Over the decades, the CBC has become one of the biggest repositories of recorded music in the known world. Its archives are filled with all manner of records, CDs and tapes going back decades. Some of these recordings are one-of-a-kind and insanely rare, especially the 78 RPM records. And now a bunch of them are going to be destroyed.
Not sold. Not given away. Not donated. Destroyed.
According to this story (via Bobby) from Radio Canada International
The main French-language production centre of Radio-Canada in Montreal has also been digitising its collection. However recently it was revealed that most of the collection of over 200,000 CDs will be destroyed when the process is completed in 2019, prior to the move to new quarters in 2020.
The collection consists of some 151,000 CDs, and 56,000 “doubles”. The huge headquarters building of the French broadcasting network has been sold and the remaining entity is to be moved to a new smaller rented building being built on the former property.
Why? This seems like a horrible loss, one deliberately engineered. A wanton, careless, WILLFUL lost of culture. But here’s where we run into the issue of copyright.
The executive also noted in a Radio-Canada story that they can’t give away the rest of the discs without first verifying the copyright situation, adding that doing that for the whole collection would be a far too expensive and time-consuming task. Another option of putting the collection in storage would also be too expensive.
The solution apparently is to destroy the CD’s, along with the disc covers and liner notes. Producers have said that liner notes can provide useful information for programmers and hosts, and that much of that will be lost without the hard copies.
Some people aware of the situation have said that as the broadcaster eliminates its “hard copy” libraries, many rare items are likely to be lost forever.
The Montreal library also houses about 200,000 vinyl LP records. Many of these are now quite rare. Even more rare are the approximately 70,000 old 78rpm discs. Few of these were ever re-recorded on LP, and almost none of these exist on CD.
Unbelievable. Sad. Frustrating. Anyone else angry?