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Smithsonian says move on, get over it. (fwd)
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2006 18:29:14 -0500

Begin forwarded message:

From: Carl Malamud <carl () media org>
Date: November 18, 2006 9:07:10 AM EST
To: dave () farber net
Subject: [Smithson] Smithsonian says move on, get over it. (fwd)

Hi Dave -

For IP, if you wish.



From: Carl Malamud <carl () media org>
Date: November 18, 2006 9:00:11 AM EST
To: smithson () mappa mundi net
Subject: [Smithson] Smithsonian says move on, get over it.

Hi -

The Smithsonian Institution has been telling Congress and the public
to move on and get over it.  This note summarizes the situation and
contains a "call for action" in the form of a letter to Congress.
Feel free to forward.

Smithsonian lobbyists are trying to paper over their exclusive 30-year
sellout to Showtime, saying that the contract has posed no problems
and nobody seems to be upset about it anymore.

This position is meant to convince Congress that they should rescind
language in pending House bills, such as provisions that no contracts
shall be issued that limit access by the public.  The situation is
timely since the House and Senate will soon be meeting to reconcile
bills in conference.

This situation just begs for a little sunshine, but that's the last
thing the Smithsonian seems to want:

    o The contract is still secret and was even withheld at first
      from members of Congress.  When they finally delivered the
      document to the oversight committee, large portions of the
      contract were redacted until they agreed to sign an NDA.
      The public *still* hasn't seen this contract.

    o The Smithsonian managed to get the hearing record pulled from
      the Government Printing Office web site, claiming it contained
      sensitive material, but I snagged a copy before it was pulled

        (3.4 mbyte pdf file)

      Appendix 3 contains a small excerpt from the contract, which
      is why that had it pulled.

    o The Government Accounting Office has delivered a draft report
of the contract to the Congress and Smithsonian officials maintain
      the study should not be released for the public to see.

If you don't want this situation simply brushed under the Smithsonian's
rug, please read and consider signing this letter to members of Congress:


I'll be taking signatures through Sunday, November 25 and will deliver
the letter the following week.  Your help would be much appreciated!

Best Regards,

Carl Malamud

Archival Materials:


BoingBoing posts on this topic:

- April 4, 2006: Smithsonian becomes Showtime's exclusive first- refusal archive

- April 5, 2006: Smithsonian's Showtime sellout needs FOIA sunshine

- April 7, 2006: Smithsonian's Showtime deal: critical attorneys shred it

- April 17, 2006: Hundreds ask Smithsonian not to sell out to Showtime

- April 29, 2006: Smithsonian's sellout to Showtime slammed by Congress

- May 4, 2006: Lawmakers slap Smithsonian over Showtime sellout deal
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