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Smithsonian TV Contract Spurs Panel To Cut Funds; House Subcommittee Bans Exclusive Deals
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Appropriations; Museums; Contracts; Federal funding
Author: Trescott, Jacqueline
Date: May 5, 2006
Start Page: C.01
Section: STYLE

Last week, Rep. Charles H. Taylor (R-N.C.), chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees the federal contribution to the Smithsonian's budget, and Rep. Norman D. Dicks (D-Wash.), the ranking minority member, sent a letter to [Lawrence Small] expressing disapproval of the contract. They sharply criticized its goal to limit access to Smithsonian materials for "more than incidental" use by commercial filmmakers unless they reach an agreement with Showtime.

"I'm for giving them more money," said [David R. Obey]. ". . . But I don't think you need to change the Smithsonian into an ATM machine."

The programs would use Smithsonian materials, but the Smithsonian has set a new policy on access to its archives by other filmmakers. Smithsonian officials said they would deny requests for more than "incidental" use of their holdings "unless the producer and the Smithsonian enter into a co-production arrangement on mutually agreeable commercial terms."

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