THE REEFER MADNESS BOOK
Chapter 3
Old Time Radio Programs

THE REEFER MADNESS ERA:
AN OPEN LETTER OF CONCERN TO THE O.T.R. COMMUNITY


This is written as a letter of WARNING and CONCERN to the whole of the O.T.R. community.

Recently, this museum curator has had to write a letter of rebuke to a well known figure within the OTR community who had donated a vast holdings of OTR programs (some found nowhere else), to the University of [name withheld] Special Collections Library and the National Library of Congress.   I would like to think that he was unaware that these two institutions are akin to the ĎBlack Hole of Calcutta;í --- What goes in, simply stays there and doesnít come out.   A total violation of the very spirit of the O.T.R. community, with believes in sharing and cooperation.   For example, according to OFFICIAL Library of Congress Policy --- In order to obtain an actual copy of an OTR:
  • First you must obtain written permission from the donor. Why, or what the logic behind this is, I do not know, but there it is.   [NOTE- NBC charges $100 for such a letter]
  • Next, only one of their [expensive] technicians is allowed to physically make an actual copy.
Allowing for shipping costs etc., and the costs (per OTR) run into --- ok, I donít know, but itís a lot.   Meaning that few if anyone in the OTR community is going to be able to obtain copies.   [Which is why our own Reefer Madness index has so many OTR - WANTED listings of programs taken from the Library of Congress Index.

And at the University of [name withheld], the situation is even worse.   Their logic (or at least their claim) for rejecting our request for copies, was that because we are a both museum as well as an education organization, that we would therefore make copies of these programs available to any of our museum members.   No joke, thatís their stated reason.   And what gets me is that this is a library thatís saying that.

Even thought Iíve personally have shown them that there are NO COPY-RIGHTS, and even that the program's originator [in this case the United Nations] ALLOWS FOR FREE DISTRIBUTION, even to the point of Over the Air Broadcasting, --- Still no go. They simply wonít allow us to obtain copies.   Why?   Leaving psychiatric reasons aside, I for one feel that itís a simple case of;   ďIíve got a copy and NO, Iím not going to allow you to have one, ďNyah, neyah-na-nyah, NYAH!Ē

The problem, and the reason for this letter of concern, is that the situation really isnít very funny.   About a year ago the author himself was in jail, and has personally witnessed more than one individual die Cancer.   I say this not to draw sympathy, but simply to state a fact, people are hurting out there, and they need our help.   Among the OTRís that we attempted to obtain via the University of [name withheld] is the following:
The U.N. story # 54, Assignment Narcotics - OCLC: 260433650 Which contains the voices of Harry J. Anslinger (Americans first Drug Czar) who is accredited with creating the Anti-Medical Marihuana Laws, as well as that of Victor H. Vogel who was also instrumental in the dis-information campaign.
This program alone, because of who appears on it, is vital to historians, OTR buffs, and lawyers defending cancer patients, who can use the information to help end present day injustices.   But due to the fact that we CANíT obtain these recordings, this is not to be.

Thus to the OTR community, I beg of all of you out there, please, please, donít just donate anything to any library in a nilly-willy fashion.   ASK the following: Will the public have reasonable access to these programs or will you just be keeping them all to yourselves?

PLEASE all of you out there, donít let this happen again.

Antique Andy
Museum Curator




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