Archive Licensing History, 1987-2013

Licencing History and Media Archive Outreach (Link to License History List)

Converse Basin, California, October, 1960

Harvey standing on a thousand year old stump, October, 1960

Harvey Richards’ active career as a photographer ended in the late 1970’s. Even before he stopped shooting film, demands arose from other film makers and media producers who wanted to include his footage and images in their productions.  By the mid-1980s, requests from film makers led to the formation of Estuary Press to handle the work and licensing involved in meeting their demands. Initially, Estuary Press established the necessary conditions to assure that his photo legacy was preserved and licensing facilitated. This included archiving and cataloging his films and photos, as well as creating the legal framework for licensing, protecting copyrights, and conducting business.

Over the decades from the founding of Estuary Press and the Harvey Richards Media Archive in 1987, film  and video makers continue to use his footage and still images in their films. The list of film projects that have used his footage and images including many well know films, from ground breaking documentaries like Berkeley in the Sixties and Eyes on the Prize, to feature films like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.  Harvey’s death in 2001 occurred at a time when Estuary Press was in the midst of the expanding demand caused by the rush to make historical documentaries at the turn of the millennium.  His wife and co-producer/author Alice Richards passed away in 2011 right at the dawn of the digital explosion created by the world wide web and the rise of smart phones, tablets, ipads, iphones and laptops that could all communicate freely on a world scale.  Estuary Press continues its work into this new era.

The steady demand for licensing images coincided with the separate demand for copies of his films and photos. The home cinema industry created a demand for digital versions of his films which have all been transferred from 16 mm film to digital formats. Digitizing Harvey Richards’ still photo images collection began in the 1990’s with the first Estuary Press web site set up to help internet searchers locate the collection.  Still photo digitizing continues to expand with the publication of new galleries of his photos on this web site. The Media Archive now offers clips from all 22 of his films and 1000 photo images in 23 galleries, with more galleries being published every week.

In the 2000’s and now in the second decade of the 21st century, the explosive growth of digital media around the world created another wave of activity and opportunity for the Media Archive.  Today, 1200 universities in 25 countries can see all of the films of Harvey Richards through the Alexander Street Press Digital Archives, a digital archive that University libraries offer students and faculty.  My 1987 book of Harvey Richards’ black and white photos, Critical Focus, is now available free to teachers through the Zinn Education Project in Washington, DC.  Clips from Harvey’s films are available on You Tube (as well as on estuarypress.com) and have been viewed by 190,000 people in 129 countries around the globe in the brief two years that they have been up there.  What began in the 1980s in the growing awareness of the community of film, video, book, magazine and television producers, has now spread to consumers of media around the globe.

The Harvey Richards Media Archive offers the images of the 1960’s struggles and events that Harvey Richards felt were important and needed some good press.  It turns out, 60 years later, that these images have lost none of their relevance and importance to current generations who face the legacy of those events. Through the web site upgade and the digitization of his films and photos, the Harvey Richards Media Archive is now part of the global expansion of awareness and communication built into the internet and the lives of current and future generations.

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