Please respond to the following:
In 1963, Abraham Zapruder filmed the most sickening event in American history, the assassination of President Kennedy. He later sold the film to Time for $150,000. Later Time sold the film back to the Zapruder family for $1. For many years, the Federal Government claimed that they should be the rightful owners of the film. You have been assigned as the arbitrator for this case. How would you handle the negotiations of this delicate case? Do you think that the final outcome was fair? Explain why.
Link to article regarding the dispute: http://www.nytimes.com/1998/07/06/us/federal-government-and-zapruder-family-debate-the-price-of-history.html
An interview with the Time magazine journalist, who obtained the Zapruder film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zsk4DSzQ2s
NPR interview – Zapruder’s Book Examines Her Grandfather’s Filming Of JFK Assassination – http://www.npr.org/2016/11/21/502841532/zapruder-s-book-examines-her-grandfather-s-filming-of-jfk-assassination
Link to the Zapruder film. Warning – graphic and violent content!: http://www.jfk.org/the-collections/abraham-zapruder-film/
2. Please respond to the following post.
After reading the links and viewing the clip on the Zapruder film, my role as an arbitrator in this case is to be fair and impartial during hearings while avoiding a delay in the disposition of proceedings all while maintaining a degree of order. This will be a challenge given the sensitive nature of the dispute. To date, the Zapruder film is the only real-time evidence available which depicts President Kennedy’s final moments on that November day. Working in downtown Dallas, Texas, I pass by Dealey Plaza and markers showing the two shots that hit the president on a daily basis. Given the angle from where the shots took place in comparison to where the president was hit, conspiracy theorists argue that the attack on the motorcade was complex, meaning there were multiple shooters. Historians claim that there was only one shooter from the 6th floor of Dealey Plaza. The differing theories justifies the importance of the Zapruder film.
In negotiating this case as an arbitrator, I would ask both sides to consider the ramifications if the film was not disclosed or made available for the general public. Despite its graphic nature, disclosing the video would afford careful, in-depth analysis from amateur and expert viewers to confirm or deny the differing theories that exist about the assassination. That said, I would further ask both sides to set aside any monetary differences. My thought process coincides with the NY Times article penned by Rosenbaum (1998) in that the family desires to make the film widely available to combat, “…the burden of having to decide who can have access to it and when and for how much” (n.p.).
In short, I do think that the final outcome was fair considering that the Zapruder family decided to donate the film’s copyright to the Sixth Floor Museum in the Texas School Book Depository at Dealey Plaza. I also think that the monetary amount received was fair as well. Although the matter at hand is sensitive, the film was private property and the owner was within his/their rights to sell it for an amount deemed suitable. I think what if Zapruder had kept quiet about the film? Few people would have known about its existence. I liken it to someone finding an original Picasso painting or an original manuscript of the Declaration of Independence. The finder has ownership of the item and can decide to what offer to take in exchange for the item. In 1999, a three judge arbitration panel determined that a fair price in exchange for the item was the halfway point between what each side was asking for.
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