September 1, 2005

Eyes on the Prize to return to PBS

As NPR briefly noted, Eyes on the Prize has received funding from the Ford Foundation and private sources to sponsor a new PBS airing of the series. This means, as far as I can tell (because I'm not in the loop) that monies will be made available to license the works contained within Eyes for a public television showing as well as for educational use. This is a direct 'next step' from the previously mentioned report on clearing the rights that the Ford Foundation had sponsored.

In addition to clearing rights, this money can/will be used to edit the documentary to remove any segments for which rights cannot be re-cleared, so as to permit its display.

Note that this is explicitly not the clearing of rights for a home video release of Eyes, at least separate from PBS. However, I do not have information on whether or not PBS will be able to offer media of the series as broadcast once the airing has occurred. As I get more information, I'll post it.

Many thanks to the Ford Foundation for their support over the years for Henry's work! Thanks as well to all private donors for their support.

As far as I am aware (although I haven't read the grant), no money from this grant will be paid to Blackside or its owners as compensation for re-airing the series (none was requested). Although some money may be used for editing the series to comply with licensing, that will be on a 'cost' basis.

As people will probably immediately ask about home video licensing - well, I don't know. I should point out that at least half a million dollars of this total, if not substantially more, will be going just to clear the rights for educational use and airing rights on PBS. Clearing rights for perpetual home use (to sell a home video release) would likely be more. So, to the several folks that have written emails ranging from questioning to scathing about why the series isn't available, there's your yardstick. As Henry's family has been trying to raise funds to license the series for a private release, you now have some indication of the amount of money we're talking about. Please bear in mind, again, that Blackside the company does not exist other than as a legal entity; furthermore, it has no income, or assets it can sell other than the rights to its works which it still holds. That's not a solution, really, unless those rights can be 'mortgaged' for the funds to release the series - which has not been possible to date.

Posted by jbz at September 1, 2005 2:16 PM | TrackBack

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