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Media Liability

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seanjayyMedia Liability
by on Jul 20, 2005 at 12:27:20 pm

I am wondering what others do to protect themselves in this situation.

As a post house supplying Terabytes and Terabytes of drive space what measures are being taken to backup up media.

And where does that responsibility fall, onto the client or the facility?

Say for example the client has loaded in a few TBs of media over the course of a month or so, and then for some godforsaken reason the drive goes down and can't be recovered. The source of the drive crash can't be traced to anyone really so who shoulders the burden?

Of course any facility in their right mind is going to do everything they can to help the client recover but what happens when it might not be recoverable or even if it is It might take weeks to reload and put project back together involving all sorts of down time and then there are airdates and deadline. It could really be a mess.

We have found ourselves closer to this situation than one would want to be. Thankfully we narrowly escaped doom, but it has got me really thinking.

I have thought that the best solution is a tape back up system but this is very expensive. If I did go this route on the larger projects I would have to include it in the budget of the project and then if the client declined I would treat it has if the client is declining the extra coverage on a rental car and have them sign off on it, but would that really cover me.

I am curious as to others theory in this situation.


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Charlie KingRe: Media Liability
by on Jul 20, 2005 at 4:06:00 pm

[seanjayy] "I have thought that the best solution is a tape back up system but this is very expensive"

I have always felt tape is cheap. If you had been using tape backups from day one, you wouldn't have this problem now. Time to back up, my clients have always paid for tape in the original billing, and never once did I have a problem with them questioning it. We always kept the tape unless they asked to take it with them at which time we would inform them of the importance of storage in a cool dry environment.

Sorry there is no simpler answer. Just remember tape is cheap compared to total loss of creative time and property.


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Frank OttoRe: Media Liability
by on Jul 20, 2005 at 10:21:19 pm

I have to agree with Charlie. Backing up to data discs, baking up to tape readers for data will keep your digital data in the digital domain...keeping archival masters of rendered footage on mag tape or DVD will at least preserve a copy of the work.

I know, we went through this rush to eliminate tape and hard archives, but guess what? We're finding out that magnetic discs aren't that forever and it's a lot easier to dump a drive than it is to bulk a mag tape. I've never heard of a virus or a "ghost in the machine" that put a secured tape into record mode or blanked it after one playback pass.

Discs are great for access...lousy for long-term storage and security. That means mag tape and CDr-DVD backups - and storage libraries should be in your plans.


Frank Otto

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seanjayyRe: Media Liability
by on Jul 20, 2005 at 10:32:28 pm

I agree with the process of backing up to tape but this is my question...

What if the client doesn't want to spend the extra money on the tape back up. Mind you I am talking about the time during the edit not archiving afterwards. So what happens in your opinion if the drive fails and there isn't a back up of the media. Of course there would be a back up of the project somewhere but not all the TBs of media, that would have to re loaded in. Who would be resposible for the recovery process. The facility that is owner of the machines or the client who put there faith in the machines?

Do you believe they need to sign a waiver when the decline the back up that takes liability off of the facility?

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Frank OttoRe: Media Liability
by on Jul 20, 2005 at 10:43:41 pm

If they decline to pay the relatively small cost of making a back-up then yes, I'd make them sign a waiver stating that they refused.

As far as recovery...if your systen goes down you should do the recovery. The client is responsible only for the materials they bring (as to quality and usability) but you are more or less guarenteeing that your machines are in working order and should not fail during the project's working life.


Frank Otto

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Rich RubaschRe: Media Liability
by on Jul 23, 2005 at 11:46:26 pm

I think a RAID-1 is one solution here, much better than a tape backup. If the drives go down there is a mirrored copy of all the data...keep on working while you get the bad drive fixed, then restore the mirror and nothing was ever lost...not a moment of time. Caveat? Some performance decrease, and you have to either use half your existing storage, or double it to create the mirror.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media

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