|JACK ALBERTSON SORTING THE MAIL IN THE PIVOTALSCENE OF MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET|
I've been a fan of your itsabouttv.com for years--you do an amazing job of recreating TV as it was. I've had a question that nobody has been able to answer.
Why doesn't anybody put old TV Guides online? You come the closest, I would enjoy reading the actual pages. Does the current owner hold the copywrite? Has anybody tried it?
Great question, Mike - I've never seen an online repository of TV Guides (although I've certainly found the odd article and/or picture spread). and this gives me the opportunity to advertise for an opening at It's About TV, a non-paying volunteer job that offers you only an opportunity to have your name on the masthead - well, that plus I'll be eternally grateful.* The position available is Legal Counsels to the Editor.
*From Peanuts many years ago - Sally: "If you do this for me, big brother, I'll be eternally grateful" Charlie Brown: "Eternity is a long time." Sally: (after a pause) "How about until next week?"
Mike's suggestion raises some questions: would creating such a website, with scans of entire images, be covered under some aspect of Creative Commons or anything like it? The material wouldn't be used for a book (at least not by me), and although I'd assume the content of the issues is covered under copywrite, does that only necessitate giving credit, or does it mean getting permission as well? And assuming this could be done at all, what kind of restrictions would exist?
This website has scans of many, many issues of the always-interesting Television magazine, which is no longer published, and this is the kind of website I'd envision - one in which the national section (you know, the shiny pages) would be reproduced for each issue, along with as many different programming listings as could be collected. I'm reasonably confident that with the number of collectors out there, as well as the number of classic TV buffs (like us), this kind of project is certainly doable. (Finding someone to host it, as well as how to get all the issues scanned, is another question, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.)
Therefore, the only question would seem to be whether this is legal, or if we'll all be doing our next blog session from some tennis prison somewhere. Is there someone (or a number of someones) out there confident enough in their own knowledge to offer a legal opinion on this? Because if it can be done, I think it's worth pursuing, and I also think a lot of you would want to be involved in it. So let me know in the comments, or email me if you'd prefer. After all, you'd be doing the classic TV community a great service. And you'd have our eternal gratitude.