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Fighting the Smithsonian/Showtime Deal

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik April 18, 2006 at 2:26AM

Fighting the Smithsonian/Showtime Deal
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Scott Macaulay's blog scooped the New York Times yesterday. On his FILMMAKER Magazine blog, Scott outlined the petition -- signed by several high profile filmmakers (according to the Times today, they include Michael Moore, R. J. Cutler and Alex Gibney) -- against Smithsonian's recent pact with Showtime Networks to privatize their archives. Macaulay's blog also includes portions of the letter:

"We ask that you take three actions today:
1. Disclose the terms of the contract with Showtime Networks and any other commercial agreements that limit access or use of the collections.
2. Annul the contract with Showtime Networks, as it was awarded without public comment and without a competitive procurement process.
3. Hold hearings to gather comment from a broad cross section of the public before undertaking any further actions that limit access to the collections for which the Smithsonian acts as guardian or limit access to the talented and highly capable staff of the Institution."

And here is a downloadable PDF of a letter that you, too, can send to Lawrence Small, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.