not been
cleared for release". Maybe PBS is a dick in this respect; I've actually
heard things along those lines. And there may be another factor here: The
woman who rediscovered the Mozart film at the Paley Center, Lucille Carra,
is making a documentary called "Glenn Gould: Recording Artist," for
Travelfilm; according to their website (http://www.travelfilmcompany.com/)
this is now in post-production. I don't know anything about the film, but I
remember Lucille saying, long ago, that the Mozart film will play some kind
of important role within her film; maybe she has some kind of agreement to
the effect that the film will not be released before her own documentary. I
don't know. She has curated several public showings of the Mozart film in
various cities, though, so it hasn't been completely hidden. I understand
and share everyone's frustration about its slow release, however; it really
should have been in that boxed setm that was a wasted opportunity. But don't
besiege the wrong organizations with e-mails-they're not going to illegally
post the film online no matter what the demand. And I sympathize with their
view, too, being a copyright owner myself. When you speak about "you all who
support the present system," you're talking about the system that protects
my work. (I've seen my books on sites that claim to offer them for free
download. My response was not to lean back and say, "Ah, the system
works-information wants to be free." No, my response was to contact my
publisher and say "Have your lawyers take this down RIGHT NOW.") The people
who think information should be free are invariably those who have never
owned a copyright. I could circulate DVD dubs of the Mozart film or post it
on YouTube myself, but I'm not going to, no matter how tempting that is. But
I really do share in the frustration. GG has been dead more than 30 years,
and it amazes me how much of his work still languishes unseen. But as long
as his work remains copyrighted, those who own the copyrights will try to
monetize it, and that will inevitably slow the process of its release.
(Those of GG's recordings more than 50 years old are now in the public
domain almost everywhere but the USA, and as a result many previously
unknown recordings from his early years have circulated widely; the lapsing
of the copyrights as been a boon for Gould fans, though of course not for
the people who owned them.) I guess we'll just have to be patient, that's my
(not very satisfying) advice, and let's hope we all live to be 150 or
however long it takes to witness the last Gould copyright expire . Kevin

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