Author Archive: Will

Missing Origins of Precision footage

 

In my first video I would love to have used the footage from the above video from 3:23 to 3:39 as it is the only pre-Johansson gage footage I’ve been able to find.

However, British Pathé is claiming copyright of this footage, even though it dates back to World War I.   To license about 16 seconds it would cost nearly $600 even though this is for completely non-commercial educational usage which will not be monetized.  Ironically, I can freely link to the entire video for you to enjoy.

I strongly suspect they own the rights to the DIGITAL version they created from the original film stock (for which I am grateful they have preserved so much and made available on youtube) but do not own the rights to the original film footage.  Assuming I’m correct in this circumstance (it could still be in copyright by other mechanisms of UK law, in particular, if the creators died less than 70 years ago and the copyright was passed to British Pathe) this appears to be a quirk of UK copyright law which allows for digital versions to be copyrighted even though also under UK copyright law you’re not supposed to be able to be able to re-copyright material which has fallen into public domain.

They also claim copyright on this footage of a USA Miss America pageant clip which has me further confused how they can make that claim.

If someone who is familiar with UK copyright could shed some light on the topics here I’d love to know more.

If there is a copy of this WWI footage (film or digital) that is not copyrighted I’d be most grateful.

Another remarkable moment is the “knocker-upper”  man at the beginning waking the women to start their shift at the factory.  Before electricity and alarm clocks were common this was quite normal practice until the 1950s (or even 1970s) in some areas.

Dull Men’s Club

 

While I can’t say I can necessarily get interested in what some of these fellows are up to, it does speak to core ideas which I try to convey in my work – appreciation and gratitude.  So many of the technological wonders we encounter every day, even something as simple as flushing a toilet or endless glasses of clean water on tap, are truly amazing even though they are incredibly ordinary.  And that they are ordinary, dull if you will, is a wonderful thing itself.

 

 

Screws, Damned Screws and Worm Gears

 

The title is a play on the old adage, “Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics”. I was frustrated as I was racing against the clock before I packed up my shop and moved away for a year.  When the last sequence ended in a failure I had no choice but to include it in the final video. In a way, I think it makes it stronger as too often I think mistakes are covered up.  But literally a minute after the last frame of video I started mothballing the entire shop. It was a bittersweet moment for sure and made very concrete my imminent departure for 5500 miles away