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Walt's Daughter

Your WWII collections

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I recently discovered something while working on my documentary, and it should give you cause for alarm -

Do some hard-core research and read the fine print before you donate your WWII items/collections/memorabilia!

 

A friend of mine whose father was in my dad's regiment, donated everything in his dad's collection to a certain university. At the time he thought he was doing the right thing. Now he wonders and questions his choice. Why? Because he had shared material with me for use on our website and the documentary, and after re-reading the agreement this month, discovered he had given away all rights to those items, and in essence it was illegal for anyone including himself, to reproduce or share any of it with anyone.

 

Do you, the veteran, or you the family member, want your cherished items to wind up this way? I should think not! Do you think it's right to have to ask for permission to place your stories or your images, etc., on our website or within a production?

 

I want you to think long and hard on this subject, and ask a lot of questions and read the fine print before you give away anything. What good does it do if your collection sits in storage at a facility? Do you really want to give up all rights to your material?

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I just spoke with Michael Brodhead from the Army Of Engineer's Office of History, and this is what he shared with me regarding our conversation of donated works of history.

 

...We have a Deed of Gift form, to be signed by donors and us. The wording

gives the impression that the donors are signing their lives away. But we

freely allow others to use the material, asking only that the users give us

credit. Also, we do not charge for anything. So I hope we are not part of

the problem--which is a serious one...

 

I also want everyone to know, this is where I plan on bequeathing my entire collection, for I know it will be shared with others, and will benefit future generations. All our work is for naught, if it can't remain public domain. :armata_PDT_23:

 

Now, let me share with you something I encountered while gathering data for my documentary. This will explain Michael's reference to, "...we do not charge for anything..."

 

Several weeks ago I found some wonderful footage, which I wished to include in part two of the production. As I always. I tried to find who had submitted said footage to make sure I could use it within the documentary. Well I did track it down (saw it originally on YOUTUBE), and told them my intentions, and stated I was producing this on my own. I did hear from them, but dig this; They said I could use it within the production for $350.00. First off, I cannot afford that kind of money, and secondly, I discovered the footage was filmed by the Army Signal Corps during one of the invasions in 1943. That makes it public domain! And I learned it can be gleaned from the archives...

 

I don't mind helping out with cost, say paying for a DVD, or paying postage, but $350.00 for a copy of a couple minute film? I am really annoyed, outraged and furious. :machinegun:

 

I've had experience dealing with film studios, etc., and I am happy to pay a fee to use copyrighted materials, i.e. fees I paid for permission to use the music White Christmas, but that's a whole different bag of nuts! :squirrel 2:

 

"Caveat emptor"

 

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Caveat emptor is so right M1. I have asked my daughter to ensure all my Sicily and Glider research, books, letters etc go to a museum and as she works for the UK MOD that wont be a problem. Luckily I have also contributed to this and one other WW2 website as well as the BBC so it will be forever available if needed. You and I share one important wish, that no part of WW2 is forgotten.

 

Colin.

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I figured you had done your homework. Glad to hear that is all in line. Yup, we want to make sure this is not forgotten, and their deeds and memories will live on forever.

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Dear M1,

Not sure my pea brain comprehended all that, but what does it mean about all the footage now on DVD that was photographed by Combat Cameramen of all branches of the service? That would be about 90% of all the film with the remaining 10% or so filmed by US servicemen with their own 16mm movie cameras. It seems to me that once it's been made available to the public that it should be available to be used in part, in documentaries like your own without having to pay a fee, no? I had been planning for some time to offer you any of the WWII documentaries (about the ETO) in my own collection to use if you wished and the offer is still good.

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Amazingly enough, if you read many of packages they will state, you may not reproduce/use any of the footage. How this can be is beyond me, if it's simply archived footage from army, etc. How anyone can claim a copyright on that material is beyond me?!

 

Now if someone takes archived footage and drops a narrative over, etc., I can see why you can't take THEIR production and recreate it, without permission, etc. However, if you are simply taking a clip of the silent, archived footage, then...

 

It can be very tricky and you have to be very careful. :armata_PDT_23:

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For the record, the US Army Military History Insitutue (USAMHI) / Army Historical Education Center (AHEC) at Carlisle Barracks, PA is the main US Army repository for documents and records. USAMHI is one of the top research facilities in the Army History Program, and as such, is an appropriate facility for donating any documents and records, personal or otherwise, dealing with any aspect of US Army History. If a person wishes for his or her donated materials to be available to the widest possible audience of future historians and researchers, USAMHI is the best place. Donations to other Army historical facilities such as that operated by the Engineers is fine too, but rest assured items donated to these facilities will not be available to as wide a specturm of historians and researchers as those housed at USAMHI. Thus, a person conducting serious research on Operation Nordwind will almost certainly go to USAMHI, but not the Engineer's repository. As a result, important material regarding the Engineers' contributions to defeating Operation Nordwind might be missed.

 

USAMHI Website

 

Hope this helps.

 

Jim

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