Recently discovered through a routine Google search that the Henry George School in Chicago exhibited our movie title, ‘BookWars‘ in a public performance setting: no advance notice, request or payment was made to copyright holder, which constitutes theft of our IP (Intellectual Property).

Henry George School in Chicago steals IP (intellectual property), the movie 'BookWars'

Screenshot of the original advertisement on the Henry George School, Chicago, website (Since removed)
A cached version is available

Kindly note that Camerado is an independent media producer and not a large, exploitive Chicago landlord.

The costs of production of the work which was stolen, are still being paid off and it is very disappointing to learn that Henry George’s original philosophy respected the ‘value of that which had been fairly created’, (such as the production of our title, ‘BookWars’).

This stands, or should stand, in contrast to an objection exploitation of the commons that Georgists are noted for.

However, in this case, the work of an individual property owner – Mr. Jason Rosette, copyright holder and producer of the title ‘BookWars’, which was produced with great effort, cost, and at great risk – was abused by representatives of the Henry George Schools in Chicago under the assumption that IP is a ‘common good’ and not a ‘fairly created’ and devised and owned property.

Two staffers of that school, Mr. Chuck Metalitz and Bob Matter were very disagreeable and resistant to work with on this issue, and Mr. Metalitz was furthermore very resistant to the notion that IP has any value at all or that the work deserves any compensation.

Kindly note that, as in the past, the copyright holder may well have offered a significant discount in the screening fee had any outreach or request from the Henry George School been undertaken in advance on some cordial, reasonable fashion. A detailed overview of the situation will soon be forthcoming, along with information about a fundraiser designed to raise the standard screening fee, in the event the school continues to avoid paying the requested fee for their use of the content.

Additionally, the fundraiser will support the development and publication of a PDF ‘Quick Guide’ for institutions to use in determining what is proper fair use and what use constitutes public performance.

Though they have removed the original advertisement from their website (*notable that more time was spent in removing any trace of their theft than in undertaking any proactive outreach to content rights holder in the first place)  a cached version of the illicit screening advertisement can be found HERE; an archived version is also available on the Camerado website.
Update 7/22/2015 FOR TRANSPARENCY PURPOSES: THE COMPLETE EMAILS (*minus one which was sent to Bob Matter via a webform, if I can find a copy will include)


On 06/19/2015 11:34 PM, J Rosette wrote:

Hello Henry George School:

I noticed you have screened our movie ‘BookWars’ at your June 13th event; I am the filmmaker and writer-director, Jason Rosette.

I’m glad you found our efforts to be worthwhile, as the movie was incredibly challenging to make, and believe it or not I’m still paying it off to this day!

Speaking of which: I would like to ask what sort of arrangements had been made for the public performance and advertisement of the film – this usually involves the rental of the movie for an agreed sum, even if it’s being shown for free.

Had I known about your screening earlier, and understanding the mission of your organization I would have considered waiving any fee to screen the movie, and could have fully supported it with outreach, etc.

But now that the event has passed, and I was never approached, I think it’s appropriate to discuss this now.

Please let me know what you propose, or if there’s any 3rd party arrangement that may have been made which I’m not aware of –

I had sent a message to the curator of film programming, below, but have received no response so far…

All the Best,

Jason Rosette

Hello Bobs:

How did the screening of the movie go?

I came across the listing on the internet – I am the filmmaker & director of BookWars (Jason Rosette)

If you’d let me know I would have done some kind of Skype interview.

Kindly let me know any audience reaction – am assuming you have the Public Performance screener rights…?

All the Best

J Rosette


from: Chuck Metalitz <>
cc: robert j matter <>
date: Sun, Jun 21, 2015 at 8:02 AM

Hello Jason Rosette,Bob Matter did receive your message, yesterday I guess, but told me he did not immediately respond because:

Fridays are bad days for me because as usual I worked the full day at the law firm straight thru without lunch, followed by over-time mailing stuff at the post office until 6:15 p.m., followed by rushing to Facets to work my normal Friday night shift there, followed by my hellacious commute home via the South Shore.  So my day begins at 6:30 a.m. Friday and does not end until about 12:30 a.m. on Saturday without a break!
We are a nonprofit school of Political Economy. The film was shown in our classroom,to a group of six people, comprising graduates of our Principles of Political Economy program and friends. The purpose was to stimulate post-film discussion on aspects of political economy, particularly the Law of Rent.  Bob reports that

Immediately after the film I went to the marker board and gave everybody a refresher lecture on the law of rent and how it influences the market-set minimum wage (what you can earn on the best available free land).  Bookwars was about sidewalk booksellers who paid no rent or other fees.  They just set up tables on the sidewalk and sell used books.  They were able to do that because of the First Amendment.  Scrappers, the guys who troll the alleys for scrap metal to sell are in the same category.

According to information posted by the University of Minnesota here, no permission or payment is required.

While the showing was open to the public, the posted listing apparently did not attract anyone.

That said, it’s fair to compensate you for your work, and if you propose a payment for what we did I am sure we can agree on a reasonable amount. If you’re interested in knowing more about what we teach, courses worldwide are offered thru the Henry George Institute.

Please get back to me.

— Chuck Metalitz, President
Henry George School of Chicago


J Rosette <>
Jun 21

to Chuck
Hi Chuck –

Thanks for getting back to me; yes I’m (very) aware of the classroom fair use exemptions for display of motion pictures, as I’m often deflecting it in the course of defending the rights to my hard-earned copyrighted material.

Probably a better source for that info, since you’ve brought it up , would be:

You’ll note that the activity is restricted to students enrolled in the institution only, and does not permit general public to attend, or the advertisement of the even in such a way that it would even appear to be open and available to the public (see attached screenshot).

Bob Matter appears to work at Facets, according to his email, and so should already be fully aware of the scope, limits, and implementation of public performance…in fact , Facets did do a legitimate public performance screening of BookWars when it was first released, and we were paid for it. (as should be the case)

You stated below that ‘friends’ of the program also attended, so this alone confirms that the work was displayed under a public performance environment.

The reason that this component is so vital is that it prevents loss of financial gain, and my ability to recoup costs involved in production of the work – which I’m still paying off. Even so, whether or not I am still paying off the work does not limit the scope of the copyright holder’s ability to generate revenue towards a fair and sustainable livelihood.

By way of example, if we had another Chicago screening taking place on or near the same time of your publicly advertised event – and it was clearly publicly advertised, because that’s how I discovered the information, online – then your event could have unduly impacted revenue from that event while interfering with my ability to legitimately display the work.

I bring this all up because the ‘classroom fair use’ issue was brought up right off the bat, though it was wrongfully implemented.

It would have been more reasonable for your group, if financially challenged, to undertake outreach to the copyright holder (me) to seek a waiver or discount.

It also would have been more polite, respectful to the work, and ‘felt better’ all around, no?

So, in light of the fact that:


  • a) the burden to locate the source of the illegitimate screening is placed upon copyright holder (me), and somewhat unapolegetically it seems to my perception, while
  • b) I do in fact still owe money on the production of the movie, and the work would not even exist without said investment
  • c) I have every right to recoup my investment, while
  • d) outreach could have easily been done to me in advance, as it is being done now by members of your organization, in order to arrange and confirm an affordable non-public screening and to seek some special arrangement with the copyright holder
  • e) Your organization also surely has some operating costs, despite the scope and scale of your mission; therefore some reciprocal understanding should (have) been all that much more in order, especially with regarding to an independent, grass roots, non-studio title such as ‘BookWars’ and the nature of the subject matter that was being discussedI do, therefore, accept your offer to make a payment in compensation for that public performance screening, and would seek to secure that in any case.

The cost of public performance screenings can vary; why not take a look around at other public performance screening events and see what figures you come up with.

Then, kindly drop me a line with some data ($) and a proposed amount;

Finally: yes, your school seems interesting, I did take a look around the website.




J Rosette <>
AttachmentsJun 21

to Chuck
Forgot to attach this, anyway all the best








J Rosette <>
Jun 24

to Chuck

Hi Chuck –

Any thoughts?




Chuck Metalitz
Jun 24

to me, Bob
Hello Jason Rosette

Bob Matter has had ISP difficulties, and has been too busy earning a living to find any useful information about this. He tells me that film web sites typically do not post prices, but merely invite inquiries which he has not yet been able to pursue.

From the point of view of revenue lost to the owner of the “intellectual property” comprising the film, I am sure most of the attendees would never have paid anything to see it, especially since you already posted it to youtube so they could have watched it privately for free. But we may pretend that they would have each paid $10 (which seems to be the amount Facets and the Music Box charge), and that all of this would have gone to the owner. We can further assume that our classroom might have been filled for the exhibition, a total of twelve people. That would yield you a total of $120, which is the amount I am proposing to settle this matter.

And that is far more than we would be able to pay routinely to show any film.


 J Rosette <>Jun 25to Chuck, Bob, aetoole
Hi Chuck  –

You don’t seem to get it; we’re talking about public performance and advertising the work without the copyright holder’s consent.  Not home use.
My posting a home use version of ‘BookWars’ on Youtube for private viewing is my prerogative; it’s a low rez version with title cards and links to drive viewers to other work, and has nothing to do with public performance and your group’s theft and advertising of the title.
I am also busy making a living, by the way working hard to raise money for some underpriviliged children in the developing world, teaching media, and when I have free time, checking on any news or updates regarding any of the previous titles I’ve produced.
Sometimes, these titles are enjoying legitimate screenings; at other times, such as this instance, they’re being mishandled, ripped off or stolen.
Like many other filmmakers, I try to recover earnings for that lost property.
Your attitude of entitlement, and disregard for the hard earned property of a 3rd party is absolutely disheartening; yes, you can cherry pick your content and provide links to various articles to justify your position, but the fact is, the creation of the IP* your group mishandled was a very very challenging, labor-intensive, and expensive process (*BookWars).
It happened to be produced in the pre-Final cut pro desktop era when editing facilities were limited to AVID and Media 100, two hardware based machines that were expensive.
The audio mix alone cost $2500 – I routinely spent my RENT money on the production of that movie.  Content which you deemed valuable enough to feature at your school.
But who cares? According to your perspective, movies just grow on trees and fall to the ground to be picked up and used freely….they don’t cost anything to make.
Just as General Motors freely gives their cars away; or the local grocers will just provide bags of food for the taking – there’s no effort or cost involved in the production of that product either.
Anyway, I shouldn’t have to justify my defense of the work your group has mishandled, or to educate you all on the rights of the copyright holder regarding their work.
If you disagree with any position regarding my rights as IP owner, then we can discuss this in a more official forum – Bob is a paralegal anyway, why not ask him about the legal dimensions of this.
But I do appreciate your minimal offer to compensate for the screening of the work, post-facto, after I brought the issue to your attention. Again, I probably would have been extremely flexible if even some minimal, normal, civil outreach were done in advance to seek permission or a waiver to use the work.
But in this case, given the dimensions of your response as a representative of the Henry George School, and by being implicitly scolded in the process for the presumption of seeking to uphold my rights of ownership as content producer, I’ll be seeking the standard public performance screening fee of $500.

What I can offer to do, though, as a workaround which would relieve your group of any financial burden, would be to undertake a fundraiser on your group’s behalf (crowdfunding), i.e., specifically to raise that screening fee, say on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, etc.
I would also  utilize some of the generated proceeds to develop a PDF handbook for organizational use, vis-a-vis the proper handling of public performance screening of movie titles.
This sounds like a constructive and reasonable solution to me, and one that would limit any negative financial impact on your group (as you mentioned the $120 is more than you’d feel comfortable paying).
Plus, the educational handbook would be a useful side-product of the effort, and one that organizations such as yours may find useful in terms of dealing with public performance of media titles.
If you elect to pay the $500 without the fundraiser, let me know – otherwise I’ll start that up shortly and keep you appraised of its progress.
PS – The disconnect between the stated position and philosophy in your article, here ( and your actual actions in this scenario, vis-a-vis earned wealth of the production of the non-studio grass roots title ‘BookWars’ going towards those who have actually produced the inputs to create the product, is startling.
Is this the core philosophy of the Henry George School?
Chuck MetalitzJun 26to me, robert
Images are not displayed.Display images below – Always display images from
Hello Jason RosetteI wanted to acknowledge that I did receive your message below.  Several of our Board members are discussing how to proceed and I expect to get back to you by tomorrow.The issues you raise regarding “entitlement,” “movies just grow on trees,” and “the disconnect” could lead to a good discussion, but I’d like to resolve your claim first.
Chuck Metalitz
Jun 27to me
Hello Jason RosetteThe advice I got, repeating what you said, was to look at actual charges for “public” screenings of the sort we did, for small documentaries. I was able to find a few sites where specific fees are posted. I have seen none of these films, nor have I seen yours.
Bookwars: It appears that we could have bought a copy of the DVD, with rights to show it at our School and Library, for $45.
The Tiger Next Door: Screening fee $50, on special from usual $85.
Craft: Screening Fee $150, includes a DVD
Any (or all?) of three films from Navis Pictures: $50
The Voyage that Shook the World: $100
Members of my Board are unwilling to approve any payment to you[*bold, but not italic, added; see note below], but I don’t see how I could withdraw the $120 offer from my previous message. Therefore, if we receive a signed letter from you, asserting that you still own the rights to Bookwars, and that you will accept $120 as full payment for our past display of the film, we will promptly send a check. This offer will expire August 1, 2015.– Chuck Metalitz
Henry George School of Chicago
30 E Adams #1207
Chicago 60603
[* Members of the Board, as of 7/27/15, include the following]
Michael P. Cohen, Treasurer
Attorney in private practice
David Harrell
Robert F. Jene, Instructor
Computer Programmer
Adam H. Kerman
Consultant in Organization and Politics
Irene Marmi, Secretary and Librarian
Feral Advocate
Robert J. Matter, Curator of Films
Paralegal and Bicycle Advocate
Edward Miller, Administrative Director and Instructor
Software Developer
George M. Menninger, Jr.,Instructor
Real estate investments and development
Chuck Metalitz, AICP, blog President and Instructor
Research Director of the Henry George School
Jacob Shwartz-Lucas
Molecular Biologist
Scott W. Walton, Vice President
President, Scott W. Walton & Associates
[Note again that Mr. Metalitz confirmed in his email that these board members were ‘unwilling to approve any payment‘, i.e., to pay for their consumption…do they also run out on the check at restaurants diners when the waiter isn’t looking?  This key statement highlights a distinct anti-IP / anti-copyright position of the Henry George School organization, and stands in stark contrast to the position of their namesake, the original Henry George himself, who held that  ‘people legitimately own value they fairly create’ (including IP content which is created) – See more info on Wikipedia.
Thus, it appears the contemporary Henry George School organization has devolved into a sort of rogue IP/copyright abuser, seeking to claim even fairly created content and property as a common good. This in turn renders the owner without any means to recoup investment or production cost. If true, then the position of this group of IP and copyright abusers is destructive to large, legitimate, sectors of the US economy which pivot upon the valuation of IP via lawful and appropriate  copyright protection]
J Rosette <>
Jun 27to ChuckHello again Chuck -As mentioned, I’m proceeding with a fundraiser to cover the cost of a standard fee and to produce the educational PDF. I’ve already put in enough time and effort dealing with this situation and in this way I will consider it resolved.Insofar as I don’t feel like waiving the standard fee for a group (Henry George School) that holds such an outspoken, destructive position towards independent content holder rights, I feel it is more constructive overall for me to seek remedy through the fundraiser and associated production of the educational PDF.You could have bought a copy of BookWars for library circulation, for $45 yes. But then again, that would have been an implicit recognition of the rights of an IP holder, and IP in general – a notion which you dismissed in previous messages. You even provided supporting links to prove your point. So, that would be an ideological contradiction, aside from the practical limitations in its use.

And of course, even if those rights were available, the operative word there is ‘could’, which implies your group’s hypothetical effort in seeking rights in advance, and recognizing them in monetary terms.This is something that you’ve expressed antipathy for repeatedly.

Alternatively, that process would require taking the time to undertake outreach to the content rights holder to seek a waiver, given your group’s financial limitations. But your group does not seem to recognize as a component of a content producer’s livelihood, or even to consider the notion of civil, normal outreach to content producer as a way of seeking a waiver for the use of their property, which is the core of this whole issue and the production of the intended PDF.In any case, at this point I’m done dealing with you all in this issue.

I have opted, in the course of this unpleasant yet illuminating process, to handle it independently through the fundraiser, as mentioned.The issue is thus resolved. I’m not sure how much of the standard fee, or what portion I will raise, but that is the target at this point, with any ancillary revenue to be applied towards the time and effort of producing the educational PDF.There will be no cost to your group, which will relieve any potential financial burden which you have cited a number of times.

Finally, you can track down my copyright for BookWars in the Library of congress.

I’ve already received approval for the fundraiser, and it will proceed shortly.

Regards, and good luck – my final suggestion would be to seek a waiver or permission to screen any content rights-holder’s work in advance of your intended event. They will likely try to work with you if this is done in a friendly, approachable way, and not the hostile, defensive, and spiteful manner I’ve experienced so far…



J Rosette <>

Jun 27

to Bob
Hello Bob –

Am forwarding this message to you as well, since you appear to be the curator for this institution.
You’ve been curiously absent from this discussion, considering your role in selecting and screening the movie which has caused this bit of a dustup (‘BookWars’)
I would welcome your input into this situation – do you have any comment or explanation that may clarify things?
So far, I’ve just heard from your colleague Chuck who has been quite defensive and dismissive about the need to secure rights from the content holder.
I understand you have some involvement with Facets; I’m familiar with Facet s and have worked with them previously.
Are you, by any chance, fully informed about the need to secure rights from content holder for public screenings?
Kindly clarify your role in all this, it would be much appreciated.  Some additional input from yourself very well could have solved this issue in a less fractious way to be honest.
Jason Rosette
(NOTE: I received no response from Bob Matter for about a week.  
I then emailed him via the web form at the law office where he works as a paralegal, Freeman Kevenides Law Firm.  
ONLY THEN did I receive a response – the message had been forwarded to him internally, apparently, and he pretty much had to reply)
Bob Matter
Jul 3to me, Chuck
Hi Jason,Bob Matter here. I received your 6/29/15 e-mail sent through my
employer’s web site. I asked Chuck Metalitz if it would be OK if I
wrote to you directly, and he said it would be. So, over the holiday
weekend I will attempt to write a letter to you explaining the origin
of this whole misunderstanding, barring any unforeseen emergencies
that may arise. I am at work now and too busy to devote any time to
personal activities.Best regards,-BM
J Rosette <>
Jul 3to Bob, Chuck, aetooleHello Bob -Yes, more information would be usefulIn any case, it’s unfortunate that you did not take the opportunity to clarify this further would not have been taken much earlier.As you know, I undertook outreach to you ages ago, nicely, to see what may be some sort of explanation. Never heard from you til now.You chose to avoid addressing the issue, which I think was a diplomatic error at the very least. (*maybe my State Department experience coming to the fore? Who knows)Anyway, If things had been handled differently from your side, the outcome now would probably be significantly different.

By the way, this point keeps being raised and I would like to address it: the notion that only a select few people are ‘busy earning a living’ and are thus too busy to handle the issue of this abuse/theft of IP.

We are ALL busy. You are busy. Chuck is busy. I am busy. My legal contact and advisor in Chicago is busy.My sister, head lawyer of IP and domains at Amazon, is also busy.

The street booksellers are busy.

We are ALL ‘busy earning a living’, and more – ie., producing work, such as ‘BookWars’ which was undertaken at great personal and financial risk, with a lot of time and effort invested.

I had to PAY for the audio mix. I had to seek out, secure, negotiate, clear and PAY for the music licenses. I had to PAY to use the editing gear. All the while, holding down jobs and doing what I could to generate finishing funds, with every shred of my extra time, money and resources being poured into the production of that movie.

I took a look at Henry George on Wikipedia, didn’t know about him previously. It’s interesting to see, highlighted as a core part of his stated philosophy, that

“people legitimately own value they fairly create”

That clearly indicates that a motion picture which took years of effort and a lot of time and energy to create was fairly created – and thus I legitimately own it, even according to Henry George.

Chuck seems to have confused the part regarding ownership of that which people fairly create, with George’s notion regarding the use & exploitation of the ”commons’, ala, land ownership, rents, broadcast spectrums.

In any case, after the manner in which this was all handled, I reiterate again that I’m seeking my standard rate of compensation for the use of my work, while exploring additional and other means to initiate this as well.


Jason Rosette

(9 days later…)
Bob Matter
Jul 13 (9 days ago)to me, ChuckImages are not displayed. Display images below – Always display images from
Dear Jason,
I apologize for taking so long to finish this letter. Because we have a trial coming up this week at work, I ended up working one of the days I was supposed to be off over the holiday weekend to prepare. Subsequently I came down with a wicked summer cold, and to top it off the clothes dryer in my building broke down this weekend, necessitating a bicycle trip to the laundromat to do my laundry (I don’t own a car).
First, about my association with Facets… Facets is divided into three distinct parts; movie theatre, video rentals, and “upstairs”. “Upstairs” includes the administration of the other two divisions, Facets’ own film distribution business, film appreciation classes, and the annual Children’s Film Festival and its associated events. The video rentals staff is paid. The upstairs staff is paid, save for an occasional college intern. I think the Children’s Film Festival operation may occasionally use some volunteers, but I am not sure. In the movie theatre, projectionists are paid staff, but the box office and concessions personnel are volunteers. I have been a volunteer in the movie theatre since 2002. Movie theatre volunteers’ duties are chiefly selling tickets, making and selling popcorn, and selling fountain & bottled beverages and candy. Volunteers also help stock the various food and paper product inventories, wipe down the counters and equipment, and do light janitorial work like sweeping the lobby floor, picking up garbage/sweeping the movie theatre between screenings, and making sure the bathrooms have soap, toilet paper, and paper towels. Occasionally a truly dedicated volunteer will plunge a toilet or mop a floor if necessary. Movie theatre volunteers are not trained in U.S. copyright law. Upstairs staff members work Monday thru Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and have virtually no regular contact with movie theatre volunteers who work evenings and weekends. I don’t even know how many employees work upstairs, and I would only be able to pick four upstairs employees out of a lineup.
Until recently, two movie theatre volunteers worked the 6:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. shift every evening.Additionally, two volunteers worked the 2:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. matinee shift on Saturdays and Sundays. Those shifts facilitate selling tickets and concessions 30 minutes prior to, and 15 minutes after, the normal showtimes of 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays, and 3, 5, 7, & 9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. A volunteer commits to working 3 shifts per month, although some of us will help out and work an extra shift or two if needed. Unfortunately the movie theatre’s business has deteriorated to the point where Facets eliminated the Sunday 9 p.m. screening, and only one volunteer is necessary for most shifts anymore. Nonetheless, since my association with the theatre, approximately 25-50 hours of volunteer labor per week have been donated to make a typical one-week run of 17 (formerly 18) screenings of small independent and first-time directors’ films viable. There is a small economics lesson in this that shouldn’t go to waste; a product’s labor input extends until that product is in the ultimate consumer’s hands. The labor content that goes into producing a magazine for example rightfully extends beyond the writers, editors, photographers, printers, etc. all the way to the delivery driver who delivers the magazine to the store and puts it on the shelf, and to the cashier who takes the customer’s money and gives him his change and his receipt and places the magazine in a bag. Likewise, for a movie the labor input includes the last person(s) in the chain who sell the customer his ticket and his popcorn and his soda and provide other services to that customer until he has exited the theatre, leaving his empty soft drink cup and and popcorn bucket in the theatre that must be picked up, and a plugged toilet in the bathroom that must be plunged.
As a token of their appreciation, Facets gives movie theatre volunteers a complimentary video rentals membership that allows us to rent two DVDs or tapes at a time. When the Henry George School revived its film club, “Curious Georgists Go to the Movies”, about five years ago, I volunteered to co-curate it because my complimentary Facets video rentals membership would enable me to rent videos for the club at no cost. I do not know who the previous film club curator(s) was or were, or when the club went dormant. At the time I held the common belief that public screening of videos was permissible as long as no admission was charged and that a legitimate copy of the media was used; I had been attending such free public screenings of films sponsored by small non-profits and community organizations in church basements, public libraries, art galleries, and book stores for years. The intention of those organizations was not to use their precious financial resources and volunteers’ precious time to provide free entertainment for the general public, but rather to engage, educate, and inform people sympathetic to the sponsoring organization’s position on war, the environment, human rights, or some other topic via face to face discussion after the film. (FYI, the copy of Bookwars we watched was a legitimate VHS tape from Facets video rentals, not a digital stream from
A year or two ago a board member asked me to make sure it was OK for the film club to show videos at the school. Facets video rentals is widely recognized as having one of the largest repositories of rare and foreign films in the business, and I believe schools of many stripes from around the nation rent videos from them. So, I thought a Facets video rentals employee would be knowledgeable about the subject. The next time I went to Facets video rentals to rent a video for the film club, I asked an employee. I explained to him that the Henry George School was a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization, we did not charge admission, and that the purpose of showing the videos was educational in nature, i.e. to foster discussion about some aspect of economics. He made sure I said we did not charge admission, then said “It shouldn’t be a problem.” He didn’t say anything about the status of an audience member or publicizing the screening making a difference, and it never it occurred to me those things would. We have a Political Economy Book Club that is free and open to the public that meets approximately bi-monthly, and we usually present one or two economic lectures per month that are also free and open to the public. We would be delighted to have any interested member of the public attend one of those free events and hopefully become interested enough to begin taking classes, and ultimately become a committed Georgist.
I’m afraid my legal training did not encompass copyright law either. I took a business law class in graduate school about 20 years ago. If we covered copyrights, I don’t remember it. I recall learning about agency, contracts, and civil procedure, but that’s about it. The law firm I’ve worked at for the last seven years is a personal injury firm concentrating on advocating on behalf of vulnerable road users (bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit riders) who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents. All of my training there has been on-the-job (except for a couple seminars I attended about resolving problems when the injured party is a Medicare recipient) and narrowly focused in our area of concentration.
So anyway, that is how we came to show your film, unaware of any wrongdoing on our part. I hope you will forgive us this innocent trespass, especially in light of my long service record as a Facets movie theatre volunteer, diligently working month in and month out for almost 14 years now, enduring our terrible weather and my hellacious bike/train/bus commute, so that small, independent films can see the light of day. I believe the Curious Georgists Go to the Movies film club can operate within the law as a private, members only, non-advertising entity. We are really just a small group of five or six old friends, united by our interest in economics and our belief in Henry George’s remedy for increase of want with increase of wealth.
-Bob Matter
J Rosette <>
Jul 15 (7 days ago)to BobHello Bob -Thanks for the belated explanation; honestly, if you all had been forthright from the very beginning this would have gone a long, long, long, long way towards diffusing or at least ameliorating this situation.

I have in the past offered screening waivers for grass roots groups, and/or reduced fee waivers for public performance screenings such as the one involving BookWars.The reason a publicly advertised event differs from a private event is because it has some impact content’s position in the marketplace.

That is, if the screening is intended for internal purposes only then a) why advertise the movie at all and b) why utilize discrete materials (ie., copy, imagery etc) to promote the event in such a way that is can be considered ‘an attraction’?In short: if the exhibitor wants to utilize the content itself to draw an audience, then that requires payment for use, which is what I’m seeking.Secondly: if there had been any doubt about whether the screening in such a format was legitimate….why not contact the title holder?

It only takes a minute or two. Contrast this to the 3-5 years and significant effort and sums of money required to actually produce the title, in this case at least.I’ve noticed numerous other titles listed on your website, all similarly advertised. I’m not in a position to say whether you have secured PPR for those or not, but if not, the same factors would apply.As you may recall, my initial outreach was cordial and reasonable.

However, the response I received from Chuck Metalitz was defensive, unpleasant, non-apologetic, and he was quick to point out his (incorrect) position regarding the HG School’s right to the ‘common good’ nature of the privately produced work and its advertisement as a public performance event.Any reasonable response or explanation, such as yours, was delayed beyond any constructive point; it only served to reinforce the perceived position which appeared to be, and was, unlawful/illegal.

Barring any normal, immediate response to explain any mitigating factors, any reasonable person would draw the same conclusions that I have regarding the abuse of their property.

As such, I was (an am) disinclined to offer any such screening waiver, and I’m still seeking the full, standard screening fee for the event in any case.

At least on Wikipedia it says, regarding Henry George’s philosophy:

‘people legitimately own value they fairly create’

Maybe your accountant can find a way to write it off as a loss, who knows?

As I mentioned to Chuck, my alternative is to undertake a fundraiser to generate the fee, in which case I’ll be putting together a quick guide/checklist for organizations to help clarify these factors to exhibitors.

Good luck, I hope you can help bring the teachings of Henry George into the 21st Century regarding the legitimacy of IP as a ‘fairly created property’.

Jason Rosette


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