Showtime Takes Control Of Smithsonian Archives

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When two filmmakers recently tried to gain access to archives of the famous Smithsonian Institute museum and were denied, it came to light the institution has engaged in a 30-year contract with soft porn-peddling cable channel, Showtime, giving them almost exclusive access to the nation's largest museum.

Stay tuned for Showtime's latest original movie: Xaviera goes to the Air and Space Museum!

Two filmmakers were refused access to the Smithsonian Institution's collections for their projects but researchers generally have not been restricted so far by the Smithsonian's semi-exclusive deal with a cable network, congressional investigators say.

The public has justifiable concerns nonetheless about the 30-year contract between the Smithsonian and Showtime Networks Inc., a cable network owned by CBS Corp., according to the Government Accountability Office.

"It is too early to determine the long-term impact of the contract," Congress' investigative arm said in a report Friday. "Access to the Smithsonian's collections and staff for research purposes remains unchanged, but the direct impact on filmmakers will depend largely on how many request permission to use a substantial amount of Smithsonian content."

The GAO also criticized the Smithsonian for not providing enough information to the public about the contract and for assuring filmmakers their access would not suffer based on analyses that rely on "incomplete data and oversimplified criteria."

Investigators said the Smithsonian must give filmmakers better information about how the contract will affect them.

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Smithsonian on Showtime VOD
Posted by TH Williams on 2007-01-08 15:24:37
Unfortunately many people are unaware of the nature of Showtime programming. It is unbelievable that Smithsonian curators would agree to be associated with Showtime content.
 

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