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Library of Congress eyes National Film Registry streaming scheme

Joseph L. Flatley
January 1, 2011
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In the digital age, libraries all over the country have been looking for ways to remain relevant and useful as they continue their core mission of giving people access to media and educational materials. To that end, The Library of Congress has announced plans to make selections from the National Film Registry available for streaming online. Of course, as the Federal Times notes, some of the copyright owners might balk at the suggestion (it's hard to imagine George Lucas ever letting anyone freely stream Star Wars) but in theory this isn't a bad idea, at all. "I hope we'll be able to work something out," said Librarian of Congress James Billington. "[The registry] has great educational and inspirational as well as entertainment value." Besides, if you don't give kids a legal, safe way to watch the classic W.C. Fields flick "It's a Gift" (1934), they're just going to get it from illegal torrent sites or from guys selling bootleg DVDs on Penn Avenue in Garfield.

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