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September 3, 2014

Showtime and Smithsonian make a deal

by Richard Keller, posted Apr 3rd 2006 8:18AM

Showtime vs. the eggheadsBoy, the eggheads are certainly pissed about this one, I tell you what!

A deal between Showtime Networks and the Smithsonian Institution has some researchers and historians a bit freaked out. It seems they're fearful that this new agreement could limit or completely cut off their access to the collections and/or the curators of the famous institution. This is due to a clause in the new agreement that states the combined Showtime-Smithsonian has first refusal rights to commercial documentaries that rely heavily on the numerous artifacts the institution keeps in its museums and beyond.

A spokeperson for the Smithsonian, as quoted in an article for The New York Times says that the collections will remain open to researchers and makers of educational documentaries; however, scrutiny will be applied when a commercial documentarian wishes to record certain activity that is a specialty of the institution and will be used in future television broadcasts. For example, why that pendelum at the Museum of American History doesn't stop!

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