Such films [held in archives] are at least well preserved, lest they one day
cross over into that lucky 10% that commands public attention. Not so in the
wilds of streaming. Any film “bought” on Amazon Prime is yours to view for
only as long as Amazon retains the permission of the copyright holder to
show it to you. And if those same copyright holders could not be trusted to
protect our cultural heritage back when films were physical things that
could be organised and inventoried, they seem unlikely to prove more
reliable in the digital era.
Fifteen years ago, you could find almost anything on Netflix, from the
latest blockbusters to classic movies to popular television series. In
total, Netflix had around 60,000 titles available.
Today, Netflix’s streaming service only has about one-tenth as many titles
available. While it has some amazing original content, the back catalog is
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