Artists Rights


Independent of the author's economic rights, and even after the transfer of the said rights, the author shall have the right to claim authorship of the work and to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to, the said work, which would be prejudicial to his or her honor or reputation.
Article 6bis of the Berne Treaty
 

Every day, decisions are being made to edit, alter, and reformat the films we love. Not by the films' creators, but by the copyright holders who distribute the films.

The Artists Rights Education and Legal Defense Fund Council was established to advocate for the protection and expansion of artists' rights. Governors include Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Milos Forman, Taylor Hackford, Dustin Hoffman, Anjelica Huston, Bruce Ramer, Elliot Silverstein (chair), and Ken Ziffren.

"See What You've Been Missing" Campaign

6/5/2001 12:00:00 AM

Acclaimed director Martin Scorsese and  Philips Consumer Electronics today launched an education campaign designed to  provide consumers with a clear understanding of widescreen-formatted television (16:9), and to promote the viewing of movies on widescreen versus the standard television sets. The "See What You've Been Missing" campaign  demonstrates how widescreen televisions provide the best movie viewing  experience, without compromising the original content of the film as with the  more traditional, square (4:3) television format.     

The "See What You've Been Missing" widescreen education campaign will focus on utilizing the media as a vehicle by which to get the message out to  consumers about the benefits of widescreen, and to help them grasp a layman's understanding of the viewing format in order to make the comparison for  themselves.  In addition to participating in a global media campaign, and in  support of the educational efforts, Mr. Scorsese issued a top ten list of the  best movies to watch in widescreen, including such films as Lawrence of Arabia  (1962, dir. David Lean), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, dir. Stanley Kubrick),  East of Eden (1955, dir. Elia Kazan) and Bladerunner (1982, dir. Ridley  Scott).  

Scorsese is teaming with Philips as part of his career-long crusade to promote the preservation of film and the viewing of movies in their original  format -- as the director intended them to be seen.  As founder and president  of The Film Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the  preservation of America's Film Heritage, Scorsese is a major proponent of  widescreen viewing, as it provides consumers with a home cinema viewing  experience that comes as close as possible to actually being in a theatre. "The goal of this educational campaign is to illustrate to viewers the  benefit of seeing widescreen films the way they were intended to be seen -- in  their original aspect ratio -- either in the theatre, or at home on a  widescreen-formatted television set," said Scorsese. "Widescreen films -- particularly anamorphic or scope films -- really  suffer a great deal when they're altered for broadcast on standard television.  A director works painstakingly to set up a shot or scene -- the whole meaning  of which is lost when a film is cropped or panned and scanned to fit a  standard television screen.  When a film is viewed on a widescreen-formatted  set, the audience is able to experience the original film intact, the way the  director intended," added Scorsese.  

Philips has been the leading manufacturer of widescreen televisions in  Europe for more than 11 years.  Its first offering of widescreen television in  the U.S. came in 1998, with the launch of the popular FlatTV(TM).  Shortly  following that launch, Philips introduced several other digital widescreen  television models.  While these award-winning widescreen televisions were  highly regarded in the consumer electronics industry, the company realized  that the message on the benefits of the new widescreen innovation had not been  heard by many U.S. consumers. In fact, Philips found that a large majority  of consumers are not aware that movies had been cropped to fit their standard  television screen.  Consumers had a limited scope of knowledge about the  benefits of digital widescreen television over the average television. This  information prompted Philips to seek the support of Mr. Scorsese and his  participation in a mass-market educational initiative.     

"We could think of no greater voice to expound the benefits of digital  widescreen television than Martin Scorsese," said Des Power, senior vice  president/general manager, television, Philips Consumer Electronics, North  America.  "Mr. Scorsese's track record speaks for itself.  He is one of the  greatest directors of our time, and a shining example of someone who is  constantly giving back to the film industry, leading the charge in ensuring  the future of our favorite movies and how they are viewed."  "Digital widescreen is the future of television and it is available to  everyone right now.  You don't need to be a famous director in order to  benefit from this innovational and exciting viewing experience," continued  Power.       

4:3 and 16:9 Formats:  Understanding Aspect Ratios     
Consumers are more familiar with the square-like 4:3 format of their  traditional television sets.  On a 4:3 set, widescreen films are reduced in  size in order to fit the film's full width onto the narrow TV screen without  cropping the film and appear in letterbox form (the black bars that appear  above and below the picture).  Widescreen television, however, displays a more  rectangular image in a 16:9 aspect ratio, with most widescreen movies filling  the entire screen without distortion and without losing any of the film  footage, providing the consumer with the opportunity to see the movie as the  director intended.       

Pan and Scan vs. Letterboxing     
To accommodate the 4:3 aspect ratio, many programs and movies utilize a  "pan and scan" technique that diminishes the integrity of the film and fails  to preserve the original widescreen composition of the picture.  "Letterboxing" returns the full picture to the screen and preserves the aspect  ratio of the original production, preventing parts of the image from being  cropped.  Television programs and movies filmed in widescreen will utilize  letterboxing in order to keep the full integrity of the image when appearing  in a 4:3 aspect ratio.  There are a significant amount of widescreen movies  available on DVD that display in letterbox only, especially earlier movies  filmed in the 50's, 60's and 70's.  Viewing letterboxed movies on a widescreen  set may not eliminate the black bars entirely, but does reduce them while  providing a larger, clearer picture in its entirety.       

About Martin Scorsese and The Film Foundation     
Martin Scorsese is one of the most acclaimed film directors in motion  picture history.  Director of such films as Taxi Driver, Raging BullGoodfellas and The Age of Innocence, Scorsese has won numerous awards for his  work and continues to make brilliant and innovative films.  He is currently  editing his latest film, Gangs of New York, due in theatres this winter.  In addition to his film making accomplishments, Scorsese has been an  outspoken advocate for artists rights and film preservation.  He is the  founder and president of The Film Foundation, a not-for-profit organization  created in 1990 by a group of prominent filmmakers, dedicated to raising  awareness and funds for film preservation projects at the nations leading U.S.  film archives.  The Film Foundation's work over the past decade has helped to  encourage the major studios to establish in-house preservation programs as  well as cooperative preservation projects with the major archives.  Through  events such as the American Movie Classics (AMC) annual on-air film  preservation festival, the Foundation raises public awareness and concern  about the fragility of film and the need to preserve it for future  generations.  The Film Foundation's prestigious board members include: Woody  Allen, Robert Altman, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, George Lucas,  Stanley Kubrick (in memoriam), Sydney Pollack, Robert Redford, and Steven  Spielberg.       

About Philips     
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is one of the world's biggest  electronics companies and Europe's largest, with sales of $34.9 billion  (EUR 37.9 billion) in 2000.  It is a global leader in color television sets,  lighting, electric shavers, color picture tubes for televisions and monitors,  and one-chip TV products.  Its 219,400 employees in more than 60 countries are  active in the areas of lighting, consumer electronics, domestic appliances,  components, semiconductors, and medical systems.  Philips is quoted on the  NYSE (symbol: PHG), London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and other stock exchanges.  News from Philips is located at www.news.philips.com.             

Martin Scorsese's Top 10 List of Films to View in Widescreen*           
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968, dir. Stanley Kubrick)           
BLADERUNNER (1982, dir. Ridley Scott)           
BEN-HUR (1959, dir. William Wyler)           
EAST OF EDEN (1955, dir. Elia Kazan)           
HIGH AND LOW (1963, dir. Akira Kurosawa)           
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962, dir. David Lean)           
LOLA MONTES (1955, dir. Max Ophuls)           
ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (1968, dir. Sergio Leone)           
SOME CAME RUNNING (1959, dir. Vincente Minnelli)           
ZULU (1964, dir. Cy Endfield)       

*The movies on this list have aspect ratios of 2.21:1, 2.35:1 or higher.  In order to preserve the integrity of the films, they will appear with small  black bars above and below the image on Philips and other manufacturers  widescreen televisions.  However, many classic and contemporary movies are  filmed in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and fill the entire screen of a widescreen  television.                        
SOURCE  Philips Consumer Electronics

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“We are all of us custodians of our culture. Our culture defines not just who we are but what we were. Those of us who have labored a lifetime to create a body of work look to you for the preservation of that work in the form we chose to make it. I believe we have that right.”

John Huston

John Huston Awards for Artists Rights

The John Huston Award for Artists Rights is given to individuals who are dedicated to protecting the work of film artists from alteration and to ensuring that the artists' visions remain intact for future generations to enjoy.